by Linda Gertz
It’s time for the Annual General Meeting. This is a short meeting to bring up any items anyone in the club wants to have considered, especially things that require a vote. So, are there any issues that are bugging you or any ideas that you The Ghillie Gazette think might make us a better group? Now might be the time to bring them up. If you want them to be on the agenda for the meeting, then let me know so I can add them in. Remember this is your club, so you do have a say in how things are done. Looking forward to seeing you all at the Annual General Meeting on May 13th. See my article in the GG on two issues that will be on the agenda. Happy dancing.
The Annual General Meeting (aka AGM)
by Linda Gertz
The AGM will be held on Monday, May 13 - class as usual until 8:30, and at the conclu sion of the meeting we will resume dancing. On the agenda will be two items up for vote. To vote you need to be a current member, so I urge you to renew your membership now.
Item 1: Should the Ghillie Gazette change from a printed-on-paper to an electronic newsletter? See Linda Mae’s article on the pros and cons in this issue. For people who do not have a computer, the Gertz’s have offered to print and mail a copy to them.
Item 2: The current board have all served for one year and are willing to serve one more year as allowed in the bylaws. Pat Taylor has already served two years as treasurer, which is the limit. During her tenure as treasurer, however, changes have been made in how the books are kept based on suggestions made by both Pat and the Board. The Board is requesting a one-time exclusion to allow Pat Taylor to serve another two year term as treasurer, to allow for some continuity in how the books are done. Additional time will allow Pat to fine tune procedures and write guidelines for the next treasurer. I know I myself have been treasurer twice. Both times I had to figure out what the prior treasurer had done, and each time they had done things a bit differently. Pat has prior experience doing the books for Albertina Kerr and for her DBE Chapter. We are on track to have an efficient method of handling the treasury books and having a written guideline.
The Ball is over and you’re thinking what more is there to learn about Scottish country dancing. The simple answer is that we’re all learning new things all the time. Even though it may be subliminally: You notice that someone seems to be always at the right place at the right time, or the way they give and release hands looks really nice and helps both dancers get to where they’re going.
It’s often the little things that make dancing more enjoyable than “just getting through the dance”. Richard is soo right – a pleasant smile can make you feel good (even while making a mistake). We all make mistakes. That’s part of dancing and life. The trick is learning how to recover. Here are a few hints:
- Don’t worry about making a mistake. We’re all here to have fun.
- Smile and keep your head up. You can’t see the little hints the other people in your set are giving you if you’re looking at the floor (head nods, hand gestures).
- Dance to the best of your ability that day.
- Pay attention to the music. Most dance figures are done in 2, 4 or 8 bar phrases. Don’t forget 6 bar reels of three though.
- Listen to the teacher and ask questions. If you don’t understand, someone else is probably in the same boat and it’s the teacher’s job to clarify it for everyone.
- Give good firm hands with tension in your biceps, but don’t crush the other person’s hand. Don’t forget to release in time to dance forward into place.
- Try to think a few bars ahead. It’ll help you be ready to join in on time if you’re a supporting dancer and flow into the next figure if you’re the dancing couple(s). You’ll also know where to go in order to recover.
- In reels of three, every time you go through the center, you are splitting two other people: 123, 213, 231, 321, 312, 132, 123). Curves are very important.
- Dancing is a fun social event.
- The more places that you go to dance, the more comfortable you’ll become. Go to other groups whenever you can.
Remember, no one can know all 15,000 plus dances and it takes practice and experience to learn all the basics that will let you immediately learn a completely new dance from just a brief.
-- Don Gertz
Pros and Cons
by Linda Mae Dennis
One of the things we’re going to vote on at the AGM is the possibility of making the Ghillie Gazette an electronic newsletter. There are advantages and disadvantages that go along with this change. The first and most obvious advantage would be that the newsletter would be far cheaper to produce. No paper, no toner, no labels, no stamps. Of course, there’s the environment to think of also. It’s a LOT of paper that is probably mostly just recycled.
The biggest disadvantage, of course, is that there would be no paper copies, so members who do not have email would be left out, there would be no archival copy, unless someone thought to print one out, and there is some satisfaction in holding the paper in your hand.
If we went truly and completely electronic, there is an advantage to the editor, as there would be no layout issues – the newsletter could be as long or as short as the content allowed. In the SwWaS Branch, the newsletter comes as an email, complete with color pictures (another advantage), that we can scroll through and read – it’s all on one “page”. On the other hand, would there be a requirement for any paper copies? In the SwWaS Branch, we have requested of the editor that he make several paper copies – one in full color, for the archive. So now we’re back to some paper, color ink (more expensive than toner), and a few labels and stamps. Because of the requirement for paper copies, the editor has to reformat the newsletter so that there are reasonable page breaks. I understand his can be rather time consuming.
For TACTalk, the newsletter of the Teachers’ Association Canada (I am currently the editor), the newsletter is completely formatted in color, and the pictures are reduced in file size to 72dpi (which looks good on a computer), and converted to a pdf file for distribution and posting. That newsletter is copied to another file where the pictures are replaced by black and white pictures at a higher resolution (150 to 300 dpi, which looks better in print), and that is sent to the printer.
The bottom line is producing both an electronic and a paper newsletter is more work for the editor than making either a paper newsletter OR an electronic one. (Besides which, someone – currently the editor – has to keep track of who gets what.)
My suggestion would be that membership dues reflect the choice of delivery method, being slightly lower for those getting the electronic version and slightly higher for those requesting paper.
So the questions we’re grappling with are:
- Do we want a completely electronic newsletter?
- Do we want to keep things as they are with a completely paper newsletter?
- Do we want a hybrid newsletter where members can choose to get either electronic or paper?
- How do we make it fair for all?
I am looking forward to a lively discussion at the AGM.
by Linda Mae Dennis
This is a blurb from TACTalk Vol.4 No.3, December 1979 -- in case you didn’t already think Don was awesome... here’s proof he has been advocating for our group for over 35 years!
We have learned of two fledgling groups of dancers for both of which encouragement and assistance in the form of visits from teachers or experienced dancers would be welcomed. One is in Portland, Oregon, and we learn from Don Gertz that this group has 14 members with others hovering in the wings. There is no resident teacher, but they have been helped by monthly visits by Noel Lillie from Seattle. Simon Scott from Vancouver will be conducting a workshop for them on March 22, 1980. Contact Don Gertz, 15847 S.E. Stark #32, Portland 97233, telephone (503) 252-3570.
by Sally Palmer
After a particularly hilarious class in which we danced Fermat’s Bicycle, this poem was circulated via email the next day...
We circled and chased Crossed and wheeled Laughed and set Petronellaed and reeled. And all fer what? Not faux pas - he’s cycled away. It was all fer-ma(t) - she’s here to stay.
by Maureen Sloan
We have photo albums dating back to the very early days of Scottish Country Dancing in Portland, before we became a Branch. However, no one has been updating these photo albums in the last several years.
President Linda Gertz brought this to the attention of the Board recently. It seemed to me, that sticking photos in albums, was not going to happen in 2013! Nearly all photos now are digital and stored in our computer memory. I offered to explore using the online service “Shutterfly” to provide a place where we could share photos and organize them into books which could be printed off annually to give us an easily enjoyed record of our activities for display at our Workshop & Ball, Annual Meeting, and other gatherings.
Accordingly, I have created a shared site called RSCDSPortland (http://rscdsportland.shutterfly.com) on Shutterfly and am asking all those who have photos of Branch activities to upload them to this site. In order to upload photos you must be listed as a site member. If you have photos, please let me know and I’ll add your name. To start with I’d like to go back a few years, since it’s a long time since we updated the old albums. After we’ve caught up, it will just become a case of uploading photos of events as they happen.
I’ll keep you all posted on activity as we get this project going. For now, we need your photos, so please let me know at class or by email at msloan34 at comcast dot net if you’re willing to participate. Thanks!
Catching up with June Clapp
by Linda Gertz
Many of us have been wondering “Where’s June”? She came to our group to learn Scottish country dancing so she could dance at ceilidh when she went on a trip to Scotland. I spoke to her yesterday and she did go on her trip to Scotland and England and had a great time exploring. The ceilidh was an outside event, but it was cold and rainy on the of the dance. She did go and said they danced Dancing White Sergeant. The dances that went down the middle and up were a bit wild because of the young men involved. We haven’t seen her since she got back because she has had on going health problems. The doctors have determined she has pulmonary fibrosis. So we will continue to miss her fun and smiling personality on Monday nights. Be sure to send healing thoughts her way. He’s going to being trying some other treatments to help with her illness. You can still view her lovely art work at www.juneclapp.com.
Youth Weekend West Ceilidh Program
Here’s the program for the Youth Weekend Ceilidh. (N.B.: The original GG had the May dance program on it, but seeing as all the May events are past and this one was handy, Darrick put this in here instead.)