Another great dancing year is starting to wind down, but not without
some fanfare. We have been preparing for the 58th annual Dance-O-Rama
on May 7, 2016. (As of this writing, we are finishing the final last-minute details of
printing schedules, flyers, direction sheets and everything else that
makes Dance-O-Rama a great success.) I would like to thank our
diligent committee led by Jim Gotta, Terry and Joe Pratt, Barb Green,
Sharon and Chuck Meyer, Mary Ann Lane, Dick and Irma Halstead, John
Benesch and myself for all the behind the scenes work it takes to host
a major dance.
But we must keep in mind that no matter how hard we work, it is the dancers that make the dance turn into Dance-O-Rama. This year is no exception as we welcome 76 new dancers into our dancing community. This is a wonderful achievement by our hard-working clubs. Now comes the fun part for all these new dancers, and that is getting to know the clubs they have joined as well as dancing at other area clubs and developing new friendships. These graduates will be presented with an introductory letter from the federation detailing our website, a free dance card to all federation clubs, and the Silver 25 club booklet, as well as a listing of all our federation clubs and their dancing times. It is very important that all of our clubs extend a warm welcome to the new dancers as they visit. Make sure you get them dancing. Now I do realize most of our clubs are Plus-level clubs; however, we each must look at ways to dance more Mainstream (which can be very challenging) to present the new graduates an opportunity to dance while they learn the Plus-level calls — after all, learning all the Plus-level calls does take some time.
Finally, since developing new friendships is one of the keys to square dancing, the federation has decided that, since the Promenader does not require the financial influx it used to require for printing and mailing costs, we can use the time slot in September for a repurposed dance. We have aptly named the dance on Saturday September 24, “The Fall Friendship Ball.” We will dance from 2:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner at 6:00 p.m. The dance is free, and dinner will cost $12.00 per person. There is a flyer on the website and it should be available at all clubs. Reservations are required for dinner and can be paid to your club federation representative or mailed to Peter Emmel.
First and foremost, this dinner and dance are intended to establish new friendships, and welcome back all of our dancers from their summer lives. The dance format will be alternating Mainstream and Plus tips and of course there will be rounds between the tips. The federation will use proceeds from 50/50 and a free-will contribution box to add money to our Dancer Retention Fund. You may remember that this fund was established to assist clubs in their efforts to develop new dancers as well as any programs to retain dancers (please don’t be shy with your financial support). So please mark your calendars for September 24 and get your reservations in early.
Please enjoy your summer, and dance as often as the opportunity presents itself so you don’t get too rusty. But above all have fun and develop new friendships as we all dance in a circle of friendship.