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Houston Area Traditional Dance Society

Houston Area Traditional Dance Society

Getting Involved

HATDS is an all-volunteer organization; there simply would be no dances of any kind without several people volunteering a little bit of their time. If you think that the dances just happen, please take a moment to read Anatomy of a Dance.

This page is an overview of some of the ways you can help, starting with becoming a member! To volunteer to help at a specific dance — one of the easiest ways to help out — please visit our contra dance Sign Up page.

Become a Member!

Joining HATDS is the first step in helping. Your membership supports HATDS in ways that aren't always obvious, plus you receive a few perks in return. See the membership page for details.

Nearly all of the jobs listed below require membership.

No Commitment

You can help by “sitting one out” (and only one!) at the door during the first half of the evening. You'll greet arriving dancers, collect their entrance fee, and make sure they sign in. This job requires about ten seconds of training from the door manager.

You can also help before and after a dance. Just arrive early or stay a bit longer and ask what you can do to help.

Some Commitment

Each dance has a hall manager. This person is responsible for setting up the hall before the dance and making sure everything is put back after the dance. (Full details on the hall manager page.) A commitment to manage on a specific date is required. The hall manager gets in free and gets to dance the whole evening.

The door manager sets up the greeters' table, sits at the door for the first dance only, greets arriving dancers, collects money, and solicits other HATDS members to “sit one out” at the door.

During or after the break the door manager does the financial accounting for the evening and pays the band and caller.

A commitment to specific dates is required, as is a short training session. The door manager gets in free and is able to dance most of the evening.

Each dance has a sound tech who is responsible for setting up, running, and putting away the sound equipment. There is more training required for this job than any other. A commitment to specific dates is also required. The sound tech gets in free and gets to dance most of the evening.

Musicians can join Contra Dan's, the community contra dance band that HATDS sponsors. You don't have to be a HATDS member or even a dancer. See the Contra Dan's page for more information.

To become a little more involved, you can help on the Bayou Bedlam Committee. Open to all members, the BB Committee plans our annual dance weekend festival. The committee meets only about four times a year with occasional email discussions in between.

Help is also needed during the Bayou Bedlam event itself. You can sign up for a specific Bayou Bedlam job starting in January.

The Board of Directors consists of five members who commit to a year or more of overseeing the affairs of HATDS. Although being on the Board is a serious commitment, most of our boards take care of business in a relaxed, social atmosphere that makes the work enjoyable.

The jobs of treasurer, webmaster, listmaster, and booking agent are done by different people for a period of several years.

If you're willing to commit a bit more time to the prosperity of HATDS, email our volunteer coordinator for details.

Many hands make for easy work

After 15 years of dancing, I realized that someone has to do work to keep the dances going. What a revelation! ~ Gaye Fifer