Often new dancers and sometimes more experienced dancers have questions about ASRDA, such as: what is it, what are its goals, and what does it do for me and my club.
The ASRDA was formed about 70 years ago, originally as part of the Austin Parks & Recreation Department. The two main goals are: promote square & round dancing in the greater Austin area and to host the annual Mid-Tex dance with assistance from member clubs.
Some of the things the association does for its clubs are:
1. Provide a calendar for all clubs to use when scheduling special dances, thus preventing conflicts for special dances being scheduled on the same night or weekend.
2. Publish a monthly newsletter, Round the Capitol Square, in which each club can let all dancers know what is going on in their club with an article. Each club is also allowed one free flyer each year to advertise a special dance of their choosing. Other flyers may be inserted as well for a nominal fee.
Also in the publication there is a listing for each club which includes dance information, time, location, address, and a contact person.
There is also a page with the list of the callers and cuers in our area with information for contacting them.
3. The ASRDA also has a website with information, links, and more at ASRDA.org. Clubs may also submit information and flyers for this site.
4. The $5. dues per person provides the club & the association with membership to the state organization, the Texas State Federation of Square & Round Dancers. This provides dancer insurance, which is a secondary policy that will pay after the dancers primary policy pays if a dancer is injured on the way, at the dance, or on the way home. Also clubs are provided a $1,000,000 liability policy when hosting special dances. This is provided at no extra cost.
5. Educational & informational materials such as Learn to Square Dance cards, sign in sheets, brochures, posters, and business cards are also provided to all clubs. All diplomas are provided for graduations.
6. Lesson books giving detailed instruction for basic & plus level dances are purchased by the ASRDA and given to the clubs as requested.
7. The ASRDA executive board will install club officers when asked to do so. They will also conduct a special ceremony at class graduations.
8. ASRDA provides a $200. stipend to clubs to assist them in the promotion & advertising of lessons.
9. At ASRDA meetings each club is encouraged to make announcements and to hand out flyers to all the club delegates. This helps all clubs get the word out to other clubs.
10. Provide new information on “what’s working” for member clubs. This year a meeting was held with callers to share details concerning “Club 50”. Several clubs are now implementing this new format of lessons.
11. The Association officers promote club activities and dances. This is done by officers and ambassadors visiting clubs, special dances, announcing special dances, and delivering and passing out flyers.
12. The ASRDA acts as a liaison to the TSFSRD by sending three delegates to the State meetings. They in turn keep clubs informed of statewide activities such as the annual State Festival.
13. ASRDA holds a Teen Scholarship Dance each year to support the TSFSRD Teen Scholarship Program. This program was started by ASRDA in memory of Frank & Mildred Monk. They served as presidents of ASRDA more than once. They were Teen Coordinators for TSFSRD for several years. ASRDA asked for the program to be taken over by TSFSRD to ensure its growth and to reach more teens. Several ASRDA teens have received scholarship money.
14. Mid-Tex is the ASRDA’s largest dance of the year. It is a two day event and is the oldest continuing festival in Texas.
15. ASRDA sponsors a Friendship Badge that encourages visitation.
These are just some of the ways and things the ASRDA does for its member clubs. All of these benefits are provided without cost to the member clubs of the Association except for the $5. per dancer for insurance which is sponsored by the TSFSRD.