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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 gives an overview of some of the jobs that need volunteers. To volunteer for a specific dance — one of the easiest ways to help out — please visit our Sign Up page for contra dance or our Sign Up page for English dance.

No Commitment

You can bring a snack to share. HATDS provides water and ice; dancers provide the snacks. If you have eaten a snack at a dance but haven't brought one yourself, why not? No need to make anything fancy; just stop at your local store and pick up a package of cookies or a bunch of grapes. It's easy and greatly appreciated by everyone in attendance!

You can help by “sitting one out” at the door, greeting arriving dancers, and collecting their entrance fee. This job requires about ten seconds of training from the door manager.

You can also help before a dance. We'd appreciate if you would sign up for this just so we know that there will be help before the dance, but signing up is not strictly needed; simply be at the dance hall when it's opened (6:15 pm) and ask what you can do to help. It's all easy but so very important.

Some Commitment

Each dance has a hall manager. This person is responsible for the tables and chairs being set up and then put back after the dance. A commitment to manage on a specific date is required. The hall manager gets in free and gets to dance the whole evening. This job can be shared between two people, one before and one after the dance.

The kitchen manager buys ice on the way to the dance (and is reimbursed by the door manager), fills the coolers, and sets up the snack area. At the end of the dance, the kitchen manager cleans the coolers and puts everything back. It's an easy and important job, and does not require any real training. This job can be shared between two people, one before and one after the dance.

The door manager sets up the greeters' table and hangs up the name badges. The door manager sits at the door for the first dance, greets arriving dancers, collects money, and solicits other 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, caller, and hall rental. Training is required as are commitments to specific dance nights. The door manager gets in free and gets 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. See the Contra Dan's page for more information.

To get a little more involved, you can help on the Bayou Bedlam Committee. Open to all, 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 people 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 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.

Volunteers at Slice 'n Dice 2019

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands—one for helping yourself, the other for helping others. ~ Audrey Hepburn