Square Dance Missouri

Recruiting Manual

Prepared by
The Missouri Federation of Square & Round Dance Clubs

Introduction

The life blood of all square dance clubs is recruiting. In order to sustain a club, new members must continually be recruited. The Missouri Federation developed a Manual of Recruiting Guidelines to help clubs in their recruiting efforts. It is based on information from the United Square Dancers of America (USDA) and other organizations, clubs, and individuals.

The Recruiting Committee

The president of a club should find persons who will be willing to work on a recruiting committee. More than one person is always better. The first thing the committee should do is some organizing. That would be to go down a check-list of items shown below.

A. Square Dance Lesson Arrangements

1.

Where will the dance lessons be held?

2.

Who will teach the class (must be a CALLERLAB caller)?

3.

When will the lessons start?

4.

How many days a week and what day(s)?

5.

What is the starting time of lessons and length (hours)?

6.

When are the class dates?

7.

What is the cost for new dancers?

B. Methods for Attracting New Dancers

This is the most challenging and important part of recruiting and requires the greatest combined effort of all dancers in a club. A Atoolbox@ of methods for getting the interest of potential new dancers is listed below. All items may not apply to every club but it should be used as a checklist, as noted above, and be a starting point for the process. Clubs should continue to use those methods that have worked for them in their area and share it with other clubs.

1.

Prepare a "Fact Sheet" that describes the new dance lessons and hand it out to all club members at every square dance three months before the lessons start. Include the club name, a person to contact and telephone number, an E-mail address, the Club's Webpage, the date the lessons will start and the location.

2.

Send the "Fact Sheet" to the Missouri Federation's Webmaster so it can be placed on the Federation's webpage. (Webmaster@SquareDanceMissouri.com).

3.

Print business cards for members to leave at various places like restaurants, grocery bulletin boards, offices, etc.

4.

Give the cards to family members, friends, business associates, and others.

5.

Tell anyone interested to bring their friends along.

6.

Tell prospects that the first night is free.

7.

Suggest that you could pick them up and take them.

8.

Ask members to post the "Fact Sheets" at grocery stores, their churches, and other locations where it will be seen by the public. Include the above noted information.

9.

Advertise in the local newspapers using the format of the "Fact Sheet".

10.

Try to get local radio and TV stations to mention the square dance lessons.

C. Preparation for First New Dancer Lesson.

A club must have a number of items addressed before the first dance lesson.

1.

Remind all club members of the new dance lessons and ask them to come as "angels" for the new dancers. This will welcome new dancers and show them the camaraderie of the club.

2.

Have all club banners in place before the dance.

3.

Have club members bring refreshments.

4.

Bring handouts and other club information and have them on the tables. Hand them out to all new dancers and ask them to bring a friend to the next dance.

5.

At the beginning of the dance, have the Recruiting Chair introduce all the new dancers for welcoming. Make other announcements as appropriate.

6.

Have a number of breaks during the dance so new dancers and club members can meet and talk.

7.

At the end of the dance lessons have the Recruiting Chair thank everyone and ask them to bring a friend to the next dance lesson. Be sure to announce the date and place of the next dance lesson.

8.

Discuss the outcome of the new dancer lessons at the next club dance and for their thoughts and suggestions.

9.

Continue the recruiting efforts throughout the year that were made to date.

Updated 10/25/11