Strategies for starting a dance?

  • On college
    campuses start a club to get funding. Recruit friends, make
    announcements – classes, newspaper, dance groups, other clubs.
    Create a great elevator speech. Have the dance somewhere very
    visible where people will just wander by – and then come in because
    it is (ideally) free.
  • Perform in
    public or at a dance event with different types of dance
  • Try to get
    college to sponsor vans to local dance(s)
  • If it’s all
    young beginners (ex: college) do some fun easy kiddie
    contra-ishdances in addition to real contras. People want to have
    fun and not think the whole time.
  • Make colorful
    poster (with crayons!)
  • Advertise to
    school activities board as an “alcohol free event”!
  • Move the town
    contra dance to within walking/biking distance of campus
  • Organize a
    “field trip” to an established dance as a seed, make it regular
    and use the momentum to organize once a core group is “hooked”
  • Pool
    resources/people from several nearby schools to have a bigger dance
    instead of several small ones.
  • If a college
    club without a lot of experienced dancers, host other related/folk
    events to increase interest without the problem of a bad experienced
    to not-experienced ratio (ex: folk sing/shapenote, etc…)
  • Make
    movie/culture references. Jane Austen, English folk (Morris, etc.)