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. See our Volunteer Sign Up page for information about volunteering for a specific 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 (6:30 pm) and help put away the tables and chairs, set out the signs, fill the coolers, and so forth. It's all easy but so very important.

Some Commitment

There are other jobs that require more of a commitment

Each dance has a hall manager. This person is responsible for the thermostats being set, the tables and chairs moved, and the signs put out. There are almost always helpers for these chores; the hall manager does some of them and makes sure that they all get done. A little bit of training and a commitment to manage on a specific date is required. The hall manager gets in free and gets to dance almost the whole evening. This job can be shared between two people, one before and one after the dance.

We'd like a couple of set up helpers to commit to helping the hall manager for a specific 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 and caller. 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 Band. Contra Dan's is the HATDS band that is open to all musicians. 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 event. 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 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, contact the board of directors for details.

Many hands make light work!