Monday, November 7, 2005

Minutes 11/7/2005

Meeting held at Connie's house, November 7, 2005

In attendance were:
  • Stephanie
  • Scott
  • Fred
  • Dianne
  • Connie
  • John
The meeting began with a discussion of developing a protocol for venue hunting. In this case "protocol" simply refers to a list of requirements that we need fulfilled (such as bathrooms) and things we would prefer (such as a flexible wooden floor).

The minutes of the last meeting were reviewed and approved.

Nancy was not present, hence, no financial report was presented at this meeting. However, Nancy did send word that the last two dances lost money.

The schedule of dances across the next six months was reviewed, with particular reference to unfilled band and caller slots.

The idea of changing away from the standard "second Saturday" schedule for the April and June dances was discussed. The reason for doing this is that these Saturdays conflict with large weekend dances in the region. This will lower attendance by experienced Columbia dancers, and is making it very difficult to secure callers for those dates. The group took an informal decision to let Dianne select the best alternative dates for those months. Those dates will be formally adopted (or not) at the next meeting.

Chuck and Karen are moving out of state, and we briefly discussed the loss these "group veterans" would have on our organization.

The group briefly discussed the possibility of placing Tim Sneed, a board member alternate, into full officer status to fill the vacancy we now have on the board. This was formally approved, subject to the approval of Tim, who was not present.

There was a brief discussion about setting up the weblist (a subset of the membership) comprised of people who are interested in carpooling to regional dances. The list is set up (on the COTMD website) and is operational.

A discussion was held concerning allowing Nancy (or whoever is paying out at a dance) a little bit of leeway on gas money, for special cases. This means a few extra dollars could be given to a particular caller or musician if conditions warrant. This would still be properly recorded in the financial report.

With regard to the development of protocols for venue hunting, Connie agreed to send out a list of commonly asked questions (questions that we need answers to, and questions that we are likely to be asked, requiring well thought out and prepared replies from our representatives).

Fred suggested that we should change and simplify our concept of what constitutes a member, since we have almost no members who are not officers, and therefore, the board is often in the position of electing itself. Some groups define "member" as anyone who is at a given dance that includes an election, plus any person who has previously been to a dance and has "signed up" to get dance info via email. This notion was agreed to informally, with a formal vote to be taken at the next meeting, based on a formal wording of the proposed change. The change would take effect in March of 2006, by which date all existing "paid memberships" will have lapsed. A draft formal wording of this change follows:

Be it resolved that, as of the date March 1, 2006, COTMD membership (for the purpose of voting in officers or making other decisons requiring a vote) will be defined as belonging to anyone who is present at a dance that also includes a COTMD election or meeting, plus all persons who have done BOTH of the following: attended at least one previous COTMD dance, and have signed up at that time to receive COTMD dance and event information via email.

The meeting was called to a close.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Minutes 7/26/2005

Meeting held at Connie's house, July 26, 2005

In Attendance:
  • Nancy
  • Connie
  • Fred
  • Dianne
  • Leslie
  • Jonathan
  • Denys
Meeting opened with Denys volunteering to be today's meeting note-taker. Corrected of date of last minutes from "October 4, 2004" to "March 7, 2005". Last minutes approved with date correction.

Nancy's Financial report: Finances for last year in the black since July 2004. Reasons for this are increased door fee and local callers. March was the best month with a lot of new young dancers. There were only three paying members this last year. Can Stephanie make a presentation to sell memberships? RE tax deductible, good cause. Hall rental issues. Can we get grants? Perhaps Mayor Cobol can help? Our past experience with grants is discouraging; government employees that we ask for help tell us outright that grant money is scarce and being reduced as budgets are cut. CDSS Fee in July: $75 filing fee, $80 membership fee. The financial report was approved.

Schedule: Dianne says we don't have confirmation yet, but the 2nd Saturday in September dance may be moved to 3rd Saturday to avoid conflict with "Moon Dance." The web site will be updated. Arsenal Hill is scheduled for all dates that we need.

Callers: Connie is scheduling callers. Leslie has a caller from Atlanta to recommend to Connie, and will send contact info. Dianne recommends Jonathan to call at least one dance every night. Connie has heard and seen of small contras at people's homes/lawns to encourage less threatening/more fun calling experience for beginning callers. Leslie recommends trying two local callers per night, so that each can also dance. Connie mentions that sometimes local groups want demo, so we need local callers like Jonathan who is a good teacher, can find dances for beginners, and is flexible. Connie says that callers we are trying to get include Kenny Greer, Dean Snipes, Seth, Bart and Bart's daughter (Maggie) who bring the band Anna's Banana's and their fans Membership Maintenance: Stephanie is not here to make a report, but since we only sold three memberships it shows that if you don't push it, it doesn't happen. Perhaps we should send emails and make announcements regarding membership at the dances.

Special Dance report: Connie reports that the Big Apple venue is very very expensive $150 to rent with an additional fee of $100 per hour for four hours; so in other words $150 + $400, with a fee of $100 for each additional hour over the time rented. This report turned into a round table discussion of many issues, bringing into question the purpose and goals of having a special dance, the effect on local dancers if the special dance is held on a second Saturday, remembering the example of the String Bean dance in '94, the possibility of using other venues: Rosewood School (Band should have beverages and food), The Barn (ASCAP problem), Legion Hall (They might not have us again), Ebenezer Lutheran (horrible floor and sound), Columbia College (this is a place students can get to, and has a gym and a dance hall, but charges $600 because of security), Trinity Cathedral (this is a nice place, but we don't have people connected to it). Perhaps we should have a Friday dance. Note: Often for Sunday dances, people must prepare on Saturday evening because facility is in use Sunday daytime. We should also consider our special distinctions and needs. Competition with USC football sometimes, especially with a new coach for example. A lot of flux of our dancers, and in the past we have our location bouncing around.

Leslie made a suggestion that perhaps we could have another night once a month if we could get free calling or free music. However, John Wetzel is our only person who does sound, and even the once a month dance is a huge effort for him. How about a Thursday night in summer?

What is the clear purpose of the special dance? Is it to serve as a reward to our local dancers? To draw a lot of out of town dancers?

Connie will contact Trinity Cathedral and George Mavarostas of the Greek Orthodox Church. Dianne will contact Shandon Presbyterian.

Models for how to run the dance will depend on the decided purpose of the dance:

Our regular venue but with a draw band and caller,
Large venue with lots of promotion for out of towners
Famous venue to draw beginner Columbia residents

Leslie will contact bigger name bands for winter months booking.

*When talking to church representatives, be sure to talk about the possibility of getting bumped.

Sandy Park - Camping at Santee, Limestone caves.

Car pool list - nothing done.

By-laws change: How can we open up elections? (Right now, only members can vote. Since board members receive automatic membership and since very few non-board members purchase membership, the problem is that we essentially have aboard that elects itself.) Jonathan recommends cutting price of membership. Another recommendation is to advertize voting privilege as a benefit of membership. (The number of board members at large right now is allowed to be any number from 0 to 5.) Other ideas: $20 membership, with $1.00 off each dance. Button idea: free button with year membership, or $1.00 for anyone. There was much discussion over various permutations of membership price and per-dance discounts for members and/or guests of members.

Dues change: $20 membership, day of membership new member gets in free, and $1.00 off at each dance thereafter.

We don't need a meeting to finalize the by-laws, but we might need a meeting to discuss the churches.

Next meeting should be in late August or September, or perhaps Monday August 29th at Connie's.


Schedule for 2005-2006

date $* location band caller
Sep 17, 2005Saturday 7:30-10:30pm $7 Arsenal Hill Park Building Cabin Fever Lesly Bowers(Columbia)
Oct 8, 2005Saturday 7:30-10:30pm $7 Arsenal Hill Park Building Bonne Terre Kenny Greer(Myrtle Beach)
Nov 12, 2005Saturday 7:30-10:30pm $7 Arsenal Hill Park Building Blue Ridge Rounders Dean Snipes(Charlotte)
Dec 10, 2005Saturday 7:30-10:30pm $7 Arsenal Hill Park Building Corner House Kenny Greer(Myrtle Beach)
Jan 14, 2006Saturday 7:30-10:30pm $7 Arsenal Hill Park Building Bonne Terre Adina Gordon(Atlanta)
Feb 11, 2006Saturday 7:30-10:30pm $7 Arsenal Hill Park Building Cabin Fever Lesly Bowers(Columbia)
Mar 11, 2006Saturday 7:30-10:30pm $7 Arsenal Hill Park Building Whistlin' Rufus Doug Singleton(Atlanta)
Apr 15, 2006Saturday 7:30-10:30pm $7 Arsenal Hill Park Building TBA TBA(Charleston)
May 6, 2006Saturday 7:30-10:30pm $7 Arsenal Hill Park Building Cheek By Jowl Lesly Bowers(Columbia)
Jun 10, 2006Saturday 7:30-10:30pm $7 Arsenal Hill Park Building Mike Robinson & Crosstown Traffic Doug Singleton(Atlanta)
* Members get a discount on the cost of admission.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Minutes 5/14/2005

MINUTES: The COTMD annual membership meeting, May 14, 2005

The meeting, held during the break at the regular monthly dance, was for the purpose of electing officers for the next year, i.e., July 1, 2005 - June 30, 2006. Paper ballots were provided, and votes were cast for the following people. Those whose names appear below with asterisks were elected by the COTMD members present, there being a quorom as required by the bylaws:
  • President: Dianne Britton*
  • Vice President: Connie Robinette*
  • Secretary: John Wetzel*
  • Treasurer: Nancy Stone-Collum*
  • Board Members at Large: Fred Druseikis, Karen Long*, Stephanie Sanders*, Jonathan Watterson*, Lesly Bowers*, and Denys ProTeau*
Following the vote, the results of the election were announced and dancing resumed. Next meeting to be held in the summer, date/time TBA.

Monday, March 7, 2005

Minutes 3/7/2005

Meeting held at Connie's house, March 7, 2005

In attendance:
  • Stephanie Sanders
  • Connie Robinette
  • Karen Long
  • Dianne Britton
  • Scott McCravy
  • John Wetzel
  • Denys Proteau
Dianne opened the meeting with a brief discussion of changes to the website, including the possibility for our dancers, musicians, callers etc. to post their own pages on the site, in future.

The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved as written. The written agenda listed the current account balance for the group as $626.25 as of 3/7/2005, with the hall already paid for through April.

The schedule was briefly reviewed by Connie, noting minor changes and the reasons for them.

A brief discussion was held concerning the start date for our fall dance series. It was informally decided that the series would begin in September providing there was no conflict with the upstate Moondance dance weekend. Formal decision to be made in the future subject to our determination of the date of the Moondance festival.

Connie reported that she had submitted her telephone records and had been paid for telephone calls (to callers and bands) except for a few recent calls. At some point in the near future, she will purchase a calling card with group funds, and that card will be used for future long distance calls to bands and callers.

Dianne indicated that she would be updating Stephanie on some membership information, and gave Stephanie some membership reciepts to forward to those members of the group.

The group discussed the possibility of having a weekend dance, or an all day saturday dance, at the Big Apple venue in downtown Columbia. Connie said she would investigate the cost of a one day rental of the facility, and determine dates of availability.

Dianne indicated that we needed to form a nominating comittee for upcoming elections, and that she would agree to be a member. Karen and Denys agreed to join her on the comittee.

The group held a brief discussion of the possibility group officers attending or at least getting preferential access to CDSS summer camps.

Dianne offered to host a summer get-together on July 4 for members and possibly other local dancers.

A discussion concerning starting up a dance carpool list-serve for Columbia dancers was held. There seems to be some interest. Dianne will put out an email to see which of our dancers would like to be on such a list.

A motion to adjourn was made, seconded and carried, ending the meeting.