General Dance Discussion > Your local dance organizations

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by tanya_the_dancer, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I want to talk about things like local USA Dance chapters or amateur dancers organizations. Why I want to - well, we have a local USA Dance chapter which we have formed couple of years ago or so, and so far it has been a somewhat uphill battle to keep it going. There is a core group of about 8 individuals or so, who do all the work, but it is usually a major struggle to get others to volunteer for activities, i.e. give out our info at the town fair. We want to maintain some sort of amateur dancers organization in the area, because in the past we had a situation that there were no open to public dance opportunities (you had to take lessons at the only studio in town to have access to their parties), and we would not want to have this kind of situation, because who knows what might happen in the future. We are questioning if we should stay affiliated with USA Dance as organization, though, and not simply become a simply local organization for people with shared interest in dancing. So I am just wondering what everyone else's experiences are.
  2. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member


    If it were to be local as opposed to a part of USA Dance would it make things easier? Are you in a small community?

    We are in a situation that I discussed earlier in this thread. A dance was held last month which all things considered had a pretty good turnout and another dance is going to be held next month on the 10th. However, since these dances are being held at the local square dance center there is a lot of flak from this group since they want to see more square dancing and rounds. The thing about it is that attendance for the square dances has declined and creating the possibility that the club may close it's doors which would mean no place to hold any type of dance.

    We are not trying to form any organization as such, but would like to provide something for any dancers living in our area and if what I've mentioned does not work out we could keep in touch and get together at a club at least every so often. As I stated in the other thread these are not actually meant as ballroom and swing dances as such, but general community dances which would be suitable for that.
  3. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    We are I guess, a fairly small community - the town itself has about 100,000 people (including students). While we have reasonable turnouts at our dances (anywhere between 20 and 40 people is good), the dedicated core which runs things like website, e-mail list, publicizing dances etc. did not increase. And right now there is some debate going on within that core if it is worth it to stay a chapter. Some of us feel that being affiliated with USA Dance brings in additional requirements, but little added value for the members.
  4. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    100K is pretty large. Ithaca, wher I live...probably has a permanent population of 30K, plus maybe 40K students...Now of cours if I included those who drive maybe even an hour to get to work in town we could reach 100K....

    There are: university dance groups
    university/community dance groups
    community dance groups

    Suprisingly no-local affiliated with the national chapters except the uni dancesport teams....
  5. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    I have never attended a USA dance chapter event in our area. I guess the reason being is that they really don't hold anything that is very exciting to me. They hold monthly dances that I can get any place for the same price etc., and the instructors they get are all locally. I could go to their studios and take group lessons from them and I can attend their events for the same price. So, to me as a person that has looked into the group, I just am not very excited about joining. I think that if they were to improve by getting some very good traveling coaches or anyone like that I guess, then I might consider joining the group. Otherwise, I don't really see the point of it I guess, but that's just me. ;)
  6. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Oh, I used to live in there, very briefly, for a few months, in 1993-1994. My parents stayed there until 1999, until they moved to Colorado.

    I guess what we are thinking about right now if we should drop the USA Dance connection altogether because, well, it places some requirements on us as a group - like hold a certain number of dances per year, provide dance instruction before our socials (which we really cannot afford as an organization), and some other stuff, but it is unclear what we get in return. I know that St. Louis ballroom dancers organization did this some years ago - they dropped USADance connection altogether, because they felt it does not do anything for them. I am just trying to make up my own mind on this, so that when our board actually meets to discuss this, I have a better idea where I stand on this.

    So thanks for helping me with my thinking process ;)
  7. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    You've listed the reasons for dropping the connection. Are there benefits to your group for keeping it?
  8. anp73ga31

    anp73ga31 Active Member

    Our area has a couple of USA Dance chapters. My friends and I belong to one of them. They consist generally of the same people we usually see out and about dancing, so we are happy to go to a USA Dance because we know the people are at least somewhat familiar and are nice. And plus, its on $10 if you are a member instead of $12, so we like that too. Thats about all I know about it. lol!
  9. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    It strenghtens our connection to the university and its ballroom team (which is collegiate chapter), that's one benefit I can think of. I didn't really think beyond that. See, for me, nothing will change as long as we decide to keep the group going - I will still be maintaining same website. Although, if we decide to make it local group supported by some local dues, it will be worse for me personally in terms of $s because I will still need to pay for my USA Dance membership if I want to compete in their events (I am hoping to do so next year), so this way I will basically pay for memberships in two dance organizations.
  10. Love2Dance

    Love2Dance New Member

    My area isn't very large, at least there are no large cities nearby, but there is a USA Dance chapter nearby. It's really nice because they hold the largest dance event in the area. They try to use local instructors as much as possible. It's really nice because they really have a great facility to host their once a month dance at with a very nice large floor. The admission fee is cheaper than most other studios in town. Even though our area is small and we don't have a very large or active dance community, there are some really good dancers that show up there. I think it's a great way to meet and get to know a lot of the other dancers in the surrounding area.
  11. SlowDancer

    SlowDancer New Member

    I live in a metropolitan area of about 250,000. There used to be a USA dance chapter that met once a month but it dissolved about two years ago. The average attendance was maybe 25-30 people. We have a local dance organization with no national affiliation that has been in existence about 15 years, with an averag of about 100 people per dance, and we have three dances a month. Another local group meets twice a month with about 30-40 in attendance. At one time, the smaller groups tended to be sub-sets of the larger group, but the demographics of our dance community seem to be changing and you will see lots of new faces at all of the local dances. Our dance community definitely appears to be getting younger, which I think is a great thing.

    Also, I'm seeing a big trend of people branching out into different types of dancing. People used to
    tease me for doing country western but now several of my ballroom friends are going to the country western dances. There are quite a few people getting into Argentine Tango and salsa, too. I think part of the change I'm seeing has to do with Dancing with the Stars; people who saw the show decide to try dancing, some stick with it, but a lot of them will probably move on to the next new thing.
  12. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Well, I'd probably join in the fee was cheaper. But the fee from what I saw on the web site is $10 if you are not a member, and $5.00 if you are a member. (And it costs $35 from what I saw on the web.) Yeah no thanks. I'm not interested. I do however belong to another society in town that hosts two dances a month, and we also have a potluck. To me you get more out of that deal for the number of hours we dance and the free meal. ;)

    Oh and had to edit to say that we do other things for the community as well. We also host a few fun dance events, and we also take trips! It's really pretty fun. ;)
  13. Love2Dance

    Love2Dance New Member

    Well, one thing nice about being in a smaller area is I guess things are cheaper around here since we aren't near any big cities or anything. To join our chapter of USA Dance is only $25 each year and the dances are still only $5 per member and $10 for non-members. Each month they ask people to bring food, so there's always different things to eat there. Plus, the local chapter of USA Dance hosts special events like workshops and what not every now and then.

    I mainly like it because it's so large for the area. Where I lived before, there were much larger dances to go to, but this is very nice if only for the nice community that supports it. Plus, once you're a member, it's the cheapest dance opportunity I have found in the area.

    Sounds like you have quite a nice club to be a part of. Especially if you've found their membership fees and costs to be less than USA Dance. Are they part of a national organization or are they strictly a local club? What kind of trips do they take? Do they have a website? Just curious.
  14. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Yeah our chapter organization costs $35 to join, and they do have workshops. But they cost the same if you were to take a group lesson from the instructors if you don't join the organization. I don't really care for that. As I had said, if they hired traveling coaches, then I'd be probably be there in a heart beat (depending on my schedule of course).

    But I joined a dance group that I had to pay a group fee up front once, and I didn't get anything out of it. Nothing that I couldn't get cheaper elsewhere, and that's always bothered me. Sure you can get discounts, but what does that really save you in the long haul when you have to pay a big fee? Although, the dance group that I joined was more than $100, and I thought why am I still spending a lot for our events when we had to pay a huge fee upfront, and our events weren't even that great to begin with?

    The group that I am talking about is a local group. They started it a few years ago to promote local dancing. They take trips to different places to show off their dancing. You don't have to pay a big fee to join, and you get more events to choose from plus full meals (not just snacks) etc. And yes they do have a web site. ;)
  15. Love2Dance

    Love2Dance New Member

    Wow that sucks about the group that cost you over $100 and you didn't get anything from it.

    Your new group sounds cool. Would you mind sharing the website so I could check it out? I like to travel and am a member in a few different clubs (one as far as 8 hours drive away :p) just to help support old friends and it's an excuse to take dance trips ;). If your group hosts fun events, I might try to get a couple of friends together and come check it out!
  16. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    I don't want to post it here for I'm not sure if the moderators would like a local group mentioned on here. So, I'll pm you instead! ;)
  17. DancinAnne

    DancinAnne New Member

    This sounds a lot like our local USA Dance chapter. I enjoy these dances as they attract dance peeps from surrounding towns that I might not otherwise get to dance with. You can't beat the price and the food is always good!

    It's interesting, I live in a smaller town than SlowDancer, but our USA Dance events are much larger than hers. Go figure!

    There are a few other local groups that I don't belong to. No particular reason, except that DH and I are too busy to do everything. I do think, as Tanya_the_Dancer said, that in most organizations, dance or otherwise, there is a core group who do most or all the work. I know that's pretty much true of our own USA Dance Chapter. Thank goodness for those core people, but it is too bad that more don't get involved.
  18. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    The good news for us here is that the local square dance center is available for use. We are eager to see how successful this turns out. :D

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