UPDATED 21 October 2022:
Here’s an update on what you can expect for our classes and other events at Tapestry and elsewhere:
- High filtration masks (N95 or KN95) may be required, or a surgical mask covered by a well-fitting cloth mask. Please bring one and be prepared to wear it if requested. We may have a limited supply available to give for those who are not able to bring their own.
- We strongly recommend staying up to date with all vaccines for which you are eligible.
Tapestry’s ventilation system for the studios is extremely good, which makes them relatively safe places to be indoors–the air is exchanged frequently so there is no buildup of particles in the air.
Thank you for being flexible as we navigate these ever-changing circumstances!
At the open meeting held on 8 February 2011, the board adopted a new policy and guidelines for participation by children in in Branch classes and other activities. This policy and guidelines, now available on the branch web site is based on recommendations presented to a joint meeting of the Branch teachers and board on 9 January 2011 and subsequently shared with the Branch membership, along with a request for feedback.
The board received feedback from a number of Branch members. Most expressed support for the recommendations, but a number of issues and questions were raised. After extensive discussion and research by both the committee and the board, the board is confident that all of these issues have been satisfactorily addressed and we were comfortable moving forward to approve the recommendations with one slight modification. In the interest of allowing the membership to understand the reasoning behind the board’s decision and to feel confident that concerns have been considered and addressed, below is a list of these questions/issues along brief explanations/responses.
Continue reading “New Policy Adopted on Children in the Branch: Responses to Your Questions and Concerns”
At our annual general meeting (AGM) last May, we asked for feedback from Branch members on various issues that the board could potentially tackle as priorities this year. First and foremost among the issues that were identified as needing attention were those concerning the role and status of children in our group. Based as they are upon the RSCDS constitution as it read up until 2009, our bylaws currently limit membership in the Branch to individuals at least 16 years old, and our classes and other activities have historically been focused on an adult audience. Over the years the implications of this membership rule on occasional participation by children in classes and performances has been interpreted differently by different boards and teachers. This inconsistency has created confusion and frustration among many members.
In 2007, the Branch created the Young Dancers Mentorship Program (http://www.rscds-twincities.org/youngdancers.html). This program was intended to establish a clear mechanism whereby children under the age of 16, and thus not eligible for membership in the Branch, could participate in Branch classes. While the program was a helpful first step, it has proved to be an inadequate solution in a number of aspects, e.g. a) it requires a program director, which we have not had in place for several years now; b) it does not address the participation of children in branch performances.
An additional factor generating some pressure to reconsider this issue in our branch has come from the RSCDS headquarters. Observing the aging membership in most branches (ours is, thankfully, a bit of an exception) and recognizing the need to foster enthusiasm for Scottish country dancing in the next generation, the RSCDS has been placing increasing emphasis on teaching children. In recent years they have developed instructional materials and videos for teachers of children, organized dance weekends for youth, begun publishing an e-zine for youth, and launched a youth development project with funding from the Scottish Arts Council (see http://www.rscds.org/about-us/young-dancer-project.html for more information). In 2009, the worldwide membership voted to change the constitution to lower the age of membership in RSCDS to 12 years old.
Following the AGM last May, the board appointed a committee, chaired by board secretary Angie McCracken, charged with making recommendations for future directions the Branch should take vis-à-vis participation by children. In addition to Angie, committee members included Jamie Berg, Bill Brown, Eric Salo, and Ed Stern. The committee met twice since October 2010 and also corresponded by email. Announcements of its December meeting were made via the Yahoo Group and at Monday night classes, and Branch members were invited to attend or send their thoughts. The committee presented its recommendations and guidelines for young dancers, printed below, at the joint board/teachers meeting on January 9th.
Continue reading “Children Dancing with the Twin Cities Branch: Future Directions”