March 5, 2005 -- Sackville Heights, Nova Scotia
|Bob and Inge Ruohoniem||Between Tips Editor, Past Chair of SRDFNS|
|Dottie Welch||Member of Callerlab, MCCA, ANSSRDT|
|Don and Carol Scott||Central Region Reps, Metro Chair|
|Ron and Dot Connell||Retired Commerce Professor, Saint Mary's University|
|Ralph and Barb MacDonald||Treasurer CSRDS, MCCA Secretar|
There are no magic solutions, if there were, someone would have found them by now.
Success is connected with action, persistence and a strong commitment.
Mistakes are learning experiences on the road to achievement.
Aim for good planning, organization, continuity and unity.
What is good about Square Dancing that we can advertise?
Fun, Fitness & Friendship, Exercise for body and mind
Music and Dance:
Moving to music -- a basic celebration of life
All kinds of music -- Traditional Jigs, Reels and Polkas, Live Music, Fiddles, Accordions,
Oldies, Sing Alongs and Classics, Ragtime, Big Band, Country and Western,
Rock `n' Roll, Disco, Modern, Latin, Foreign
Several related dance forms -- Squares, Contras, Lines and Solo, Circles, Folk
Rounds -- Waltz, Two-step, Foxtrot, Jive, Rumba, Cha Cha, Tango and more
Provides constant activity for 10 to 15 minutes then a short rest, not extremely strenuous
Little physical stress from bumps, falls, straining or lifting
Develops, improves & maintains coordination and quick reactions
A good alternative to competitive sports
Fun and interesting aerobic exercise that improves cardiovascular conditioning
Movement and direction changes increases endurance, flexibility, strength & balance
Burns calories helping to control weight, which improves and maintains good health
Keeps muscles and bones strong reducing the risk of osteoporosis
Mental stimulation reduces the risk of developing dementia
Relax and Revive:
Stress Reliever, Lots of Laughter
Concentration needed - forget problems for awhile
Chemical-Free, scent-ree, smoke-free, No alcohol or drug temptations
Cost of a dance is traditionally low because dancers contribute in other ways
Except for shoes, the gear required is minimal
Attire may be fancy and expensive but that isn't necessary
General Mental stimulation that simultaneously uses several parts of the brain
Develops and enhances listening skills, and good concentration,
Develops quick recall & a clear memory
Promotes learning of new ideas, short and long-term retention
A great visual, auditory and tactile experience
Appeals to the various aptitudes:
Musical, Mathematical, Historical, Artistic, Social, Cross-cultural
Heightens music awareness, and spatial orientation,
Fosters teamwork, co-operation, tolerance
Provides a common interest that makes it easy to meet new people & make friends.
Bright lights, music and friends will counteract loneliness.
Fellowship at every dance
Friendships develop that may be lifelong and world wide
A great leveler - no concern over rank, religion, politics or social status
Appropriate for all ages, something to do as couples, individually or with a friend.
Lunch nights - social events
Could be a family activity
Appeals to all types of Motivation:
Power - opportunities for a position of leadership
Achievement - every tip is a challenge to finish successfully
Structure has lots to learn for those who want that
Opportunities to perform
Social - Friendship set to music, service to friends and community
Promotes harmony and fellowship
In fact it is a world wide movement towards cooperation, friendship and peace
Short Term Satisfaction:
A Win-Win game where the challenge is not competitive.
Satisfaction comes from team success but other teams can also succeed at the same time.
Success is self-evaluated and occasional mistakes are fun.
Potential Life Long Benefits:
Can be enjoyed throughout life - physically appropriate as long as one can walk.
The same vocabulary is used worldwide so great recreation for travelers.
It can open doors to friends everywhere so ideal for those who move.
World-wide Structure and Portability:
Local, Provincial, Country, and World organizations and structure
Extra Side Benefits:
Camping, Traveling, Dining, Socializing in other ways with the new friends
May be an aid to raising money for charity if so desired
Supports the community by providing entertainment at holiday events
Last but not least - IT'S FUN!
Why are we having problems with recruitment?
Strategy for Marketing in Nova Scotia:
What can we do more of, better, or differently to recruit and maintain dancers?
"Modern Square Dancing is non-competitive, 8-person groups enjoying caller directed, continuously varying, geometric patterns danced to many kinds of lively and popular music."
"Modern Round Dancing is pre-choreographed and cued ballroom dancing enjoyed by a circle of couples dancing in unison. Rhythms include waltz, two-step, foxtrot, jive, rumba, cha-cha, & tango."
Possible major projects:
Some of these ideas came from Callerlab Winning Ways - see the Callerlab website
Advertise on Cable TV
Produce a Square Dance show (1/2 hour once a week - recorded club dance condensed)
Fun Nights and Try Me Dances
Offer Fun Nights to area churches
Combined clubs offer regular casual nights open to visitors
Late August roundup of club and potential class
Introductory Nights followed by a Welcome Party
Pot luck supper open house
Charity Events that include a Try-Me Dance
Intro session for half hour before Special Dances then invite public to stay
and include easy mixers and lines between tips.
School Square Dancing
Government has money to spend on youth physical activities
Dancing is a great alternative to competitive sports
How about Home Schooled youth - might get a family activity going
Maybe provide some competitive or performance incentive
Take advantage wherever dance is required in the curriculum
Make it part of Physical Education, History, Math or Art.
A Successful activity also requires long-term retention:
Suggestions to Help Keep New Dancers Interested:
The Learning Process: Is learning fun?
All dancers should help angel some - dancing should appear popular & large
Is etiquette and styling included in the instruction?
New Dancer Newsletter or Handbook to transmit all the useful bits of information
Square Dance history, Local dance history, attire, etiquette, styling,
organization information, traveling information...
Call them "New Dancers" not "Class Members"
Make sure each new dancer has a Mentor from the club
Provide club badges sooner
Follow up on those who miss or seem to drop-out, help them catch up
Include some social activity as well as dancing
Get New Dancers involved in the big picture:
Tell them about the wide world of square dancing
Include at least one tip at specials for New Dancers
(How about free entrance until they can dance more than 1 tip)
Hold New Dancer Dances and cater to the New Dancers
Plan Summer Dancing for New Dancers to review their new skills
Assign a mentor couple to each new dancer couple
Use New Dancers to help promote Square Dancing
Have a fun night for the friends of new dancers.
Suggestions to Help Maintain Current Dancers:
Ensure a positive attitude in the club
When you need something done, ask someone directly
Be positive, keep mentioning all the good things going on
Make it seem like good things are the norm and perhaps they will be
Work hard, lead by example, be involved with everything
Do the right thing, support and thank people for their efforts
Be proud of your club at all levels - encourage people to join,
be willing to demonstrate, carry the banner at festivals,
be willing to provide entertainment at civic events,
Sunshine Committee - Birthdays, Anniversaries, Illness etc.
Have Greeters before and after dances
Communicate in every way that is available
Use e-mail, newsletter, microphone, telephone, individual conversations
Send Welcome Back mail-outs to all dancers on present and previous lists
Provide wallet size dance program schedule for members and visitors
Develop a strong club structure
Strong leaders that lead, teach and delegate
Committees that help spread the load
Special task assignments that take advantage of special skills
Encourage good communication
Membership lists available
Calling Chain for weather and other problems
Yearly reports, Club newsletters, Club webpage
Printed flyers and Calendars available
Outreach with demos, fund raisers, visits to other clubs,
Hospitality - greeters, acceptance of all, friendliness
Inclusion - encourage participation in the club structure, accept suggestions
Express appreciation to those who attempt to help
Critical Mass - try to keep the numbers of members, students, and angels
above the critical mass that keeps producing more.
Try out ideas until you find something that works for your club.