Saturday, December 27, 2014

Minutes, December 9, 2014

COTMD ContraCola Board Meeting - minutes approved 2/10/2015
December 9, 2014

Meeting was convened at 7:37pm.

Present:  John, Tim, Sandra, Victor, Marguerite, Virginia
Absent:  Fred, Dianne, Connie, Kenny

Minutes:  The minutes of the November 11, 2014 Board meeting were reviewed. A motion to accept the minutes as written was made and seconded.  The motion was approved.

Treasury:  The treasurer reported that we have had a $650 loss for the 2014-2015 season so far. We presently have an available budget of $2026.92. A motion was made to accept the treasurers report. The motion was seconded and approved.

Reimbursements:  There were no reimbursements.

Email lists:  Dianne reported via email that the Board email list and the dancer reminder email list were up to date.

Seasonal Losses:  There was a discussion of what to do about the losses we are incurring this season.
>>Fliers: Board members are encouraged to do whatever they can to get fliers posted around the community. They are also to encourage other dancers to help post fliers at gyms, exercise classes, dances classes and events, bookstores, coffee shops, etc. These fliers will be made available at the front desk and/or the refreshment table. An announcement should be made at each dance saying the fliers are available.
>>Business cards:  Board members are encouraged to carry and pass out card as appropriate. These cards will be made available to the other dancers at the front desk and/or the refreshment table. An announcement should be made at each dance saying the cards are available.
>>USC:  Sandra is going to continue pursuing  permission to post fliers on the USC campus. Presently we do not have an official USC sponsor.
>> Social Media:  We all agreed that Connie is doing a good job getting our events posted to all the avenues.
>>Present Venue:  A discussion was held concerning the pros and cons of our present venue.
Pro:  It is centrally located and the size of the room is excellent. 
Pro:  The cost is in line with the cost of our last venue.
Con:  The floor is linoleum over cement. Some of our former dancers have said they no longer come because of the flooring.
Con:  AC/Heating problems. Sometimes it just doesn't work. In the summer you cannot drop the AC below 75. In the winter you cannot turn the AC on at all. There is a specified date in the Spring and in the Fall when the unit is converted between AC and heat.
Con:  The windows will not open. This prevents using them for ventilation especially in the summer.
Con:  The folks that have to setup the room must come extra early so they can tear down  whatever is presently there. Tables and chairs have to be moved and the floor/room has to be cleaned up. The stage has to be cleaned up to accommodate the musicians/caller. After the dance everything has to be put back the way we found it.
 >>Emerald Ballroom:  Because we need to keep looking for a possible new venue we again revisited checking out the Emerald Ballroom. We agreed to  ask at the next dance if folks would be interested in having an extra dance in early Spring as an exploratory dance. Victor  will ask about this at break time. John is to contact the Emerald Ballroom about a possible extra dance in April either on the 2nd or the 4th Saturday.
>>Fundraisers:  We discussed several ways we could try and offset our losses. The one that got the most momentum  was selling Tee-Shirts/Tank Tops. Victor said he would look into this.

Real Estate:  We revisited John's desire to purchase some real estate property and convert it to a dance hall.  John said he could not find anything on the internet that would suit our purposes.

Disruptive Dancers:  We revisited this issue.  It was decided that even though we have not had a problem in the past, it would be advisable to have a written policy on the topic.  The policy would provide Board members an acceptable  standardized reaction. It was agreed that we would need two forms of this policy. The first one would be a short, user friendly document that expresses the essence of the policy in very positive terms. This will be posted on the website where the public can easily access it; posted at the front desk where dancers can read it; and, posted in the newsletter.  The second document would be fleshed out and be posted on the website for Board members to access. It would not be available to the general public. Victor said he would write it up for review.

Volunteer Dancers:  In response to an email from Lucy Gordon (Charleston) that Victor had forwarded to the Board concerning new dancer recruitment and volunteer dancers for demo dances, Virginia designed a poster and sign-in sheet for volunteers. Virginia pointed out that we have had to turn down requests because we don't have a pool of dancers to draw from. We discussed the importance of showing people what contra dancing is all about which could lead to recruitment of new dancers. It was decided that we needed a source of responsive dancers so that we can accept requests for "demo" performances.

Next Meeting:  January 13, 2014

This meeting was adjourned at 8:45pm

Submitted on 12/18/2014 by Virginia Winn

Monday, December 8, 2014

Minutes, November 11, 2014

COTMD Minutes 11/11/2014 - approved at 12/09/2014 meeting

Meeting convened at 7:50 pm.
In attendance: John, Virginia, Connie, Dianne, Sandra, Victor, Marguerite.

Minutes reviewed and approved.

Treasurer reported a balance of $2238.92.  Approved.

Regarding new dancer email addresses -- John encouraged Virgina to get the new email addresses to Dianne asap generally, since we need the new dancers.

Sandra Keller was voted in as new board member.  And on Victor's report that Kenny Greer wanted to be on the board, we also voted him in.  We discussed using some kind of call conferencing so that Kenny could take part in the board meetings remotely.

Our current venue has AC/heating problems.  The setting is changed from "AC" to "Heat" (or vice-versa) just twice a year and is out of our control.

We voted to pursue the Emerald Ballroom as a possible dance venue.  It is located just off Dutch Square and is available on 4th Saturdays.  Advantages would be better AC/heat, better parking, and less setup/teardown.  The floor - wood over concrete - is also somewhat better than in our current venue.  Victor offered to call for a free extra dance, and Marguerite offered to look for possible dance dates for an extra dance which would to be held at the Emerald Ballroom.

There was a suggestion to advertise our dance at yoga studios.

We discussed having a themed dance.  We agreed it was generally a good idea, but felt we shouldn't go overboard as it could turn people off.

There was a discussion of obtaining our own building ("building project"), which would be self-sustaining through rentals.  John will look into to find out whether there is someone who specializes in finding/building buildings for non-profits, and if so, talk to him/her.

Victor passed out a handout on "Problem Dancers and Written Policies", which included three different existing policies from other dance groups, ranging in length from brief to medium to verbose.  It was generally agreed that we need to decide what things are important for our situation.  There was a spirited discussion about appropriate behavior and appropriate responses.  We want our written policy to have specificity without wordiness.  All board members are to read this handout, and are invited to email any related thoughts and/or verbiage to the board at

Meeting adjourned.  Next meeting scheduled for 12/9/2014.

-- Dianne

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Minutes, September 16, 2014

COTMD Minutes 9/16/2014 - approved November 11, 2014

Meeting convened at 7:40 pm.
In attendance: John, Marguerite, Dianne, Fred, Virginia, Victor.

Following a discussion about current board membership, Victor agreed to contact board members going off the board this year.

The board reached a consensus that meeting minutes should be specific enough to be useful.  For example, the total balance from the treasurer's report should appear in the minutes.

Several mistakes/omissions from last month's meeting minutes were noted:  misspelling of Dianne's name, "scheduler" should be "booker", missing Treasurer's report total balance.  Virginia to communicate these changes to last season's secretary for correction.

There was discussion about whether or not to publish summaries of the operational reports.  A yearly summary document was suggested.

Minutes from last month's meeting, as corrected (see above), were accepted by unanimous vote.

Virginia noted that the $75 check to CDSS has not been cashed yet.  The total balance is $2578.92 as of 8/31/2014.

The treasurer's report was approved by unanimous vote pending changes to year dates in the detail sheet distributed at the meeting.

Wrist bands have been paid for.  They seem to be well-accepted by the dancers.

Dianne is to clean up the COTMD Board google group to reflect current board membership.

The status of band/caller schedule was reported by Marguerite, including a rundown of band costs.  There was a discussion of holes in the schedule that need to be filled.  A local band may be pulled together if other bands do not materialize to fill the gaps.

Virgina passed out flyers for us all to post before the dance, as well as Contracola business cards containing the web address  Marguerite's suggestion to add the flyer as an attachment to the emailed newsletters was informally approved.

The planned discussion of WUSC as a dance host was largely tabled due to Laura's absence.  There was some discussion of the possibility of a future dance at USC and the board was favorably disposed toward it.

Victor presented some feedback from other dance groups, e.g., River Falls.  This led to a discussion of what constitutes a successful dance group - longevity? dancers per regional capita? 

Virgina inquired as to whether we would be interested in pursuing a possible Arts Commission grant in the $5000 range.  This led to discussion of a portable dance floor, building a dance hall, architectural plans for a dance hall, an annual dance weekend.  Virgina is to get information on what kinds of things have been funded by the Arts Commission in the past.

The group showed some enthusiasm for a dance hall building or pavilion of our own.  One idea would be to build a pavilion at a park.  Another idea would be to move the Women's Tennis Center.

Victor brought to the group's attention the need for us to have an agreed-upon policy for dealing with disruptive dancers.  He will attempt to find existing such policies to be used as a template for us to customize.

John will be holding sound equipment training sessions for Victor and Fred and whomever else is interested.  Sessions, to be hosted by Virgina, are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday 9/23 or 9/30.

Meeting adjourned without objection at 9:47pm.
Next meeting is scheduled for 11/11/2014.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Meeting Minutes April 14, 2014

Board Meeting April 15, 2014


Dianne Britton

Fred Druseikis

Marguerite Frongillo

Victor Gascon

Connie Robinette

Virginia Winn

John Wetzel

Not Present

Laura Godenick

Kenny Greer

Robin Drucker

Tim Piesch

Meeting Minutes from the last Board Meeting were reviewed and approved

Treasurer's Report

Treasurer’s report was given and Fred presented his Operations chart.

Treasurer’s report was reviewed and approved.

Board Email List and Dancer Reminder Email List Reports: Updated and current.

ElectionSlate - Slate thus far:

John Wetzel – President

Victor Gascon – Vice President

Virginia Winn - Treasurer

Diane Britton - Secretary and continue with web and database responsibilities.

Connie Robinette – Member at Large and Social Media

Fred Druseikis – Member at Large Unclear if Fred agreed to continue as Operations Manager

Note: Secretary is to contact Laura Godenick to see if she wants to continue on the Board in 2014. Note: Laura wants to be on the board, and have a dance at USC. She does not want to coordinate dances for the USC students. Someone on the board needs to speak with Jacob to see if he has a designee to carry on after he leaves USC. If Laura is the designee, he needs to talk with her about all that he does to see if she can commit to his level of involvement.

Door Work Solutions: Any time that a board member has to work the door the whole dance, they will be paid $40 for that dance AND get in free. Discussion about wrist bands as a means of identifying paid dancers. Victor was going to look into this and report back to the group.

Sound person pay was reviewed. It was voted and approved that the sound person would receive $40.00 per dance instead of $35.00.

Dance Dates of Schedule reviewed and approved

9/20/2014 (3rd Saturday)

10/11/2014 (2nd Saturday)

11/15/2014 (3rd Saturday)

12/13/2014 (2nd Saturday)


1/17/2015 (3rd Saturday)

2/21/2015 (3rd Saturday)

3/21/2015 (3rd Saturday)

4/11/2015 (2nd Saturday)

5/16/2015 (3rd Saturday)

6/20/2015 (3rd Saturday)

A motion was made and to end meeting. Note: Tuesday, May 20th will be the next Board Meeting

Monday, March 3, 2014

Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes February 18, 2014.


John Wetzel
Marguerite Frongillo
Victor Gascon
Robin Ducker
Virginia Winn
Jacob Legrone

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

The treasurers report was delivered and accepted

The "selling stuff at our dance by third parties" issue was briefly reviewed (essentially to say that it has been handled, with documentation for anyone who wanted to read it).

The fact that we had voted to add Laura Godenik to the board during the last meeting was verified by asking those then present. The fact was so confirmed.

We had a discussion centered around the issues of what to do and how to behave in situations where the numbers of persons present at a dance approaches the posted maximum capacity of our venue.

Due to time constraints, the agenda item concerning the status of the attempts to find other venues has been set aside for action at a later meeting.

The hall dates for our next season were discussed. Three of the dates were moved away from our standard "third saturday". Two were moved to avoid conflicts with things such as football games, or students being out of town, and the third was moved to "fix" the conflict with the Bug Stomp dance weekend, on the theory that once you stop having a dance strictly on the same day of each month (ie, once you have broken the pattern once in a season), there is no reason not to do so elsewhere in the schedule, given some good reason to do so. The dates selected are as follows:

While discussing the dates, there was also extensive discussion of adding TEN more dances per season, which eventually turned into a consensus that we might be able to add in TWO more, most likely in January and February, these being the months that seem to bring out the most dancers. Adding two more dances seemed to be a reachable practical goal, in comparison to the problems we would run into trying to find bands and callers (and venue) enough to double the number of dances. This is to be discussed further when we have a larger quorum at some future board meeting.

We voted to add Victor Gascon to our board. Beyond that point in the meeting, Victor voted along with the rest of us on any questions that we voted on. Victor has webmaster skills, and is willing to take some sound system training as well.

We spent a lot of time talking about how to solve the problem of having too few people doing too much of the work. First we identified that many things that get done are nice but not mission critical, and focused on the latter. Basically we decided that the things that are not mission critical can be left to fend for themselves. In other words, it is nice to have water, and cookies. It is great if someone handles that. But, if no one wants to do those things, they will not get done, and everybody will survive somehow. We agreed that, given that band, caller and sound are all compensated, and are tasks designated to particular people at every dance, that the only other mission critical item that has to get done to keep our dances going is the "door work". Our discussion was primarily about how to distribute this work, which is the only un-compensated mission critical work, among as many people as possible, rather than having a few people have to do it all, and those folks, their "reward" is that they rarely (and sometimes never) get to dance.

The solution we came up with is as follows: First, dances take about 15 minutes, so a half hour (2 dances) or an hour (4 dances) seemed to all of us to be logical as a good size for a time slot for a worker to work the door, after which someone else could take over. There are actually two kinds of door work. There is the mission critical money taking/changing and body counting (requires some skills), and the "unskilled" work of gathering of email addresses and handing out of name tags.

We decided that it made sense to have hourly shifts to do the "skilled" money handling stuff, with that work being done by board members, and by any properly trained dance volunteers, with the option to do half hour shifts if somebody needs to do it that way, or wants to. (hourly shifts to be the default, with nobody having to do more than an hour a dance (unless they want to, because they cannot dance for some reason that night). To make this happen, we broke the tasks up into three tasks:

  1. Actually working the door (different person each hour, normally nobody works more than an hour per dance)
  2. Training people how to work the door
  3. Coordinating/Organizing the door workers for each particular dance AND, finding volunteers/trainees.

Item 1. is to be handled by anyone on the board or in the dance community who agrees to help, PROVIDING they have been trained how do this door work. This includes the people who already know how to do this (Virginia, Fred, Dianne, Connie??) and hopefully a lot of new volunteers. If this works, each person who volunteers to do the "skilled" door work will have to work an hour at one dance, and not at all at the next. If we have lots of volunteers, each would have to work a shift only on every third dance. This is the key effort, which is to distribute this one unpaid but critical task to as many people as possible, so that no one spends the whole dance at the door taking money.

Item 2. is to be handled by Virginia. She has agreed to be responsible for training anyone who volunteers to help with the "skilled" door work. Also, if there is some way to reduce this training to a video that people can watch, Virginia and Victor will create that video, and thereafter, the training would consist of just watching a video, and then a little bit of over-watch (by Virginia or another experienced door person) the first time that the new person works the door. The training will happen, and the video idea MAY or may not jell. We may need to have a separate tally sheet and money record for each worker, so that there is a record or "snapshot" of the body count and money in hand when each new person takes up the door task. This needs thinking through and more discussion?

Item 3. will be handled by Robin. Robin will try to identify or cajole additional people to take the door training, and put those folks in contact with Virginia for training. AND, Robin will also be in charge of identifying which of the "trained persons" will be working the door at each dance, and at what time. Once we have identified all the folks who want to help and get trained up, Robin will essentially be coordinating the door workers, and will try to make sure that the door work is distributed as widely as possible, so that it may be possible for each trained worker to only have to work every other dance, or maybe every third dance. Robin will designate someone else to do this if she cannot be at a dance (or could do all the coordinating ahead of time). This worker coordinator work may prove tiresome, and may need to be rotated among several people, just as we are trying to distribute the workload for the door work. We will have to maintain a complete list of all people who are trained, and who are currently willing to work. Such a list will make it easy to do the coordinating, so long as we also keep track of who has already worked for the last two previous dances, so that we keep the work evenly distributed.

I think (but am not certain) that we decided that all door work volunteers (skilled and unskilled) would get to be at that dance free, although we would love it if they would pay in anyway. I do remember that we though it best to give the "get in free" reward at the same dance that you volunteer to help work.

We ALSO discussed the UNSKILLED door work (gathering email addresses, doing name-tags). We decided that it made more sense for the skilled money handling work to be done entirely or primarily by board members, and the unskilled work to be done by dancer volunteers, who would also get in for free. Jacob agreed to be in charge of getting volunteer dancers to do the unskilled door work, with the understanding that we can set that aside if no one wants to do it, since that work is not mission critical. Jacob or Victor (or maybe both) pointed out that one of us could bring our computer to the dance, and, with the appropriate software onscreen, people could sign themselves up for our email reminder list. If I recall correctly, Jacob and Victor will try to make this happen.

We discussed the possibility of providing financial support for a USC contra dance. We agreed in principle that our organization would be willing to provide a loan for the USC contra dance group to host a dance, with the expectation that some or all of these funds would be returned, and with the understanding that we might not get it all back, but that would constitute a loss in support of our core mission, which is to support and teach folk dancing. No numbers were discussed because we do not have enough information right now to carry the discussion any further. Basically, we have an understanding that we are willing to help, if we have the funds needed at the time the request is made.

Some discussion of possible venues (The Lake house?) came up, but none that sound promising right now.

We briefly discussed helping Jacob with a caller training grant. We remain willing to help, but are waiting for a concrete proposal with a specific amount of funding requested.

The next meeting probably will need to include putting together the "election slate".

We had a discussion about the need for a new logo, and decided to have a Logo Contest: We decided that an open contest would be held among the Columbia Contra dance community, i.e., people on both the Columbia Contra dance mailing list and the Carolina Contra Club members. Our branding committee, which Virginia is heading up, will generate parameters, requirements and rules for this contest. Virginia will send these out to everyone when they are ready.

The date of our next Board meeting will be April 15, 2014

The meeting was adjourned.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Meeting Minutes

December 17, 2013


Virginia Winn
John Wetzel
Dianne Britton
Fred Druseikis
Jacob LeGrone
Marguerite Frongillo
Connie Robinette

Not Present

Kenny Greer
Robin Drucker
Tim Piesch

Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes from the last Board Meeting were reviewed and revised.

Treasurer’s Report

There was a review of prices of bands and callers, and discussion about bands to be scheduled for upcoming events. Conversation included the effect of boosting rates and numbers of dancers to offset increases in band/caller related costs. Fred presented his Operations chart. Motion passes, treasurers report approved.

There was discussion about adding Laura Godenick to the board outside the normal election cycle. Board agreed to invite Laura to the Board and also Victor Gascon to the Board as well.

Status of Dancer Reminder List - List is up to date per Dianne and Virginia.

Discussion of Caller Education Grant for Jacob LeGrone Jacob and Victor have both been learning to call, and have shared calling duties at the Lake Murray Contradance.

Should we allow the sale of tee shirts at our Dance? Group agreed that Kermit could sell dance t-shirts at the dance as a fundraiser for the group, with $1.00 of each purchase to go to the COTMD. Kermit would be responsible for manning the table at the event. Note: Bands are encouraged to sell their CD’s at the dances.

Regarding Rooney and the water: There is no need for Rooney to continue bringing the water jogs. Most people are either bringing their own water or drinking from the water fountain.

Contracola Web Design – Topic discussed and Jacob and Dianne will talk further about the process.

Contracola Logo Design - Need to reformulate a new logo was led by Virginia. New committee of Jacob,Virginia, Connie and Dianne.

Motion passed to end meeting.

Note: No scheduled date for next Board Meeting.

Minutes August 20, 2013

Board Meeting August 20, 2013


Virginia Winn
John Wetzel
Dianne Britton
Fred Druseikis
Jacob LeGrone
Marguerite Frongillo
Robin Ducker
Connie Robinette
Tim Piesch
Laura Godenick Visitor

Not Present

Kenny Greer

Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes from the last Board Meeting were reviewed and accepted.

Treasurer’s Report

There was a review of prices of bands and callers, and discussion about bands to be scheduled for upcoming events. Conversation included the effect of boosting rates and numbers of dancers to offset increases in band/caller related costs. Fred presented his Operations chart. Motion passes, treasurers report approved.

August account balance in bank $1,460.92


Status of Dancer Reminder List - List is up to date per Dianne and Virginia

Out of town bands playing more than once - Guidelines and rules are flexible and exceptions can be made on an as needed basis.

Negotiation/booking issues. Right of first refusal.

Discussions about rebranding the Contracola website. Ideas were shared and more dialogue to follow.

Motion to end meeting.

Note: No scheduled date for next Board meeting.