NEW! How We Restructured El Camino Reelers Classes (4/14/18). (version 3.5, 4/14/18). The document from nearly a year ago (see below) contains the proposal made to the board and club. Since then, we went from graduating 1 dancer the year before to graduation 11 dancers this year! THIS document discusses what we ACTUALLY did, how it worked, and how we're moving forward. This document can also be found in the CALLERLAB Knowledgebase as a "Winning Ways" story.
Proposal to Restructure El Camino Reelers Classes (5/29/2017). (version 2.1a, 7/16/17). On 7/12/2017, the board of El Camino Reelers unveiled a proposal to radically restucture the way the club recruits and retains dancers. This document is the formal report created by Allan Hurst and Kurt Gollhardt to the board and membership. This version contains a couple of minor formatting corrections that weren't in the original.
2017 Swing & Mix Club Recruitment/Retention Meeting Notes (7/2/2017). During the Palm Springs Swing & Mix IAGSDC Convention, a group of club representatives gathered to discuss member recruitment and retention. These are Allan's notes from that session, which included some terrific information from Redwood Rainbows and Chi-Town Squares, among other clubs. This document includes two reprints from the GCA Call Sheet, one describing "Circle the Wagons" (see below) and the other describing Chi-Town Squares "Fun Nights" to recruit new dancers.
2015 "Circle The Wagons" Bay Area Square Dance Club Meeting Notes. On 1/11/2015, a collection of San Francisco Bay Area square dance clubs set up a summit to discuss how to recruit and retain members. This included hiring two marketing experts (Sean Lemson and Deb Dolan) to come in to discuss what changes needed to be made to effectively market GLBTQ* square dancing to newcomers. These are Allan's notes (and a few photos) from that summit.
Everything You Wanted To Know About Gay Marriage In Canada, But Were Afraid To Ask. (version 1.7, 9/17/15). Written in 2005, long before it was possible for two men or two women to become legally married in California, this article discusses what we went through to get married during a square dance fly-in held over [American] Thanksgiving weekend of 2003 in Vancouver, BC. When I found a copy of our wedding vows--long since thought lost forever--I updated the article to include the vows and also discuss some of the historical context for our wedding.
2013 Salt Lake City IAGSDC Fun Badge Tour Script. A PDF version of the fun badge tour script created for Squeeze The Hive, Salt Lake City's 2013 IAGSDC convention. This script was co-authored with Kate Yule. Most of the jokes in here that work were Kate's. We laughed ourselves silly writing the section How To Swear Like A Mormon.
2010 Chicago IAGSDC Fun Badge Tour Script. A PDF version of the fun badge tour script created for Chi-Town Shakedown!, Chicago's 2010 IAGSDC Convention. I authored the script, and Kate Yule did a substantial amount of editing and co-authoring by the time we were done.
2005 Santa Clara IAGSDC Badge Tour Script. I wrote the script for the Fun Badge Tour for Star Thru The Silicon Galaxy., the IAGSDC Convention held in Santa Clara, California. Enough people (not all of them from future Convention Committees) requested a copy that I put the script online.
2005 Santa Clara IAGSDC Fun Badge Tour Route Book. This is a PDF version of the route book (originally created in Excel) that my husband, Randy Hensley, created for the 2005 Fun Badge Tour. This is here primarily for future IAGSDC Convention Fun Badge Tour committees who want to see how we did things. (If you want to know what a fun badge tour is, click here.)
An American's Guide to Square Dancing in Canada (version 3.6, 3/8/15). Last updated for the 2012 IAGSDC "Dance Up A Storm!" Convention in Vancouver, BC, this is a complete guide written for any square dancer who's never been to Canada (Specifically, Vancouver, BC) before. The guide covers everything from the best way to transfer from your hotel to the airport, to favorite museums and sights, to how to get home again. This is a substantial rewrite of an article written in 2000, which was originally directed at dancers attending the 2001 IAGSDC Convention in Vancouver BC, and then updated again for an Advanced & Challenge weekend held in Vancouver a few years later.
Don't Cry Over Broken Squares; Fix Them! Ever danced in a square that suddenly broke down? Ever wish there was a way to fix things and keep on dancing with the rest of the hall? Take heart - this article illustrates several different ways to keep on dancing!
GCA Caller School: Debunking Six Common Myths. This short article was written in 1998 for SquareUp! Magazine, to promote that year's GCA Caller School. If you've ever wondered what GCA Caller School was like - or wondered what kinds of people go to a caller school - this is the article for you.
GCA Caller School: One Year Later. This was a 1999 followup to the original article, to show how GCA Caller School differs from year to year, depending upon who's teaching, and what the students need.
Goofus and Gallant Take Up Calling. (ver 1.7, 3/10/15) So...one night at Convention, a bunch of friends were sitting around a table one evening, griping about GCA callers. Being a GCA caller, I sat quietly in the background and took copious notes. This article-which talks about what defines a "professional" caller-is the result. It's still a bit preachy for my taste, and I'm considering ways to lighten it up a little. You read it and tell me what you think.
Guide to IAGSDC Convention. This long-running guide was written for new dancers who might be reluctant to attend the annual IAGSDC Convention simply because they don't know what to expect. In 2010, the static document was converted to a wiki. The document link above is for the last static version of the Guide, published in 2010.. Click here to go to the current (wiki) version of the Guide.
IAGSDC Information Mini-Faq. This mini-Frequently Asked Questions list was originally written to be handed out at the Medallion Project table during the IAGSDC 2003 Convention held in San Diego. It has been updated to reflect contemporary web links.
The Joy of Angeling. Being a club angel: what's in it for you? Some of the answers in this article may surprise you. (Keep in mind that even students with only a couple of months under their belts, can benefit from angelling a new Basic class.)
Moving Up to Advanced and Challenge. One of the more interesting effects I've noticed as I've aged over the years, is the more I keep my mouth shut and just smile a lot, the more stuff people will discuss openly in front of me. This article is the result of my spending several hours following a couple of favorite callers through the Plus & Advanced rooms at a recent convention, and hearing a number of dancers in those halls talk with dread about the possibility of learning to dance Advanced or Challenge levels. The intention is to provide an article that clubs can publish each year just before their A&C classes, to encourage new Plus and Advanced dancers to take the class.
My First CALLERLAB. In 2004, I attended CALLERLAB for the first time. Here's an article that tells what it was like, so that other newer callers considering going to CALLERLAB will know what to expect. This article originally appeared in the GCA “Call Sheet” Newsletter
Origins of Square Dance Sound Effects. Have you ever heard a new sound effect for a call, and wondered where it came from? More importantly, have you ever wondered HOW a new sound effect is created? This article traces a sound effect as it evolved from its first use into its now-popular usage all over the world.
Review of 1999 IAGSDC Convention Fun Badge Tour. Written for Square Up! magazine, this short piece profiled what goes into a typical IAGSDC Convention's Fun Badge Tour, using the 1999's convention as an example. Many years later, most Fun Badge Tours still follow a similar format in terms of number and types of stops.
TrashDance (What A Feeling!) As a caller ... what do you do when only 6 dancers show up? Get trashy! This article, on how to choreograph and call for 6 dancers plus two wheeled garbage cans, first appeared in the GCA Call Sheet.