Well, we’ve reached the end of our dancing season, so I have no dance outs to tell you about. No sets of statistics or contemplations on the names of sides – at least for the moment. We may not be dancing, but we haven’t stopped.
Dancing season may be over, but we’re now in the season of AGMs and recruiting new dancers. The AGM ties up the year gone by and sets us up for the coming year. Usually we also decide on our charities for the Christmas Charity Dance Out. Actually, we’ve already done that this year – our local charity is the Jessie May Trust, and national charity is Prostate Cancer. The Jessie May Trust provide hospice care for terminally ill children at home in the Bristol/South Gloucestershire area. The Prostate Cancer UK may seem strange for a women’s side to support, but we raised money for Breast Cancer Awareness a few years ago, so it just seems fair that we support a men’s charity. I’ll let you know how it all goes. The rest of the AMG will go as AGMs usually go. With the addition of tasty cakes, biscuits and cups of tea – and a good blether.
Recruiting new dancers is an issue for every side. There are quite a few Morris sides in the area dancing in various styles. So how do we get our message out there. More often than not by personal contact, by recruiting likely contenders from amongst our friends and acquaintances. We usually have an open evening in roughly January – with tea and cake to tempt them back. We try to be friendly and welcoming – we don’t bite after all – but it is still daunting walking into a room full of people who know each other and have a game of 20 questions, interrogating the newcomer.
Speaking of AGMs, we are also deep into planning the Morris Federation’s 40th anniversary AGM and Day of Dance for 2015. We have been lucky to secure the world-famous Assembly Rooms for the ceilidh in the evening – English country dancing in a Georgian ballroom. During the day we’ll be dancing around some of the famous sights of Bath. About the only thing we can’t guarantee is the weather, so fingers crossed for the next 11 months. I’m in the process of building our webpages with information for sides interested in coming, so put Saturday 26th September in your diary if you are a Morris Fed side, and we’ll see you here…