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 (POTD) convenes dance organizers from across the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada. 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 participatory 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., Cape Breton, community, contra, English country, family, gender free, Quebecois, and square). Space permitting, others interested in dance organizing, whether from other regions or those not 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 relevant topics
- gain new skills and inspiration
- find out about existing resources and help create new ones
- talk shop and share stories
- 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.
What else? POTD is invaluable for many other reasons.
Our particular participatory 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, class, educational background, gender, income-level, lifestyle, political convictions, race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, vocation, 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.
All of this is made possible by 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 continues to be a vehicle for nourishing many of the people who are dedicated to “puttin’ on the dance” in their own home communities.