Happy Fourth, July 1 deadlines, and HELP!

Happy Fourth

Gays for Pasty wishes you a safe and fun Fourth of July.

As a reminder, Dirty Water Saloon will not be having a dance on Tuesday, July 4 as Bella Luna will be closed.

Be sure to join us at Dirty Water Saloon on Tuesday, July 11, when we resume with Sam DJing, I’ll be teaching a new line dance by Micheal Metzger, “Feelin’ Good” and we’re figuring out what the couples lesson and will have that on the website/facebook soon.

Also Americana Sundays happens at Thunder Road in Somerville on Sundays

The Queer Country Social calendar is online.

Today’s deadlines

Today is the last day to sign up for a discounted price for:

  • DC OUT over Labor Day. If it is anything like last year, it’s going to be a blast. Great teachers, fun line dances, and the Renegaydes, Prairie Dogs, and other groups will be performing.
  • Provincetown Dance Trophy event. Competing in the single dance portion of the September 30, 2017 event. The Renegaydes will be competing/exhibiting. This is part of the ballroom event and is a hoot to watch and participate in.

I’ll be posting about discounted Stomp tickets (April 27-29, 2017) in the next month or so once I check with Sage and Provincetown Town Hall to make sure we have the venues. Both Alan and Simone are on board.

Gays for Patsy’s Lackluster Season

2016-17 season was a depressed year for Gays for Patsy. Dance attendance was low and we ended in the red. While I hear that other organizations are going through similar problems as I can assume it Drumpf-effect malaise that pushed our usual winter doldrums into high gear. We made a slight profit for Stomp (thanks to a sponsorship from Cape Air) and Dirty Water Saloon is pretty much holding it’s own with a modest deficit. We are not in danger of going away but this is a good wake up call for us to be more active in our dance. 

Ramifications:

  • Queer Country Social
    • No Sunday dances. We decided that Sunday dances were not worth it — in spite of people requesting them, they were poorly attended and largely contributed to the deficit we have.
    • No mid June Saturday dance. We also decided to not have a third Saturday dance in June to allow us to participant in RI pride.
    • Peer taught lessons. We will no longer be doing a beyond the basic lesson, and will revert to the 7 pm couples dance lesson and 7:30 line dance lesson. These will mostly likely be peer taught as a cost-saving measure.
  • Dirty Water Saloon
    • There will be little change of Dirty Water Saloon as it is mostly volunteer run. We may use this dance to feed the line dances/couples dance lessons for Queer Country Social.
  • Stomp
    • I’m going to apply for a few sponsorships and pray we get some. One sponsorship would go to marketing if we get it. I’ll keep you posted.
    • I also hope to have an early bird registration that will seed money to pay for the event earlier and have cash on hand to pay the instructors (live and learn… online registration is great but waiting for two weeks after the event for the check was not ideal)

I need your help

One of the reasons I come to GFP dances and am president is the community. I never met a better bunch of people in a queer setting. We dance, socialize, and have fun together. This winter/spring, I just wanted to hibernate but being president of this organization and being so involved got me out of the freakin’ house. It was a lifesaver for me, really. So i want the same for you.

I need you to be more involved.

We have been around for almost 30 years but we may not always be here. I have seen our Randolf dance go away from lack of active involvement in both running and promoting it — it was the driving force of my doing social media, website, and ultimately the presidency. Granted that was a bit more on mismanagement of that club vs. us but still, we assumed it would always be there and were blindsided when it was taken away from us. We can’t sit on our butts and expect the dance to be there.

Don’t take your dance for granted.

This may mean simply going out of your comfort zone and asking new people to dance or taking a shift at the door. But I also need to relieve some of our regular volunteers before they burn out. I also need people to go one step further and help with the running of the dances. Here’s some places you can help that I can think of off the top of my head.

Easy ways to help

  • Say hello and dance with newcomers.
    We do a good job of this but it is good to be reminded.
  • Capture names and emails of people to make sure they are connected.
    I’ll be better about having a clipboard with a sign-up sheet.
  • Become a GFP member or donate to GFP if you can.
    I’ll make this very easy by doing an online purchase in the next month, it allows us to have money up front at the beginning of the season to help pay the church. I am working with the board to see what we can do to make this more inviting and now that we have Dirty Water Saloon, how does being a member work for them and stomp.
  • Take a 15-minute shift at the door. At all our dances, we need people help out for 15 minute sifts to give our regular volunteers a chance to dance and get away from check-in. This involves greeting people, answering questions about the dance, and taking money.
  • Join our social media groups and indicate you’re going to our events, share with friends or in groups you might be in, post about your experiences, insights, and photos. I created a bunch of facebook pages for our dances to get word out. Please join/like them and feel free to post, comment, stalk. I especially want to talk up the opening queer country social dance in September.

Moderately easy (i.e., not quite easy but not hard).

  • Help with updates to website and social media.
    I’ve got a few generic events for queer country social, dirty water saloon, and others in the wings but it would be nice to have help with the newsletter. I’m horrible about getting it out.
  • Help Beth (or take over) Opening and Closing dances.
    Opening and closing a dance is not hard, usually there are lots of people to help. It involves setting up the dance (sweeping, organizing, moving chairs, etc. Some heavy lifting but we can pair people so if that’s an issue we can figure it out). Setting up the check-in. Closing involves the reverse of closing along with tallying the numbers and counting money to give to Beth or the DJ.
  • Helping with scheduling.
    This involves getting on people’s asses about organizing DWS and Queer Country Social line dances and couples dance lessons. This will help both Beth and Kendra immensely. I’m hoping that we can roughly plan out the year and figure out specifics on a quarterly basis.
  • Help with outreach, advertising, and visibility.
    I would like to reach out to LGBT organizations, especially trans as I see them as a particular vulnerable part of our queer community. Could you recommend (and if possible find out contact info) of an likely organization and be willing to act as an ambassador of our organization?
  • Reach out to past members for our 30th year.
    If you know someone who used to dance with GFP, ask them to come to a dance next year. Especially ask them to partake in the AIDs Walk with us in June. It’s where we started.
  • Help plan/promote our 30th anniversary dance.
    Help pick a date and spread the word. I may approach Greg Klyma to do a live music night and see if the Prairie Dogs can come up for the dance. Both of these have drawn a good crowd.

Finally, don’t let little (or big) issues stew. Let me know!
This is your dance as much as mine or the board’s — that said, we can only adjust or deal with issues or problems that we know about. I say this as I recently had someone tell me they were not returning to a the Saturday Queer Country Social dances. They had a complaint (too many line dances in a row) that would have been easily addressed (and ironically was addressed at that dance) but that individual sat upon their grip for a whole year before mentioning it to me. By that time, nothing I could say or do would change their mind. It was an unfortunate situation that could have been avoided by a quick comment to me early on. My mom always said little things can grow to be big far too easy.

I love this community — and it is that: a community. It is more than just one person, it’s everyone contributing to make it special. We do that well, but there is room for improvement.

Thanks in advance for YOUR help and see you on the dance floor.

Happy Summer!

Bob ‘da prez’ Sweeney,
Gays for Patsy

You are my Joy

I just read a Harvard Crimson article (linked below) on how joy adds to a healthy and happy life.
 
One thing that struck me was,
“Loneliness kills… It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.”
 
Speaking for myself, you all bring joy into my life through dance.  Ironically, I mentioned this on Saturday. I joined Gays for Patsy about 10 years ago at a low point — I just broke up and was looking for something to fill that hole in my heart. Okay, honestly, I came looking for a boyfriend. What I got was a community and a bunch of stellar friends.
 
This winter was rough, it seemed more so with the political climate and so much fear, anger, and agitation. The one thing that got me through was the dances.
 
Thank you for being my joy.
Thank you for being my friend
Thank you for stepping on my feet.
 
Get out and dance and smile and meet folks and all that stuff there.
 
Bob “da prez” Sweeney
 
http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/04/over-nearly-80-years-harvard-study-has-been-showing-how-to-live-a-healthy-and-happy-life/

Tango, Swing, and Stomp! Opportunities for Dancing yer butt off!

Hello Y’all

A quick, rushed message about dancing this weekend and Stomp deadlines that you’ll have to check the website for more info.

Pardon for any missing info, like I said: rushed.

Dance Saturday, April 15: Learn Tango at GFP’s Queer Country Social

Saturday, April 15 • 6:30-11 pm, 6 Eliot Street, Jamaica Plain (Boston)
gaysforpasty.org/queer-country-social/

  • Get your friends to come to our basic two step at 6:30 with Beth
  • Get your ass to the Tango Lesson at 7 with Patrick and Beth
  • Get your boots on the floor for “Burlesque” line dance at 7:30 with Beth

But mostly, get you and anyone you can think of to the dance. I’ll (Bob) will be DJing and it should be a fun night.

Dirty Water Saloon: West Coast with Alan Gaskell!

Tuesdays, April 18 and 25 at Bella Luna Restaurant in JP
gaysforpasty.org/dirty-water-saloon/
Alan Gaskel returns to teach new West Coast Swing moves at 7 pm. Jim will teach “Power Surge” at 7:45 and Bucky (April 18) and Bob (April 25) will DJ.

Spring Stomp: A Hoedown in P-town is just a couple weeks away!

April 28-30. Provincetown, MA (Sage Inn and Lounge and Provincetown Town Hall)
gaysforpasty.org/stomp/

Don’t miss out on our 25th Anniversary Hoedown!

Get your Weekend Pass for only $75 before it goes up to $100! Order online or buy at the above September 15 dance or at Dirty Water Saloon on Tuesdays at Bella Luna in JP. Online purchasing closes a week from Tuesday and prices at the door go up significantly across the board.

Our 25th line up includes:

  • 3.5 dances:
    • Friday opening dance (8-12 pm) (Beginner two step and line dance lesson by Bob Sweeney)
    • NEW! Saturday workshop practice dance (1-3 pm) (Beginner two step and line dance lesson by Art Sullivan)
    • Saturday main fundraising dance with performance by the Rengaydes (7-12 pm)
    • NEW! Sunday “sweet tea” dance (10 am–2 pm)
  • Two  workshop tracks that you can pick and choose including:
    • beginner and intermediate west coast with Simone and Alan
    • beginner and intermediate two step with Simone or Alan
    • the hustle (Simone) or night club two step (Alan)
    • two advanced line dances (Kendra and Beth)
    • two intermediate line dance (Art Sullivan)

Added for the 25th based on feedback from last year:

  • Private lessons: sprinkled throughout Saturday you can sign up to have a 1/2 private lesson with Simone or Alan for only $50 each.
  • Sunday brunch: 8-10 am at Sage Inn for only $12 –MUST ORDER BY APRIL 15! 

Get your Sunday Brunch tickets NOW! Today!  If you want to partake of Sage’s “enhanced continental breakfast” for only $12 on Sunday, April 30 from 8-10 am at Sage Inn and Lounge YOU MUST ORDER BY 11 pm Saturday, April 15 so we can get the numbers to Sage. This is a hard deadline and no one can be added after Saturday.

I will have tickets at tomorrows dance and a sign up for brunch if you don’t want to order online and an iPad on hand in case you want to use a card.

Happy Dancing,
Bob “da prez” Sweeney
Gays for Patsy.