strathspey Archive: Economic accessibility & governance

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Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51815 · Miriam L. Mueller · 9 Apr 2008 04:11:44 · Top

The thoughts below were triggered by Stasa's reminder about
scholarships, and Diane's description of dancing-on-a-budget. Car-pooling
and sleeping on floors are familiar beyond Idaho. I am sure all branches
take steps to make their dancing available to everyone.

But only 40% of what I pay to join my Branch goes for local
events and activities; the rest is RSCDS dues sent to Scotland. So while
we try to make Scottish Country Dancing inviting and affordable, I wish
I felt more of that inclusiveness with respect to the running of our
parent organization. I realize that there has been movement in that
direction in recent years.

But from where I sit (at a computer in the US) the RSCDS
governance still appears to be elitist, or at least parochial. There are
the reports of last year's AGM, and the lament of unavailability of proxy
voting noted in Scottish Dancer. Apparently, if you are an RSCDS branch
outside the UK (right term?), you participate in governance only if you
have members well enough off financially to take time and money to attend
the AGM. (I understand that it is possible to ask Scottish members to
represent an overseas branch at the AGM, but it is hard to do this even
if you first have a chance to travel there and meet them, and can find
enough willing reps if you are eligible for several.)

Diane wrote: "the only way . . . is to get involved and make
sure I'm heard even though by being young and broke I'm in the minority."
Headquarters needs to find ways to let branches be heard even if they are
on tight budgets or small & young .

Miriam Mueller


Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51823 · Pia Walker · 9 Apr 2008 09:50:51 · Top

Hi Mimi

I am a representative for the Atlanta Branch, residing in Scotland - I
became a representative by contacting HQ asking them to be put on the list
of potential representatives as I was going to the AGM as an observer
anyway, and found the whole weekend fascinating and fun. I never met with
Atlanta until I went over for the Dillard Weekend a couple of years later.
We did not have to meet, we have e-mail, we discuss the issues, I get their
newsletter, which brings me up to speed with their news - there's no need to
meet face to face although it was great when I did (they are a nice bunch).

You don't have to search for people yourself - there's a list - although it
would be nice to see more people on it (Plug, plug). Contact HQ and get on
that list - or use it.
It would be nice to see more representatives at the AGM. In my opinion not
having your full quota of representatives at the AGM, means votes are lost.

Pia

I realize that there has been movement in that
direction in recent years.

But from where I sit (at a computer in the US) the RSCDS
governance still appears to be elitist, or at least parochial. There are
the reports of last year's AGM, and the lament of unavailability of proxy
voting noted in Scottish Dancer. Apparently, if you are an RSCDS branch
outside the UK (right term?), you participate in governance only if you
have members well enough off financially to take time and money to attend
the AGM. (I understand that it is possible to ask Scottish members to
represent an overseas branch at the AGM, but it is hard to do this even
if you first have a chance to travel there and meet them, and can find
enough willing reps if you are eligible for several.)

Diane wrote: "the only way . . . is to get involved and make
sure I'm heard even though by being young and broke I'm in the minority."
Headquarters needs to find ways to let branches be heard even if they are
on tight budgets or small & young .

Miriam Mueller

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Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51850 · Miriam L. Mueller · 9 Apr 2008 16:53:05 · Top

Pia - Atlanta couldn't have a better rep.
It is great that there are volunteers. But in the latest Scottish
Dancer magazine, New Zealand noted that although it was entitled to 20
votes, only 7 delegates could attend. Are there really enough volunteer
representatives to fill in the remaining 13 slots this year should NZ ask
for them, as well as other distant branches that might start requesting
someone to speak for them? And I am assuming that such volunteer reps
would be willing to vote as directed, even if they disagree with the
branch's position on an issue.
Mimi/Miriam Mueller

On Wed, 9 Apr 2008 08:50:51 +0100 "Pia" <pia@intamail.com> writes:
> Hi Mimi
>
> I am a representative for the Atlanta Branch, residing in Scotland -
> I
> became a representative by contacting HQ asking them to be put on
> the list
> of potential representatives as I was going to the AGM as an
> observer
> anyway, and found the whole weekend fascinating and fun. I never
> met with
> Atlanta until I went over for the Dillard Weekend a couple of years
> later.
> We did not have to meet, we have e-mail, we discuss the issues, I
> get their
> newsletter, which brings me up to speed with their news - there's no
> need to
> meet face to face although it was great when I did (they are a nice
> bunch).
>
> You don't have to search for people yourself - there's a list -
> although it
> would be nice to see more people on it (Plug, plug). Contact HQ and
> get on
> that list - or use it.
> It would be nice to see more representatives at the AGM. In my
> opinion not
> having your full quota of representatives at the AGM, means votes
> are lost.
>
> Pia
>
>
>
>>
> Diane wrote: "the only way . . . is to get involved and
> make
> e I'm heard even though by being young and broke I'm in the
> minority."
> Headquarters needs to find ways to let branches be heard even if
> they are
> on tight budgets or small & young .
>
> Miriam Mueller
>
>
>
>
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG.
> Version: 7.5.519 / Virus Database: 269.22.9/1364 - Release Date:
> 07/04/2008
> 18:38
>
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG.
> Version: 7.5.519 / Virus Database: 269.22.9/1364 - Release Date:
> 07/04/2008
> 18:38
>
>
>
>

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51853 · Pia Walker · 9 Apr 2008 17:46:19 · Top

To use a well-known phrase: I can't comment on an individual case. But if
we as branches let our dancers know that they can become representatives
also for other branches merely by submitting their name on the said list,
and bearing in mind how many people are attending the AGM merely as
observers, I can't see why we shouldn't get more people. Perhaps some
people are waiting to get asked, but it is as it is in dancing - if you want
to dance - don't wait - go ask. Make sure your reps are available in good
time, so you can get another if one has problems attending.

With regards to willingness to vote as directed - in my own personal
opinion, as a representative, you are there on behalf of the branch, so your
own personal opinion should be left out of it. One can only hope that there
are sufficient dialogue prior to an AGM, that one can discuss various
issues - not only between the representative and the branch, but also
between the branch and its members. If one has to make up ones mind on the
day - as has happened, then this dialogue should have given you some
indication what the branch feels, and hopefully you can vote accordingly, if
not, well you can always abstain.

Pia

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-pia=intamail.com@strathspey.org]On Behalf Of
mimimueller@juno.com
Sent: 09 April 2008 15:53
To: strathspey@strathspey.org
Subject: Re: Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?)

It is great that there are volunteers. But in the latest Scottish
Dancer magazine, New Zealand noted that although it was entitled to 20
votes, only 7 delegates could attend. Are there really enough volunteer
representatives to fill in the remaining 13 slots this year should NZ ask
for them, as well as other distant branches that might start requesting
someone to speak for them? And I am assuming that such volunteer reps
would be willing to vote as directed, even if they disagree with the
branch's position on an issue.
Mimi/Miriam Mueller

On Wed, 9 Apr 2008 08:50:51 +0100 "Pia" <pia@intamail.com> writes:
> Hi Mimi
>
> I am a representative for the Atlanta Branch, residing in Scotland -
> I
> became a representative by contacting HQ asking them to be put on
> the list
> of potential representatives as I was going to the AGM as an
> observer
> anyway, and found the whole weekend fascinating and fun. I never
> met with
> Atlanta until I went over for the Dillard Weekend a couple of years
> later.
> We did not have to meet, we have e-mail, we discuss the issues, I
> get their
> newsletter, which brings me up to speed with their news - there's no
> need to
> meet face to face although it was great when I did (they are a nice
> bunch).
>
> You don't have to search for people yourself - there's a list -
> although it
> would be nice to see more people on it (Plug, plug). Contact HQ and
> get on
> that list - or use it.
> It would be nice to see more representatives at the AGM. In my
> opinion not
> having your full quota of representatives at the AGM, means votes
> are lost.
>
> Pia
>
>
>
>>
> Diane wrote: "the only way . . . is to get involved and
> make
> e I'm heard even though by being young and broke I'm in the
> minority."
> Headquarters needs to find ways to let branches be heard even if
> they are
> on tight budgets or small & young .
>
> Miriam Mueller
>
>
>
>
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG.
> Version: 7.5.519 / Virus Database: 269.22.9/1364 - Release Date:
> 07/04/2008
> 18:38
>
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG.
> Version: 7.5.519 / Virus Database: 269.22.9/1364 - Release Date:
> 07/04/2008
> 18:38
>
>
>
>

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Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51887 · suepetyt · 10 Apr 2008 10:30:32 · Top

Iain and I both volunteered to be representatives at the last AGM but were
told that we were not needed as not all overseas branches had asked for
delegates.

We'll be at the AGM again in 2008 if anyone needs us.

Happy Dancing
Sue Petyt Lochmaben
www.suepetyt.me.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: strathspey-bounces-sue=suepetyt.me.uk@strathspey.org
[mailto:strathspey-bounces-sue=suepetyt.me.uk@strathspey.org] On Behalf Of
Pia
Sent: 09 April 2008 16:46
To: SCD news and discussion
Subject: RE: Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?)

To use a well-known phrase: I can't comment on an individual case. But if
we as branches let our dancers know that they can become representatives
also for other branches merely by submitting their name on the said list,
and bearing in mind how many people are attending the AGM merely as
observers, I can't see why we shouldn't get more people. Perhaps some
people are waiting to get asked, but it is as it is in dancing - if you want
to dance - don't wait - go ask. Make sure your reps are available in good
time, so you can get another if one has problems attending.

Pia

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51923 · Denise Smith · 11 Apr 2008 03:05:05 · Top

Queensland, Australia asked for a delegate and was told that there were none
available. We were very disappointed and would really appreciate someone
representing our interests.
Denise Smith
Secretary, Qld Branch RSCDS

On Thu, Apr 10, 2008 at 6:30 PM, Sue Petyt <sue@suepetyt.me.uk> wrote:

> Iain and I both volunteered to be representatives at the last AGM but were
> told that we were not needed as not all overseas branches had asked for
> delegates.
>
> We'll be at the AGM again in 2008 if anyone needs us.
>
> Happy Dancing
> Sue Petyt Lochmaben
> www.suepetyt.me.uk
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: strathspey-bounces-sue=suepetyt.me.uk@strathspey.org
> [mailto:strathspey-bounces-sue=suepetyt.me.uk@strathspey.org] On Behalf Of
> Pia
> Sent: 09 April 2008 16:46
> To: SCD news and discussion
> Subject: RE: Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?)
>
> To use a well-known phrase: I can't comment on an individual case. But
> if
> we as branches let our dancers know that they can become representatives
> also for other branches merely by submitting their name on the said list,
> and bearing in mind how many people are attending the AGM merely as
> observers, I can't see why we shouldn't get more people. Perhaps some
> people are waiting to get asked, but it is as it is in dancing - if you
> want
> to dance - don't wait - go ask. Make sure your reps are available in good
> time, so you can get another if one has problems attending.
>
> Pia
>
>
>
>
>

--
Denise Smith
76 Celandine St
Shailer Park Qld 4128
07 3209 7006
pauldenise3@bigpond.com

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51891 · Andrew Smith · 10 Apr 2008 11:23:06 · Top

May I take a few moments to try to offer some help to Miriam, which
unfortunately will not be financial, by responding to her comments in the
hope that it will clear up some [what appear to me to be] misunderstandings.
Please forgive me if I, in turn, have misunderstood Miriam's observations,
but they will be borne in mind..

I must emphasise that these are personal views.

1) "But only 40% of what I pay to join my Branch goes for local events and
activities; the rest is RSCDS dues sent to Scotland."
As I understand it, the formal situation is that one joins the RSCDS in the
first instance, as the Branch, or "Local Association" as it should now
properly be known, is defined as a "Local Association of Members of the
RSCDS." Hence one must be an RSCDS member before one can become a member of
a Branch/LA. Branches [I will continue to use the term for convenience] may
then have a local subscription to cover their own administrative costs, or
fund them in some other way - that is their own affair, as legally they are
not liable to the Society, but use the Society logo, etc., under a Licence
Agreement with the Society. As a service to Members and the Society the
Branches collect the RSCDS subscriptions from Members and remit the totals
to the Society in Edinburgh. The Branch maintains its share of the Society
database so that the Society is able to send the magazine direct to Members.
Because the payments are often combined and the Branch Treasurer sorts out
the monies, the perception arises that the RSCDS is demanding all this money
from the Branch for each member of the Branch.

2) "I wish I felt more of that inclusiveness with respect to the running of
our parent organization.I realize that there has been movement in that
direction in recent years."
I sympathise with that view, and personally would like to see it go further.
At the moment, the Branches are seen as the principal contacts with and for
the Society, so the best way for Miriam to feel more inclusiveness is to
ensure that her Branch keeps her informed when elections, AGM motions or
other issues arise so that she can express a view, albeit via the Branch. As
a Society Member she is of course at liberty to express these views directly
to the Society, rather than via 'Strathspey', as I have suggested in the
past.

3) "But from where I sit (at a computer in the US) the RSCDS governance
still appears to be elitist, or at least parochial."
I would reject the "elitist" label - the vast majority of people that I meet
at dances have no idea that I am a member of that governance. If I were
truly "elitist" I would expect that many would be recognising me as such
and discussing the rights and wrongs of the Society's management. I am only
involved principally because I felt that for much of my life the Society had
given me a great deal of enjoyment and social interaction, that it was at a
crucial point in its existence, and that I wanted, and still want, to make a
contribution. It involves a considerable commitment in time and effort.
Originally Members proposed me and Branches elected me, although the second
time round there were not enough candidates for an election, but I still had
to be proposed by Members. Basically, I too "just want to dance", but
recognise that if there is no input to the governance then there will be no
Society. [Just yesterday the Chairman of a local organisation (100 members,
average attendance at monthly talks/visits around 40) to which I belong
presented the members with the stark reality that if we do not get a
volunteers to join the committee to help with the running we will be forced
to close next year.]
It is almost inevitable that the Society appears "parochial", but it tries
hard not to be - one only has to look at the addresses of the Board and
Committee members. It must be admitted that it might appear much more
parochial if it was not for the cheap air fares that have arisen in the past
few years, but equally it must be remembered that it started life as a
*Scottish* society with no expectations of having a worldwide involvement -
it really has had that role thrust upon it because of the Scottish diaspora
with its enthusiasm for its traditions and the fact that non-Scots also find
our dance form enjoyable. I think that it deserves far more praise for
trying to respond in a positive way to the expectation from Branches outside
Scotland that it would try to service them as well as the home Branches.

4) "I understand that it is possible to ask Scottish members to represent an
overseas branch at the AGM,...".
The representatives do not have to be exclusively Scottish. Pia covered this
aspect of representation in her mail yesterday. I too would encourage any
Members who can get to the AGM/Conference weekend, but who would not be
representing their own Branch, to volunteer to Elspeth Gray, the Society's
Secretary at RSCDS HQ in Edinburgh, to go on to the register of Members
prepared to act as representatives for Branches who cannot attend for
whatever reason. [I wouldn't mind betting that there are some remote
Scottish Branches who probably find it harder and possibly more expensive to
get to an AGM venue than from say Paris.] Equally I would encourage Branches
to ask Elspeth to put them in touch with such volunteers. Do not leave it
until the last minute when you get the AGM mailings. Do it now, get the pick
of the crop, and establish a relationship with your representatives. They
will be glad to hear from you, and pleased to act for you. [Some may
appreciate an offer of help towards expenses, but equally there will be
those who would not expect that.] Incidentally, I believe that this means of
representation is not new - I think it was the way Branch representatives
were found for the Executive Council, in what are rapidly becoming "the old
days".

5) "Headquarters needs to find ways to let branches be heard..."
Sorry to be pedantic, but I feel that this [typical] use of 'Headquarters'
is not helpful. In this context I am sure that what Miriam means is "The
Society". [Strictly 'Headquarters' is 12 Coates Crescent, and elegant but
inanimate building. If it is 'the Staff' that is meant, they are carrying
out the administrative functions of the Society as required by the
Management Board and Committees, so it is not for them "to find ways...",
etc.] The Management Board members (who are the Trustees of the Society
with the responsibility of running the Society on behalf of the Members in
accordance with the law and Constitution) each have an allocation of
Branches so that they can act as a conduit for their respective Branches to
the Board.
This is an additional communication route, not 'representation'. I have said
on this forum before, and already in 2) above, that if there is a problem,
bring it up with the Chairman or Secretary of the Society, or if more
appropriate with a Convenor of one of the Management Committees - do not
just moan on 'Strathspey'. The ways for the voices of the Branches to be
heard exist now - letter, or e-mail (I do not know about FAX offhand)
especially if a record is required, or, more informally, telephone,
according to your preference or availability. If there is an issue or a
problem the AGM is not usually the place to resolve it, unless it has not
been possible to get things sorted via the normal routes. Do not hang on to
it, get it off your chest and out where hopefully it will be dealt with.

I hope that this has been constructive and helpful.
Best wishes,

Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.

----- Original Message -----
From: <mimimueller@juno.com>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2008 3:11 AM
Subject: Re: Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?)

> The thoughts below were triggered by Stasa's reminder about
> scholarships, and Diane's description of dancing-on-a-budget. Car-pooling
> and sleeping on floors are familiar beyond Idaho. I am sure all branches
> take steps to make their dancing available to everyone.
>
> But only 40% of what I pay to join my Branch goes for local
> events and activities; the rest is RSCDS dues sent to Scotland. So while
> we try to make Scottish Country Dancing inviting and affordable, I wish
> I felt more of that inclusiveness with respect to the running of our
> parent organization. I realize that there has been movement in that
> direction in recent years.
>
> But from where I sit (at a computer in the US) the RSCDS
> governance still appears to be elitist, or at least parochial. There are
> the reports of last year's AGM, and the lament of unavailability of proxy
> voting noted in Scottish Dancer. Apparently, if you are an RSCDS branch
> outside the UK (right term?), you participate in governance only if you
> have members well enough off financially to take time and money to attend
> the AGM. (I understand that it is possible to ask Scottish members to
> represent an overseas branch at the AGM, but it is hard to do this even
> if you first have a chance to travel there and meet them, and can find
> enough willing reps if you are eligible for several.)
>
> Diane wrote: "the only way . . . is to get involved and make
> sure I'm heard even though by being young and broke I'm in the minority."
> Headquarters needs to find ways to let branches be heard even if they are
> on tight budgets or small & young .
>
> Miriam Mueller
>
>
>
>

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51906 · Miriam L. Mueller · 10 Apr 2008 18:37:31 · Top

Thank you, Andrew, for taking the time and thought to address the
questions I raised.
You seem to have understood what I was saying quite well, and perhaps it
will help a bit more for both you and any interested bystanders if I add
a few words of further explanation.

1) While technically one joins the Society and then the Branch, a
dancer's major contact with Scottish Country Dancing is through their
Branch. At least in the US, unless one travels to Scotland often, it is
the Branch one sees, thinks of, and deals with. Indeed, the view that SCD
is friendly or elitist is probably most often based on the attitude of
the local members more than on Society policy.
So from the local dancer's view, less than half the money he/she
spends to join is visible in the form of classes, local dances, and
nearby workshops. We have quite a few regular attendees who have never
joined, either for budgetary reasons or because they do not see the
advantage - it is an ongoing challenge for us, and for other Branches as
well, I imagine.
From your comments, I now realize that for you, membership is a
subscription to a Scottish charity. For most Americans, I imagine,
membership is in a dance organization.
Like it or not, most people are organizationally and fiscally
near-sighted.

2) Inclusiveness in the running of the Society. When I was on our
Branch governing body some ten years ago or so, it was very hard to feel
included. Matters to be set before the AGM were sent to the Branches on
very short notice. There was usually not enough time for our branch
committee even to meet to discuss and take a stand before the AGM, much
less get information to and input from our members. I hope this is not
still true.
In every other organization I belong to, including our local SCD
branch, any major matter for the annual meeting must be sent to all
members at least a month before the meeting. The reasons for this are
several:
-every member knows what the issue is (and not just some listing on an
agenda),
-members can get input to their representatives if they wish,
-members can make plans to attend and be heard if the issue is important
to them and, not the least,
-the organization's decision-making is seen as open and transparent.
After the last AGM, with the news of the financial problems, we
had numerous questions about the
Society's finances we would like to have had answered enough in advance
to discuss before our representatives voted. Some of these questions are
still relevant - perhaps I shall take your suggestion and address them
directly to the appropriate Society committee member.

Again, thank you for your clarification and explanation. Although
the Strathspey net may not be exactly the official place to air such
thoughts, I do hope that readers from far-flung branches may now be
reminded that they can request Scotland representatives - and that if
they start talking with a rep now, they will have the foundation for
having a vote and perhaps their voice heard at the next AGM.

Miriam/Mimi Mueller

On Thu, 10 Apr 2008 10:23:06 +0100 "Andrew Smith" <afsmith@talktalk.net>
writes:
> May I take a few moments to try to offer some help to Miriam, which
> unfortunately will not be financial, by responding to her comments
> in the
> hope that it will clear up some [what appear to me to be]
> misunderstandings.
> Please forgive me if I, in turn, have misunderstood Miriam's
> observations,
> but they will be borne in mind..
>
> I must emphasise that these are personal views.
>
> 1) "But only 40% of what I pay to join my Branch goes for local
> events and
> activities; the rest is RSCDS dues sent to Scotland."
> As I understand it, the formal situation is that one joins the
> RSCDS in the
> first instance, as the Branch, or "Local Association" as it should
> now
> properly be known, is defined as a "Local Association of Members of
> the
> RSCDS." Hence one must be an RSCDS member before one can become a
> member of
> a Branch/LA. Branches [I will continue to use the term for
> convenience] may
> then have a local subscription to cover their own administrative
> costs, or
> fund them in some other way - that is their own affair, as legally
> they are
> not liable to the Society, but use the Society logo, etc., under a
> Licence
> Agreement with the Society. As a service to Members and the Society
> the
> Branches collect the RSCDS subscriptions from Members and remit the
> totals
> to the Society in Edinburgh. The Branch maintains its share of the
> Society
> database so that the Society is able to send the magazine direct to
> Members.
> Because the payments are often combined and the Branch Treasurer
> sorts out
> the monies, the perception arises that the RSCDS is demanding all
> this money
> from the Branch for each member of the Branch.
>
> 2) "I wish I felt more of that inclusiveness with respect to the
> running of
> our parent organization.I realize that there has been movement in
> that
> direction in recent years."
> I sympathise with that view, and personally would like to see it go
> further.
> At the moment, the Branches are seen as the principal contacts with
> and for
> the Society, so the best way for Miriam to feel more inclusiveness
> is to
> ensure that her Branch keeps her informed when elections, AGM
> motions or
> other issues arise so that she can express a view, albeit via the
> Branch. As
> a Society Member she is of course at liberty to express these views
> directly
> to the Society, rather than via 'Strathspey', as I have suggested in
> the
> past.
>
> 3) "But from where I sit (at a computer in the US) the RSCDS
> governance
> still appears to be elitist, or at least parochial."
> I would reject the "elitist" label - the vast majority of people
> that I meet
> at dances have no idea that I am a member of that governance. If I
> were
> truly "elitist" I would expect that many would be recognising me as
> such
> and discussing the rights and wrongs of the Society's management. I
> am only
> involved principally because I felt that for much of my life the
> Society had
> given me a great deal of enjoyment and social interaction, that it
> was at a
> crucial point in its existence, and that I wanted, and still want,
> to make a
> contribution. It involves a considerable commitment in time and
> effort.
> Originally Members proposed me and Branches elected me, although the
> second
> time round there were not enough candidates for an election, but I
> still had
> to be proposed by Members. Basically, I too "just want to dance",
> but
> recognise that if there is no input to the governance then there
> will be no
> Society. [Just yesterday the Chairman of a local organisation (100
> members,
> average attendance at monthly talks/visits around 40) to which I
> belong
> presented the members with the stark reality that if we do not get a
>
> volunteers to join the committee to help with the running we will be
> forced
> to close next year.]
> It is almost inevitable that the Society appears "parochial", but it
> tries
> hard not to be - one only has to look at the addresses of the Board
> and
> Committee members. It must be admitted that it might appear much
> more
> parochial if it was not for the cheap air fares that have arisen in
> the past
> few years, but equally it must be remembered that it started life as
> a
> *Scottish* society with no expectations of having a worldwide
> involvement -
> it really has had that role thrust upon it because of the Scottish
> diaspora
> with its enthusiasm for its traditions and the fact that non-Scots
> also find
> our dance form enjoyable. I think that it deserves far more praise
> for
> trying to respond in a positive way to the expectation from Branches
> outside
> Scotland that it would try to service them as well as the home
> Branches.
>
> 4) "I understand that it is possible to ask Scottish members to
> represent an
> overseas branch at the AGM,...".
> The representatives do not have to be exclusively Scottish. Pia
> covered this
> aspect of representation in her mail yesterday. I too would
> encourage any
> Members who can get to the AGM/Conference weekend, but who would not
> be
> representing their own Branch, to volunteer to Elspeth Gray, the
> Society's
> Secretary at RSCDS HQ in Edinburgh, to go on to the register of
> Members
> prepared to act as representatives for Branches who cannot attend
> for
> whatever reason. [I wouldn't mind betting that there are some remote
>
> Scottish Branches who probably find it harder and possibly more
> expensive to
> get to an AGM venue than from say Paris.] Equally I would encourage
> Branches
> to ask Elspeth to put them in touch with such volunteers. Do not
> leave it
> until the last minute when you get the AGM mailings. Do it now, get
> the pick
> of the crop, and establish a relationship with your representatives.
> They
> will be glad to hear from you, and pleased to act for you. [Some may
>
> appreciate an offer of help towards expenses, but equally there will
> be
> those who would not expect that.] Incidentally, I believe that this
> means of
> representation is not new - I think it was the way Branch
> representatives
> were found for the Executive Council, in what are rapidly becoming
> "the old
> days".
>
> 5) "Headquarters needs to find ways to let branches be heard..."
> Sorry to be pedantic, but I feel that this [typical] use of
> 'Headquarters'
> is not helpful. In this context I am sure that what Miriam means is
> "The
> Society". [Strictly 'Headquarters' is 12 Coates Crescent, and
> elegant but
> inanimate building. If it is 'the Staff' that is meant, they are
> carrying
> out the administrative functions of the Society as required by the
> Management Board and Committees, so it is not for them "to find
> ways...",
> etc.] The Management Board members (who are the Trustees of the
> Society
> with the responsibility of running the Society on behalf of the
> Members in
> accordance with the law and Constitution) each have an allocation of
>
> Branches so that they can act as a conduit for their respective
> Branches to
> the Board.
> This is an additional communication route, not 'representation'. I
> have said
> on this forum before, and already in 2) above, that if there is a
> problem,
> bring it up with the Chairman or Secretary of the Society, or if
> more
> appropriate with a Convenor of one of the Management Committees - do
> not
> just moan on 'Strathspey'. The ways for the voices of the Branches
> to be
> heard exist now - letter, or e-mail (I do not know about FAX
> offhand)
> especially if a record is required, or, more informally, telephone,
> according to your preference or availability. If there is an issue
> or a
> problem the AGM is not usually the place to resolve it, unless it
> has not
> been possible to get things sorted via the normal routes. Do not
> hang on to
> it, get it off your chest and out where hopefully it will be dealt
> with.
>
> I hope that this has been constructive and helpful.
> Best wishes,
>
> Andrew Smith,
> Bristol, UK.

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51930 · Andrew Smith · 11 Apr 2008 10:22:58 · Top

If I may respond to Mimi, I do agree that the Branch probably tends to be
the focus for the majority of dancers, so it becomes all the more important
that the Branches make clear the reality of the situation. The Branches do
tend to be the public face of the Society, and so I think that Mimi is
correct in her 'friendly v. elitist' comment.
I had formed the view that SCD in the US was much more expensive than here,
but it seems that I was in error.
May I list our current costs in Bristol, as I think it might be of interest?
RSCDS membership £12
Bristol Branch membership £2
We hold 37 classes per year, but pay for 36 because the Branch AGM cuts
across one evening. For Members it costs £4 per class = £144 per year.
New Season Dance £9 (Full-time students £7)
Day School (2 classes and evening dance)
£8 (£7) Any one class or dance
or £15 (£13) 2 classes (inc light lunch) or
either class plus dance
or £20 (£17) 2 classes + dance
Burns' Supper & Dance £26
Newcomers' Dance £9 (£7)
Summer Dance £9 (£7)
Branch weekend away £120.

[Our class fees are £4.50 per week for non-members (so if you intended
coming regularly it would be a saving of £6 per annum if you join the
Society), £2 for full-time student members and £2.50 for student
non-members. If one pays up-front for the term there is a 2-week discount.
The last session of each of the three terms is a dance evening to live
music, otherwise we are dancing at classes to CDs. All our dances are to
live music with American ( pot-luck) suppers, except for the Burns' Supper
where we have a 4-course sit-down meal. I gather dances are significantly
cheaper in Scotland, presumably because the bands do not have to travel so
far. We pay our teachers and there is hall hire as well.]

It can be seen that the RSCDS subscription is a small part of the cost,
unlike Mimi where " only 40% of what I pay to join my Branch goes for local
events and activities; the rest is RSCDS dues sent to Scotland."

If one is really keen one can then factor in a week at Summer School, maybe
6 or 8 dances in the season run by other groups/Branches approximately 1 -
1.5 hours drive away with petrol at £1.06 per litre (+ £5.20 toll on the
Severn bridge if one goes to S Wales), and other schools/weekends.

It is a challenge to encourage Society membership, I agree, but in fact we
have recruited members who have joined purely so that they can come to the
Burns' Supper & Dance, [where members get priority booking, and we make an
effort to decorate the hall and have a different (Scottish) theme each year]
and the Branch weekend away. I grant you that these are Branch initiatives,
but you only get them if you are a Society member. We do get a small number
of students dancing with us, but the University group happens to meet on the
same evening.

Mimi is right when she says that membership for me is a subscription to a
Scottish charity, but that is only a small part. Primarily I am a member
because I feel that because SCD through the RSCDS and what it has done as a
dancing organisation, has given me so much throughout my life, both directly
and indirectly, [and has been a tremendous support network since Lesley died
in 2006] that I feel that it deserves my support. The fact that it is a
charity is incidental.
For example, as a part of my post-graduate training I was posted to Tyneside
in the NE of England for 6 months, got in touch with the Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Branch and danced with them all over the NE in their dem. team and at dances
etc. The time just flew by, and I danced in Washington and Toronto (both in
the NE). When I was in full-time employment if ever I was away from home for
courses etc if there was no evening work as part of the course I would
contact the local Branch and visit their class. I still remember one week in
the Birmingham area when I danced on 4 nights of the week. It was certainly
better than being stuck in the hotel. The RSCDS Branch network made this
easy through the Directory of Branches containing Branch secretaries'
details- this was all long ere the internet.

With respect to 'inclusiveness', the notice for ordinary motions to the
Society for the AGM is now "at least12 weeks" (Rule V.D.1), so that a
provisional agenda "shall be issued to all Local Associations/Branches and
members of the Management board and posted on the members' website ten weeks
prior to the Annual General Meeting" (Rule V.C.1).
I am not in a position to comment on the problem with the financial issues
at the last AGM, not being involved at the time, but I think that the
majority would agree that it did appear that it could have been managed
better. We are now trying hard to improve and move on positively.
As a final comment I would encourage any Members of the RSCDS who anticipate
going to the AGM in Perth this year (8th November) as observers to let
Elspeth Gray (Secretary) know if you would be prepared to act as a delegate
to a Branch that has problems making up its allocaton of delegates in
accordance with the Constitutions of both the Society and the Local
Association/Branch. The duty is not onerous, usually, and if you intend to
be there anyway the additional support to both the Society and the Branches
would be much appreciated.
Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.

----- Original Message -----
From: <mimimueller@juno.com>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2008 5:37 PM
Subject: Re: Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?)

> Thank you, Andrew, for taking the time and thought to address the
> questions I raised.
> You seem to have understood what I was saying quite well, and perhaps it
> will help a bit more for both you and any interested bystanders if I add
> a few words of further explanation.
>
> 1) While technically one joins the Society and then the Branch, a
> dancer's major contact with Scottish Country Dancing is through their
> Branch. At least in the US, unless one travels to Scotland often, it is
> the Branch one sees, thinks of, and deals with. Indeed, the view that SCD
> is friendly or elitist is probably most often based on the attitude of
> the local members more than on Society policy.
> So from the local dancer's view, less than half the money he/she
> spends to join is visible in the form of classes, local dances, and
> nearby workshops. We have quite a few regular attendees who have never
> joined, either for budgetary reasons or because they do not see the
> advantage - it is an ongoing challenge for us, and for other Branches as
> well, I imagine.
> From your comments, I now realize that for you, membership is a
> subscription to a Scottish charity. For most Americans, I imagine,
> membership is in a dance organization.
> Like it or not, most people are organizationally and fiscally
> near-sighted.
>
> 2) Inclusiveness in the running of the Society. When I was on our
> Branch governing body some ten years ago or so, it was very hard to feel
> included. Matters to be set before the AGM were sent to the Branches on
> very short notice. There was usually not enough time for our branch
> committee even to meet to discuss and take a stand before the AGM, much
> less get information to and input from our members. I hope this is not
> still true.
> In every other organization I belong to, including our local SCD
> branch, any major matter for the annual meeting must be sent to all
> members at least a month before the meeting. The reasons for this are
> several:
> -every member knows what the issue is (and not just some listing on an
> agenda),
> -members can get input to their representatives if they wish,
> -members can make plans to attend and be heard if the issue is important
> to them and, not the least,
> -the organization's decision-making is seen as open and transparent.
> After the last AGM, with the news of the financial problems, we
> had numerous questions about the
> Society's finances we would like to have had answered enough in advance
> to discuss before our representatives voted. Some of these questions are
> still relevant - perhaps I shall take your suggestion and address them
> directly to the appropriate Society committee member.
>
> Again, thank you for your clarification and explanation. Although
> the Strathspey net may not be exactly the official place to air such
> thoughts, I do hope that readers from far-flung branches may now be
> reminded that they can request Scotland representatives - and that if
> they start talking with a rep now, they will have the foundation for
> having a vote and perhaps their voice heard at the next AGM.
>
> Miriam/Mimi Mueller
>
> On Thu, 10 Apr 2008 10:23:06 +0100 "Andrew Smith" <afsmith@talktalk.net>
> writes:
>> May I take a few moments to try to offer some help to Miriam, which
>> unfortunately will not be financial, by responding to her comments
>> in the
>> hope that it will clear up some [what appear to me to be]
>> misunderstandings.
>> Please forgive me if I, in turn, have misunderstood Miriam's
>> observations,
>> but they will be borne in mind..
>>
>> I must emphasise that these are personal views.
>>
>> 1) "But only 40% of what I pay to join my Branch goes for local
>> events and
>> activities; the rest is RSCDS dues sent to Scotland."
>> As I understand it, the formal situation is that one joins the
>> RSCDS in the
>> first instance, as the Branch, or "Local Association" as it should
>> now
>> properly be known, is defined as a "Local Association of Members of
>> the
>> RSCDS." Hence one must be an RSCDS member before one can become a
>> member of
>> a Branch/LA. Branches [I will continue to use the term for
>> convenience] may
>> then have a local subscription to cover their own administrative
>> costs, or
>> fund them in some other way - that is their own affair, as legally
>> they are
>> not liable to the Society, but use the Society logo, etc., under a
>> Licence
>> Agreement with the Society. As a service to Members and the Society
>> the
>> Branches collect the RSCDS subscriptions from Members and remit the
>> totals
>> to the Society in Edinburgh. The Branch maintains its share of the
>> Society
>> database so that the Society is able to send the magazine direct to
>> Members.
>> Because the payments are often combined and the Branch Treasurer
>> sorts out
>> the monies, the perception arises that the RSCDS is demanding all
>> this money
>> from the Branch for each member of the Branch.
>>
>> 2) "I wish I felt more of that inclusiveness with respect to the
>> running of
>> our parent organization.I realize that there has been movement in
>> that
>> direction in recent years."
>> I sympathise with that view, and personally would like to see it go
>> further.
>> At the moment, the Branches are seen as the principal contacts with
>> and for
>> the Society, so the best way for Miriam to feel more inclusiveness
>> is to
>> ensure that her Branch keeps her informed when elections, AGM
>> motions or
>> other issues arise so that she can express a view, albeit via the
>> Branch. As
>> a Society Member she is of course at liberty to express these views
>> directly
>> to the Society, rather than via 'Strathspey', as I have suggested in
>> the
>> past.
>>
>> 3) "But from where I sit (at a computer in the US) the RSCDS
>> governance
>> still appears to be elitist, or at least parochial."
>> I would reject the "elitist" label - the vast majority of people
>> that I meet
>> at dances have no idea that I am a member of that governance. If I
>> were
>> truly "elitist" I would expect that many would be recognising me as
>> such
>> and discussing the rights and wrongs of the Society's management. I
>> am only
>> involved principally because I felt that for much of my life the
>> Society had
>> given me a great deal of enjoyment and social interaction, that it
>> was at a
>> crucial point in its existence, and that I wanted, and still want,
>> to make a
>> contribution. It involves a considerable commitment in time and
>> effort.
>> Originally Members proposed me and Branches elected me, although the
>> second
>> time round there were not enough candidates for an election, but I
>> still had
>> to be proposed by Members. Basically, I too "just want to dance",
>> but
>> recognise that if there is no input to the governance then there
>> will be no
>> Society. [Just yesterday the Chairman of a local organisation (100
>> members,
>> average attendance at monthly talks/visits around 40) to which I
>> belong
>> presented the members with the stark reality that if we do not get a
>>
>> volunteers to join the committee to help with the running we will be
>> forced
>> to close next year.]
>> It is almost inevitable that the Society appears "parochial", but it
>> tries
>> hard not to be - one only has to look at the addresses of the Board
>> and
>> Committee members. It must be admitted that it might appear much
>> more
>> parochial if it was not for the cheap air fares that have arisen in
>> the past
>> few years, but equally it must be remembered that it started life as
>> a
>> *Scottish* society with no expectations of having a worldwide
>> involvement -
>> it really has had that role thrust upon it because of the Scottish
>> diaspora
>> with its enthusiasm for its traditions and the fact that non-Scots
>> also find
>> our dance form enjoyable. I think that it deserves far more praise
>> for
>> trying to respond in a positive way to the expectation from Branches
>> outside
>> Scotland that it would try to service them as well as the home
>> Branches.
>>
>> 4) "I understand that it is possible to ask Scottish members to
>> represent an
>> overseas branch at the AGM,...".
>> The representatives do not have to be exclusively Scottish. Pia
>> covered this
>> aspect of representation in her mail yesterday. I too would
>> encourage any
>> Members who can get to the AGM/Conference weekend, but who would not
>> be
>> representing their own Branch, to volunteer to Elspeth Gray, the
>> Society's
>> Secretary at RSCDS HQ in Edinburgh, to go on to the register of
>> Members
>> prepared to act as representatives for Branches who cannot attend
>> for
>> whatever reason. [I wouldn't mind betting that there are some remote
>>
>> Scottish Branches who probably find it harder and possibly more
>> expensive to
>> get to an AGM venue than from say Paris.] Equally I would encourage
>> Branches
>> to ask Elspeth to put them in touch with such volunteers. Do not
>> leave it
>> until the last minute when you get the AGM mailings. Do it now, get
>> the pick
>> of the crop, and establish a relationship with your representatives.
>> They
>> will be glad to hear from you, and pleased to act for you. [Some may
>>
>> appreciate an offer of help towards expenses, but equally there will
>> be
>> those who would not expect that.] Incidentally, I believe that this
>> means of
>> representation is not new - I think it was the way Branch
>> representatives
>> were found for the Executive Council, in what are rapidly becoming
>> "the old
>> days".
>>
>> 5) "Headquarters needs to find ways to let branches be heard..."
>> Sorry to be pedantic, but I feel that this [typical] use of
>> 'Headquarters'
>> is not helpful. In this context I am sure that what Miriam means is
>> "The
>> Society". [Strictly 'Headquarters' is 12 Coates Crescent, and
>> elegant but
>> inanimate building. If it is 'the Staff' that is meant, they are
>> carrying
>> out the administrative functions of the Society as required by the
>> Management Board and Committees, so it is not for them "to find
>> ways...",
>> etc.] The Management Board members (who are the Trustees of the
>> Society
>> with the responsibility of running the Society on behalf of the
>> Members in
>> accordance with the law and Constitution) each have an allocation of
>>
>> Branches so that they can act as a conduit for their respective
>> Branches to
>> the Board.
>> This is an additional communication route, not 'representation'. I
>> have said
>> on this forum before, and already in 2) above, that if there is a
>> problem,
>> bring it up with the Chairman or Secretary of the Society, or if
>> more
>> appropriate with a Convenor of one of the Management Committees - do
>> not
>> just moan on 'Strathspey'. The ways for the voices of the Branches
>> to be
>> heard exist now - letter, or e-mail (I do not know about FAX
>> offhand)
>> especially if a record is required, or, more informally, telephone,
>> according to your preference or availability. If there is an issue
>> or a
>> problem the AGM is not usually the place to resolve it, unless it
>> has not
>> been possible to get things sorted via the normal routes. Do not
>> hang on to
>> it, get it off your chest and out where hopefully it will be dealt
>> with.
>>
>> I hope that this has been constructive and helpful.
>> Best wishes,
>>
>> Andrew Smith,
>> Bristol, UK.
>

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51942 · Bruce Herbold · 11 Apr 2008 19:51:13 · Top

I wish the archive was up because there is considerable consternation
here about the likely impact of RSCDS membership affecting branch
membership. With no clear story about it in the magazine except an
expectation that large deficits will continue next year, the
strathspey discussion that I dimly remember after last year's AGM is
inadequate to explain to the membership where their money is going.

I strongly agree that what the RSCDS has done for my personal life is
worth just about anything. However, that does not mean that I am not
allowed to wonder where my dues are now going. If the ship has a
huge hole in the side, I would like to know how it got there, whether
it can be repaired, and if there are other icebergs lying about likely
to gouge further holes.

For people less committed to the RSCDS than I, it is a simple question
of increasing cost, a sinking dollar, and an apparent decrease in
value. I fear a major drop in our membership next year at the new
membership cost and consequently an even bigger hole in next year's
budget and the start of a hole in our (currently healthy) branch
finances.

Is there anything out there that we could circulate and make the basis
of our discussion of increasing membership fees at our upcoming branch
AGM?

Bruce Herbold
San Francisco

On 4/11/08, Andrew Smith <afsmith@talktalk.net> wrote:
> If I may respond to Mimi, I do agree that the Branch probably tends to be
> the focus for the majority of dancers, so it becomes all the more important
> that the Branches make clear the reality of the situation. The Branches do
> tend to be the public face of the Society, and so I think that Mimi is
> correct in her 'friendly v. elitist' comment.
> I had formed the view that SCD in the US was much more expensive than here,
> but it seems that I was in error.
> May I list our current costs in Bristol, as I think it might be of interest?
> RSCDS membership £12
> Bristol Branch membership £2
> We hold 37 classes per year, but pay for 36 because the Branch AGM cuts
> across one evening. For Members it costs £4 per class = £144 per year.
> New Season Dance £9 (Full-time students £7)
> Day School (2 classes and evening dance)
> £8 (£7) Any one class or dance
> or £15 (£13) 2 classes (inc light lunch) or
> either class plus dance
> or £20 (£17) 2 classes + dance
> Burns' Supper & Dance £26
> Newcomers' Dance £9 (£7)
> Summer Dance £9 (£7)
> Branch weekend away £120.
>
> [Our class fees are £4.50 per week for non-members (so if you intended
> coming regularly it would be a saving of £6 per annum if you join the
> Society), £2 for full-time student members and £2.50 for student
> non-members. If one pays up-front for the term there is a 2-week discount.
> The last session of each of the three terms is a dance evening to live
> music, otherwise we are dancing at classes to CDs. All our dances are to
> live music with American ( pot-luck) suppers, except for the Burns' Supper
> where we have a 4-course sit-down meal. I gather dances are significantly
> cheaper in Scotland, presumably because the bands do not have to travel so
> far. We pay our teachers and there is hall hire as well.]
>
> It can be seen that the RSCDS subscription is a small part of the cost,
> unlike Mimi where " only 40% of what I pay to join my Branch goes for local
> events and activities; the rest is RSCDS dues sent to Scotland."
>
> If one is really keen one can then factor in a week at Summer School, maybe
> 6 or 8 dances in the season run by other groups/Branches approximately 1 -
> 1.5 hours drive away with petrol at £1.06 per litre (+ £5.20 toll on the
> Severn bridge if one goes to S Wales), and other schools/weekends.
>
> It is a challenge to encourage Society membership, I agree, but in fact we
> have recruited members who have joined purely so that they can come to the
> Burns' Supper & Dance, [where members get priority booking, and we make an
> effort to decorate the hall and have a different (Scottish) theme each year]
> and the Branch weekend away. I grant you that these are Branch initiatives,
> but you only get them if you are a Society member. We do get a small number
> of students dancing with us, but the University group happens to meet on the
> same evening.
>
> Mimi is right when she says that membership for me is a subscription to a
> Scottish charity, but that is only a small part. Primarily I am a member
> because I feel that because SCD through the RSCDS and what it has done as a
> dancing organisation, has given me so much throughout my life, both directly
> and indirectly, [and has been a tremendous support network since Lesley died
> in 2006] that I feel that it deserves my support. The fact that it is a
> charity is incidental.
> For example, as a part of my post-graduate training I was posted to Tyneside
> in the NE of England for 6 months, got in touch with the Newcastle-upon-Tyne
> Branch and danced with them all over the NE in their dem. team and at dances
> etc. The time just flew by, and I danced in Washington and Toronto (both in
> the NE). When I was in full-time employment if ever I was away from home for
> courses etc if there was no evening work as part of the course I would
> contact the local Branch and visit their class. I still remember one week in
> the Birmingham area when I danced on 4 nights of the week. It was certainly
> better than being stuck in the hotel. The RSCDS Branch network made this
> easy through the Directory of Branches containing Branch secretaries'
> details- this was all long ere the internet.
>
> With respect to 'inclusiveness', the notice for ordinary motions to the
> Society for the AGM is now "at least12 weeks" (Rule V.D.1), so that a
> provisional agenda "shall be issued to all Local Associations/Branches and
> members of the Management board and posted on the members' website ten weeks
> prior to the Annual General Meeting" (Rule V.C.1).
> I am not in a position to comment on the problem with the financial issues
> at the last AGM, not being involved at the time, but I think that the
> majority would agree that it did appear that it could have been managed
> better. We are now trying hard to improve and move on positively.
> As a final comment I would encourage any Members of the RSCDS who anticipate
> going to the AGM in Perth this year (8th November) as observers to let
> Elspeth Gray (Secretary) know if you would be prepared to act as a delegate
> to a Branch that has problems making up its allocaton of delegates in
> accordance with the Constitutions of both the Society and the Local
> Association/Branch. The duty is not onerous, usually, and if you intend to
> be there anyway the additional support to both the Society and the Branches
> would be much appreciated.
> Andrew Smith,
> Bristol, UK.
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: <mimimueller@juno.com>
> To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2008 5:37 PM
> Subject: Re: Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?)
>
>
>
> > Thank you, Andrew, for taking the time and thought to address the
> > questions I raised.
> > You seem to have understood what I was saying quite well, and perhaps it
> > will help a bit more for both you and any interested bystanders if I add
> > a few words of further explanation.
> >
> > 1) While technically one joins the Society and then the Branch, a
> > dancer's major contact with Scottish Country Dancing is through their
> > Branch. At least in the US, unless one travels to Scotland often, it is
> > the Branch one sees, thinks of, and deals with. Indeed, the view that SCD
> > is friendly or elitist is probably most often based on the attitude of
> > the local members more than on Society policy.
> > So from the local dancer's view, less than half the money he/she
> > spends to join is visible in the form of classes, local dances, and
> > nearby workshops. We have quite a few regular attendees who have never
> > joined, either for budgetary reasons or because they do not see the
> > advantage - it is an ongoing challenge for us, and for other Branches as
> > well, I imagine.
> > From your comments, I now realize that for you, membership is a
> > subscription to a Scottish charity. For most Americans, I imagine,
> > membership is in a dance organization.
> > Like it or not, most people are organizationally and fiscally
> > near-sighted.
> >
> > 2) Inclusiveness in the running of the Society. When I was on our
> > Branch governing body some ten years ago or so, it was very hard to feel
> > included. Matters to be set before the AGM were sent to the Branches on
> > very short notice. There was usually not enough time for our branch
> > committee even to meet to discuss and take a stand before the AGM, much
> > less get information to and input from our members. I hope this is not
> > still true.
> > In every other organization I belong to, including our local SCD
> > branch, any major matter for the annual meeting must be sent to all
> > members at least a month before the meeting. The reasons for this are
> > several:
> > -every member knows what the issue is (and not just some listing on an
> > agenda),
> > -members can get input to their representatives if they wish,
> > -members can make plans to attend and be heard if the issue is important
> > to them and, not the least,
> > -the organization's decision-making is seen as open and transparent.
> > After the last AGM, with the news of the financial problems, we
> > had numerous questions about the
> > Society's finances we would like to have had answered enough in advance
> > to discuss before our representatives voted. Some of these questions are
> > still relevant - perhaps I shall take your suggestion and address them
> > directly to the appropriate Society committee member.
> >
> > Again, thank you for your clarification and explanation. Although
> > the Strathspey net may not be exactly the official place to air such
> > thoughts, I do hope that readers from far-flung branches may now be
> > reminded that they can request Scotland representatives - and that if
> > they start talking with a rep now, they will have the foundation for
> > having a vote and perhaps their voice heard at the next AGM.
> >
> > Miriam/Mimi Mueller
> >
> > On Thu, 10 Apr 2008 10:23:06 +0100 "Andrew Smith" <afsmith@talktalk.net>
> > writes:
> >
> > > May I take a few moments to try to offer some help to Miriam, which
> > > unfortunately will not be financial, by responding to her comments
> > > in the
> > > hope that it will clear up some [what appear to me to be]
> > > misunderstandings.
> > > Please forgive me if I, in turn, have misunderstood Miriam's
> > > observations,
> > > but they will be borne in mind..
> > >
> > > I must emphasise that these are personal views.
> > >
> > > 1) "But only 40% of what I pay to join my Branch goes for local
> > > events and
> > > activities; the rest is RSCDS dues sent to Scotland."
> > > As I understand it, the formal situation is that one joins the
> > > RSCDS in the
> > > first instance, as the Branch, or "Local Association" as it should
> > > now
> > > properly be known, is defined as a "Local Association of Members of
> > > the
> > > RSCDS." Hence one must be an RSCDS member before one can become a
> > > member of
> > > a Branch/LA. Branches [I will continue to use the term for
> > > convenience] may
> > > then have a local subscription to cover their own administrative
> > > costs, or
> > > fund them in some other way - that is their own affair, as legally
> > > they are
> > > not liable to the Society, but use the Society logo, etc., under a
> > > Licence
> > > Agreement with the Society. As a service to Members and the Society
> > > the
> > > Branches collect the RSCDS subscriptions from Members and remit the
> > > totals
> > > to the Society in Edinburgh. The Branch maintains its share of the
> > > Society
> > > database so that the Society is able to send the magazine direct to
> > > Members.
> > > Because the payments are often combined and the Branch Treasurer
> > > sorts out
> > > the monies, the perception arises that the RSCDS is demanding all
> > > this money
> > > from the Branch for each member of the Branch.
> > >
> > > 2) "I wish I felt more of that inclusiveness with respect to the
> > > running of
> > > our parent organization.I realize that there has been movement in
> > > that
> > > direction in recent years."
> > > I sympathise with that view, and personally would like to see it go
> > > further.
> > > At the moment, the Branches are seen as the principal contacts with
> > > and for
> > > the Society, so the best way for Miriam to feel more inclusiveness
> > > is to
> > > ensure that her Branch keeps her informed when elections, AGM
> > > motions or
> > > other issues arise so that she can express a view, albeit via the
> > > Branch. As
> > > a Society Member she is of course at liberty to express these views
> > > directly
> > > to the Society, rather than via 'Strathspey', as I have suggested in
> > > the
> > > past.
> > >
> > > 3) "But from where I sit (at a computer in the US) the RSCDS
> > > governance
> > > still appears to be elitist, or at least parochial."
> > > I would reject the "elitist" label - the vast majority of people
> > > that I meet
> > > at dances have no idea that I am a member of that governance. If I
> > > were
> > > truly "elitist" I would expect that many would be recognising me as
> > > such
> > > and discussing the rights and wrongs of the Society's management. I
> > > am only
> > > involved principally because I felt that for much of my life the
> > > Society had
> > > given me a great deal of enjoyment and social interaction, that it
> > > was at a
> > > crucial point in its existence, and that I wanted, and still want,
> > > to make a
> > > contribution. It involves a considerable commitment in time and
> > > effort.
> > > Originally Members proposed me and Branches elected me, although the
> > > second
> > > time round there were not enough candidates for an election, but I
> > > still had
> > > to be proposed by Members. Basically, I too "just want to dance",
> > > but
> > > recognise that if there is no input to the governance then there
> > > will be no
> > > Society. [Just yesterday the Chairman of a local organisation (100
> > > members,
> > > average attendance at monthly talks/visits around 40) to which I
> > > belong
> > > presented the members with the stark reality that if we do not get a
> > >
> > > volunteers to join the committee to help with the running we will be
> > > forced
> > > to close next year.]
> > > It is almost inevitable that the Society appears "parochial", but it
> > > tries
> > > hard not to be - one only has to look at the addresses of the Board
> > > and
> > > Committee members. It must be admitted that it might appear much
> > > more
> > > parochial if it was not for the cheap air fares that have arisen in
> > > the past
> > > few years, but equally it must be remembered that it started life as
> > > a
> > > *Scottish* society with no expectations of having a worldwide
> > > involvement -
> > > it really has had that role thrust upon it because of the Scottish
> > > diaspora
> > > with its enthusiasm for its traditions and the fact that non-Scots
> > > also find
> > > our dance form enjoyable. I think that it deserves far more praise
> > > for
> > > trying to respond in a positive way to the expectation from Branches
> > > outside
> > > Scotland that it would try to service them as well as the home
> > > Branches.
> > >
> > > 4) "I understand that it is possible to ask Scottish members to
> > > represent an
> > > overseas branch at the AGM,...".
> > > The representatives do not have to be exclusively Scottish. Pia
> > > covered this
> > > aspect of representation in her mail yesterday. I too would
> > > encourage any
> > > Members who can get to the AGM/Conference weekend, but who would not
> > > be
> > > representing their own Branch, to volunteer to Elspeth Gray, the
> > > Society's
> > > Secretary at RSCDS HQ in Edinburgh, to go on to the register of
> > > Members
> > > prepared to act as representatives for Branches who cannot attend
> > > for
> > > whatever reason. [I wouldn't mind betting that there are some remote
> > >
> > > Scottish Branches who probably find it harder and possibly more
> > > expensive to
> > > get to an AGM venue than from say Paris.] Equally I would encourage
> > > Branches
> > > to ask Elspeth to put them in touch with such volunteers. Do not
> > > leave it
> > > until the last minute when you get the AGM mailings. Do it now, get
> > > the pick
> > > of the crop, and establish a relationship with your representatives.
> > > They
> > > will be glad to hear from you, and pleased to act for you. [Some may
> > >
> > > appreciate an offer of help towards expenses, but equally there will
> > > be
> > > those who would not expect that.] Incidentally, I believe that this
> > > means of
> > > representation is not new - I think it was the way Branch
> > > representatives
> > > were found for the Executive Council, in what are rapidly becoming
> > > "the old
> > > days".
> > >
> > > 5) "Headquarters needs to find ways to let branches be heard..."
> > > Sorry to be pedantic, but I feel that this [typical] use of
> > > 'Headquarters'
> > > is not helpful. In this context I am sure that what Miriam means is
> > > "The
> > > Society". [Strictly 'Headquarters' is 12 Coates Crescent, and
> > > elegant but
> > > inanimate building. If it is 'the Staff' that is meant, they are
> > > carrying
> > > out the administrative functions of the Society as required by the
> > > Management Board and Committees, so it is not for them "to find
> > > ways...",
> > > etc.] The Management Board members (who are the Trustees of the
> > > Society
> > > with the responsibility of running the Society on behalf of the
> > > Members in
> > > accordance with the law and Constitution) each have an allocation of
> > >
> > > Branches so that they can act as a conduit for their respective
> > > Branches to
> > > the Board.
> > > This is an additional communication route, not 'representation'. I
> > > have said
> > > on this forum before, and already in 2) above, that if there is a
> > > problem,
> > > bring it up with the Chairman or Secretary of the Society, or if
> > > more
> > > appropriate with a Convenor of one of the Management Committees - do
> > > not
> > > just moan on 'Strathspey'. The ways for the voices of the Branches
> > > to be
> > > heard exist now - letter, or e-mail (I do not know about FAX
> > > offhand)
> > > especially if a record is required, or, more informally, telephone,
> > > according to your preference or availability. If there is an issue
> > > or a
> > > problem the AGM is not usually the place to resolve it, unless it
> > > has not
> > > been possible to get things sorted via the normal routes. Do not
> > > hang on to
> > > it, get it off your chest and out where hopefully it will be dealt
> > > with.
> > >
> > > I hope that this has been constructive and helpful.
> > > Best wishes,
> > >
> > > Andrew Smith,
> > > Bristol, UK.
> > >
> >
> >
>
>
>

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51944 · SMiskoe · 11 Apr 2008 20:04:53 · Top

The membership fees required by Headquarters greatly overshadows the local
Branch's membership fees. Boston Branch is very concerned that it cannot keep
up with the hdqtr increases due to the dollar imbalance. Therefore it is
considering changing the membership structure to separate the fee for hdqtr
from the fee for Boston. Persons may be members of one or both. I can expect
that older dancers and teachers will continue to be hdqtr members but
newcomers will choose to join the Branch only.
A couple of years ago we raised our general membership a great deal to be
able to pay hdqtrs from our memberships, and not from the general fund. And
now hdqtrs is raising their fees again.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

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Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51948 · Janet McKernan · 11 Apr 2008 20:40:28 · Top

Silvia,
Here in mid-West USA we have the same problem. We try to keep our fees
as low as possible to attract younger members; for our student members
almost all of our branch fees will go to Scotland if we do not raise our
fees. It is always a challenge to explain to members why affiliation to
RSCDS in Scotland benefits the membership enough to warrant the $1800 or
so we send to Scotland each year. However, how do you plan to reconcile
the RSCDS constitution and your branch if you offer a branch only
membership?
Janet McKernan
Minneapolis, MN, USA

SMiskoe@aol.com wrote:
> The membership fees required by Headquarters greatly overshadows the local
> Branch's membership fees. Boston Branch is very concerned that it cannot keep
> up with the hdqtr increases due to the dollar imbalance. Therefore it is
> considering changing the membership structure to separate the fee for hdqtr
> from the fee for Boston. Persons may be members of one or both. I can expect
> that older dancers and teachers will continue to be hdqtr members but
> newcomers will choose to join the Branch only.
> A couple of years ago we raised our general membership a great deal to be
> able to pay hdqtrs from our memberships, and not from the general fund. And
> now hdqtrs is raising their fees again.
> Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
>
>
>
> **************Planning your summer road trip? Check out AOL Travel Guides.
> (http://travel.aol.com/travel-guide/united-states?ncid=aoltrv00030000000016)
>
>

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51956 · Andrew Smith · 11 Apr 2008 22:52:16 · Top

I have already tried to present my understanding of the formal relationship
between the Society and the Branches/Local Associations in my reply to
Miriam on 10th April, but I must be missing something, because both Sylvia
and Janet do not, from my reading of their mails, seem to be seeing it as I
do.
It is a formal contractual relationship, as I understand it, established
some years ago.
Members of the RSCDS may form themselves in to a Local Association (Branch),
and, provided certain conditions are met, may include RSCDS in their title
etc, etc.
The "membership fee" is not [arbitrarily] required by "Headquarters" , nor
is it an "affiliation fee"- it is the subscription paid to become a Member
of the Society, and the level of the subscription is set by the Society
members at its AGM, at which all the Branches may be represented. [I think
that one of the problems has been a failure by the Society to keep its
subscription in line with inflation, but I do agree that does not help the
current situation.] As I have already stated these subscriptions are
collected by the Branches as a service to both the Society and the Members,
and remitted as a lump sum to the Society at its Headquarters in Edinburgh.
Non-RSCDS groups may become an Affiliated Group of the Society by payment of
a fee, but can play no part in the management of the Society, unlike the
Local Associations/Branches.
In my second e-mail to Mimi, I gave the costs in Bristol. We could say that
as our current Branch Subscription is only one sixth of our current Society
subscription, it could certainly be described as "overshadowed", but we
cover our running cost through the class fees and a small profit margin on
our functions.
We are probably an average sized Branch of just under 100 members, and have
managed to support students at Summer School and have assisted with expenses
etc for students from one of the Russian groups on more than one occasion.
Andrew Smith,
Bristol, UK.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Janet McKernan" <jamckern@gmail.com>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Friday, April 11, 2008 7:40 PM
Subject: Re: Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?)

> Silvia,
> Here in mid-West USA we have the same problem. We try to keep our fees as
> low as possible to attract younger members; for our student members almost
> all of our branch fees will go to Scotland if we do not raise our fees. It
> is always a challenge to explain to members why affiliation to RSCDS in
> Scotland benefits the membership enough to warrant the $1800 or so we send
> to Scotland each year. However, how do you plan to reconcile the RSCDS
> constitution and your branch if you offer a branch only membership?
> Janet McKernan
> Minneapolis, MN, USA
>
> SMiskoe@aol.com wrote:
>> The membership fees required by Headquarters greatly overshadows the
>> local Branch's membership fees. Boston Branch is very concerned that it
>> cannot keep up with the hdqtr increases due to the dollar imbalance.
>> Therefore it is considering changing the membership structure to
>> separate the fee for hdqtr from the fee for Boston. Persons may be
>> members of one or both. I can expect that older dancers and teachers
>> will continue to be hdqtr members but newcomers will choose to join the
>> Branch only.
>> A couple of years ago we raised our general membership a great deal to be
>> able to pay hdqtrs from our memberships, and not from the general fund.
>> And now hdqtrs is raising their fees again.
>> Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
>>
>>
>>
>> **************Planning your summer road trip? Check out AOL Travel
>> Guides.
>> (http://travel.aol.com/travel-guide/united-states?ncid=aoltrv00030000000016)
>>
>>
>

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51971 · Lara Friedman-Shedlov · 12 Apr 2008 17:59:40 · Top

I believe the terms of the agreement to become a local association of
the RSCDS REQUIRE that all members of the local association are
members of the RSCDS, so the Boston Branch would not be able to take
the approach Sylvia describes unless it started a separate group.
Here in the Twin Cities, that is also on the table, but I personally
do not think it is a good answer, because it would end up placing the
burden for running the branch on the shoulders of a small minority of
people who choose to pay dues to Scotland.

As others have said, here in North America (and probably in most
places outside the UK), people simply do not view themselves as
members of the RSCDS organizing themselves into a local branch, which
then collects and remits their dues for them, as Andrew Smith
describes it. People join our branches because they want to learn
and participate in Scottish country dancing . THAT'S IT. They have
no idea what the RSCDS is, and 95% of them don't really care, as long
as there is someone organizing classes, socials, and balls.

Up until now dues have been low enough that we can fund local
activities that our members care about and also support the work of
the RSCDS in Scotland without raising the fees to the point where
anyone really raises many questions about why such a large chunk money
goes to Scotland. However, this sudden and substantial increase has
a direct impact on people's wallets and causes them to start
questioning what benefit they are getting from being RSCDS members.
We will have to raise our dues at least $10 to accommodate the
increase, and that does not take into account the money that our
branch is also losing due to the shrinking power of the dollar.

Even at an extra $10 per year, most people recognize that membership
in our branch is still a huge bargain, so it looks like we will be
able to raise dues without too much fallout. However, we are
concerned about whether we will be forced to raise dues substantially
again (without offering a direct, local benefit to our members) in the
near future.

In my opinion, one of the best services that the RSCDS could provide
for overseas branches right now would be a set of talking points or
strategies to help us explain the benefits of RSCDS membership to our
local members. Why should we be a branch/local association rather
than just an affiliated group? Help us explain to people who are
members of our group why they should be supporting a charity in
Scotland, when the reason they joined the group was to
learn/participate in Scottish country dancing.

Also, many of our members are more upset about perceived mismanagement
of funds and the way communication about it was handled than the
actual dues increase. The RSCDS needs to explain how we got to this
state, financially, what will be done to avoid it in the future, and
more transparency and communication in general.

Lara Friedman-Shedlov
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
RSCDS Twin Cities Branch

On Fri, Apr 11, 2008 at 1:04 PM, <SMiskoe@aol.com> wrote:
> The membership fees required by Headquarters greatly overshadows the local
> Branch's membership fees. Boston Branch is very concerned that it cannot keep
> up with the hdqtr increases due to the dollar imbalance. Therefore it is
> considering changing the membership structure to separate the fee for hdqtr
> from the fee for Boston. Persons may be members of one or both. I can expect
> that older dancers and teachers will continue to be hdqtr members but
> newcomers will choose to join the Branch only.
> A couple of years ago we raised our general membership a great deal to be
> able to pay hdqtrs from our memberships, and not from the general fund. And
> now hdqtrs is raising their fees again.
> Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
>

--
*****************************
Lara Friedman~Shedlov
lfriedmanshedlov@gmail.com

*****************************

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51972 · SMiskoe · 12 Apr 2008 18:14:57 · Top

Right now, our dues are $35/year for a regular member. We also have couple
and junior levels. This has been in place for 2 years. The new fees from
the Society will give us almost nothing for running the Branch and the Society
expects to raise their fees again.
Lara's last paragraph concerning the financial management of the Society is
a valid one. I did not attend the AGM but the report I had was that everyone
was shocked that there had been large capitol expenditures with no
pre-planning and that these costs were to be handled by raising membership fees.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

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Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51973 · mlamontbrown · 12 Apr 2008 18:33:35 · Top

Lara writes:

> We will have to raise our dues at least $10 to accommodate the
> increase, and that does not take into account the money that our
> branch is also losing due to the shrinking power of the dollar.

I don't know about the other UK branches, but we have put up our membership fee by £5
($10) to a total of £18 ($36) because of the increase.

We are still not sure what effect this increase will have on membership (we have only
just started our new membership year), but so far it seems to have had little effect.

This might be because the £1 equals $2 is not a very good measure. We have just
returned from Florida where we hired a small car. Despite the increase in fuel prices
in the US, I was buying 3/4 of a tank of petrol for $30, whereas in the UK 3/4 of a
slightly larger tank of diesel costs me over £50. Similarly, if I go to a local pub
and buy a meal (just a main course) for me and my wife, accompanied by a drink each,
we won't see much change out of £20, yet in the US we probably wouldn't pay more than
$20. (Obviously we thought this was a "Good Thing", but then we didn't have to live
there in all that heat and sunshine). I think we make comparisons with the more
frequently encountered things, like fuel and food, than across the entire range of
goods and services which is what the exchange rate is all about. So a £5 increase in
the UK equates to a couple of pints of beer in a pub, (it is usually slightly cheaper
in Yorkshire), and we are more upset by the 50% increase than the absolute value we
are having to pay.

Malcolm

Malcolm L Brown
York (UK)

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51974 · Pia Walker · 12 Apr 2008 18:43:42 · Top

They have no idea what the RSCDS is, and 95% of them don't really care, as
long
as there is someone organizing classes, socials, and balls.

I have heard this so many times before - that dancers do not know what the
RSCDS is - why not? - does branches not inform their members? Since the
RSCDS have for a long time relied on the branches to relay RSCDS related
information to their dancers, can the RSCDS wholly be blamed for members not
being communicated to? How does a branch know that 95% of their members
don't really care, if those members are not informed? Or put another way -
how can you care if you are not told?
I became a member of the RSCDS when I was 18ish, my teacher told me about
RSCDS, she told me about summer school and the fun and the togetherness, the
high level of standards required and achieved in this Society, Miss M, and
all the rest - and boy it sounded attractive - we were a small group, we
brought over RSCDS teachers once a year, to do weekend workshops - if it
wasn't RSCDS, it didn't exist. Although we weren't a branch, we all became
members of the RSCDS, not because we had to, but because we wanted to.
Pia Walker
Still proud of being a member of the RSCDS

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Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51975 · Chris1Ronald · 12 Apr 2008 22:01:46 · Top

Lara wrote:

"The RSCDS needs to explain how we got to this
state, financially, what will be done to avoid it in the future, and
more transparency and communication in general."
Lara's full message describes exactly the way many dancers here feel too.

Here's one suggestion on improving "transparency and communication":

My wife is the Branch Newsletter editor, and she would like some material to
help explain to our members how a 50% increase in the money paid to HQ is
justified. (It's actually more than a 50% increase because of the fall in the
value of the dollar.) Among other things, we would like to see simplified
breakdowns of expenditures (actual or planned) like some other charities
provide. The categories of expenditure would be ones that dancers could relate
to. So it would read something like: 3 pounds for training teachers, 4 pounds
for the magazine, etc., and the total would add up to 15 pounds.

If this kind of information exists anywhere, I'd be glad to know.

Chris Ronald, New York Branch.

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Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51976 · Peter McClure · 12 Apr 2008 23:46:38 · Top

I agree with Chris that Lara gave a very clear statement of the view
of very many North American dancers.

I also agree that simplified accounting of expenses would make it
much easier to defend an increase in fees. Along those lines, we
(and I assume other branches) received a letter form the Cahirman
elect last November, giving a breakdown of costs, which added up to
17.85 UK pounds per member (I hope I'm remembering correctly - don't
have it right in front of me). I don't know whether the statement
there was as simple as Chris would like, but surely it's a step in
the right direction.

I'm not sure it does any good to invoke fluctuating exchange rates in
this discussion, although no doubt the present change has increased
the pain.

If I'm not mistaken, the Society has been flagging the need to
increase its income for several years now - has even taken such
proposals to AGMs, where they have been voted down. Hindsight is
easy, of course, but perhaps it's too bad that we hadn't kept up with
inflation gradually, rather than doing it in big chunks.

Peter McClure
Winnipeg, MB

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51980 · Andrea Re · 13 Apr 2008 12:10:50 · Top

Chris1Ronald@aol.com ha scritto:
>
> My wife is the Branch Newsletter editor, and she would like some material to
> help explain to our members how a 50% increase in the money paid to HQ is
> justified. (It's actually more than a 50% increase because of the fall in the
> value of the dollar.) Among other things, we would like to see simplified
> breakdowns of expenditures (actual or planned) like some other charities
> provide. The categories of expenditure would be ones that dancers could relate
> to. So it would read something like: 3 pounds for training teachers, 4 pounds
> for the magazine, etc., and the total would add up to 15 pounds.
>
> If this kind of information exists anywhere, I'd be glad to know.
>
Hi Chris,

I believe this answer your question.
I got this e-mail AFTER the AGM (along with everybody else who attended)

Andrea (fae Dundee)

____________________________________________________________________________________

The following message is from Alex Gray, Chairman Elect:

8th November 2007

To Branch Secretaries and Delegates

At the AGM I promised to send out the breakdown of costs that I read out
at the meeting. I also promised to cover the other points I made on
progress in addressing the issues of governance of the Society.

The figures I read out have now been double-checked and are given below.
I accept that it would have been helpful if a breakdown such as this had
been available to all members before the AGM. The table below shows what
the current running costs of the RSCDS per member were in the last
financial year. We have adjusted costs to the year in which they should
apply (ie including the cost of two magazines to each year instead of
one in financial year 2007 and three in financial year 2008 as the
accounts show). We have also taken into account the contribution from
Schools as an offset to the cost of staff devoted to these activities.
The amount allocated recognises the cost of the time involved.

Staff (net of contribution) £4.70

Property, Equipment, Depreciation £2.56

Printing, Postage, Stationery £1.29

Governance (audits, meetings etc) £2.08

Irrecoverable VAT (a UK tax) £0.73

Magazine (two issues) £3.67

Website and Database £0.73

Publicity £0.92

Youth, E&T Initiatives £0.68

Royalties, Licences, Archives £0.49

Total *_£17.85_*

I also highlighted the current position with respect to governance
issues raised by the Convenor of GP&F at the previous AGM.

1. Human Resources – A consultant was engaged and the Board accepted all
recommendations, resulting in revised staff contracts, the publication
of a new staff handbook and the documentation and introduction of
improved HR policies. HR procedures were approved by the Board with the
requirement that they be reviewed again in the current year.

2. Financial – Jim Healy had agreed in June to act as honorary Interim
Finance Director for the Society, reporting to GP&F Convenor. He has
reviewed the financial processes and identified where more robust
procedures are required, and is preparing a report on the way forward
with respect to governance structures within the Society.

3. OSCR /(Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator) /compliance – A
sub-group of the Board has prepared a chart against the OSCR checklist
for governance showing our compliance with the guidelines. The three
people in the group have rated the Society against each of the headings
and have identified those areas where improvement is required. We will
address these in the coming year. This chart has also been reviewed by
the Chairman, the Secretary and the Interim Finance Director. The six
assessments are in broad agreement. This chart will be brought to the
next MB meeting to identify the next steps to be taken in this area.

4. Governance procedures – Another sub-group of the Board has prepared
drafts of 60+ procedures covering our processes. These will be
considered immediately after the next MB meeting and then distributed to
relevant people for checking so that final versions can be brought
forward to a further MB meeting for consideration and approval. We will
be expediting this process, and expect the more straightforward to be
completed at the second MB meeting with the others following at
succeeding meetings.

5. Strategic Plan – A draft version of this was discussed at the last MB
meeting and a revised and updated version is expected to be in place for
approval at the April Board meeting.

I also confirm that I said that if we have not made suitable progress in
the coming year on the 5 items above I will not be standing as Chairman
at the next AGM.

Alex Gray

Chairman Elect

Elspeth Gray

Secretary

RSCDS

12 Coates Crescent

Edinburgh

EH3 7AF

Tel: +44 (0)131 225 3854

Fax: +44 (0)131 225 7783

Web: www.rscds.org <http://www.rscds.org>

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51977 · Monica Pollard · 13 Apr 2008 01:51:51 · Top

Lara wrote:
> They have no idea what the RSCDS is, and 95% of them don't really care, as long
> as there is someone organizing classes, socials, and balls.

Pia asks:
> I have heard this so many times before - that dancers do not know what the
> RSCDS is - why not? - does branches not inform their members?

We are an unaffiliated SCD club. Membership is $20/year, and that,
along with class fees, is barely enough to keep us afloat. Some of us
are individual RSCDS members, most are not. The other teacher and I
mention the RSCDS when we talk about where the dances come from, how
we got our training, and why we do the steps and figures the way we
do.

While I think many of our member and non-member dancers are somewhat
aware of what the RSCDS does, they are most interested in learning the
dances, socializing with their friends, and having fun. The idea that
the Society deserves their support is probably something they'd agree
with in principle, but if we discussed becoming a Local Association
they would not accept the mandatory increase in their annual
membership fee. It would possibly more than double. I would have
great trouble explaining the advantages for our club to affiliate or
become an RSCDS Local Assoc. The magazine is nice, but it wouldn't be
seen as good value for their money.

The problem for us is geographical. If we were members of one of the
Branches in California, we'd probably see some advantage in the
discounts offered to members for classes and various events. One
could make up some of the cost of membership over the year.

But due to our isolation, the only classes and events in the area are
our own. We can only offer so much member discount if we want to
break even. If any of our members decide to go for the teaching
certificate there'd be expensive travel involved. The same applies to
bringing in teachers from other states. Members who travel to other
states for RSCDS Branch events see the benefits more than others. But
most don't ever plan to do that. And if our membership fee gets too
high, there's always the contra-dance or square dance groups.

Monica
Boise, ID
--
"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a
horrible warning."
Catherine Aird

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51978 · Bob McArthur · 13 Apr 2008 09:25:20 · Top

Like Monica's Club we are a small social club unaffiliated to the RSCDS but in our case we are one of about 10 clubs dancing SCD within a 20 mile radius.

We have a local RSCDS Branch so members have the opportunity to belong to that branch if they wish and I believe that some do dance there occasionally.

Having set up about 18 months ago we operate entirely on a voluntary basis and have a small membership fee of £5 per annum
and a 'door fee' of £2 per night to meet the hall rental costs, generating about twice the rental requirement.

Currently we have build up a reserve of about £1500 in the last 18 months and occasionally have a 'free social' for anyone who wishes to visit the club.

Although we have some quite experienced dancers we are very much a learners club as dictated by our ever increasing new membership, about 7 in the last 2 months. We have an average of about 30 attending our Monday class and about 50 on the contact list.

Members voluntarily hold a coffee morning at one of their homes once a month and all proceeds go towards an equipment fund to help fund shoes etc for the after-school childrens clubs that we assist with in two Dorset schools, there are about 60 children currently learning SCD.

I would be happy to encourage members to belong to the RSCDS but how do I 'sell it' to them when if I try to contact the Official side of the RSCDS by email I get no response, it is only through Strathspey that I have established some contact with some
very responsive individual members of the RSCDS community.

Last year at the request of a town in Poland I took 17 members over to run SCD workshops at their Celtic Music Festival and this year I have been requested to help with two more weekend festivals in that region of Poland. Pia has kindly offered to conduct the workshops.

Last year I did try to get some RSCDS promotional literature for the festival's 'Scottish' stand and the London Branch kindly sent me some back copies of 'The Reel' but generally there was nothing 'dance related' available about the RSCDS for the 100 Polish students to pick up. I did send out some post-festival information about the festival to the RSCDS but got no response apart from one individual reply.

I would love to promote RSCDS information/awareness to any interested parties in our club and to the Accordion Club which uses the same community centre (on the same night as our club) perhaps by making the Four Dances 2008 booklet available to them from club resources but it is copyright protected!!

Perhaps there is scope for the RSCDS to expand through 'Regional' representation rather than through local branch representation and the RSCDS could be promoted more effectively because there is definitely a growing interest in SCD participation on a 'social' level.

We could consider affiliation to the RSCDS and could certainly afford it and through that mechanism we might encourage more members to join the society, but I have been advised by Edinburgh HQ that to go down that route we have to be 'approved' by our local RSCDS branch.

Bob McArthur
Publicity Member
South Coast Scottish Heritage Association (Scosha)
Christchurch, Dorset, UK
(Member of the London Branch)
http://www.wessex-scd.org.uk/SCOSHA






> Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2008 17:51:51 -0600> From: sequoia03@gmail.com> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Subject: Re: Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?)> > Lara wrote:> > They have no idea what the RSCDS is, and 95% of them don't really care, as long> > as there is someone organizing classes, socials, and balls.> > Pia asks:> > I have heard this so many times before - that dancers do not know what the> > RSCDS is - why not? - does branches not inform their members?> > We are an unaffiliated SCD club. Membership is $20/year, and that,> along with class fees, is barely enough to keep us afloat. Some of us> are individual RSCDS members, most are not. The other teacher and I> mention the RSCDS when we talk about where the dances come from, how> we got our training, and why we do the steps and figures the way we> do.> > While I think many of our member and non-member dancers are somewhat> aware of what the RSCDS does, they are most interested in learning the> dances, socializing with their friends, and having fun. The idea that> the Society deserves their support is probably something they'd agree> with in principle, but if we discussed becoming a Local Association> they would not accept the mandatory increase in their annual> membership fee. It would possibly more than double. I would have> great trouble explaining the advantages for our club to affiliate or> become an RSCDS Local Assoc. The magazine is nice, but it wouldn't be> seen as good value for their money.> > The problem for us is geographical. If we were members of one of the> Branches in California, we'd probably see some advantage in the> discounts offered to members for classes and various events. One> could make up some of the cost of membership over the year.> > But due to our isolation, the only classes and events in the area are> our own. We can only offer so much member discount if we want to> break even. If any of our members decide to go for the teaching> certificate there'd be expensive travel involved. The same applies to> bringing in teachers from other states. Members who travel to other> states for RSCDS Branch events see the benefits more than others. But> most don't ever plan to do that. And if our membership fee gets too> high, there's always the contra-dance or square dance groups.> > Monica> Boise, ID> -- > "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a> horrible warning."> Catherine Aird



_________________________________________________________________
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Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51981 · Jerome Reinstein · 13 Apr 2008 12:35:32 · Top

Bob

Branches cant 'approve' an affiliated group. See the Affiliation Form of the
RSCDS website. They may ask you for a letter from the nearest Branch, but
that should be a formality unless you are a very strange bunch. There are
many rumours about what one has to do when affiliated. Our local group
president thought it meant you had to do only RSCDS published dances. When I
told her you did not, we affiliated.
--
Jerry
London & Paris


> We could consider affiliation to the RSCDS and could certainly afford it and
> through that mechanism we might encourage more members to join the society,
> but I have been advised by Edinburgh HQ that to go down that route we have to
> be 'approved' by our local RSCDS branch.

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51982 · Bob McArthur · 13 Apr 2008 13:01:53 · Top

Jerry,

I did telephone Edinburgh HQ on Friday to enquire about the procedures with a view to building it up as an agenda item for our next AGM,
it was indicated that there is a meeting in about 6 days to consider some other applications and that local branches are/should be invited to 'comment' on any applications from within their area. At least that is how I understood the information that I was being given over the phone.

There should be an application form in the post to us but I have yet to consult the committee and our members about the possibility of going down this route!!

Re: Andrea's earlier response about the breakdown of expenditure "Email" to 'Branches and Delegates'
It needs to be published more generally to members in some format if not placed on the Society or Branch websites.

Bob> Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 11:35:32 +0100> From: JAR@ReinsteinAssociates.com> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Subject: Re: Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?)> > Bob> > Branches cant 'approve' an affiliated group. See the Affiliation Form of the> RSCDS website. They may ask you for a letter from the nearest Branch, but> that should be a formality unless you are a very strange bunch. There are> many rumours about what one has to do when affiliated. Our local group> president thought it meant you had to do only RSCDS published dances. When I> told her you did not, we affiliated.> -- > Jerry> London & Paris> > > > We could consider affiliation to the RSCDS and could certainly afford it and> > through that mechanism we might encourage more members to join the society,> > but I have been advised by Edinburgh HQ that to go down that route we have to> > be 'approved' by our local RSCDS branch.> >
_________________________________________________________________
Win 100’s of Virgin Experience days with BigSnapSearch.com
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Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51983 · Jerome Reinstein · 13 Apr 2008 13:29:17 · Top

Reply sent privately.

Jerry

> From: Robert James Robertson McArthur <rjrmcarthur@hotmail.co.uk>
> Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 12:01:53 +0100
> To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Subject: RE: Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?)
>
>
> Jerry,
>
> I did telephone Edinburgh HQ on Friday to enquire about the procedures with a
> view to building it up as an agenda item for our next AGM,
> it was indicated that there is a meeting in about 6 days to consider some
> other applications and that local branches are/should be invited to 'comment'
> on any applications from within their area. At least that is how I understood
> the information that I was being given over the phone.
>
> There should be an application form in the post to us but I have yet to
> consult the committee and our members about the possibility of going down this
> route!!

Branches

Message 51984 · Martin Sheffield · 13 Apr 2008 14:31:25 · Top

If I understand the north American messages correctly, the only
reason the dancers decided to become a "branch" was because it was
cheap -- in the days when the pound was weaker than the dollar.

If you find it is no longer cheap, no-one is forcing you to remain
branches; the local dancers could then decide individually whether
they want to become members of RSCDS.

You can dance just as much and just as well in an affiliated club
(and get an occasional publication), or even in an unaffiliated
organization -- which is what vast numbers of dancers do in Britain.

Do contra dancers have to belong to branches of something over there?

Martin,
who has always danced in clubs affiliated or otherwise, where people
are free to enjoy a wide repertoire of dances by Drewry, Goldring,
Haynes, Barbour, etc etc.

Branches

Message 51985 · Anselm Lingnau · 13 Apr 2008 16:06:11 · Top

Martin Sheffield wrote:

> If you find it is no longer cheap, no-one is forcing you to remain
> branches; the local dancers could then decide individually whether
> they want to become members of RSCDS.
>
> You can dance just as much and just as well in an affiliated club
> (and get an occasional publication), or even in an unaffiliated
> organization -- which is what vast numbers of dancers do in Britain.

The idea behind branches (as far as I can tell) was that people who subscribed
to the aims of the Society could get together locally and work towards these
aims together (»strength in numbers«). One way of doing this would be by
putting on »branch events« such as classes, workshops, and social functions
for the immediate benefit of local dancers. Another part of the rationale
could be that by getting together in a local organisation representing n
dancers, one might have more clout with the local authorities in charge of
arts/sports funding, insurance companies, etc., than if each small group of
n/»number of local groups« dancers tried to do the same thing on their own.

Of course the formal »branch« process (license agreement with the RSCDS, etc.)
isn't strictly necessary as one could do exactly the same thing without
involving the Society at large. However, doing it within the Society's branch
infrastructure also sends a strong message of »we're part of this
international organisation that represents over 20.000 people within an
ongoing tradition«, which is something that some people like.

Here in Germany, SCD flourished for nearly half a century before the first
RSCDS branch was founded. Now that it does exist, nothing much if at all has
changed for the individual dancer as far as dancing opportunities or costs
are concerned, but, for example, several people in our group have decided to
become RSCDS members through the branch who before couldn't be bothered to
take out HQ membership directly. So, from the point of view of RSCDS uptake
hereabouts, having a local RSCDS branch seems a net win to me.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
What made Wells a true visionary was not so much his ability to predict so
many of the technological marvels of the late twentieth century, but his
prescience in setting them in a world where men were still wearing neckties.
-- Geoffroy Nunberg

Branches

Message 51986 · SMiskoe · 13 Apr 2008 16:29:09 · Top


In a message dated 4/13/2008 8:33:00 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
mj.sheffield@orange.fr writes:

Do contra dancers have to belong to branches of something over there?

No. All you need is a hall, a PA system, a caller and a band and you can
run a dance. On the other hand, western style club dances require lessons
before you can be admitted to a dance.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

**************It's Tax Time! Get tips, forms and advice on AOL Money &
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Branches

Message 51987 · Pia Walker · 13 Apr 2008 18:18:07 · Top

And are the style and delivery uniform? Can you go anywhere and join in -
even abroad?

Pia

No. All you need is a hall, a PA system, a caller and a band and you can
run a dance. On the other hand, western style club dances require lessons
before you can be admitted to a dance.
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG.
Version: 7.5.519 / Virus Database: 269.22.10/1366 - Release Date: 08/04/2008
17:03

Branches

Message 51988 · SMiskoe · 13 Apr 2008 18:30:25 · Top


In a message dated 4/13/2008 12:19:06 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
pia@intamail.com writes:

And are the style and delivery uniform? Can you go anywhere and join in -
even abroad?

In theory yes, but some bands do not stick to the traditional and some
callers are less than stellar. There are not more than 25 different figures and
the dance is repeated long enough that even if you are unsure at the start,
you will be fine by the end. There are enough figures that are like SCD
figures that it is an easy transition. i.e. right hand star, left hand back; down
the middle and up, circle, half figure 8, ladies' chain. For me, the joy of
the dance comes from the blending of the music to the figures and the
interaction with the different dancers. Does that sound like SCD?
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

**************It's Tax Time! Get tips, forms and advice on AOL Money &
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Branches

Message 51991 · Steven Epstein · 13 Apr 2008 20:31:04 · Top

Anything but uniform:) Who would want that? Contra
dancing is about local control, even anarchy. Mayhem!
But, without alcoholic beverages, at least here in the
US, so it's really quite safe. I've never danced
contra outside the US, so I can't speak to that, but
anywhere in the US, regional differences matter
little. The dances are relatively simple, walked
through, and prompted. There usually is a 15 minute or
so beginners' workshop prior to the start of the dance
for newbies and the less experienced.

Steve Epstein
http://tedcrane.com/DanceDB/DisplayIdent.com?KEY=steve_epstein

--- Pia <pia@intamail.com> wrote:

> And are the style and delivery uniform? Can you go
> anywhere and join in -
> even abroad?
>
> Pia
>
>
>
> No. All you need is a hall, a PA system, a caller
> and a band and you can
> run a dance. On the other hand, western style club
> dances require lessons
> before you can be admitted to a dance.
> Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA
>
>
>
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG.
> Version: 7.5.519 / Virus Database: 269.22.10/1366 -
> Release Date: 08/04/2008
> 17:03
>
>
>

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Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51990 · Lara Friedman-Shedlov · 13 Apr 2008 20:24:57 · Top

On Sat, Apr 12, 2008 at 11:43 AM, Pia <pia@intamail.com> wrote:
>
> They have no idea what the RSCDS is, and 95% of them don't really care, as
> long
> as there is someone organizing classes, socials, and balls.
>
> I have heard this so many times before - that dancers do not know what the
> RSCDS is - why not? - does branches not inform their members? Since the
> RSCDS have for a long time relied on the branches to relay RSCDS related
> information to their dancers, can the RSCDS wholly be blamed for members not
> being communicated to? How does a branch know that 95% of their members
> don't really care, if those members are not informed? Or put another way -
> how can you care if you are not told?

Okay, let me clarify that a bit. For our dancers, RSCDS is *the
branch* they are dancing with. We do try to educate them about the
larger, international organization that we are part of, and of course
they now receive the magazine, so there is some direct contact, but my
impression is that doesn't really make a big impact on the majority.
They are there to dance, and it is the local group that is organizing
that, with or without the RSCDS in Scotland.

/ Lara Friedman-Shedlov
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
RSCDS Twin Cities Branch

--
*****************************
Lara Friedman~Shedlov
lfriedmanshedlov@gmail.com

*****************************

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51995 · Chris1Ronald · 14 Apr 2008 04:20:32 · Top


Thank you, Andrea, for digging out the message from Alex Gray.

I do vaguely remember seeing it at the time, and it is indeed a useful step
in the direction of 'communication and transparency'. It doesn't quite
answer my question, though, as the figures relate mostly to items of expenditure
(such as "staff costs") rather than to the objectives that were served by the
expenditure.

When we are asked what the membership dues are used for, we explain that it
finances a twice-yearly magazine, preparing materials for teachers (manual,
dance books, CDs, etc.), and an examinations system for teachers. At least
for dancers in far-flung places like this, these are the categories of
expenditure they can relate to. Members would like to know if these are the things
the money is being spent on, and what else it's used for?

One may ask, for example, to what extent the staff costs and other generic
budget items are helping, directly or indirectly, to implement activities like
the summer and winter schools and "kaleidoscope". Most dancers here could
never afford to attend activities like these. Is there any way we can explain
to them that they get a benefit from having their dues used in that way (if
that is indeed the case)?

There are several threads to this discussion. One has to do with the fact
that the membership dues have gone up by 200 per cent in the last 10 years.
(From $10 to $30, according to our Treasurer). Another has to do with the
fact that the latest increase was sprung on members, with virtually no
consultation. But my main concern is with fairness. Are the contributions and
benefits equally shared? Dancers here need to be convinced that this is the case.

I guess the alternative is the one that several people have mentioned - that
branches convert themselves into affiliated groups. With the repeated
increases in dues, this is the direction we are being pushed in. Perhaps that's
in the best interests of all concerned. But I'm not sure. Personally, I'd
rather see a healthy RSCDS HQ. I suspect that one of the implications of that,
however, is that the "user pays" principle will need to be applied more
rigorously.

I know, as Andrew said, that there are formal channels of communication that
members can use to address issues relating to the RSCDS. And our Branch has
indeed been thinking of doing that. But the strathspey list is a unique
forum for facilitating an international dialogue on issues of concern. Thank
you, Anselm!

Chris Ronald, New York.

**************It's Tax Time! Get tips, forms and advice on AOL Money &
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Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51996 · Jerome Reinstein · 14 Apr 2008 10:35:33 · Top

Chris

In partial response to your comment below, the staff organizes and runs the
Summer and Winter schools, which are self supporting by the fees charged.
The cost of Staff time is included in the fee so members who do not attend
do not pay for them. "Kaleidoscope" is budgeted as a break even and no staff
time is involved in the organization. It is being designed and organized by
members of the Working Group for dancers issues outside Scotland.

You would probably be interested to know just what the staff time paid by
memberships fees is used for. Someone else would have to answer that in more
detail.
--
Jerry
London & Paris

> From: <Chris1Ronald@aol.com>
> Reply-To: SCD news and discussion <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 22:20:32 EDT
> To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Subject: Re: Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?)
>
> One may ask, for example, to what extent the staff costs and other generic
> budget items are helping, directly or indirectly, to implement activities
> like the summer and winter schools and "kaleidoscope". Most dancers here
> could never afford to attend activities like these. Is there any way we can
> explain to them that they get a benefit from having their dues used in that
> way (if that is indeed the case)?
>

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 51946 · Bob McArthur · 11 Apr 2008 20:32:26 · Top

Looking for some of the answers to questions raised by this subject I tried to look at various websites and happened upon the RSCDS Bristol Branch website and it's publication of the 2006 and 2007 AGM 'Members Forum'.

Whilst it probably does not address all the issues being raised it does give me confidence that someone is trying to be effective and constructive. Well Done Bristol for taking the initiative on this!!!

Bob McAthur
Scosha, Bournemouth

ps: Andrew, Great website, pass my compliments to the editor




> Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2008 10:51:13 -0700> From: bherbold@gmail.com> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Subject: Re: Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?)> > I wish the archive was up because there is considerable consternation> here about the likely impact of RSCDS membership affecting branch> membership. With no clear story about it in the magazine except an> expectation that large deficits will continue next year, the> strathspey discussion that I dimly remember after last year's AGM is> inadequate to explain to the membership where their money is going.> > I strongly agree that what the RSCDS has done for my personal life is> worth just about anything. However, that does not mean that I am not> allowed to wonder where my dues are now going. If the ship has a> huge hole in the side, I would like to know how it got there, whether> it can be repaired, and if there are other icebergs lying about likely> to gouge further holes.> > For people less committed to the RSCDS than I, it is a simple question> of increasing cost, a sinking dollar, and an apparent decrease in> value. I fear a major drop in our membership next year at the new> membership cost and consequently an even bigger hole in next year's> budget and the start of a hole in our (currently healthy) branch> finances.> > Is there anything out there that we could circulate and make the basis> of our discussion of increasing membership fees at our upcoming branch> AGM?> > Bruce Herbold> San Francisco> > On 4/11/08, Andrew Smith <afsmith@talktalk.net> wrote:> > If I may respond to Mimi, I do agree that the Branch probably tends to be> > the focus for the majority of dancers, so it becomes all the more important> > that the Branches make clear the reality of the situation. The Branches do> > tend to be the public face of the Society, and so I think that Mimi is> > correct in her 'friendly v. elitist' comment.> > I had formed the view that SCD in the US was much more expensive than here,> > but it seems that I was in error.> > May I list our current costs in Bristol, as I think it might be of interest?> > RSCDS membership £12> > Bristol Branch membership £2> > We hold 37 classes per year, but pay for 36 because the Branch AGM cuts> > across one evening. For Members it costs £4 per class = £144 per year.> > New Season Dance £9 (Full-time students £7)> > Day School (2 classes and evening dance)> > £8 (£7) Any one class or dance> > or £15 (£13) 2 classes (inc light lunch) or> > either class plus dance> > or £20 (£17) 2 classes + dance> > Burns' Supper & Dance £26> > Newcomers' Dance £9 (£7)> > Summer Dance £9 (£7)> > Branch weekend away £120.> >> > [Our class fees are £4.50 per week for non-members (so if you intended> > coming regularly it would be a saving of £6 per annum if you join the> > Society), £2 for full-time student members and £2.50 for student> > non-members. If one pays up-front for the term there is a 2-week discount.> > The last session of each of the three terms is a dance evening to live> > music, otherwise we are dancing at classes to CDs. All our dances are to> > live music with American ( pot-luck) suppers, except for the Burns' Supper> > where we have a 4-course sit-down meal. I gather dances are significantly> > cheaper in Scotland, presumably because the bands do not have to travel so> > far. We pay our teachers and there is hall hire as well.]> >> > It can be seen that the RSCDS subscription is a small part of the cost,> > unlike Mimi where " only 40% of what I pay to join my Branch goes for local> > events and activities; the rest is RSCDS dues sent to Scotland."> >> > If one is really keen one can then factor in a week at Summer School, maybe> > 6 or 8 dances in the season run by other groups/Branches approximately 1 -> > 1.5 hours drive away with petrol at £1.06 per litre (+ £5.20 toll on the> > Severn bridge if one goes to S Wales), and other schools/weekends.> >> > It is a challenge to encourage Society membership, I agree, but in fact we> > have recruited members who have joined purely so that they can come to the> > Burns' Supper & Dance, [where members get priority booking, and we make an> > effort to decorate the hall and have a different (Scottish) theme each year]> > and the Branch weekend away. I grant you that these are Branch initiatives,> > but you only get them if you are a Society member. We do get a small number> > of students dancing with us, but the University group happens to meet on the> > same evening.> >> > Mimi is right when she says that membership for me is a subscription to a> > Scottish charity, but that is only a small part. Primarily I am a member> > because I feel that because SCD through the RSCDS and what it has done as a> > dancing organisation, has given me so much throughout my life, both directly> > and indirectly, [and has been a tremendous support network since Lesley died> > in 2006] that I feel that it deserves my support. The fact that it is a> > charity is incidental.> > For example, as a part of my post-graduate training I was posted to Tyneside> > in the NE of England for 6 months, got in touch with the Newcastle-upon-Tyne> > Branch and danced with them all over the NE in their dem. team and at dances> > etc. The time just flew by, and I danced in Washington and Toronto (both in> > the NE). When I was in full-time employment if ever I was away from home for> > courses etc if there was no evening work as part of the course I would> > contact the local Branch and visit their class. I still remember one week in> > the Birmingham area when I danced on 4 nights of the week. It was certainly> > better than being stuck in the hotel. The RSCDS Branch network made this> > easy through the Directory of Branches containing Branch secretaries'> > details- this was all long ere the internet.> >> > With respect to 'inclusiveness', the notice for ordinary motions to the> > Society for the AGM is now "at least12 weeks" (Rule V.D.1), so that a> > provisional agenda "shall be issued to all Local Associations/Branches and> > members of the Management board and posted on the members' website ten weeks> > prior to the Annual General Meeting" (Rule V.C.1).> > I am not in a position to comment on the problem with the financial issues> > at the last AGM, not being involved at the time, but I think that the> > majority would agree that it did appear that it could have been managed> > better. We are now trying hard to improve and move on positively.> > As a final comment I would encourage any Members of the RSCDS who anticipate> > going to the AGM in Perth this year (8th November) as observers to let> > Elspeth Gray (Secretary) know if you would be prepared to act as a delegate> > to a Branch that has problems making up its allocaton of delegates in> > accordance with the Constitutions of both the Society and the Local> > Association/Branch. The duty is not onerous, usually, and if you intend to> > be there anyway the additional support to both the Society and the Branches> > would be much appreciated.> > Andrew Smith,> > Bristol, UK.> >> >> >> > ----- Original Message ----- From: <mimimueller@juno.com>> > To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>> > Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2008 5:37 PM> > Subject: Re: Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?)> >> >> >> > > Thank you, Andrew, for taking the time and thought to address the> > > questions I raised.> > > You seem to have understood what I was saying quite well, and perhaps it> > > will help a bit more for both you and any interested bystanders if I add> > > a few words of further explanation.> > >> > > 1) While technically one joins the Society and then the Branch, a> > > dancer's major contact with Scottish Country Dancing is through their> > > Branch. At least in the US, unless one travels to Scotland often, it is> > > the Branch one sees, thinks of, and deals with. Indeed, the view that SCD> > > is friendly or elitist is probably most often based on the attitude of> > > the local members more than on Society policy.> > > So from the local dancer's view, less than half the money he/she> > > spends to join is visible in the form of classes, local dances, and> > > nearby workshops. We have quite a few regular attendees who have never> > > joined, either for budgetary reasons or because they do not see the> > > advantage - it is an ongoing challenge for us, and for other Branches as> > > well, I imagine.> > > From your comments, I now realize that for you, membership is a> > > subscription to a Scottish charity. For most Americans, I imagine,> > > membership is in a dance organization.> > > Like it or not, most people are organizationally and fiscally> > > near-sighted.> > >> > > 2) Inclusiveness in the running of the Society. When I was on our> > > Branch governing body some ten years ago or so, it was very hard to feel> > > included. Matters to be set before the AGM were sent to the Branches on> > > very short notice. There was usually not enough time for our branch> > > committee even to meet to discuss and take a stand before the AGM, much> > > less get information to and input from our members. I hope this is not> > > still true.> > > In every other organization I belong to, including our local SCD> > > branch, any major matter for the annual meeting must be sent to all> > > members at least a month before the meeting. The reasons for this are> > > several:> > > -every member knows what the issue is (and not just some listing on an> > > agenda),> > > -members can get input to their representatives if they wish,> > > -members can make plans to attend and be heard if the issue is important> > > to them and, not the least,> > > -the organization's decision-making is seen as open and transparent.> > > After the last AGM, with the news of the financial problems, we> > > had numerous questions about the> > > Society's finances we would like to have had answered enough in advance> > > to discuss before our representatives voted. Some of these questions are> > > still relevant - perhaps I shall take your suggestion and address them> > > directly to the appropriate Society committee member.> > >> > > Again, thank you for your clarification and explanation. Although> > > the Strathspey net may not be exactly the official place to air such> > > thoughts, I do hope that readers from far-flung branches may now be> > > reminded that they can request Scotland representatives - and that if> > > they start talking with a rep now, they will have the foundation for> > > having a vote and perhaps their voice heard at the next AGM.> > >> > > Miriam/Mimi Mueller> > >> > > On Thu, 10 Apr 2008 10:23:06 +0100 "Andrew Smith" <afsmith@talktalk.net>> > > writes:> > >> > > > May I take a few moments to try to offer some help to Miriam, which> > > > unfortunately will not be financial, by responding to her comments> > > > in the> > > > hope that it will clear up some [what appear to me to be]> > > > misunderstandings.> > > > Please forgive me if I, in turn, have misunderstood Miriam's> > > > observations,> > > > but they will be borne in mind..> > > >> > > > I must emphasise that these are personal views.> > > >> > > > 1) "But only 40% of what I pay to join my Branch goes for local> > > > events and> > > > activities; the rest is RSCDS dues sent to Scotland."> > > > As I understand it, the formal situation is that one joins the> > > > RSCDS in the> > > > first instance, as the Branch, or "Local Association" as it should> > > > now> > > > properly be known, is defined as a "Local Association of Members of> > > > the> > > > RSCDS." Hence one must be an RSCDS member before one can become a> > > > member of> > > > a Branch/LA. Branches [I will continue to use the term for> > > > convenience] may> > > > then have a local subscription to cover their own administrative> > > > costs, or> > > > fund them in some other way - that is their own affair, as legally> > > > they are> > > > not liable to the Society, but use the Society logo, etc., under a> > > > Licence> > > > Agreement with the Society. As a service to Members and the Society> > > > the> > > > Branches collect the RSCDS subscriptions from Members and remit the> > > > totals> > > > to the Society in Edinburgh. The Branch maintains its share of the> > > > Society> > > > database so that the Society is able to send the magazine direct to> > > > Members.> > > > Because the payments are often combined and the Branch Treasurer> > > > sorts out> > > > the monies, the perception arises that the RSCDS is demanding all> > > > this money> > > > from the Branch for each member of the Branch.> > > >> > > > 2) "I wish I felt more of that inclusiveness with respect to the> > > > running of> > > > our parent organization.I realize that there has been movement in> > > > that> > > > direction in recent years."> > > > I sympathise with that view, and personally would like to see it go> > > > further.> > > > At the moment, the Branches are seen as the principal contacts with> > > > and for> > > > the Society, so the best way for Miriam to feel more inclusiveness> > > > is to> > > > ensure that her Branch keeps her informed when elections, AGM> > > > motions or> > > > other issues arise so that she can express a view, albeit via the> > > > Branch. As> > > > a Society Member she is of course at liberty to express these views> > > > directly> > > > to the Society, rather than via 'Strathspey', as I have suggested in> > > > the> > > > past.> > > >> > > > 3) "But from where I sit (at a computer in the US) the RSCDS> > > > governance> > > > still appears to be elitist, or at least parochial."> > > > I would reject the "elitist" label - the vast majority of people> > > > that I meet> > > > at dances have no idea that I am a member of that governance. If I> > > > were> > > > truly "elitist" I would expect that many would be recognising me as> > > > such> > > > and discussing the rights and wrongs of the Society's management. I> > > > am only> > > > involved principally because I felt that for much of my life the> > > > Society had> > > > given me a great deal of enjoyment and social interaction, that it> > > > was at a> > > > crucial point in its existence, and that I wanted, and still want,> > > > to make a> > > > contribution. It involves a considerable commitment in time and> > > > effort.> > > > Originally Members proposed me and Branches elected me, although the> > > > second> > > > time round there were not enough candidates for an election, but I> > > > still had> > > > to be proposed by Members. Basically, I too "just want to dance",> > > > but> > > > recognise that if there is no input to the governance then there> > > > will be no> > > > Society. [Just yesterday the Chairman of a local organisation (100> > > > members,> > > > average attendance at monthly talks/visits around 40) to which I> > > > belong> > > > presented the members with the stark reality that if we do not get a> > > >> > > > volunteers to join the committee to help with the running we will be> > > > forced> > > > to close next year.]> > > > It is almost inevitable that the Society appears "parochial", but it> > > > tries> > > > hard not to be - one only has to look at the addresses of the Board> > > > and> > > > Committee members. It must be admitted that it might appear much> > > > more> > > > parochial if it was not for the cheap air fares that have arisen in> > > > the past> > > > few years, but equally it must be remembered that it started life as> > > > a> > > > *Scottish* society with no expectations of having a worldwide> > > > involvement -> > > > it really has had that role thrust upon it because of the Scottish> > > > diaspora> > > > with its enthusiasm for its traditions and the fact that non-Scots> > > > also find> > > > our dance form enjoyable. I think that it deserves far more praise> > > > for> > > > trying to respond in a positive way to the expectation from Branches> > > > outside> > > > Scotland that it would try to service them as well as the home> > > > Branches.> > > >> > > > 4) "I understand that it is possible to ask Scottish members to> > > > represent an> > > > overseas branch at the AGM,...".> > > > The representatives do not have to be exclusively Scottish. Pia> > > > covered this> > > > aspect of representation in her mail yesterday. I too would> > > > encourage any> > > > Members who can get to the AGM/Conference weekend, but who would not> > > > be> > > > representing their own Branch, to volunteer to Elspeth Gray, the> > > > Society's> > > > Secretary at RSCDS HQ in Edinburgh, to go on to the register of> > > > Members> > > > prepared to act as representatives for Branches who cannot attend> > > > for> > > > whatever reason. [I wouldn't mind betting that there are some remote> > > >> > > > Scottish Branches who probably find it harder and possibly more> > > > expensive to> > > > get to an AGM venue than from say Paris.] Equally I would encourage> > > > Branches> > > > to ask Elspeth to put them in touch with such volunteers. Do not> > > > leave it> > > > until the last minute when you get the AGM mailings. Do it now, get> > > > the pick> > > > of the crop, and establish a relationship with your representatives.> > > > They> > > > will be glad to hear from you, and pleased to act for you. [Some may> > > >> > > > appreciate an offer of help towards expenses, but equally there will> > > > be> > > > those who would not expect that.] Incidentally, I believe that this> > > > means of> > > > representation is not new - I think it was the way Branch> > > > representatives> > > > were found for the Executive Council, in what are rapidly becoming> > > > "the old> > > > days".> > > >> > > > 5) "Headquarters needs to find ways to let branches be heard..."> > > > Sorry to be pedantic, but I feel that this [typical] use of> > > > 'Headquarters'> > > > is not helpful. In this context I am sure that what Miriam means is> > > > "The> > > > Society". [Strictly 'Headquarters' is 12 Coates Crescent, and> > > > elegant but> > > > inanimate building. If it is 'the Staff' that is meant, they are> > > > carrying> > > > out the administrative functions of the Society as required by the> > > > Management Board and Committees, so it is not for them "to find> > > > ways...",> > > > etc.] The Management Board members (who are the Trustees of the> > > > Society> > > > with the responsibility of running the Society on behalf of the> > > > Members in> > > > accordance with the law and Constitution) each have an allocation of> > > >> > > > Branches so that they can act as a conduit for their respective> > > > Branches to> > > > the Board.> > > > This is an additional communication route, not 'representation'. I> > > > have said> > > > on this forum before, and already in 2) above, that if there is a> > > > problem,> > > > bring it up with the Chairman or Secretary of the Society, or if> > > > more> > > > appropriate with a Convenor of one of the Management Committees - do> > > > not> > > > just moan on 'Strathspey'. The ways for the voices of the Branches> > > > to be> > > > heard exist now - letter, or e-mail (I do not know about FAX> > > > offhand)> > > > especially if a record is required, or, more informally, telephone,> > > > according to your preference or availability. If there is an issue> > > > or a> > > > problem the AGM is not usually the place to resolve it, unless it> > > > has not> > > > been possible to get things sorted via the normal routes. Do not> > > > hang on to> > > > it, get it off your chest and out where hopefully it will be dealt> > > > with.> > > >> > > > I hope that this has been constructive and helpful.> > > > Best wishes,> > > >> > > > Andrew Smith,> > > > Bristol, UK.> > > >> > >> > >> >> >> >
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Economic accessibility & governance

Message 52009 · campbell · 15 Apr 2008 11:40:13 · Top

It is interesting to me that little mention has been made of the value of
the books that RSCDS used to publish. My popular dances survey to date
shows that 80% of the top 20 dances were published by RSCDS. The value of
these publications is enormous in my eyes. There are thousands of dances
out there. Of the 490 I have captured from 79 programmes so far, 262 have
only appeared once, over 50%. So on the whole, dances outside the RSCDS
catalogue have scant hope of surviving outside the small group that brought
them into existence I have just received a book published by a branch in
2004 containing 29 dances. It was obviously a very significant event for
them and lots of care went into the choice and the publication. However,
not one of them have yet to appear in my list of 490. Bruce Herbold recently
mentioned the "Chaperoned Chain Progression" in Linnea's Strathspey as being
one of the most fun formations to be devised recently. If it were submitted
to the RSCDS and published, it would have had the chance of becoming
universally loved. You have to be a Mairi's Wedding or Shiftin' Bobbins to
get similar fame outside the catalogue.

The RSCDS books have had a huge influence in helping us all to have a core
set of dances that we all know and love. Even Book 45, the last, has 2 of
its offerings in the top 10, at 6 and 7. This must indicate something. It
is ironic that the RSCDS has seen fit to stop publishing these books. If I
knew that 8 of my 15 pounds is to get access to dances that I will be able
to dance all over the world, then that seems worth it.

Campbell Tyler
Cape Town

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 52010 · Anselm Lingnau · 15 Apr 2008 12:38:54 · Top

Campbell Tyler wrote:

> Even Book 45, the last, has 2 of
> its offerings in the top 10, at 6 and 7. This must indicate something.

I think this indicates firstly that the book is still fairly new (it's the
last book with a glossy cover, and the leaflets we have seen since simply do
not carry the same weight, psychologically) and your sample of programs
covers mostly recent events. In due course we'll probably see these fall
behind. Common sense dictates that any new RSCDS publication potentially sees
a »peak« of usage during the first couple of years after it's been out, and
then settles down as the »favourites« from that publication have been
identified and make their way into the canon of long-time popular dances. The
ratio of long-term favourites to »lemons« in a particular publication is a
measure of whether the publication was worth the trouble :^) (Now we only
need a definition of exactly what makes a »long-term favourite«.) [*]

How do the new (non-rehashed) dances from the recent leaflets fare in your
statistics? Like, The Inimitable Derek.

> It is ironic that the RSCDS has seen fit to stop publishing these books.
> If I knew that 8 of my 15 pounds is to get access to dances that I will be
> able to dance all over the world, then that seems worth it.

There are two issues here:

1. Publishing worthwhile dances
2. Publishing dances in books

Issue 1 is one of dance selection, issue 2 is one of presenting whatever
dances are selected.

Clearly, the Society should direct its efforts (and expenditure) towards
publishing dances that people will actually want to dance (issue 1). Your
statistics will tell us how well this goal has been achieved with respect to,
say, books 30 to 39, but the current policy of mostly re-publishing accepted
dances in leaflets sounds reasonable as far as this goes. Having said that,
the Society could just as well publish a glossy book of ten re-published
dances every other year instead of a leaflet of three or four dances each
year (provided a way is found to foot the bill), or even just plonk them on
the Web and mail photocopies to those few people left who don't at least know
somebody who can print them out on their behalf.

The other question is whether people would prefer a glossy book of dances to a
dingy black-and-white leaflet or a set of web pages with the same content.
This is issue 2, and if the Society finds that a majority of members do like
the books then we should consider how to accommodate this. If a majority of
members would like a glossy book of ten wonderful dances per year, and two
issues of a glossy magazine, and reduced (or even
constant-at-the-level-of-2007) annual membership fees too, pretty please with
sugar on top, then there *may* be a problem.

Anselm

[*] This skirts the issue that one might construe an interest on the
Society's part to also publish dances that are good for other purposes
than social events, such as instruction. A compilation of very simple
dances for teaching, for example, might be a wild success in its niche
even though it may not show up accordingly in a statistic based on the
evaluation of social programmes.
--
Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org
On the day *I* go to work for Microsoft, faint oinking sounds will be heard
from far overhead, the moon will not merely turn blue but develop polkadots,
and hell will freeze over so solid the brimstone will go superconductive.
-- Eric S. Raymond, replying to a Microsoft head-hunter

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 52013 · Bob McArthur · 15 Apr 2008 16:28:28 · Top

Anselm,

Just to throw another issue into this great debate I note the post-script to your email which says
"A compilation of very simple dances for teaching........"

As you will be aware I have got involved with trying to help small groups of very enthusiastic college and university students in Poland set up their own Scottish Country Dance groups. In particular I have one group from last year's Bedzin festival who advised me on Sunday that they have 4 men and 4 women dancers committed with others interested in joining them and they are just looking for a suitable venue to start up the group.

I have purchased a number of the "Reel Scottish Dancing!" training dvds for our group Scosha to gift to these start-up groups and the dvd's have 34 selected dances included in the 90 minute programme.

Unfortunately the demonstrations are just for First Couple in length so to complete the study you have to search out a source of the entire 34 tunes, that would involve these small start-up groups purchasing hundreds of pounds worth of cd's just to enable the 34 dances to be completed.

Am I being too logical in thinking that it would have been appropriate for the RSCDS to have ensured that there was also a compilation cd set to accompany this training video which would have encouraged start-up groups to progress towards completing a dance programme from the 'selected 34 dances'.

I did phone the production company and have been advised that a composite CD set does not exist.

Bob McArthur
Scosha, Bournemouth




> From: anselm@strathspey.org> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 12:38:54 +0200> Subject: Re: Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?)> > Campbell Tyler wrote:> > > Even Book 45, the last, has 2 of> > its offerings in the top 10, at 6 and 7. This must indicate something.> > I think this indicates firstly that the book is still fairly new (it's the > last book with a glossy cover, and the leaflets we have seen since simply do > not carry the same weight, psychologically) and your sample of programs > covers mostly recent events. In due course we'll probably see these fall > behind. Common sense dictates that any new RSCDS publication potentially sees > a »peak« of usage during the first couple of years after it's been out, and > then settles down as the »favourites« from that publication have been > identified and make their way into the canon of long-time popular dances. The > ratio of long-term favourites to »lemons« in a particular publication is a > measure of whether the publication was worth the trouble :^) (Now we only > need a definition of exactly what makes a »long-term favourite«.) [*]> > How do the new (non-rehashed) dances from the recent leaflets fare in your > statistics? Like, The Inimitable Derek.> > > It is ironic that the RSCDS has seen fit to stop publishing these books.> > If I knew that 8 of my 15 pounds is to get access to dances that I will be> > able to dance all over the world, then that seems worth it.> > There are two issues here:> > 1. Publishing worthwhile dances> 2. Publishing dances in books> > Issue 1 is one of dance selection, issue 2 is one of presenting whatever > dances are selected.> > Clearly, the Society should direct its efforts (and expenditure) towards > publishing dances that people will actually want to dance (issue 1). Your > statistics will tell us how well this goal has been achieved with respect to, > say, books 30 to 39, but the current policy of mostly re-publishing accepted > dances in leaflets sounds reasonable as far as this goes. Having said that, > the Society could just as well publish a glossy book of ten re-published > dances every other year instead of a leaflet of three or four dances each > year (provided a way is found to foot the bill), or even just plonk them on > the Web and mail photocopies to those few people left who don't at least know > somebody who can print them out on their behalf.> > The other question is whether people would prefer a glossy book of dances to a > dingy black-and-white leaflet or a set of web pages with the same content. > This is issue 2, and if the Society finds that a majority of members do like > the books then we should consider how to accommodate this. If a majority of > members would like a glossy book of ten wonderful dances per year, and two > issues of a glossy magazine, and reduced (or even > constant-at-the-level-of-2007) annual membership fees too, pretty please with > sugar on top, then there *may* be a problem.> > Anselm> > [*] This skirts the issue that one might construe an interest on the> Society's part to also publish dances that are good for other purposes> than social events, such as instruction. A compilation of very simple> dances for teaching, for example, might be a wild success in its niche> even though it may not show up accordingly in a statistic based on the> evaluation of social programmes.> -- > Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org> On the day *I* go to work for Microsoft, faint oinking sounds will be heard> from far overhead, the moon will not merely turn blue but develop polkadots,> and hell will freeze over so solid the brimstone will go superconductive.> -- Eric S. Raymond, replying to a Microsoft head-hunter
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Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?

Message 52015 · Peter Price · 15 Apr 2008 18:31:27 · Top

Robert,

I found a 2CD set by the Colin Dewar Quartet "Music for Collins Pocket
Reference Vol1 and Vol.2". IMHO the CPR and the CDs would be a very good
place to start.
If they then build up their library at the rate of 2-3 cds and 2 or 3 books
a year it won't be prohibitively expensive.

Peter Price
New Haven, CT

On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 10:28 AM, Robert James Robertson McArthur <
rjrmcarthur@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:

>
> Anselm,
>
> Just to throw another issue into this great debate I note the post-script
> to your email which says
> "A compilation of very simple dances for teaching........"
>
> As you will be aware I have got involved with trying to help small groups
> of very enthusiastic college and university students in Poland set up their
> own Scottish Country Dance groups. In particular I have one group from last
> year's Bedzin festival who advised me on Sunday that they have 4 men and 4
> women dancers committed with others interested in joining them and they are
> just looking for a suitable venue to start up the group.
>
> I have purchased a number of the "Reel Scottish Dancing!" training dvds
> for our group Scosha to gift to these start-up groups and the dvd's have 34
> selected dances included in the 90 minute programme.
>
> Unfortunately the demonstrations are just for First Couple in length so to
> complete the study you have to search out a source of the entire 34 tunes,
> that would involve these small start-up groups purchasing hundreds of pounds
> worth of cd's just to enable the 34 dances to be completed.
>
> Am I being too logical in thinking that it would have been appropriate for
> the RSCDS to have ensured that there was also a compilation cd set to
> accompany this training video which would have encouraged start-up groups to
> progress towards completing a dance programme from the 'selected 34 dances'.
>
> I did phone the production company and have been advised that a composite
> CD set does not exist.
>
> Bob McArthur
> Scosha, Bournemouth
>
>
>
>
> > From: anselm@strathspey.org> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Date: Tue,
> 15 Apr 2008 12:38:54 +0200> Subject: Re: Economic accessibility & governance
> (was: elitist?)> > Campbell Tyler wrote:> > > Even Book 45, the last, has 2
> of> > its offerings in the top 10, at 6 and 7. This must indicate
> something.> > I think this indicates firstly that the book is still fairly
> new (it's the > last book with a glossy cover, and the leaflets we have seen
> since simply do > not carry the same weight, psychologically) and your
> sample of programs > covers mostly recent events. In due course we'll
> probably see these fall > behind. Common sense dictates that any new RSCDS
> publication potentially sees > a »peak« of usage during the first couple of
> years after it's been out, and > then settles down as the »favourites« from
> that publication have been > identified and make their way into the canon of
> long-time popular dances. The > ratio of long-term favourites to »lemons« in
> a particular publication is a > measure of whether the publication was worth
> the trouble :^) (Now we only > need a definition of exactly what makes a
> »long-term favourite«.) [*]> > How do the new (non-rehashed) dances from the
> recent leaflets fare in your > statistics? Like, The Inimitable Derek.> > >
> It is ironic that the RSCDS has seen fit to stop publishing these books.> >
> If I knew that 8 of my 15 pounds is to get access to dances that I will be>
> > able to dance all over the world, then that seems worth it.> > There are
> two issues here:> > 1. Publishing worthwhile dances> 2. Publishing dances in
> books> > Issue 1 is one of dance selection, issue 2 is one of presenting
> whatever > dances are selected.> > Clearly, the Society should direct its
> efforts (and expenditure) towards > publishing dances that people will
> actually want to dance (issue 1). Your > statistics will tell us how well
> this goal has been achieved with respect to, > say, books 30 to 39, but the
> current policy of mostly re-publishing accepted > dances in leaflets sounds
> reasonable as far as this goes. Having said that, > the Society could just
> as well publish a glossy book of ten re-published > dances every other year
> instead of a leaflet of three or four dances each > year (provided a way is
> found to foot the bill), or even just plonk them on > the Web and mail
> photocopies to those few people left who don't at least know > somebody who
> can print them out on their behalf.> > The other question is whether people
> would prefer a glossy book of dances to a > dingy black-and-white leaflet or
> a set of web pages with the same content. > This is issue 2, and if the
> Society finds that a majority of members do like > the books then we should
> consider how to accommodate this. If a majority of > members would like a
> glossy book of ten wonderful dances per year, and two > issues of a glossy
> magazine, and reduced (or even > constant-at-the-level-of-2007) annual
> membership fees too, pretty please with > sugar on top, then there *may* be
> a problem.> > Anselm> > [*] This skirts the issue that one might construe an
> interest on the> Society's part to also publish dances that are good for
> other purposes> than social events, such as instruction. A compilation of
> very simple> dances for teaching, for example, might be a wild success in
> its niche> even though it may not show up accordingly in a statistic based
> on the> evaluation of social programmes.> -- > Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg,
> Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org> On the day *I* go to
> work for Microsoft, faint oinking sounds will be heard> from far overhead,
> the moon will not merely turn blue but develop polkadots,> and hell will
> freeze over so solid the brimstone will go superconductive.> -- Eric S.
> Raymond, replying to a Microsoft head-hunter
> _________________________________________________________________
> Win 100's of Virgin Experience days with BigSnapSearch.com
> http://www.bigsnapsearch.com

Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?

Message 52016 · Bob McArthur · 15 Apr 2008 18:54:27 · Top

Thanks Peter,

I will look through that list:

There is no easy life with this SCD thing!!!

The point I was making was I suppose that the dvd to me is a 'Job Half Done' or 'fruit salad without the cream'

Bearing in mind that the group will have to 'self teach' it would have been nice to post a dvd and an associated music cd set to them as one easy package.

Bob



> Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 12:31:27 -0400> From: peter.price1672@gmail.com> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Subject: Re: Economic accessibility & governance (was: elitist?> > Robert,> > I found a 2CD set by the Colin Dewar Quartet "Music for Collins Pocket> Reference Vol1 and Vol.2". IMHO the CPR and the CDs would be a very good> place to start.> If they then build up their library at the rate of 2-3 cds and 2 or 3 books> a year it won't be prohibitively expensive.> > Peter Price> New Haven, CT> > On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 10:28 AM, Robert James Robertson McArthur <> rjrmcarthur@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:> > >> > Anselm,> >> > Just to throw another issue into this great debate I note the post-script> > to your email which says> > "A compilation of very simple dances for teaching........"> >> > As you will be aware I have got involved with trying to help small groups> > of very enthusiastic college and university students in Poland set up their> > own Scottish Country Dance groups. In particular I have one group from last> > year's Bedzin festival who advised me on Sunday that they have 4 men and 4> > women dancers committed with others interested in joining them and they are> > just looking for a suitable venue to start up the group.> >> > I have purchased a number of the "Reel Scottish Dancing!" training dvds> > for our group Scosha to gift to these start-up groups and the dvd's have 34> > selected dances included in the 90 minute programme.> >> > Unfortunately the demonstrations are just for First Couple in length so to> > complete the study you have to search out a source of the entire 34 tunes,> > that would involve these small start-up groups purchasing hundreds of pounds> > worth of cd's just to enable the 34 dances to be completed.> >> > Am I being too logical in thinking that it would have been appropriate for> > the RSCDS to have ensured that there was also a compilation cd set to> > accompany this training video which would have encouraged start-up groups to> > progress towards completing a dance programme from the 'selected 34 dances'.> >> > I did phone the production company and have been advised that a composite> > CD set does not exist.> >> > Bob McArthur> > Scosha, Bournemouth> >> >> >> >> > > From: anselm@strathspey.org> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Date: Tue,> > 15 Apr 2008 12:38:54 +0200> Subject: Re: Economic accessibility & governance> > (was: elitist?)> > Campbell Tyler wrote:> > > Even Book 45, the last, has 2> > of> > its offerings in the top 10, at 6 and 7. This must indicate> > something.> > I think this indicates firstly that the book is still fairly> > new (it's the > last book with a glossy cover, and the leaflets we have seen> > since simply do > not carry the same weight, psychologically) and your> > sample of programs > covers mostly recent events. In due course we'll> > probably see these fall > behind. Common sense dictates that any new RSCDS> > publication potentially sees > a »peak« of usage during the first couple of> > years after it's been out, and > then settles down as the »favourites« from> > that publication have been > identified and make their way into the canon of> > long-time popular dances. The > ratio of long-term favourites to »lemons« in> > a particular publication is a > measure of whether the publication was worth> > the trouble :^) (Now we only > need a definition of exactly what makes a> > »long-term favourite«.) [*]> > How do the new (non-rehashed) dances from the> > recent leaflets fare in your > statistics? Like, The Inimitable Derek.> > >> > It is ironic that the RSCDS has seen fit to stop publishing these books.> >> > If I knew that 8 of my 15 pounds is to get access to dances that I will be>> > > able to dance all over the world, then that seems worth it.> > There are> > two issues here:> > 1. Publishing worthwhile dances> 2. Publishing dances in> > books> > Issue 1 is one of dance selection, issue 2 is one of presenting> > whatever > dances are selected.> > Clearly, the Society should direct its> > efforts (and expenditure) towards > publishing dances that people will> > actually want to dance (issue 1). Your > statistics will tell us how well> > this goal has been achieved with respect to, > say, books 30 to 39, but the> > current policy of mostly re-publishing accepted > dances in leaflets sounds> > reasonable as far as this goes. Having said that, > the Society could just> > as well publish a glossy book of ten re-published > dances every other year> > instead of a leaflet of three or four dances each > year (provided a way is> > found to foot the bill), or even just plonk them on > the Web and mail> > photocopies to those few people left who don't at least know > somebody who> > can print them out on their behalf.> > The other question is whether people> > would prefer a glossy book of dances to a > dingy black-and-white leaflet or> > a set of web pages with the same content. > This is issue 2, and if the> > Society finds that a majority of members do like > the books then we should> > consider how to accommodate this. If a majority of > members would like a> > glossy book of ten wonderful dances per year, and two > issues of a glossy> > magazine, and reduced (or even > constant-at-the-level-of-2007) annual> > membership fees too, pretty please with > sugar on top, then there *may* be> > a problem.> > Anselm> > [*] This skirts the issue that one might construe an> > interest on the> Society's part to also publish dances that are good for> > other purposes> than social events, such as instruction. A compilation of> > very simple> dances for teaching, for example, might be a wild success in> > its niche> even though it may not show up accordingly in a statistic based> > on the> evaluation of social programmes.> -- > Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg,> > Germany ..................... anselm@strathspey.org> On the day *I* go to> > work for Microsoft, faint oinking sounds will be heard> from far overhead,> > the moon will not merely turn blue but develop polkadots,> and hell will> > freeze over so solid the brimstone will go superconductive.> -- Eric S.> > Raymond, replying to a Microsoft head-hunter> > _________________________________________________________________> > Win 100's of Virgin Experience days with BigSnapSearch.com> > http://www.bigsnapsearch.com
_________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the next generation of Windows Live
http://www.windowslive.co.uk/get-live

Books - popularity of contents

Message 52021 · ron.mackey · 16 Apr 2008 00:41:18 · Top

Anselm wrote:
The ratio of long-term favourites to »lemons« in a particular publication is
a
measure of whether the publication was worth the trouble :^) (Now we only
need a definition of exactly what makes a »long-term favourite«.) [*]

---------------------------------------------
Off the top of my head -
I estimate that to expect roughly 2 worthwhile dances per published book
seems about right. There are a few early RSCDS books which have larger
number of dances but they are offset by the books of 12 dances none of which
are ever done. There are exceptions, Book 20 being one that springs to
mind and the two Frae a' the Airts books contain quite a number.
Talking of non-RSCDS books there are a number of collections which are
never visited, such as the Dorothy Bell collections. This particular set
contain many teaching dances but no-one seems to have heard of them so they
go about writing their own. There are many other collections which contain
great dances. We went through many of John Mitchell's Wheatherley dances
and found them of high quality, as well as Barry Priddey, Iain Boyd, Barry
Skelton, John Drewry etc.etc. Roy Goldring, of course, holds a special
niche of interesting dances simply constructed. In class there were many
greeted with considerable applause but they only made the Class Hop
programmes and no local groups would follow our lead.
To add interest to a longstanding class I can recommend the idea of
going through a single persons collection just to assess the overall worth
of their efforts. There are many excellent dances which never see the light
of the ballroom. One or two new dances a week from a single collection can
be an interesting exercise as can the idea we tried once (it was successful
so I wonder why we didn't follow up?) of distributing un-tapped books to
volunteers in the class to read through and select dances they would like to
try.
Happy Dancing :)

Ron

Ron Mackey
RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches

Books - popularity of contents

Message 52027 · Andrew Smith · 16 Apr 2008 08:30:28 · Top

Bristol will be holding a "Brodie" dance on 10th May. John Drewry.
As the flyer states "
[All except two of these dances are classified as "Brodie quality" by John
Drewry and listed in his Brodie Book. They are his "crème de la crème".
This is just our selection from that list, which we think you will really
enjoy.]

This is the second time we have run a programme of 'Brodie' dances, but the
first was several years ago, and I do not remember the response.

Andrew Smith,

Bristol, UK.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ron Mackey" <ron.mackey@talktalk.net>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 11:41 PM
Subject: Re: Books - popularity of contents

> Anselm wrote:
> The ratio of long-term favourites to »lemons« in a particular publication
> is a
> measure of whether the publication was worth the trouble :^) (Now we only
> need a definition of exactly what makes a »long-term favourite«.) [*]
>
> ---------------------------------------------
> Off the top of my head -
> I estimate that to expect roughly 2 worthwhile dances per published
> book seems about right. There are a few early RSCDS books which have
> larger number of dances but they are offset by the books of 12 dances none
> of which are ever done. There are exceptions, Book 20 being one that
> springs to mind and the two Frae a' the Airts books contain quite a
> number.
> Talking of non-RSCDS books there are a number of collections which are
> never visited, such as the Dorothy Bell collections. This particular set
> contain many teaching dances but no-one seems to have heard of them so
> they go about writing their own. There are many other collections which
> contain great dances. We went through many of John Mitchell's Wheatherley
> dances and found them of high quality, as well as Barry Priddey, Iain
> Boyd, Barry Skelton, John Drewry etc.etc. Roy Goldring, of course, holds
> a special niche of interesting dances simply constructed. In class there
> were many greeted with considerable applause but they only made the Class
> Hop programmes and no local groups would follow our lead.
> To add interest to a longstanding class I can recommend the idea of
> going through a single persons collection just to assess the overall worth
> of their efforts. There are many excellent dances which never see the
> light of the ballroom. One or two new dances a week from a single
> collection can be an interesting exercise as can the idea we tried once
> (it was successful so I wonder why we didn't follow up?) of distributing
> un-tapped books to volunteers in the class to read through and select
> dances they would like to try.
> Happy Dancing :)
>
> Ron
>
> Ron Mackey
> RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches
>

Books - popularity of contents

Message 52028 · Dick&Maureen Daniel · 16 Apr 2008 15:23:19 · Top

I think "James B Cosh" deserves a place. His dances were cutting edge inventive when written, and can still provide an enjoyable challenge.
Dick Daniel
Brig o' Weir> From: afsmith@talktalk.net> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 07:30:28 +0100> Subject: Re: Books - popularity of contents> > Bristol will be holding a "Brodie" dance on 10th May. John Drewry.> As the flyer states "> [All except two of these dances are classified as "Brodie quality" by John > Drewry and listed in his Brodie Book. They are his "crème de la crème". > This is just our selection from that list, which we think you will really > enjoy.]> > > > This is the second time we have run a programme of 'Brodie' dances, but the > first was several years ago, and I do not remember the response.> > > > Andrew Smith,> > Bristol, UK.> > > ----- Original Message ----- > From: "Ron Mackey" <ron.mackey@talktalk.net>> To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>> Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 11:41 PM> Subject: Re: Books - popularity of contents> > > > Anselm wrote:> > The ratio of long-term favourites to »lemons« in a particular publication > > is a> > measure of whether the publication was worth the trouble :^) (Now we only> > need a definition of exactly what makes a »long-term favourite«.) [*]> >> > ---------------------------------------------> > Off the top of my head -> > I estimate that to expect roughly 2 worthwhile dances per published > > book seems about right. There are a few early RSCDS books which have > > larger number of dances but they are offset by the books of 12 dances none > > of which are ever done. There are exceptions, Book 20 being one that > > springs to mind and the two Frae a' the Airts books contain quite a > > number.> > Talking of non-RSCDS books there are a number of collections which are > > never visited, such as the Dorothy Bell collections. This particular set > > contain many teaching dances but no-one seems to have heard of them so > > they go about writing their own. There are many other collections which > > contain great dances. We went through many of John Mitchell's Wheatherley > > dances and found them of high quality, as well as Barry Priddey, Iain > > Boyd, Barry Skelton, John Drewry etc.etc. Roy Goldring, of course, holds > > a special niche of interesting dances simply constructed. In class there > > were many greeted with considerable applause but they only made the Class > > Hop programmes and no local groups would follow our lead.> > To add interest to a longstanding class I can recommend the idea of > > going through a single persons collection just to assess the overall worth > > of their efforts. There are many excellent dances which never see the > > light of the ballroom. One or two new dances a week from a single > > collection can be an interesting exercise as can the idea we tried once > > (it was successful so I wonder why we didn't follow up?) of distributing > > un-tapped books to volunteers in the class to read through and select > > dances they would like to try.> > Happy Dancing :)> >> > Ron> >> > Ron Mackey> > RSCDS London, Croydon & International Branches> > > >
_________________________________________________________________
The next generation of Windows Live is here
http://www.windowslive.co.uk/get-live

Books - popularity of contents

Message 52036 · Diane Jensen Donald · 16 Apr 2008 22:50:16 · Top

I was just thinking about this last night. I have a fairly old edition of
101 Scottish Country Dances that I was looking through, and I think I've
done three or four of them, but the rest of them are all dismayingly similar
and seem so old-fashioned and simple. I guess that's a pretty good ratio of
dances that survive through time, but it makes you wonder how many of the
dances that get written and set aside are worth digging up and trying...

Diane

Boise, Idaho

On 4/16/08, Dick Daniel <danddzines@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> I think "James B Cosh" deserves a place. His dances were cutting edge
> inventive when written, and can still provide an enjoyable challenge.
> Dick Daniel
> Brig o' Weir> From: afsmith@talktalk.net> To: strathspey@strathspey.org>
> Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 07:30:28 +0100> Subject: Re: Books - popularity of
> contents> > Bristol will be holding a "Brodie" dance on 10th May. John
> Drewry.> As the flyer states "> [All except two of these dances are
> classified as "Brodie quality" by John > Drewry and listed in his Brodie
> Book. They are his "crème de la crème". > This is just our selection from
> that list, which we think you will really > enjoy.]> > > > This is the
> second time we have run a programme of 'Brodie' dances, but the > first was
> several years ago, and I do not remember the response.> > > > Andrew Smith,>
> > Bristol, UK.> > > ----- Original Message ----- > From: "Ron Mackey" <
> ron.mackey@talktalk.net>> To: "SCD news and discussion" <
> strathspey@strathspey.org>> Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 11:41 PM>
> Subject: Re: Books - popularity of contents> > > > Anselm wrote:> > The
> ratio of long-term favourites to »lemons« in a particular publication > > is
> a> > measure of whether the publication was worth the trouble :^) (Now we
> only> > need a definition of exactly what makes a »long-term favourite«.)
> [*]> >> > ---------------------------------------------> > Off the top of my
> head -> > I estimate that to expect roughly 2 worthwhile dances per
> published > > book seems about right. There are a few early RSCDS books
> which have > > larger number of dances but they are offset by the books of
> 12 dances none > > of which are ever done. There are exceptions, Book 20
> being one that > > springs to mind and the two Frae a' the Airts books
> contain quite a > > number.> > Talking of non-RSCDS books there are a number
> of collections which are > > never visited, such as the Dorothy Bell
> collections. This particular set > > contain many teaching dances but no-one
> seems to have heard of them so > > they go about writing their own. There
> are many other collections which > > contain great dances. We went through
> many of John Mitchell's Wheatherley > > dances and found them of high
> quality, as well as Barry Priddey, Iain > > Boyd, Barry Skelton, John Drewry
> etc.etc. Roy Goldring, of course, holds > > a special niche of interesting
> dances simply constructed. In class there > > were many greeted with
> considerable applause but they only made the Class > > Hop programmes and no
> local groups would follow our lead.> > To add interest to a longstanding
> class I can recommend the idea of > > going through a single persons
> collection just to assess the overall worth > > of their efforts. There are
> many excellent dances which never see the > > light of the ballroom. One or
> two new dances a week from a single > > collection can be an interesting
> exercise as can the idea we tried once > > (it was successful so I wonder
> why we didn't follow up?) of distributing > > un-tapped books to volunteers
> in the class to read through and select > > dances they would like to try.>
> > Happy Dancing :)> >> > Ron> >> > Ron Mackey> > RSCDS London, Croydon &
> International Branches> > > >
> _________________________________________________________________
> The next generation of Windows Live is here
> http://www.windowslive.co.uk/get-live

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 52011 · S. Keith Graham · 15 Apr 2008 14:43:40 · Top

On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 5:40 AM, Campbell Tyler <campbell@tyler.co.za> wrote:
> It is interesting to me that little mention has been made of the value of
> the books that RSCDS used to publish. My popular dances survey to date
> shows that 80% of the top 20 dances were published by RSCDS.

A perhaps relevant question:

How many of those dances were in the "Featured Dances" list?

http://www.rscds.org/dancing/featured-dances-redraft.html

Keith Graham
skg@sadr.com

popular dances

Message 52012 · Martin Sheffield · 15 Apr 2008 16:05:01 · Top

> On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 5:40 AM, Campbell Tyler
> <campbell@tyler.co.za> wrote:
>> My popular dances survey to date
>> shows that 80% of the top 20 dances were published by RSCDS.

What is a popular dance?

One that appears frequently on dance programs?

Not necessarily. When compiling a program, one is obliged to take
into account the accessibility of the dance instructions. Therefore
one has to use the ones in Pillings and the RSCDS booklets, which
most keen dancers have or can get hold of. I imagine that it is only
the teachers that collect other publications, which means that other
dances will appear during classes and weekend schools rather than at
social gatherings.

Perhaps The dance survey should be renamed "widely-used dances" ?

Martin,
in Grenoble, France.

popular dances

Message 52017 · Marie Disiewicz · 15 Apr 2008 19:55:57 · Top

Good morning

"Popular dances" and "widely used dances" are usually in the HUGE list of
the Mini Crib and I would say looking at the internet it is used world wide.

As long as the "popular list" are the dances you want to dance, otherwise
it is not a "popular list" for you.

It is not very many clubs that survey ALL the dancers and say "What dances
do you want on your dance program this year"
If that happened I think dance programs would have a different list all
together.

Right now the top of the "popular list" appears that "Miss Johnstone of
Ardrossan" by the late Roy Goldring has become the most popular dance,
replacing "Polorus Jack".

I look forward to more on this subject.
I do not mind a dance program that is not popular as it might have a dance
or two that might become very popular.

One club locally here will have on their Spring Tea dance:
Forever Friends - absolutely love this dance and beginners can do it with a
good teaching
Morrison Measure - absolutely love this dance and it is similar to MJOA.
Deeside Wanderer - absolutely love this dance and it is a good square set
dance for beginners
Falconer Hall - marvelous dance and with a few good lessons beginners could
be taught this dance and it really teaches them counting of bars and
phrasing

Just to name a few that could become "popular"
All of the dances mentioned above have what I call "meat" (sorry
vegetarians) and would most certainly appeal to EXPERIENCED dancers and
leave you with "I could dance that again" feeling.
.
Take a look at these dances I have mentioned and let us know your list.

Cheers
Marie, who is off to lunch with good friends.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Martin Sheffield" <mj.sheffield@orange.fr>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 7:05 AM
Subject: popular dances

>
>> On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 5:40 AM, Campbell Tyler <campbell@tyler.co.za>
>> wrote:
>>> My popular dances survey to date
>>> shows that 80% of the top 20 dances were published by RSCDS.
>
> What is a popular dance?
>
> One that appears frequently on dance programs?
>
> Not necessarily. When compiling a program, one is obliged to take into
> account the accessibility of the dance instructions. Therefore one has to
> use the ones in Pillings and the RSCDS booklets, which most keen dancers
> have or can get hold of. I imagine that it is only the teachers that
> collect other publications, which means that other dances will appear
> during classes and weekend schools rather than at social gatherings.
>
> Perhaps The dance survey should be renamed "widely-used dances" ?
>
> Martin,
> in Grenoble, France.
>
>
>
>
> --
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG. Version: 7.5.519 / Virus Database: 269.22.13/1378 -
> Release Date: 4/15/2008 9:12 AM
>
>

popular dances

Message 52022 · Iain Boyd · 16 Apr 2008 00:42:29 · Top

>> On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 5:40 AM, Campbell Tyler wrote:
>> My popular dances survey to date
>> shows that 80% of the top 20 dances were published by RSCDS.

I am not surprised!

As Martin stated, the RSCDS books are the most readily available.

However, I would suggest that if one was to analyse the programmes from 'Branches' and non-RSCDS groups, one would find that the non-RSCDS groups would have a greater number of non-RSCDS dances.

Most RSCDS 'Branches' will feel obliged to include a greater proportion of RSCDS dances while many non-RSCDS groups will be obliged to include RSCDS dances if they are to encourage dancers to attend their events.

It would be nice to see more non-RSCDS dances on programmes. However, when that does happen locally there is a lower attendance or complaints about too many unknown dances.

Also, as the average age increases there is a greater resistance to the inclusion of lesser well known dances on 'social' programmes.

Regards,

Iain Boyd



Postal Address -

P O Box 11-404
Wellington
New Zealand
Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

popular dances

Message 52024 · Marie Disiewicz · 16 Apr 2008 02:05:50 · Top

Wow! Iain, did you hit the nail on the head with that statement.
Cheers
Marie
----- Original Message -----
From: "Iain Boyd" <iain_boyd_scd@yahoo.co.nz>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 3:42 PM
Subject: Re: popular dances

> >> On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 5:40 AM, Campbell Tyler wrote:
>>> My popular dances survey to date
>>> shows that 80% of the top 20 dances were published by RSCDS.
>
> I am not surprised!
>
> As Martin stated, the RSCDS books are the most readily available.
>
> However, I would suggest that if one was to analyse the programmes from
> 'Branches' and non-RSCDS groups, one would find that the non-RSCDS groups
> would have a greater number of non-RSCDS dances.
>
> Most RSCDS 'Branches' will feel obliged to include a greater proportion
> of RSCDS dances while many non-RSCDS groups will be obliged to include
> RSCDS dances if they are to encourage dancers to attend their events.
>
> It would be nice to see more non-RSCDS dances on programmes. However,
> when that does happen locally there is a lower attendance or complaints
> about too many unknown dances.
>
> Also, as the average age increases there is a greater resistance to the
> inclusion of lesser well known dances on 'social' programmes.
>
> Regards,
>
> Iain Boyd
>
>
>
>
>
> Postal Address -
>
> P O Box 11-404
> Wellington
> New Zealand
> Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com
>
>
> --
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> 4/15/2008 9:12 AM
>
>

popular dances

Message 52025 · Marian Stroh · 16 Apr 2008 03:51:37 · Top

In our area many dance programs include non-RSCDs dances, but there is
always a way to get directions for the unknown dances - either through the
dance contact person for that program or on the website for the sponsoring
group. And usually a dance teacher is willing to include an unknown dance
in class for anyone wanting to learn it. There are so many good but unknown
dances it's fun to include some of them in programs. A quick walk-through
at an evening program catches most dancers who want to try a new one and
haven't learned it.

Marian Stroh, Reno, NV

popular dances

Message 52147 · Doug Mills · 21 Apr 2008 06:09:34 · Top

This discussion group is an excellent place to make a dance popular. OK
it may never reach the giddy heights of say Maxwells or Monty's but at
least some of the lesser known dances get done.

For eample, if I hadn't seen the name pop up in someone's posting I would
never had taught:

Gypsy Dreams
Linnea's Strathspey
The Fusilliers Dream
The Cranberry Tart

All of these were enjoyed by our group and The Cranberry Tart is now very
popular in this Region.

Doug Mills
Christchurch
New Zealand

Economic accessibility & governance

Message 52019 · campbell · 15 Apr 2008 22:23:03 · Top

Keith Graham wrote:
>A perhaps relevant question:
>How many of those dances were in the "Featured Dances" list?
>http://www.rscds.org/dancing/featured-dances-redraft.html

2001-2 None, 2002-3 1, 2003-4 0, 2004-5 0, 2005-6 1, 2006-7 2.

Conclusions?

Campbell Tyler
Cape Town

New Zealand Branch Summer School

Message 52530 · Doug Mills · 30 May 2008 01:34:37 · Top

The New Zealand Branch would like to invite dancers to their annual Summer
School, to be held in Christchurch from Dec 28th 2008 till Jan 5th 2009.

There will be a full range of classes (including both Junior & Senior
Children) with local and international teachers. Among the musicians
playing for the school are Muriel Johnstone, Cathy Fraser, Duncan Smith
and several other local musicians.

There will be dancing every night, two formal balls (Hogmanay being one of
them) plus plenty of opportunities for you look around Christchurch.

Come and enjoy a summer Christmas and New Years with us.

Contact me for an application form and brochure, or go to the NZ Branch
website (www.rscdsnzb.org.nz)and download them.

Regards

Doug Mills
Organiser, NZ Branch Summer School 2008/09

New Zealand Branch Summer School

Message 52815 · trevor rayner · 16 Jun 2008 13:37:28 · Top

Hi Doug
Could you elucidate on what happens in the low impact very advanced class please as we are unsure whether to go for this or the other low impact class. Basically for us it is a question of not too much physical.
Also could you advise if you have received our applications and cheque.
Many thanks Christine and Trevor Rayner> Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 11:34:37 +1200> From: radagast@cyberxpress.co.nz> To: strathspey@strathspey.org> Subject: New Zealand Branch Summer School> > > The New Zealand Branch would like to invite dancers to their annual Summer> School, to be held in Christchurch from Dec 28th 2008 till Jan 5th 2009.> > There will be a full range of classes (including both Junior & Senior> Children) with local and international teachers. Among the musicians> playing for the school are Muriel Johnstone, Cathy Fraser, Duncan Smith> and several other local musicians.> > There will be dancing every night, two formal balls (Hogmanay being one of> them) plus plenty of opportunities for you look around Christchurch.> > Come and enjoy a summer Christmas and New Years with us.> > Contact me for an application form and brochure, or go to the NZ Branch> website (www.rscdsnzb.org.nz)and download them.> > Regards> > Doug Mills> Organiser, NZ Branch Summer School 2008/09>
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New Zealand Branch Summer School

Message 52828 · V_Mitchell · 19 Jun 2008 09:28:18 · Top

Hi Trevor
I posted your cheque & forms to Doug so I do hope he has received them. Hope
you and Christine are enjoying lots of dancing.
Very best wishes to you both
Val
----- Original Message -----
From: "trevor rayner" <ctrayner@hotmail.co.uk>
To: "SCD news and discussion" <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Monday, June 16, 2008 11:37 PM
Subject: RE: New Zealand Branch Summer School

Hi Doug
Could you elucidate on what happens in the low impact very advanced class
please as we are unsure whether to go for this or the other low impact
class. Basically for us it is a question of not too much physical.
Also could you advise if you have received our applications and cheque.
Many thanks Christine and Trevor Rayner> Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 11:34:37
+1200> From: radagast@cyberxpress.co.nz> To: strathspey@strathspey.org>
Subject: New Zealand Branch Summer School> > > The New Zealand Branch would
like to invite dancers to their annual Summer> School, to be held in
Christchurch from Dec 28th 2008 till Jan 5th 2009.> > There will be a full
range of classes (including both Junior & Senior> Children) with local and
international teachers. Among the musicians> playing for the school are
Muriel Johnstone, Cathy Fraser, Duncan Smith> and several other local
musicians.> > There will be dancing every night, two formal balls (Hogmanay
being one of> them) plus plenty of opportunities for you look around
Christchurch.> > Come and enjoy a summer Christmas and New Years with us.> >
Contact me for an application form and brochure, or go to the NZ Branch>
website (www.rscdsnzb.org.nz)and download them.> > Regards> > Doug Mills>
Organiser, NZ Branch Summer School 2008/09>
_________________________________________________________________

All new Live Search at Live.com

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