To all dancers in Ohio and beyond…
I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a safe, healthy and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. What an historic, difficult, exhausting year this pandemic has been for us all.
We miss one another in so many ways – dancing, fellowship, comradery and just being there to listen or laugh with someone when they need it most. We’ve lost several dancers this past year during the pandemic which made it difficult for the family of the lost loved one and for those that wanted to share the loss and pay respects and could not do so because of the pandemic restrictions. My heart goes out to those families. We will miss those dancers on the dance floor and their smiling faces so very much.
We’ve also missed so much laughing and singing and entertainment with our dance friends, callers and cuers during 2020. We will continue to miss these things even entering 2021. We will, however, make it through it all and will have many stories to tell along the way.
We’ve also learned and gained a new respect for so many things during this time of quarantine and unrest. The biggest, I believe, is the respect for viruses and germs and the despair they can cause. Listening to our medical advisors and taking them seriously. We’ve learned to respect strangers in a way we may have not thought about before – stay your distance, wear your mask, wash your hands, don’t go out if you are sick. All to prevent that stranger from getting sick as well as yourself. We’ve learned of the stress, depression, sleepless nights and days of our first responders, doctors, nurses, all hospital personnel, truckers with supplies, grocery store personnel, and many others- many of which are dancers and are our friends. Reach out to them and let them know you are there if they need you. We’ve learned how fortunate we are to live in this country full of scientists that have been working 24/7 for months to develop a vaccine in an accelerated time frame never seen before. How incredible these people are! Parents and children have learned a new respect for school and learning. Don’t take education for granted or the teachers and professors working so hard to teach remotely. Our children are falling behind drastically with their education, particularly the younger ones that need the structure and socialization in order to learn about life. Many children have not been in pre-school or elementary school with other children for many, many months. Many of us as parents and grandparents have been the teachers at home. It is a difficult, but also a rewarding job and process. I am one of those grandparents and one of those pre-school teachers that see the importance of children being with other children just as adults need the exposure and friendship of other adults.
Most importantly we need family. Some of us have been fortunate to be with our family in quarantine while some have not seen family in months. We are a “family” of dancers. We cherish our friendships. We love the activity and the joy it gives us. We need to be with adults and children alike, dancing on the dance floor or just chatting on the sidelines. We will be able to do this again in 2021 and spend many hours “catching up” with one another. We must be patient a little longer. The vaccine will be here for us all in a few months and hopefully we will be able to see one another in person once again very soon.
Until then, please know, though I may not be able to reach out to all of you personally I’m thinking of you all, missing you all, and praying for your health and safety. May the new year bring hope, happiness, good health and yes, DANCING!
Until we see each other again on the dance floor I wish you all..
A BLESSED AND MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Pat Jones, Central Ohio Council of Dance Club President
COCDC NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2020
Here we are in the middle of winter and at this writing there have been no signs of it. I and my grandchildren are very disappointed not to have measurable snow to play in. Meanwhile many of our “dancing snowbirds” have gone south or west to enjoy sunshine and warmer weather. We look forward to seeing them back in the spring.
I hope all had a safe and enjoyable holiday season. It was a very busy time for all but we all managed to get in some square dancing and Christmas parties. The Council sponsored Toys for Tots dance was on December 8 and a good time was had by all that attended. We’d like to give a special thanks to Dave Stuthard and Dave Blaskis for giving of their time to call and cue for this special dance. The firefighters came to collect the toys and were presented with $467.00 that was collected at the door, and 50/50 raffle as well as the clothing sale. Thanks go out to Terri Ross and Sharon Anderson who do a wonderful job and spend many hours organizing and sorting the clothing for this charity sale. Thanks to Erma Wolf and Lynn LeMaster for manning the check in table and organizing the food as well as Connie Williams for donating the door prizes. Council also sent a check to the Ronald McDonald House Charity in the amount of $346.00 which was collected at the Summer Fun Dances.
The Honoree Committee has been hard at work with the new process, rules and regulations and guidelines of the Honoree Program. As you all know by now, we have a new grading and judging system in place. Packets for voting have been sent out and will be returned in mid-February. We contacted all Past Honorees that we had contact information for and confirmed that they wanted to vote this year. We also have a list of designated Club Delegates that will also be voting. Our newly implemented rule is that each club is allowed up to two (2) voting delegates depending on if their club has a Past Honoree. You can find all the forms on our website.
Several very important changes or additions are listed below:
DATE: The Honoree dance will be on Saturday, March 28th NOT March 8th.
LOCATION: The dance will be at Columbia Heights United Methodist Church at 775 Galloway Rd., Galloway.
*We will also have a banquet dinner before the dance so that we can recognize all the nominees and give club members the opportunity to honor and support their individual nominees while visiting and enjoying this special event and social activity. Dinner gathering will be from 4:30-6:30. There will be more information regarding menu and price and how to order within the next couple of weeks. I will send out an announcement and there will be a flyer with information. Please check our website, cocdc.dance regularly and watch for bulletins from Ray Owens and myself regarding the dinner.
DANCE TIME: 7:00-10:00
COST: FREE to all dancers!!
CALLER/CUER: Dave Stuthard & Sue Powell
OPEN TO ALL DANCERS INCLUDING STUDENTS. It will be a high-lo dance.
In other news, our next meeting is March 2, 2020 which is our Annual Meeting. Election of officers will be held at this meeting. We will be voting for Vice President and Treasurer of the Board. Please be sure that a representative from your club attends so that you have a voice in voting. We welcome everyone to the meetings that wish to attend. New ideas and input are what makes this group so great to work with. There are so many new things happening, and I know many more ideas are out there to help grow our dance community.
Our Recruitment and Marketing committee will be brainstorming for ideas this spring and summer to advertise and make the public aware of this wonderful activity. If you have ideas you’d like to share please let a Board member or your club delegate know so it can be shared at a Council or Marketing meeting.
We also established a Code of Conduct for COCDC sponsored events. You can find this and an updated Constitution on our website.
Many clubs have had or will be having their Student Dance sponsored by Council. Please be sure to invite your students to attend. Offer to pick them up and bring them out to other places with different callers to give them more floor time and experience the fun of going out to other dances. It is important to take them under our wings and give them the boost of confidence to get out to dance.
Remember the Snowball on Sunday, February 9th at Eastpointe Christian Church sponsored by the Central Ohio Caller’s Assoc. Information can be found on our website, cocdc.dance.
See you on the dance floor soon.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2019
Wow, the holidays are upon us already! It seems like only yesterday we were at the Clipper’s game having a great time in the heat. Where does time go! Because we are entering the winter months and we never know what kind of weather Mother Nature will bring us I encourage you to sign up for Ray Owens’ Urgent Text Service. You will receive up-to-the-minute notifications of cancellations, caller & location changes, etc. This is an excellent service especially when you must cancel a dance or class on the day of the event. You may sign up two ways. Either go to columbussquaredance.com and follow the link for Text Notification or text the word JOIN to 614-412-4838.
It’s been a busy autumn season for Council. We had meetings in August, September and November and have accomplished a lot, had many good discussions on new items presented and have developed new ways to help our Member Clubs run smoothly and prepare for unforeseen circumstances. In November we developed a Code of Conduct which Council has not had in the past. It is posted on our website, cocdc.dance, so please check it out and make your club aware. To be clear- this is Council’s Code of Conduct for our sponsored events and activities. It is highly recommended that each club also develop their own Code of Conduct if they don’t already have one. We were fortunate to have pro bono legal services available to assist us with this issue and are grateful for the legal counsel.
We also have been working diligently on the Honoree process. Our committee listened to our Member Clubs regarding changes they felt were in the best interest of the program and have developed new guidelines, rules, forms and new judging rules. This was all presented in its final stage at our November meeting. Each representative received a hard copy of all the forms, and they are also available online on our website. We ask that you keep an open mind in this new process and read the guidelines and rules carefully. We strived to make this a more fair process, as well as adding delegates to the voting process so that all clubs were well represented. This is a learning curve year and we appreciate your support in bettering our Honoree Program. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or your club delegate.
It was also announced that COCDC will be holding the 2023 State Convention in Columbus. Terri Ross has agreed to be our Chairperson and she is already having meetings and gathering the “troops” to help make this an outstanding and profitable event. Speaking of “troops”, the theme will be “A Salute to the Military”; colors will be Red/White/Blue. Terri is still recruiting helpers so if she comes to you and asks for you to join the ranks, please say yes!
Our annual Toys for Tots dance will be held on Sunday afternoon, December 8 th , from 2:00- 5:00pm. Location is the Gahanna Community Congregational Church, 470 Havens Corner Rd, Gahanna, OH. There will be a used clothing sale from 1:30-4:00 so please bring your cash to do some shopping and donate to a wonderful cause. All proceeds stay in the Gahanna Community to support families in need during the holidays. As always, Firefighters will come to collect our donations. New this year is that students are welcome and encouraged to come! It will be a hi-lo dance. I do want to clarify, however, that students usually get in free to our club dances, but since this is a charity event we ask that everyone coming to dance bring a $9. toy or pay a $9 gate fee. If you are unable to attend but want to support the charity, you may donate online by going to weavethering.com and click “Event Links”. Also, please bring a light snack to share. Dave Stuthard and Dave Blaskis has graciously agreed to donate their time calling and cueing for our event. We are truly grateful!
I’d like to take this time to offer condolences to Bob Daye in the passing of his beloved wife, Nancy. We never saw Bob without Nancy by his side supporting him in his love of teaching and calling dances for us for the past 45 years. We were so blessed to have been able to celebrate this milestone with Bob and Nancy in September at their dance party. So many of us learned to dance from Bob with Nancy getting in a square to assist where needed – whether it be playing the girl or boy position, she was always there. She was a character in her own rights and kept Bob on his toes. She will truly be missed at all the lessons and dances but will forever be in our hearts. Our love and support go out to Bob in his time of grief. We are a square dance community and family, here to support one another, especially in a difficult time such as this.
I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. Remember in your busy schedules to tell those around you that you care and are happy to see them. Encourage all the new students to attend the hi-low and student dances. Offer to pick them up and take them to these dances to show them you care and help boost their self-confidence on the dance floor. We were all there at one time.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you in a square with Yellow Rocks!
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
CUES & TIPS SEPTEMBER 2019
WOW!! On behalf of myself and COCDC I want to shout out a BIG THANK YOU to 70+ square dancers that came out to the Clippers ballgame Monday, August 19! What an amazing, fun and yes, very hot, time we had. Five squares dancing for 20 minutes with people tagging in and out so all that wanted to dance could. Then watching a good winning game and enjoying the fun of meeting new people from other clubs and learning more about one another just added to the enjoyment. I had a blast and hope everyone else did. Many were asking that we make this an annual event!
Thanks to Jason for arranging his work schedule to be there early for set up. His amazing talents and beautiful voice and yodeling kept us moving, made the crowd around us interested and had families dancing along beside us. Our presence there certainly made people aware square dancing does exist. I believe we met our 2 goals- to have fun with one another and to make people aware of our activity.
Thank you, also, to Ray Owens for all the help he gave me behind the scenes to make this an easy task to pull off. Being able to buy tickets online was incredible. And of course his photography and videography talents are always spot-on as are his assistant’s, Kathy – who I think didn’t have any choice in the matter…lol. He’s shared them online here and here, so check them out.
Without all of you and your willingness to get out in the heat and promote square dancing this would not have been possible. Yellow Rocks to you all! I have dangles ordered so you will be getting them soon. In other news: with lessons beginning for all clubs in September and many club and Council demos scheduled, it’s a very busy month for everyone. Please help out one another with demos and lessons as much as possible. Getting together as a group to promote our activity and angeling in class is not only fun but rewarding. We have compiled a list of Council’s Club demos that is posted on our website and sent out via email. It has all the details you will need and who to contact if you have questions. Council sponsored demos are the Country Living Fair on September 14th. Contact Velma Doyle for information and Oakland Nursery on October 12th. Contact Pat Jones for information. By this printing the Millersport Sweet Corn Festival will have happened on Labor Day Weekend, August 31st . I’m sure it was a success. Thanks to Shirley Monnett for handling that.
With the beginning of a new dance year your club may have also elected new officers. If you have a change of officers and committee chairs please let Terri Ross know. Or you can conveniently go here to our website, www.cocdc.dance and click on Club Roster Change Link and the information will go directly to Terri.
Our Summer Fun dances seemed to be somewhat successful. It seemed the newer dancers came out to take advantage of additional floor time this summer. It was decided that we will sponsor this event again for summer of 2020. If you know when your club would like to have a summer fun dance, please contact Lynn Lemaster @ email@example.com. We collected a total of $346. that will go to the Ronald McDonald House.
Don’t forget the Fusion dance scheduled for Sunday, September 8 at Eastpointe Christian Church from 2:00-5:00. Angie Riffle and Stephen Jenkins have put in many hours of promotions and worked very hard to sponsor this event of bringing Appalachian dancing and Square dancing together. It’s a great marketing tool with advertisement on Facebook and other social media as well as on WOSU Bluegrass Ramble radio. Jason Raleigh is calling western square dancing and Sean Fen will be doing the Appalachian dance calling along with a live band, Glouster Organ Grinders, featuring two of the best fiddlers in Athens County. This will be a great time! Cost is $10. in advance online at weavethering.com or $12. at the door. Bring your family and friends that may have not danced before and introduce them to a great activity.
The Honoree Committee has met several times and is getting all the new information and forms in place. We hope to have them ready to send out in September. Please be patient and understanding as this is a work in progress because you, member clubs, have asked for change. It was decided at the August Council meeting that the due date to have your honoree information in to Council will be January 6th , which is our Council meeting. Please note that you do not have to wait that long. Dates were moved up early the past couple of years because people seemed to forget to send things in during the holiday season. That being said, just because the date is January 6 th it doesn’t mean you can’t send them in before you get
swamped with holiday activities. The dance date is set for Sunday, March 8, 2020.
Looking ahead, please add the annual COCDC Toys for Tots Charity dance to your calendar on Sunday, December 8th from 2:00-5:00 at the Gahanna Congregational Church. Dave Stuthard and Dave Blaskis have donated their time for this wonderful event. We truly appreciate the callers and cuers available to us in the Columbus area and throughout Ohio and surrounding states. They truly do it for the love of the activity.
That being said, don’t miss Bob Daye’s 45 years of calling Anniversary dance on Friday, September 20th at the Little Brown Jug dance hall in Delaware. Grove City Western Squares and LBJ are partnering to host this event and honor Bob for all he’s done in Central Ohio for Square Dancing. Bring any stories or pictures you’d like to share with Bob.
In State Corp News – be sure to sign up for the State Convention being held right here at the Crowne Plaza North, Worthington. This year the Greater Cincinnati Dance Federation is hosting and the theme is “Roaring in the 20’s”. Visit weavethering.com to register and find other related links for hotels and costumes, tours and trail-in dance. Dates are April 30 for trail-in; Convention is May 1 & 2.
It’s also very important to announce that The Central Ohio Corp. of Dance Clubs has voted to host the 2023 State Convention. Terri Ross has bravely volunteered to be the Chairperson for our convention so if she asks you to help in any way, please say YES! It takes our whole dance community to plan, organize, and execute a successful convention.
I’d also like to mention that while our Council offers Friendship dangles for attending all the member clubs, State Corp also offers a statewide Friendship dangle that was recently redesigned. Please visit www.squaredanceohio.com for rules in earning this dangle. I am pleased to announce that we had two members in our Council that are members of Grove City Western Squares that earned their state dangle. They are Kim Jakubik and Janet Bell. Way to go girls!
So much information and so many great things happening in our dance community. Keep up the good work. I love State Corp’s motto of “where a circle of friends square up”. It’s so true!
Congratulations to Gary and Patti Kincade! They are our 2019 Honoree Couple. Please be sure to congratulate them when you see them out and about. Thanks to Pat and Dick Liston for heading up our dance and Sue Corbin for her photography services and all the clubs that pitched in to help make the dance a success. Congratulations to all the club nominees. People like you giving of your time & yourself to this activity is what keeps it going. You are truly appreciated.
Spring is in the air though we are still seeing snow now and then and are waiting for that forsythia bush to bloom soon so we can have those three snows after to make Spring official. But the robins are singing, the buzzards are back and the peepers are singing – all telltale signs of spring.
It’s a very busy time of year for all of us. Clubs are graduating their students and students are out traveling to our Council supported student dances. We’re gearing up for the State Convention in Cleveland May 3-5 with trail in square dance and round dance on Thursday, May 2nd. If you haven’t registered it’s not too late and it’s convenient this year because you can register online at weavethering.com. Thank you Ray Owens for setting that up as well as implementing your weekly email blast of dance information that comes out every Sunday. Thank you Velma Doyle for all the years you sent out emails to keep us all informed. I know you invested many hours a month keeping us all informed.
Remember clubs, you are responsible for keeping your schedules up to date on Columbussquaredance.com and entering your new schedule. Ray is always available to assist if you need it. Many people still like the printed schedules so we will continue to have those available beginning in September. Please be sure to send your schedules to Velma and Mark Johnson. I want to thank Mark for agreeing to print them again this year. It is also a time consuming job.
We are also gearing up for another year of marketing this wonderful activity. We hope to soon be selling shirts online and the marketing committee will be brainstorming ways to improve and broaden our marketing techniques.
It has been suggested that central Ohio should think about the possibility of starting classes various times of the year instead of just in September. The concern of some is that we lose some people being able to learn because they are not available to start in September. Because of this, we have developed a new committee chaired by Lynn Lemaster to look into all aspects of this idea. We will have our first special meeting about this topic with our representatives attending as a round table discussion on Monday, April 1st. If you have ideas and/or suggestions both pros and cons on this idea please contact Lynn or contact your club representative so they can bring it to this meeting or other meetings to follow. This will be a huge undertaking which will require input from callers and clubs.
We continue to have our clothing sales for various charities. Our Chair for this time consuming job, Terri Ross, is asking that when you are cleaning out your closets this spring to please remember to donate dance/western clothing to our inventory. Women’s clothing, in particular, is needed.
Our March meeting was our election of Secretary and President. I’m happy to announce that Terri will serve for another 2 years as our secretary and I will be serving another term as President. Thank you for your support for both of us. We are honored.
See you all in a square,
COCDC NEWS – September 2018
Wow! Where did the summer go? I know many of you were out dancing all summer beginning with the National Convention. We were not able to attend this year, but I heard from many of you how much fun you had in spite of the scorching temperature outside.
There’s been a lot going on in Council this summer. As many of you know, Ray Owens has entered the local square dance community in the past year or so and has jumped in to help many clubs rebuild their current website or build a completely new one if the club didn’t already have one.
In cooperation with COCDC, Ray has also developed the website Columbus Square Dance Center at www.columbussquaredance.com to give central Ohio dancers access to not only local club dances and specials but also surrounding areas, as well as conventions and special events pertaining to western square dancing. The new site is an all-inclusive site with all Central Ohio Club listings of their dances and class information. The new calendar on the site gives you all the information you need to find a dance in the Council area and beyond.
COCDC has begun using this new calendar as their official member club calendar. Beginning this dance year each club will be responsible for entering their own dance information on the calendar and be responsible for checking it periodically to make sure the information is correct. If you have a change of caller or cuer or location, you will be able to go in and change the information yourself. Ray is available if you have questions or need other information changed on his website such as class information. He has a great tutorial video on how to navigate and utilize filters on the calendar.
I’m sure all of you have seen Ray at your dance or special event taking pictures and videos. Please check out the photo library at www.columbussquaredance.com/media/ – it’s amazing!
Ray has also set up an online payment option for various payment needs from club dues to convention registration to selling items that clubs or Council has to offer. Please visit www.weavethering.com to see what he has set up to help those of us that prefer online payments and simplicity in registering for special events.
COCDC has also asked Ray to rebuild our website. You can see the “work in progress” at www.cocdc.dance Once we’re all good to go, the COCDC and Columbus Square Dance sites will link to each other. The Council site will include Council related news and information such as Honorees, Award Programs, meeting minutes, etc. Let us know what you think of the new site.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rob Stampfli for his many years and hundreds of hours of dedication in developing our website many years ago and maintaining it so perfectly during those years. In the short time I have worked with him he has been so helpful and generous with anything the Board and I have asked of him. He would change or enter information within minutes of notifying him. I learned a great deal from him and truly appreciate everything he has done for the central Ohio square dance community and Council. Rob and Ray’s dedication and love of this activity is what our dance community is about. We support each other and promote the activity to keep it alive and help others see what fun it is!
We also have had several calls for demonstrations throughout the area. We were invited to the Ohio State Fair and had a great showing of dancers – 3 squares to be exact! Even though it proved to not be in the best location for people to find us we had a great time with Gary Kincade at the helm. I want to thank Gary and all the dancers for your support. We also want to thank the 22 dancers who participated in the other square dance demo on Senior Day at the fair with Mark Johnson and Velma Doyle calling. We also will be dancing at the Millersport Corn Festival and Country Living Fair in September and Oakland Park Nursery for their Fall Festival in October. I know many clubs also have other demos scheduled. These are fun activities and we appreciate your support.
Everyone will be starting their classes this month which is very exciting. It’s always a mystery as to how many will show up on the first night but we are usually pleasantly surprised when people start coming through the doors. Recruitment and retention is so crucial this time of year. If anyone needs help or has suggestions, please call or email me. I’d love to hear from you. Remember to always make it fun and make them feel welcome – that is what we are about.
Council will also be reviewing our current Honoree process at a special meeting being held on September 13th. This is open to member club Presidents and representatives. I hope to see everyone represented so come prepared for round table discussion with your ideas and concerns. Pat & Dick Liston work very diligently on this program and we appreciate all their years of dedication. Please remember that your club nominations will need to be submitted late this fall. Watch for Pat’s email with information.
It’s also time to think about your club insurance. Velma Doyle is our Insurance Chair and will be sending information and due dates soon. It is important to remember that if you have new members you must let Velma know right away so they can be added to your policy. Also if you have a demo or dance at a different location other than your normal dance location you must also let Velma know so you can get a certificate for that location or you will not be covered.
Remember Council dues are due by September 5th (meeting night). Dues must be paid by this date for voting rights and for your club’s schedule to be included on the printed schedule. If you are unable to attend this meeting or bring a check, another new option is paying on the website listed above – weavethering.com. There is a small convenience fee but to some this is a more convenient way of paying.
Please put our annual Toys for Tots Charity dance on your schedule now because you know how busy we get during the holidays. It will be on Sunday, December 9th from 2-5 with Tom Davis and Dave Stuthard calling a hi-lo dance. We will have a used clothing sale and are always in need of donations. So when you do your fall closet cleaning remember us for western and square dance apparel.
Lastly, I want to welcome Hi-Timers as our newest member club. Welcome Aboard! That makes us 15 clubs strong!
Well it’s been a wild ride weather wise since Christmas but we have survived in spite of some cancellations of dances and our Council meeting on January 8, 2018; which was postponed until January 22nd. I personally like the snow and cold as long as I’m not driving in it. It’s so much prettier too than all this mud and rain we’re having now. And more fun for ice skating and snowman making!
Our Toys for Tots dance in December was a huge success! Thanks to Velma Doyle for heading it up and to the COCA callers for donating their time. Thanks to all of you that attended this dance and/or donated toys/money to support such a great charity. Thanks also to all of you that attended the Summer Fun dances and donated to the cause. Just the Summer Fun dances alone collected toys and $684! A huge thank you goes out to Terri Ross and her crew for coordinating the clothing sale. That sale alone collected $680! Thank you all that graciously donated your clothing. Without your donations this would not have been possible. Door sales and split-the-pot netted $272. So the grand total in cash donated was $1,636!! We also broke a record of amount of toys that were donated. There were so many it was too time consuming to count them all as we have done in years past. Thank you to Linda and Gary Jay for coordinating with the Gahanna Fire Department in coming to pick them up. They said they barely had room in the fire truck to put them all. The distribution of toys and money was handled a bit differently this year by the Firefighter organization. The local fire departments were allowed to keep what was collected to distribute within their local community unless it was requested to be sent to the Columbus Firefighters Toys for Tots. So the check from the Summer Fun dances went to the Columbus Firefighters and the money generated at the dance and toys collected all went to the Gahanna Residents in Need (GRIN). We were very proud to be able to donate so much to the cause!
Now moving on to what’s ahead in the new year…
Even though the days are gloomy we still have lots of dancing to do in the winter months to keep us warm and fit. At this writing the Pre-Snowball workshop will have happened on January 27th. I’m sure it was a success with lots of used clothing to buy and good food to eat, and of course lots of fun dancing. Don’t forget about the Snowball Dance on Sunday, February 11th from 1:30-4:30 at Eastpointe Christian Church. This is a great opportunity for all the new/student dancers to get out for 3 hours of floor time, meeting new people, and perhaps dancing to callers they haven’t danced to yet. We thank the Central Ohio Callers Association for sponsoring this annual dance.
It sounds as though the New Dancer dances sponsored by the individual member clubs have been a success so far. Good crowds and lots of students which is what we like to see! Be sure to check the printed schedule and our website or the flyer with the listing of New Dancer dances and attend as many as possible to support those that are learning. We will have one or two per month through April.
At our meeting I passed out a new Recruitment Assessment Form to the clubs in attendance. I will also be sending out an electronic copy to each club representative. If your club had recruitment expenses reimbursed by Council we would like you to complete this form and send it back to me. We ask this so that we can get some perspective on how well your forms of recruitment worked, what your retention of students is at this point, and to share any new ideas of recruitment with other clubs.
We also completed our process of updating and approving the By-Laws and Constitution at our January meeting. I will be sending out copies of the new By-Laws and Constitution soon.
On Sunday, March 11th we will have our Honoree Dance at Eastpointe Christian Church from 1:30-4:30. Pat and Dick Liston work tirelessly to make this dance such a success. Please come out and support your club Honorees at this fun dance with Tom Davis calling and Chuck Berry cueing.
March also brings the Council Annual meeting on Monday, March 5th. This is a mandatory meeting for all representatives. We will be voting for Vice President and Treasurer and setting our budget for next year. We will also be discussing marketing strategies and Summer Fun dances for 2018. That being said, we are beginning the process of how to schedule the summer dances this year. We found that last year we had more than necessary. It was also suggested that we move the dances around throughout the summer and possibly have clubs sponsor a dance at their club dance location. They could choose their caller and day of the week they’d like to have the dance. Please discuss with your club members. If your club would like to have a summer fun dance please let me know by mid-February. The Marketing Committee will meet in February to make final decisions on the schedule. We will then make the decision on maximum amount COCDC will cover for reimbursement of expenses for these dances at our March meeting.
Finally, don’t forget to register for the Ohio State Convention being held here in Columbus on May 4th & 5th. There are also two Trail End dances on Thursday, May 3rd. One is for squares and one is for rounds. Our website has a link to the official Convention website or you can go directly to 58ohdc2018.com. There’s much to do, including the dinner show. Everyone have a wonderful rest of the winter. Keep warm and be safe in your travels. Check in on those not fortunate enough to be able to get out anymore to enjoy dancing or perhaps those you haven’t seen in a while.
Here we are in full swing of autumn though the leaves are either off the trees or still very green which is odd for late October. Many clubs are also in full swing with class and new students. I’ve talked to many clubs and it sounds as though most everyone has a good number of students which is fantastic!
In September Council had a demo in downtown Columbus at the Columbus Harvest Fair. This was the first time at this event and we hope to be back again next year. We had over two squares of dancers and we had such a great time under the leadership of Jason Raleigh and his family. I believe having the boys dance helped get the kids from the crowd up to dance too. That’s what it’s all about – great family fun! Jason mixed things up with squares and lines. It was slow going at first, getting onlookers to join us, but once the kids got up to do line dancing it sparked some interest and we ended up dancing longer than planned because people kept coming up on stage wanting to dance; parents and their children. I want to personally thank all those dancers that came out to support this event. It wouldn’t have been a success without you! (Please see pictures of this event on our picture page)
Another great time was spent dancing and visiting with an Australian couple that contacted Velma when they came to Columbus. Their names were Nev & Bev McLachlan. It was great fun getting to know them and dancing with them as well as dancing to them because Nev is a caller and Bev is a cuer in Australia. They visited at a Bucks and Does dance and then Mel & I took them to Maple Leaf Squares. It’s always so fun to meet dancers and callers from other countries. Mel & I were so appreciative that Velma introduced them to us. Please check out the picture of them receiving their Purple Heart dangle with Travis Cook at the Maple Leaf Anniversary dance.
Now on to a bit of Council business and dates to put on your calendar…
First – Remember that if your club is going to participate in the USDA Insurance plan through Council you must have your representative bring the required forms to Velma Doyle at our next meeting on Monday, November 6th. If you are unable to do that please call Velma and make arrangement to get the forms to her. Velma sent everyone the forms via email but if for whatever reason you don’t have them please contact her.
Second – The date to submit your Honoree individual or couple has been changed to an earlier date so that everything will be submitted before we all get into busy holiday mode. Please be sure to have all the required information Pat Liston sent to you via email submitted to her by November 10th. And don’t forget the Honoree dance is March 11th.
Third – It’s hard to believe but Christmas is right around the corner so we are busy planning our annual charity event which is the Toys for Tots dance on Sunday, December 10th (please see flyer on this website). This dance will be for new dancers & seasoned dancers; and we will be having a used clothing sale of square dance clothes at the dance. You will have a chance to shop before the dance begins so come early to see what there is to offer. If you have any clothes or shoes you’d like to donate, please contact Terri Ross or any of the Board members and we will be happy to accept your donation. Our phone numbers are on the Officer’s page of this website.
Fourth – Those clubs conducting class will be reimbursed again this year for 75% of their recruiting expenses with a maximum of $300. If you haven’t already mailed those receipts to Pat Liston, please do so as soon as possible. This is a great benefit to member clubs.
We also are still working on implementing a few new items to Columbus dancers and member clubs. One is the return of the Friendship Dangle. Lynn LeMaster has been working diligently drafting a form and guidelines to be ready for clubs to have at their dances. We hope to have these ready for clubs to pick up at our November meeting. This is a great time to talk to your club and students about this fun program since it’s the beginning of a new square dance year and the students will be going to dances very soon.
Everyone have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving weekend has many great dance opportunities so hope to see you in a square working off all those calories and having a great time in the process.
See you all in a square,