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