Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Minutes November 7, 2017

Minutes  November 7, 2017

Marguerite Frongillo
John Wetzel
Connie Robinette
Virginia Winn
Natalie Weston
Dianne Britton
Fred Drusekis

The meeting began by first reviewing the minutes of the last meeting (printouts provided as needed) and then formally approving those minutes.

Virginia presented the treasurers report.  We lost roughly $50 dollars on the last dance, which was otherwise a fun and fairly well attended event.  There was a brief discussion of maybe talking about the need to change our prices, but we decided to table that for a future meeting, because of the need to talk about the idea of having bimonthly dances (see previous minutes).  The treasurers report was formally approved.

The mailing list was discussed.  There is confusion about what, if anything is being emailed to the mailchimp list, who (if anyone) is actually getting this done, and if so how often.  Natalie agreed to talk to Victor and find out about this, and also to take and maintain a list of new emails, as and if such are gathered at dances.  It turns out we were/are not asking new people for emails because no one is adding emails to the mailchimp list.  The plan is for Natalie to at least keep a list of any email addresses we get, so that they will be available to add to mailchimp, if and when somebody starts handling that again.

On the subject of emails, we also breifly discussed how often a newsletter should be sent out, if sent out at all, especially given that we need to ramp up our marketing effort if we are going to be having bi-monthly dances.  This discussion did not lead to any hard conclusions, given the other uncertainties about email outreach.
Marguerite provided a report on the status of bookings.

We discussed and then voted on the next pot luck.  First, we formally voted to have a pot luck at the January dance, and then, we formally voted to not fund it, and see how well the pot luck came together without money from the group added in.  Our next meeting will be only four days before that dance, so preliminary organizing of the pot luck event will have to take place via emails between board members.

The main effort of the meeting was put into discussing Victor's suggestion of moving to a bi-monthly dance.  After much discussion, we INFORMALLY voted (straw poll) in favor of trying this for a trial period of four to five months, with no start date/starting point defined.  A formal vote on all this to be taken at the next meeting.  Some limiting parameters are included in this, and they are:
1. Some branding needs to be done, to make it clear that the new dances are of a different type.  Something similar to, but not as harsh as saying "alternating between live music dances and recorded music dances".  We might want to refer to the "live bands dance series" and the "Modern sounds dance series" or whatever.  Branding ideas are badly needed here.
2.  We agreed that the majority of us (at this meeting) do not want to share any limited income from the new dance series with the bands providing the music, while understanding that Victor may have already promised such an arrangement to at least a couple of bands.  This means that we may have to forgo using the music of Contra force (for example) in favor of other bands that we have not made any promises to.  Under the umbrella of the Emerald Ballroom ASCAP license, we have the right to play recorded music at our dances.  This issue may require further board discussion!
3.  We have a consensus that if the new dance series "steals dancers" from the existing series, that this (bimonthly dance change) might on balance not be a viable long term plan, and that therefore, the new series must be clearly announced and marketed as being a "trial run" and not a permanent fixture.
4.  We want to grow our base of local calllers, and we would like the new dance series to include "open mic" calling opportunities for any of the dance community to try and do some calling.
5.  We need to get back up to speed on email outreach, to support both dance series.
As stated above, all this to be discussed again, and formally voted on, at the next meeting.

Other issues briefly discussed: 

Someone (Victor?) should add a "donation" button to our website, which would link the user to a statement that donations can be made by check, sent to Virginia's snail-mail address, said statement also indicating that a receipt for the donation will be mailed to the donor.

Connie indicated that our website/blog is a bit "sterile" and could use some jazzing up.  Connie has agreed to chair a committee which will come up with some "themes" which will then be submitted to the board for review and possible inclusion into the blog pages.

The next meeting will be on January 16, 2018

Meeting was adjourned.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Minutes. September 19, 2017

Minutes. September 19, 2017
Members present:
Victor Gascon
Virginia Winn
Marguerite Frongillo
Connie Robinette
Jonathan Janzen
Dianne Britton
Natalie Weston
John Wetzel


The meeting began by approving the minutes of the previous meeting.
Virginia presented the treasurer's report. 
No reimbursements were reported to be needed by anyone.
The reports from our last dance were discussed. 
The mailing list was discussed. 
The booking report was delivered.
We discussed recruiting students and other community members as dancers and board members.   No new candidates have been identified. 
The selling of our old speakers came up briefly.  Jonathan will be sending Virginia a check as soon as he has the money.
We discussed mailchimp and the newsletter. 
Aaron was not present to discuss this, and he may need to resign due to being very busy and feeling unable to execute agreed upon board tasks.
There was discussion to encourage Aaron to stay, as is input is needed, even if he does not have time to do stuff like mailchimp.
The contra dance video is finished, and is reportedly of excellent quality.
We discussed the search for potential board members.
We discussed recruitment of students and other community folks.
There was considerable discussion of caller training, including a suggestion from Natalie that we might hold weekly classes for any candidates.
We discussed having quarterly pot lucks, and how much funding ought to go toward these, with no firm decisions made.
We had extensive discussion of the idea of expanding to two dances per month, and Victor offered a template for how this might be pulled off without creating additional stresses for the staff that puts on the dances we currently have.  Victor's suggestion was explained in detail and met with general (but informal) acceptance, as well as some pushback.  We agreed to table this issue for the future, and mull/discuss it in the meantime.  Formal decisions on this to be made later.  Heavy uses of donation jar (no front table staff)  taped music (no paid band and no sound tech) and volunteer callers (so that venue is the only cost item) is the basis for the idea of trying this out.  Any money collected above the hall rental would be divided equally and distributed to the caller, the band providing the recorded music, and the dance group.


The next meeting will be held on November 7, 2017.
The meeting was adjourned.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Minutes, May 16, 2017

The meeting started at 7:35. We did not have callers to the conference bridge, so the call was terminated at 7:40.

Present: Virginia, Fred, Dianne, Natalie, Victor.

Minutes of the March meeting were approved as read and posted.

The Treasurer's report was discussed. We had a loss of $108 in March in $128 in April.

Our attendance in March was 35 dancers and 41 for April.

Old Business


  • No additional Board members yet
  • We are still trying to recruit students and other community members
  • There was no change in the efforts to improve our attendance. Victor is working on implementing the Facebook advertisement approved by the Board in March.
  • The old speaker were sold to Jonathan; payment is still pending.

New Business


  • Fee for Contrarians: the Board agreed to modify the agreed-to fee and then offset the difference by asking for donations
  • Election of Officers: officers were confirmed as established in previous meetings. Victor will remain as President, Marguerite as Vice-President, John as Secretary, and Virginia as Treasurer.
  • Appointment of Board Members: all Board members were voted back in.

Work In Progress

  • Mailchimp and newsletter: no report. We know that Mailchimp has been set-up successfully and that the newsletter have gone out.
  • Contra Dance Video: Aaron did an excellent job with the video and we have used it to promote dances.
  • [Victor] Buttons: we have not ordered these yet.
  • [Victor] Pot luck in July? The Board decided not to have the potluck in July (usually a low attendance dance). We will do another potluck perhaps in September.
  • [Victor/Aaron] New website: no report on this.
Next Meeting: July 11, 2017