Greetings from Denmark and DAASDC
As newly elected president of DAASDC I cannot help thinking of what we can do to give Modern Square Dance a revival in DK. A lot of ideas are queuing up, and some must be tested here and now. We are right now in a situation where the accession of new dancers is limited, and where many ”old” dancers quit dancing. Guess we are facing the same situation as many other countries?
Until now we have not been able to make things move. We are looking for good ideas and are listening to those who can contribute with approaches besides distribution of demos and flyers. However, it’s often problematic, and there are many opinions about things. Yet we have agreed on a few activities that we are starting to try out.
We have ordered 50 large banners, 3 X 0,7 meter, with the promotional text: ”We dance Modern Square Dance” and ”Exercise for Mind and Heart”. It is then the point that clubs display the banners at demos and shows. Beside that we will try to establish an idea bank which clubs can pick from, and establish a press alert that will assist the clubs when starting new groups up ….
Whether it will help – well – only time will tell.
However, we can see a positive development in our ”great” festival dances. We see more participants now than just a few years ago. We believe that Square Dance will grow stronger in the different regions due to the co-operation of the various clubs. Even if Denmark is a small country we are facing the same difficulties as other countries: the dancers are not willing to drive a longer distance.
But if the dancers are personally involved in the organization of the dances, some kind of transportation seems to be acceptable. Apart from that we Danes enjoy the privilege of a unique bunch of offers in ”evening institutes/clubs/societies”. If you don’t find a Square Dance Club in your own city, it’s very easy to find another hobby activity, f.inst. Zumba, painting, glass art, wine tasting etc…. You have a wide variety of choices. We are up against all the recreational offers, and to attract new dancers is a difficult task.
When we consider Challenge Dance, we see a lot of enthusiasm among the dancers. Many go dancing several times a week and in different clubs. We are really in full swing! We are not too many people yet, but everybody is very engaged, and the clubs coordinate.
We depend on each other, know each other and stick together. We go to the same dances and meet in Sweden, Germany and United States among other places. We fully realize that we do have to make a serious effort to feed the activity from scratch--- and here perhaps we can learn from each other. We are working on it and can only hope that we are moving in the right direction.
Lotte Krogh Vangsgaard
President DAASDC president(at)daasdc.dkwww.daasdc.dk