Puttin’ On the Dance: A Conference for Northeast Dance Organizers. Supporting the people who sustain our vital dance traditions.
Vision for enacting our mission:
What? Puttin’ On the Dance convenes dance organizers from across the Northeastern US and EasternCanada. The objective of this weekend event is to provide resources and opportunities for learning, sharing, renewal and fun! This will strengthen networks for sustaining dance organizers, who in turn sustain important traditions of social dance throughout our region.
Who? POTD is especially for organizers in the region who produce dance events in the North American and English social dance traditions (e.g. contra, square, English country, Quebecois, Cape Breton, family, community and gender free). Space permitting, others interested in dance organizing, whether from other regions or those not yet currently organizing dances, are also welcome to attend.
How? POTD provides plenty of time and space for conferees to…
- participate in sessions focusing on specific pertinent topics
- gain new skills and inspiration
- find out about existing resources and help create new ones
- talk shop and share stories with peers
- dance, eat, have fun and rejuvenate
- bring renewed energy and effective leadership back to local dances and the broader music and dance community.
Why? POTD is important simply for its mission to support the people who sustain our vital dance traditions.
There are other fundamental reasons why POTD is invaluable.
Our particular social dance traditions bring people together in uniquely healthy and joyful ways that are both important and rare in our culture.
For example, typical practices include dancing with many people in a night, both as partners and neighbors; making eye contact and generally exhibiting positive regard for one’s fellow dancers; and being active contributors in the co-creation of the event.
In part because of such norms, these dances build community – bringing individuals together across a host of potential divergences such as age, lifestyle, vocation, religion, political convictions, gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, income-level, class, educational background, and, of course, levels of dancing skill and experience.
Traditional North American/English social dance also reinforces cooperation. Given the structure of the dances themselves, all dancers must work together in concert with the caller and musicians for the collective success of each dance sequence, as well as the entire evening. This binding-together in pursuit of a common goal is inherent in sustaining healthy and vibrant communities in general.
It is a blessing to have organizers who enable us to gather at our local dance halls on a regular and ongoing basis!
Therefore, it is absolutely crucial to support those dance organizers, whose commitment of personal resources (time, energy, spirit, and sometimes money) manifests in such positive ways. We are thrilled that Puttin’ On the Dance can be a vehicle for nourishing many of the people who are dedicated to “puttin’ on the dance” in their own home communities.