As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster.
In case you didn't see the note a couple of weeks ago, the excess money from the DanceNet sponsors was donated to the Gardner (MA) Visiting Nursing Assocation in memory of Patricia Keresey, a local swing dancer, who passed away in 2000. This organization enabled Patricia to spend her remaining days at home with her family.
I would like to suggest that those of you who receive the weekly and/or bimonthly DanceNet newsletter might want to either check your mail regularly or pay the money to get an email account with a healthy amount of disk quota.
As many of you know, I've been sending out the DanceNet email newsletter every week for over 10 years now. The full newsletter last week was 50,225 bytes long.
For some of you, particular those on Juno and to a lesser extent, Hotmail, and pretty much any free service, you're limited to how much email you can have on the server because you get a limited amount of free storage space. I can never send the full newsletter to those on Juno because there is a limit of 32K bytes for any email going to a (free) Juno account. This week's bounces include domains N2.com, hotmail.com, and Juno.com, all for exceeding the mail quota (they didn't read their email or forgot to delete old messages).
Those of you on those free services might be taking a risk in missing some email that might go over your incoming mail size limitation or going over your disk quota. You wouldn't want the US Postal Service to start throwing away any mail that can't fit your mailbox, would you?
With the competition out there for your money, there should be plenty of services that provide plenty of storage space for a minimum outlay of money. *AND* you can get your free email providers to forward your email to these accounts.
On Saturday, January 26, Dance Technics Studio in Merrimac, MA (near New Hampshire) will hosting benefit dance at Pat's Function Hall with all proceeds going to Emmaus House, an organization that has been serving the homeless of Merrimack Valley since 1985. They could have probably asked for a larger donation but they'd rather have a lower donation to encourage more people to attend. This is an everything dance for those who like to dance more than one type of dance (e.g., not lindy-only). Talented Susan Sheppard will be teaching Salsa before the dance (damn, she knows I don't like doing Salsa). Please consider supporting this event because:
These professionals, pretty much anyone who accepts money for a dance-related business (including giving the occasional workshop or private lesson), are banned from having a voice the Tango Society's affairs on fears that these people might conflict or compete with the Society's activities. It's unfair to "pre-punish" them.
What are the similarities between the Tango Society and these professionals?
What's the difference? The Tango Society has a tax-exempt status and the professionals do not. The Tango Society directly competes with the dance professionals, but gladly accepts their membership dollars (they pay the same $10, but for "Associate" memberships), and yet denies them a voice in matters that might affect the professionals' livelihood (e.g., the ability to pay their rent). I certainly don't think that professionals should be officers of the club because that brings up a direct conflict of interest, but I think that the Tango Society is alienating anyone who is active in the Tango community and who is a valuable resource for the dance community.
Looking at the meeting notice that I got in the mail:
"In conformance with the Bylaws of the Tango Society of Boston, this meeting is open to all current Regular Members of the Tango Society (those who are on record as having current active membership, and who have not derived income from dance- or Tango-related activity nor been involved in organization of Tango events other than on behalf of the Tango Society, in the current or previous 2 calendar years.)"What does that mean, or can mean?
Note that these "rules" apply even if you've given money to the Tango Society to be a member. Even Kirk, the pastor at the First Baptist Church (where most Tango events in Boston take place), would not be allowed into the meeting under these rules. And, of course, if you can't attend the meeting, you won't be able to vote on matters of importance to the club, not to mention not being able to voice your opinion.
The same Tango Society also gets these dance professionals to teach at the Wednesday Tango Breaks for free. The Tango Society derives income from these dance teachers and doesn't pay them for their time. Saying that the teachers benefit from the "exposure" or publicity has been a poor excuse propagated by miserly and opportunistic dance promoters (affectionately referred to as, "the cheap bastards"). Yes, it happens in the Swing and ballroom world, too. If they're good enough to teach your customers, they're good enough to be paid. If they're not, they shouldn't be there.
The tango/dance professionals pay the same $10 membership fee but get fewer rights than the "amateurs" (some of whom may be less amateur than you think). Is that fair? Some of them are even *Charter* members.
The Tango Society is also the first in line to ask these same professionals for a discount for Tango Society members at their events. At these events, the professionals would get less income, the Tango Society probably gets more members, and I don't ever remember see a Tango Society flyer promoting these events. (The dance professionals' flyers should probably be included in the Society's mailings or the Society should include a list of all the professionals' venues.)
The Tango Society of Boston and all of its members should recognize that the Society takes advantage of the professionals' contributions to the local Tango community. The Society should be fair and should move to establish more equity between the amateurs and professionals. The current rules establish a de facto barrier between the these two vital constituents of the Boston tango community: a dance amateur (except where the Tango Society is concerned) is a first-class member; a dance professional is a second-class citizen. This should sound familiar to those of you who have studied American history. Both the amateurs and professionals (a term that some amateurs view with distain) make up the entity that is the whole community. It's unfair and improper to purposely leave any of them out.
The tango professionals are the ones who cared enough about the dance long ago and decided to spend a lot of time and money training with world-class teachers to be able to teach others the dance. They're the ones who first brought in the teachers from Argentina. They're the ones who created enough Tango dancers in Boston so that there *could* be a Tango Society.
Think about this analogy:
By denying a vote to the dance professional, the Tango Society is denying a voice to some of the more experienced, most talented, most connected local dancers in the local, national, and international tango scenes. The members and board members of the Tango Society of Boston should remedy this injustice and give *all* members full voting rights.
When I ran the Boston Swing Dance Society, we gave full memberships to everyone we thought was a "somebody" in Boston (including a current member of the Tango Society board) to encourage their support and contribution to the community. The Boston swing dance amateurs and professionals had issues with the BSDS at the time I started dancing. We worked to overcome those objections and break down all the barriers so we had everyone's support.
Please attend the meeting on February 6 and do the right thing.
P.S.: I was disappointed to hear that a board member stopped a member from getting signatures for a petition on this matter at the January 19th milonga. I can understand banning commercial solicitation but this is stopping and stifling discussion and action on the future of the Tango Society and its members. If that activity can't happen at a member function, then when can members talk to each other? A membership directory has never been published so we can't know who all the members are except at a membership event.
Yesterday we received an acknowledgement from the Gardner Visiting Nursing Association of your gift in memory of our daughter, Patricia Keresey.
Patricia loved to dance, as you know. She looked forward to going to the dances and workshops. She loved being with all the friends she made at these dances. She would tell us about the bands that played at some of the dances. And at her wake and funeral we were very pleased to meet all her swing dance friends who came to pay their respects.
Benson, thank you so much for your organization's rememberance of Patricia. You brought back to us some wonderful memories of Patricia's love of swing dancing..
God Bless all of you,
Jim & Stella Keresey
I finally got around to driving out to Northampton to attend a HOSS ( Hooked on Swing Society of Western Massachusetts) dance; I've been meaning to get out there for the past 10 years. Since they just became a sponsor of this website AND one of my favorite bands, The O-Tones, was playing, it was the perfect excuse to get in the car and drive.
One interesting things about these non-Boston dances (which include Hartford Swing and others) is that they'll offer both (East Coast) Swing and West Coast Swing at the same dance and *everyone* dances. They hire bands that can play music to satisfy both crowds.
The HOSS dances are in a nice cosy hall in a good location. If you knew someone to crash with, you could take a bus to Northampton (bus terminal is next door), attend the dance and go home the next day. The dancers were friendly (got asked to dance by people I didn't know) and I had a good time there. It was worth the drive, even in the snow storm.
Of course, I always like hearing and dancing to the O-Tones. It's disappointing that I have to drive two hours to hear them play. The dance floor was always filled for swing, west coast swing, and even the occasional ballad. They play a good variety of tempos and themes for a diverse crowd of dancers. The fact that at least two of the band members dance means that they know what dancers want. I hope that some venues back here consider bringing them out here.
For those of you who are members of the Tango Society of Boston, I am collecting signatures for a petition to encourage the TSB board of directors to amend the bylaws and give *ALL* members the same voting rights (and eliminate the discrimination against those who aren't pure dance amateurs). If you are interested in signing that petition or if you wish to canvass others for their signature, please contact me.
It's disappointing that a board member did not allow "political solicitation" at the last dance. I can see banning commercial solicitation, but banning discussions and actions relating to the future of the Society seems a bit heavy handed, as if they had something to worry about.
get a life u lowlife
This was amusing. This person took the time to create an anonymous return address (I had the account shut down) but was not smart enough to tell me what was on his/her mind. This made the message totally meaningless. I have no idea if this person was referring to something on this website or if they got annoyed with my return notes to some stupid spam. I'm quite eloquent on some of those return letters and I send my notes to the people who paid for the spam (the websites), not to the people who sent it (because of the fake addresses).
It might have been someone who was upset with my recent editorials on the Tango scene. Poor baby; I must have hurt his/her feelings. I really don't know. It could have been someone who was annoyed from a previous editorial and waited for a different subject to divert attention away from himself/herself.
What a waste of intelligence, I think. This person was
Am I stooping down to this person's level? Perhaps, but I'm hoping this person might learn to have *some* creativity and intelligence when they decide to criticize someone again. Show some maturity. If you're going to write someone a nasty letter, *please* put some effort into it and make it good enough to be framed on the wall. Don't give someone the excuse to ignore (or make fun of it).
just discovered your site for the first time. i'm not from the boston area but do occasionally visit. i am learning to swing and love it and am an ardent contra dancer. with all the wonderful dance venues listed on your site, i didn't see any reference to contra. there surely must be some in your area. do you not speak to one another? why the omission. at least a reference to a contra dance site, if not a listing of said dances, would be nice.
Why don't you see any contra dancing on my website?