I begin this first article with my thanks to the membership and my fellow board members for your confidence and support. I am humbled by the outpouring of good will that I have received. I pledge my best work and will always do what I believe is in the best interests of both the club and the activity square dancing.
The previous board made a lot of progress identifying areas of need and has been thinking carefully about the way we do things and how our efforts can be made more effective. Increased use of Meet Up has resulted in a number of prospective new students and it is expected that we will continue to find new people this way. The board’s work with Cathy Renna resulted in some good publicity surrounding our anniversary and sparked strong interest in building our social media presence. They also looked at how we do our Open Houses/Barn Dances, added outreach events to regular dances and invited newcomers to regular dances. A lot has been accomplished.
But there is still a lot of work to do as we enter our next decade. We need to increase membership, raise the visibility of gay square dancing in New York and boost interest in the activity in general. We need to look at our role in the community and the world at large.
We need to determine what we have to offer and begin offering it proudly and confidently. And we need to learn how we fit into the way people live life in this part of the 21st century. We must look at how we do things and decide which things work and which things belong to another time. What worked 30, 20 even 10 years ago may not be working today. In other words, we need to change with the times.
Change is never easy — I know, having just moved from an apartment I lived in for 18 years! But the rewards of change can be immense. Sometimes change can seem exciting and new. But it also may be difficult to understand, confusing or even painful.
As a board, we will be looking at everything we do with an eye to making things better, more efficient, more relevant and hopefully more fun! Any change we make will be made with the longevity of the club in mind and to preserve the activity we all love. Simultaneously, we will honor our traditions and the work of those who came before us.
We encourage and welcome your participation in this process. Times Squares is, after all, you. Your comments, suggestions and your work will always be valued and appreciated. As your new president, I am excited by the opportunity to lead this process and to help make Times Squares the best it can be.