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.