AGM 2016 Minutes & Reports

MINUTES OF TUDOE SQUARES AGM

Held on 13 October 2016 at Nash Mills Village Hall

1. Welcome and Apologies

The meeting commenced at 8.50pm with Dave Greenwood welcoming everybody.

Committee Present:

  • Dave Greenwood Chair
  • Mick West Treasurer
  • Norman Machell Beginners’ Representative
  • Andrew Agathangelou Secretary
  • Linda Gill Advanced and Challenge Representative
  • Simon Kelly for Susie Callers Representative

Apologies:

  • Elena Hadaway Mainstream Representative
  • Cathy Walwyn Plus Representative

2. Minutes of Previous AGM held on 15 October 2015

These were accepted unanimously as a true record of the meeting.

3. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

4. Chair Report

Chairman’s Report  

Tudor Squares Annual General Meeting 13 October 2016

Tudor Squares continues to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, and most successful square dance clubs in the UK. This is in large part due to the range of callers who provide their services to the club week by week, enabling the club to offer dancing from Beginners through to Challenge.

Debbie Peel did brilliantly, getting her first group of trainees to graduate in December, engendering such enthusiasm that all have maintained their dancing, regularly attending Mainstream.

At the last count the club had 98 members, including the new graduates and the callers.  The club is dependent on the membership to enable it, as a whole and each section in particular, to thrive.

Members’ enthusiasm and the expertise of callers have meant that the club has been able to run and host three public dances, plus club socials and a variety of non-dance activities.

The club held its annual Plus and Mainstream dances, in October and April respectively, with the Mainstream temporarily moving back a month in order to invite, the Australian caller, Brian Hotchkies to call for nine squares.  In addition, in January, Tudor Squares did the catering for a well attended charity dance in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.

The lead organiser for each of these dances was Andrew Agathangelou (Plus), Mick West (Mainstream and catering for Winter Extravaganza in aid of Prostate Cancer UK), supported by numerous club members.

Other events included the:

New Year’s Eve party – Three squares danced, although there were enough people for four.  There was plenty of time for people to dance, socialise and have a fun evening. While committee members organised the event, particular mention should be made of Susie Kelly who not only organised the calling but also prepared the quiz.

Spring Walk, 7 May – Again Ann Reardon and Grant Thorne volunteered to organise a spring walk, which was over Box Moor Trust land, beginning and ending at Little Hay Golf Complex.  Walkers were able enjoy the warm weather, see the first signs of spring and take in the views of Hemel!  36 people walked and most stayed for lunch in the clubhouse and on the sun drenched patio.

Barbecue, 26 June – Although numbers were relatively small, two squares, it was a good opportunity for members to relax on a sunny, early summer afternoon and enjoy some dancing, called by Susie & Simon Kelly and Andrew Agathangelou. Members brought their own food with the club providing baguettes, cheese and cakes.

Summer outing, 10 July – The number of members attending was disappointing as only 27 people looked round Petworth House and its parkland, followed by a dance plus ploughman’s tea at Worthing Squares.  Particular thanks are due to Andrew Agathangelou who again organised the trip, Eileen Hurst the resident caller and for Maggie Haswell, who’d arranged for the club to host our visit and she laid on the refreshments.

The committee plan the club’s annual programme, ensure that the club is solvent and organise the sections’ dances and club socials, so without them the club wouldn’t function. Therefore, I’d like to thank my fellow committee members for all their hard work throughout the year. However, the committee can’t do everything.

So, I’d particularly like to thank Terry Thirlwell for creating, developing and updating the club’s website www.tudorsquares.org.uk .  The website really does convey a very good impression of what the club is all about.  I’d also like to thank members of the club for their preparedness to undertake the weekly tasks that enable our sessions to run smoothly, for their willingness to help at events for the benefit of all club members and people’s enthusiastic participation in the club’s activities.

In addition, may I take this opportunity to thank all the callers for their commitment to sustaining square dancing and to this club, and you all personally for your support throughout the past year.

Finally, on behalf the whole club, I can’t let this opportunity pass without expressing our enormous gratitude to Mick West for his years of service as treasurer. The club’s finances have been in very safe hands throughout his tenure, with it maintaining a healthy surplus. Any new treasurer would be delighted to take over in such a healthy situation and to use Mick’s simple, refined recording system.

In summary, the salient points of the Chairman’s address as follows:

  1. Tudor Squares remains one of the biggest, if the not the biggest square dancing club in the country. Its success is in part down to having a number of different callers for each of the sections, and the ability of the dancers to progress to the further levels within the club.
  2. Regular recruiting is also crucial to the success of the club, to provide a continuous stream of new dancers into the club. At the last count, there were 98 members of Tudor Squares.
  3. The club also successfully ran a number of social events, with special thanks given to the following people for organising the events

Spring Walk Anne Reardon and Grant Thorne

Barbeque Simon and Susie Kelly

Summer Outing Andrew Agathangelou

Mainstream dance Mick West

Plus dance Andrew Agathangelou

New Year’s Eve Committee, with special thanks to Simon and Susie

Tudor Squares Website Terry Thirlwell

  1. A special thanks was given to Mick West, who is standing down as treasurer. It was largely due to Mick’s efforts that the club has expanded in positive way, and for the current healthy financial situation of the club.
  2. A special thanks was also given to Terry Thirlwell for his excellent work in developing and maintaining the club website, and for updating the website so quickly after social events have taken place.

5. Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer’s Report AGM October 2016

The attached account’s summary gives details. Notable points:

  1. Overall Income less Expenditure shows a trading Loss of -£1043. Last year we showed a Profit of £148.
    1. In last year’s report I projected a loss of about £1,500 and therefore we performed a little better than expected.
  2. 2 sections this year have shown a profit:
    1. Beginners -£   357 Last Year -£1,105
    2. Mainstream £1,330 Last Year £   860
    3. Plus £1,642 Last Year £2,070
    4. A -£  329 Last Year £   185
    5. C -£   475 Last Year -£   385
    6. Club General -£2,853 Last Year -£1,470
  3. Sections:
    1. Beginner’s – graduated – new beginners class starts this year.
    2. Mainstream – increased ‘profit’ – new beginners integrated.
    3. Plus – down on last year as numbers not as strong.
    4. A – hall hire and numbers
    5. C – hall hire and numbers
    6. Club General – increase costs, charitable support and donations and also the coach trip and Plus dance made a loss which the club covered.
  4. The net figure for sections (excluding General Club expenses) is therefore a surplus of about £1,810 an increase of £230 on last year’s £1,625
  5. Regular Hall Hire expenditure has increased this year as expected.
  6. Weekly (regular) fees decreased by about £725. A further drop on last year’s drop of £250. Although we have 3 more members than last year members are reducing the number of visits.
  7. Membership – those paying the £5.00 annual subscriptions, went up by £15 – 3 members. Total membership based on this is about 87 paying members plus honorary members and callers.
  8. Projections (All seminars and training sessions are deemed to be ‘break-even’).
    1. Income (Main Sources)
      1. Annual Fees£     435
      2. Weekly Fees£12,000
      3. Dance Profits £     100

(3 dances @ £100, 1 dance at -£200) £12,535

    1. Expenditure
      1. Halls £ 6,000
      2. Callers/Tapes £ 5,500
      3. Marketing£    500
      4. Refreshments £    500
      5. Insurance £    200
      6. Socials £    400
      7. Misc £ 1,200 (To include support for Matt Baldry dance)
            1. £14,300
    2. Total Income £12,535
    3. Total expenditure £14,300
    4. I therefore anticipate a loss next year of about £1,750.
      1. Most of this will be for our support of Prostate Cancer (Matt Baldry Dance) and our new beginner’s intake.
  1. Fees Proposals.
    1. I believe that Weekly fees should be used to cover hall, caller and refreshment charges only. All other expenses and subsidies should be from other monies raised or reserves. The above projections do this:
      1. Halls, Callers and Refreshment costs = £ 12,000 and weekly fees projection is £12,000.
      2. I therefore would propose NO increase in weekly fees. There has been no increase in weekly fees for many years and I see no point in changing that, especially as we have sufficient reserves. Depending on hall charge increases during the coming year we can review this at the AGM in 2017.

Finally, I would like to thank the club for their support during the past 10/11 years. It has been a pleasure to serve you all. As I retire from this position I am truly able to say that I leave with the club in a far healthier position than it was when I took over. However, I cannot take all the credit for that. During those years we have seen the club grow to become one of the most successful in the country. I was proud to be part of the team that achieved that.

Thank You

Mick distributed copies of the balance sheet as at the end of August 2016. The salient points are as follows:

  1. Overall loss of £1043. Previous year showed a profit of £148. Mick previously predicted a loss of £1500 for 2016, therefore the club performed better than expected. Most of this loss was due to charitable donations
  1. The regular hall hire expenditure has increased, and weekly, regular fees have decreased by £725, as a result of fewer visits by members.
  1. There are 87 paying members, with rest being callers or non-paying life members of the club.
  1. Mick thanked the club for their support over the years.

6. Section Reports

Tudor Squares AGM 13/10/16 – Section reports

Beginners 

On Thursday 17 December 13 new dancers graduated, having learnt the Basic and Mainstream programmes.  Debbie Peel, plus resident ‘angels’ Michael Ginger, Paul Beddall, Barbara Jones and Pat Carey had taken them through, and rehearsed all the moves over fourteen months.

The students were welcomed into Mainstream with an evening of dancing, with nearly 50 other members of the club, led by the regular Mainstream caller, Phil Peel, supported by both Debbie and Becky Peel.

The new graduates have integrated smoothly into Mainstream.  While, as a group the dancers get on really well, so much so that, as well as continuing to dance at Mainstream, they’ve been out for lunch together on two occasions.

A new group of Beginners will be recruited in September, again with Debbie teaching the moves.  Advertisements will be placed in local magazines and on the club’s website.  However, word of mouth recommendation is by far the best source of new blood.
Mainstream

Most of the year the section had three to four squares, with numbers boosted by the arrival of the new graduates in January.  Numbers dropped to two squares during the summer due to holidays and people wanting a break from their regular activities.  Also there were a few longer term absentees due to ill health or family issues.

People dancing at the back of the hall commented that they can hear better since Phil brought in a second speaker. In addition to Phil, dancers enjoyed Becky’s and Debbie’s calling one or two tips most evenings. Sometimes it seems that calls are simple, but even those can cause problems. But we do dance from non-standard positions and challenge the dancers.

It would be helpful to the group if there were more experienced dancers attending, as this would raise the confidence and competence of dancers as a whole.  People are strongly encouraged to request to practice any particular move they are not sure of.

Mood in the evening is always good; people come as much to socialise and chat as to dance.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the smooth running of the Mainstream dance in April.  And particular thanks to Brian and Pauline O’Ready for always offering and helping out at on Thursday nights, especially while Elena was ill earlier in the year.

Plus

The plus section continues to thrive with usually at least three squares dancing and more often four, with a mixture of open and card system tips to mix up the dancers.  Susie and Simon Kelly do the vast majority of the calling, with occasional contributions from Andrew Agathangelou.  More recently Paul Beddall has been trying his hand at calling with considerable promise.

The main challenge of Monday nights seems to be to cater for the wide range of ability and enthusiasm.  In an attempt to address these issues two workshops were planned to encourage less confident dancers.  The first was held in August, with Andrew undertaking most of the calling .   Susie said: “I kept reminding them that we are aiming for confidence and not needing others to be there to help all the time.  They must stand on their own feet, not other peoples’!!”

In addition to the Plus dance in October with Rob Branson calling, during the year the section held two ticket only dances with guest callers at the weekly club night. We were delighted to welcome two American callers, while they were in the UK for other events, Bronc Wise in January and Vic Ceder in April.  The latter attracted more dancers, with six squares, on the night, even though more tickets wee sold for the former!

Advanced

During this year we have been delighted to welcome a square of new Advance level dancers to the section.

Of the 38 dancers in the Group, 7 are also members of the Challenge section.

We dance at Gadebridge on a Friday evening and are grateful to our Callers, Trudy & Simon Fielding and our Tape Leader Alan Jackson for the interesting choreography and fun evenings they provide for us.  Also for their willingness and help in integrating our new dancers.

Our dancers have attended several square dance holidays and weekends throughout the year and several attended the European Square Dance Convention in Stratford-upon-Avon.

All Club events have had attendees from the section.

Particular thanks to Jean & Alan Jackson and Michael Ginger who help me with the smooth running of the Section.

Challenge

We dance at Kings Langley Community Centre on a Tuesday evening and there are currently 15 dancers and one non-dancing member in the group.

Throughout the year most of us have attended square dance weekends and holidays specialising in the “C” Programme and several of us attended the European Square Dance Convention.  In January we held our own day of Challenge dancing with Caller Bronc Wise from USA. Dancers came from as far away as Bristol, Suffolk and Nottingham. Our thanks go to Michael Ginger for organising the event.

Group members have attended and enjoyed all Club events throughout the year.

During the year Trudy Fielding found that pressure of work meant she no longer had the time to call for us; we miss her and thank her for her calling over the years.  Simon Fielding and our Tape Leader Alan Jackson have continued to provide us with inventive choreography and we thank them both for the support they give us.  Thanks are also due to Nancy & Angus MacIver who provide us with refreshments, Michael Ginger who is the key-holder for the hall and Daphne Smith who picks up the administration when I am on holiday.

Callers

We have been very lucky at Tudor Squares to now have extra callers, Andrew getting well established, and Paul who is just getting started.  I expect those of you who saw Andrew start dancing all those years ago, can hardly believe he’s the same man.  He has worked so hard on his choreography and has now developed his own singing style, unique to him.  He is becoming a much loved character on the local Square Dance stage. I believe Paul will develop in much the same way.  Give him 2-3 years calling experience and he will amaze us too, I’m sure.  Debbie and Becky are also fairly new to calling and both are developing their skills with a much stronger voice now.

The Plus group had a day of workshops in August.  We, Andrew and I, tried to cover every Plus move that time and on the 22nd of this month we will try to cover in more depth some of the bigger moves.

I hope people are able to recognise in themselves their needs to improve their ability to dance the Plus moves with confidence. We have room for one or two more dancers to make up the second square.  So do consider attending the day, free of charge, at Gadebridge Community Centre.

I’m not sure when it will happen but our good friend Alan Jackson, who is not actually a caller, but a whiz at running recorded voices for us to dance to occasionally, is to have open heart surgery sometime soon. We all send him our best wishes for a successful outcome and quick recovery. We look forward to more interesting choices of callers’ voices at our social events next Spring and Summer.

  • Beginners (12 new beginners)
  • Mainstream
  • Plus
  • A1 and C
  • Nothing to report from the callers representative

7. Other Reports (included in Chairman’s Report)

  • New Year’s Eve party
  • Walk
  • Barbeque
  • Outing

8. Election of Officers and

9. Election of Committee

Simon Kelly took over as temporary Chairman.

Single nominations had been received for all posts. It was suggested that all serving committee members be elected en bloc. This proposal was agreed unanimously. The following committee members were voted en bloc, with a unanimous show of hands (no objections):

Officers:

  • Chair: Dave Greenwood
  • Secretary: Andrew Agathangelou
  • Treasurer: Tracy Hawkins

Committee:

  • Mainstream Rep: Norman Machell
  • Plus Rep: Elena Hadaway
  • A and C Rep: Linda Gill
  • Caller Rep: Susie Kelly

10. Annual Subscriptions and Weekly Fees

These will remain the same as the previous year:

  1. Annual subscription £5
  2. Weekly fee £3.50

11. Any Other Business

A presentation was given to Mick West in thanks for all his years of service as the club Treasurer.

The meeting finished at 9.40pm.

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