POTD2 Conference materials (no longer current)

Session index:

Below is a list of all the sessions under three broad area headings:

1 STRENGTHENING OUR DANCE ORGANIZATIONS: Successful organizations keep seeking ways to stay fresh and relevant. Whether your dance is run by a board, committee, or just you, these sessions will provide support for building a strong infrastructure.

2 IMPROVING KEY ELEMENTS OF OUR DANCES: Here’s a variety of resources for working with callers, musicians, dancers and sound engineers to create thriving dances across the genres.

3 GROWING AND SUSTAINING A HEALTHY DANCE SERIES: Successful organizations don’t stand still! Here are valuable approaches and practical tools for expanding our outreach, finding new audiences, increasing our attenDANCE and more.

The sessions… in alphabetical order:

Behind the Scenes: Building constructive relations between performers and organizers
Adam Broome, Adina Gordon, Jaige Trudel
Dance organizers, bands, and callers work together in short-term collaborations to present dances and events, meeting the needs of everyone involved – organizers, dancers, performers, and event series. We will discuss the challenges we all face, and explore specific solutions to common problems.

Beyond New Dancers: Upping your attendance by preaching to your converted
Emily Addison, Tara Bolker
In this session we’ll identify three key elements that add up to a whole dance experience and examine factors that enhance or detract from that experience, as well as explore strategies to engage your community to create deeper buy-in for your dances.

Beyond Publicity: Getting new dancers to come and come back
Tara Bolker, Emily Addison
In this session, in addition to presenting practical ideas for publicity, we’ll examine your sell—what experience you’re trying to sell and whether it matches the product you currently have, or what can you do to get it there. Take home effective publicity strategies for your community, specifically to reach potential new dancers and convert them to regulars.

Creating a Happy, Healthy Volunteer Base
Tara Bolker, Maxine Louie
Volunteers are crucial to the healthy sustainability of our dances, as much to build community as to get the job done. In this workshop we’ll talk about the importance of volunteers, different kinds of volunteers, recruitment, engagement and retention. We’ll also work to address some specific volunteer challenges, useful whether you’re a committee of one or part of a large organizing team.

Dance Finances 0 to 999
Chris Deephouse
This is a hands-on workshop for dance organizers to deepen their understanding of sources and uses of funds. Organizers make many decisions including whether to offer student discounts, how payments are calculated for callers and musicians, how to budget special events, and more. We will learn from each other and discuss choices that work in various situations.

Dance Weekend 101: Organizing a weekend dance event
Adam Broome, Jaige Trudel
Ever thought of organizing a dance weekend? Come explore the ins and outs of what it takes to streamline a successful event.

Engaging Families In Your (not-necessarily-“Family”) Dance
Chrissy Fowler
Do you want:
–Inclusive and sensitive dancers?
–A sustainable series?
–Effective marketing?
–A dancer demographic that’s intergenerational?
–Long-term investment in your beloved dance tradition?
This session covers all of these, and more! In fact, engaging families could be the single best strategy for a successful dance series (for all dances, not just the family ones). Participants will leave with a full toolbox, ready to act on their understanding of the “relative benefits” of engaging families in their dance. NOTE: This session is for everyone, from the convinced to the curious to the curmudgeon! (Come one, come all – even nay-sayers – and find out what it’s all about!)

Fundraising Strategies and Tips For Dance Organizations
Rima Dael, Patty Giavara, Nancy Turner
Looking to raise funds for your dance? This workshop will take a broad view on fundraising to support your dance series, support the hall where you dance, run special events or programming, purchase equipment, or support other causes and affiliated organizations. We will provide an overview of philanthropy and fundraising strategies at the macro level, and then share how one local organization raised more than $60,000. Come prepared to share your successful fundraising strategies that are transferrable to other communities. Just as important, we’d love to hear some things that have not worked well, and why.

Growing Local Talent
Luke Donforth, Cedar Stanistreet
This workshop is for anyone involved in helping local performers grow and succeed, from communities that are proud of their efforts to those who haven’t started and aren’t sure how. We’ll share ideas and best known practices; workshop scenarios to give you skills to provide constructive feedback; and help you have more impressive talent in your own backyard.

Growing Younger: Engaging Youth for a Sustainable Future
Danielle Boudreau, Abigail Hobart
Too often when we hear the question: “how can we bring in more young people?”, we hear the answer: “use social media.” This session will challenge you to think beyond the boxes of Twitter and Facebook, into sustainable methods of youth engagement and empowerment within traditional dance communities. Join Abigail and Danielle, two 20-somethings with deep ties to traditional dance, in re-imagining the assumptions and strategies that will impact youth attendance and involvement at your dance series.

Hands Across the Borders: Keeping the POTD connections going
Linda Henry
After returning home, we dance organizers will continue to encounter challenges in our journeys. How can we keep supporting and inspiring each other after the conference? Let’s explore ways to stay in touch within and between states, provinces, and countries!

Happy Dance Boards and Committees
Stephen Gabe, Michael Kerman
How can you make a dance committee that people are happy to be a part of? What makes the work of leadership in your dance community fun? Stephen and Michael will share a few insights, but, for the most part, this will be a discussion-based workshop. People will be able to ask questions and share their insights on what makes for a healthy, productive and fun dance committee, one which members of your dance community would enjoy being part of.

Non-Profit Management
Catherine Burns, Rima Dael, Nancy Turner
Non-profit governance and administrative systems require routine updating as organizations evolve. This workshop is designed to help organizers of any committee — old or new — strengthen their administrative platform. Topics that we plan to cover include: the pluses and minuses of incorporating and registering as a non-profit; the steps that a group must take to incorporate and / or register as a non-profit; and the roles that bylaws and articles of incorporation play to define the organization’s purpose and how the organization is governed.  This workshop will be particularly helpful to groups that are not formalized as incorporated non-profits who are thinking about taking those steps, or for members of formalized committees who want to better understand governance systems.  We’ll share some decisions that were addressed at our dances to generate discussion, clarify how CDSS is prepared to assist, and open up the floor to any governance / administrative issues that you might be tackling in your own dance community.

Navigating Transitions: It Takes A Village!
Linda Henry
Do you run a dance series mostly by yourself? Need help sharing the load? Come hear one organizer’s story of transitioning from a “one person show” to a dance that’s now effectively being run by a team. We’ll explore strategies to help you create your own “village” of support. Bring your stories and join the journey!

Problem Dancers: Proactive management & response, creating a dance environment safe for all
Will Loving
It’s a big question that we all must face: How can we manage our dances and respond to issues that arise in a way that allows for dancers of any age, gender expression or background to experience community dance as safe, respectful and fun? Or, more pointedly, how can we keep bad/creepy/unsafe/inappropriate behavior from driving people away? This session will look at the variety of dancer behavior issues that can arise, the responses that can be required, responding effectively, ways to encourage the reporting of issues, ways to not be alone with difficult problems, and how to proactively create a culture of consent.

Shoot for the Moon: Organizers’ Roles in Shaping the Future of Traditional Dance
Danielle Boudreau, David Millstone
In this session, we will look at ways that organizers themselves can – and should – play a vital role in shaping a vibrant, active, and constantly-evolving dance community. Working both in small groups and as a whole, we will look at current trends in the dance scene, analyze the pros (and related cons) of each, and help participants plan new ways forward to shape the future direction of their series.

Sound Design for Social Dance
Greg Brown
This workshop will help participants understand the challenges of engineering sound for a social dance with live music. With sound systems of three levels of complexity-from basic to state-of-the-art, the participants will have an opportunity to see how a professional uses various tools to create a fun atmosphere for dancers and musicians alike.

Welcoming Diverse Populations
Julia Bennett, Sophia Donforth
Who are your dancers? Who is missing from your dance floor, and why? We’ll examine ways to reach out to more diverse populations and how to make a more welcoming dance community for everyone. Bring an anecdote to share about a magic moment, or something you’d do differently. Participants will leave with a list of ways to reach new dancers, and make an inclusive dance “commons” that brings them back a second time!

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