Sunday, June 30, 2024

Minutes May 15, 2024

The board met at Virginia Winn's house on the evening of May 15, 2024.

The meeting was called to order at 7:32 pm.

In attendance were: Virginia, Marguerite, John, Fred, Dianne B., Gail, Victor, Dianne P-Q, and Maris.

The minutes for the last meeting (held March 6) were approved.

Dianne B gave the Treasurer's Report.  She noted that an over-payment of $100 was made to CDSS; she will work with them to either get a refund or credit.  A check was sent to CMFA for use of the hall through January.  Financial details were reported on the spreadsheet.  It was noted that because of the financial arrangement made with Bill's Pickin' Parlor there were some positive numbers.  The report was approved.

Marguerite gave the Booker's Report.  Sherlock's Meow will be playing and Kenny Greer will be calling for the dance on 5/27 at Bill's.  The Lagomorph Trio will be playing in June with Gretchen Caldwell calling. {Ultimately the dance happened at Lake Murray Contra Hall and Tom Machlin called due to sickness and Bill's deciding they'd had enough contra.]

There was discussion about possible plans for July and August and into the Fall.   This was based on good faith assumptions about continuing with Bill's as a venue. 

There was discussion about the general experience we were having at Bill's and there was discussion about contra dancers's impressions.  It was not all positive.  There was discussion about simple things like whether water was freely available or if we could bring it or if  it was expected to be purchased.

Some concern was expressed about a culture clash.

At the time these minutes were posted (late June) the reader will note that optimistic assumptions about Bill's as a venue were unfounded. The May dance did happen at Bill's.  Willie subsequently told us (immediately after the May dance) that Bill’s was no longer available to us as a venue (w/o significant changes to the schedule and financial agreement). We thus had to relocate the June dance to LMCH on short notice.   All of this transpired cordially and with sincere expressions of mutual regret.  We were very grateful that Susan could accommodate us on such short notice.

As far as schedule is concerned, 4th Saturday's seem to be working.  This year Thanksgiving is early so there is no clash there.  The date for a late December dance is not realistic so we need to reconsider a possible earlier date.

The Bylaws stipulate the month of May for for appointment of officers and at-large board members for the next year.  After a brief discussion there was consensus that we can continue with our current lineup.

President: John

Vice President & Booker: Marguerite

Treasurer: Dianne B.

Secretary: Fred

At-Large Members: Gail, Maris, Dianne P-Q., Victor, Virginia, Kenny.

Kenny has relocated to Berea, Kentucky.  However it was felt that we could benefit from his advice if he were to continue as a full at-large voting member because he has in the past contributed to the discussion on various issues.

The slate was approved.

Next meeting: Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

The meeting adjourned at 8:52 pm.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Minutes March 6, 2024

The meeting was held at Marguerite's house.  We had originally planned to meet on March 13 but Virginia had a conflict.

Present: Fred, Marguerite, Dianne B, Dianne P-Q, Gail, Maris.

Absent: Victor (delegate: Dianne B.), John (Delegate: Fred), Virginia.

We started at 7:30 pm.  A quorum was present.  The minutes from the previous meeting (Jaunary 10, 2024) were approved.

The Treasurer's report showed and increase of $350.  The report was approved.

The Booker presented her report.  The intention was to fill out the remainder of this season at Bill's Pickin' Parlor.  At this time it was unclear if we should plan on having a dance in August at Bill's because of the unknown level of HVAC support.  (There were some who felt that it would be adequate because there is no evidence to the contrary;  we had such a poor experience in the past summer at CMFA we once again could recall the reason why we didn't have dances in the summer in Columbia LOL.)  The question of summer dances would be again taken up at the May board meeting; August 24 in specific.  The dates for dances in November and December are definitely at issue because they are not 4th Saturdays.  Need to coordinate with Bill's on this.

Next was the Dance Report.  There was discussion about the February dance at Bill's, it being the first.  There was a mixed reaction.  Clearly it was necessary to set expectations for callers to understand the venue and its traditions in the local area.  The CMFA venue is definitely inadequate for our needs and we will be telling them not to expect us for the remainder of the season.  Marguerite will communicate this with Joseph.

In general the impressions of Bill's is positive.  In general, we decided we should continue at Bill's for the remainder of this season.  Dianne B. will work with Jan to formalize (i.e., write down) the agreement our group will have with Bill's for hosting dances there.  This should be discussed in greater detail at the May meeting.

The slate of board officers needs to be updated and approved at the May meeting.

There was no other business.

The next meeting is scheduled for May 15 at Virginia's, pending approval.  (John subsequently confirmed the date with her.)                                                                                                                         

The meeting adjourned at 8:59pm.

/s/Fred Druseikis

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Minutes January 10, 2024

We gathered at Virginia Winn's house at 7pm.

Present: Fred, Dianne B., Victor, Gail, Virginia, John, Dianne P-Q.

Absent: Maris, Kenny

Via Google Meet: Marguerite

John called the meeting to order at 7:35pm.

Minutes of the last meeting (November 29, 2023) were read and approved.

Dianne B. gave the Treasurer's Report.  The current balance is down $230 from last meeting and $130 since last dance (which was in December last.)  She estimated that we are seeing $150 loss per dance over the last year to date.  The report was approved.

Marguerite presented the Booker's Report.  The dance schedule follows:

Jan 13, Band Cloud 10, Caller: Chris Hernandez, at CFMA

Jan 27, Band Sherlock's Meow, Caller: Leslie Bowers, at CFMA

Feb 27, Band: Lettuce Prey, Caller: Tom Machlin, at Bill's Pick'n Parlour

March 23, Band: CCOB, Caller: Joel Wilder, at CFMA

April 27, Band: TBD, Caller: Chris H, at CFMA (expected)

May 25, Band: TBD, Caller: Kenny Greer, at CFMA (expected)

June 22, Band: TBD, Caller: TBD, at CFMA (expected)

July: No Dance

August: No Dance

The discussion centered around the decision to reduce our dance production from two dances per month to one dance per month, staring in February.  Also, we will not be producing dances in July and August because of inadequate HVAC at CFMA.

Discussion regarding the possibility of using Bill's Pick'n Parlor as a venue ensued.  The board expressed generally positive remarks about the prospect.  We would need to see how this experiment turns out.

The Booker's Report was approved.

General Business.

Victor Gascon was elected as an at-large board member, filling the slot that became vacant after Karl resigned.  The vote was unanimous.

Dianne P-Q reported on some informal discussions she had with CDSS executive members at the recent Berea College dance week regarding the whole process of restarting a dance community after covid.  Possibilities for grant development and workshops to engage the community are possibilities.  For example a caller's workshop.  She recounted a bit of how some other dance communities have dealt with the restart.  She will investigate further.

Last dance Report:

Table staffing, and staffing the dance in general is something that needs to be proactively managed.  Because we have been trying to produce two dances a month it is inevitable that there will be some months with personal conflicts.

ACTION ITEM: Fred will provide a consolidated list of tasks that need to be considered to put on dances at CFMA.  We have a lot more to do there to set-up and tear-down in that venue.

Also, at the last dance we forgot to get water so that was an example of the kind thing that can fall through the cracks but can have a big effect.

Another item identified in the discussion was this:  Caller's need to provide more detailed instructions on how the swing works to keep a proper distance between dancers to minimize collisions (not able to express the exact sentiment from my notes).

Change of Venue.  Bill's Pick'n Parlor is eager to have their facility used by dancers on 4th Saturdays, so it make sense to try to align our dance series with theirs.  The February dance is an experiment to see if and how this can work.  More to come!

ACTION ITEM: John will check into the requirements for our insurance and to have Bill's venue added if necessary.

Mailing Lists: No changes.

Meet-up Group.  Dianne P-Q. has investigated and restarted the Meetup Group established by Karl earlier.  One insight gleaned from the Charlotte group is that they see the contra dance as an activity that helps provide a context to further socialize.  Their objective is not dance per se rather social interaction with members of the meetup group; they regularly have dinner before coming to the contra dance.

Child Safety Policy.  Not really a big issue.  Back burner and maybe not needed.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 13.

The meeting adjourned at 9:03pm.

s/Fred Druseikis

The following additional items have transpired since the date of the meeting and the date that I transcribed my meeting minutes:

(1) The second January dance was called by Stephanie Marie in place of Leslie Bowers, who had become ill with respiratory symptoms.

(2) During the interval since the meeting, Marguerite had the foresight to compile a list and field test it in the several e-mails she prepares in the days leading up to the dance date.  Here's the list of tasks she identified that need to be covered when producing the dance at CFMA.

___ unlocking the CMFA door at 6:00 pm

___ bringing chairs upstairs

___ bringing tables upstairs

___ running the table: collecting admission, verifying venmo payments, making the zip code list

___ counting the receipts and recording attendance statistics

___ handling the money (either doing it or oversight)

___ paying and thanking the band, caller, and sound person for their work

___ making the general announcements before the break (publicly thanking talent & sound guy, announcing future local dance schedule and dances in other areas.)

___ bringing water, ice, pitchers and cups

___ bringing snacks

___ putting up directional signs

___ bringing chairs downstairs

___ bringing tables downstairs

___ gathering and putting away directional signs

___ neatening the pink studio after the dance

___ sweeping the dance floor

___ making sure our group is out of the building and locking up after the dance

___ other [please specify]


The items in italic are the ones needed at Bill's Pickin' Parlor.


Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Minutes November 29, 2023

The Board met at Virginia Winn's house at 7:30pm.  Some of us gathered earlier to enjoy some conversation and dessert.

John called the meeting to order at 7:33pm.

Present: Maris, John, Virginia, Marguerite, Fred, Dianne B., Dianne P.-Q.

Absent: Gail, Kenny, Karl

Karl has resigned from the board effective immediately. Kenny is in the process of relocating to Kentucky and might possibly be less available than when living in Myrtle Beach.  We do however continue to value his involvement and hope that he will be able to continue to advise us on relevant matters.

The minutes from the previous meeting were approved.

Dianne B gave the Treasurer's report and noted that our seasonal loss from operations is expected to be approximately $1000 for the interval from July - December 2023.  One person overpaid and this will be handled informally.  The CCOB played at the November dance and for this reason the gate receipts balance the expenses (which were quite minimal since the band was free.)  A motion was made to accept the report was made, seconded and approved.

Marguerite gave the Booker's report.  Some discussion was had about the nature of the commitment to bands and callers for the specific venue (e.g., either CFMA or Lake Murray.)  Some verbiage was discussed for inclusion in e-mails spelling out the nature of our somewhat fluid venue situation and -- in the interest of full disclosure -- being up front about our commitments to all concerned; and the timing requirements for notifying CMFA and LM about the need for their hall.  The  Booker agreed to provide this notification.

The board discussed, and a motion was made, seconded, and approved, to begin to use the 4th Saturday of the Month as the nominal date for our events; and that we would begin transitioning to this as soon as possible.  The two dances scheduled for January 2024 (Jan 13, and Jan 27) will take place, both at CFMA (Cloud 10 and Sherlock's Meow, respectively.)  The dance schedule starting in February will be 2/24 (TBD see discussion below; CFMA is not available and LM would be the nominal fallback, except for the possibility of Bill's Pickin' Parlor); 3/23, 4/27, and 5/25 all at CFMA.  The  second appearance of CCOB is being planned for 3/23.

Also in the discussion was the prospect of using Bill's Pickin' Parlor as a venue due to apparent interest of the owners in being inclusive of all varieties of live music (among other things.)  This was being actively investigated and the Board authorized the possible relocation of the February dance to Bill's from CFMA if that made sense.

A motion was made to accept the Booker's report, which was seconded and approved.

Other Business

Dianne P.-Q. brought up the idea of trying to use "" to better effect.  There was discussion; the Board approved a budgetary expenditure for fees to so that Dianne could further investigate how best to use it and to be able to model that on how it was being used effectively by the Charlotte group.

Staffing the table at dances needs to accommodate the times when Fred is planning to be absent.  There may be some ways to allow dancers who are interested in helping out to do that.  This could be possible with increased use of venmo or some other ways of reducing the amount of paperwork and the amount of money in the pouch (e.g., to find a way to keep just a minimum amount of money -- enough to make change -- instead of the entire amount needed to pay the talent.)

Child Safety policy.  On the back burner for now.

Mailing list updates.  Dianne B. reports that we have 139 complete entries (names, emails, and phone numbers for texting.)

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, January 10, 2023.

The meeting adjourned at 9:13pm.

/s/ Fred Druseikis