2020 Annual Meeting Announcement & Slate of Nominations

To                    DanceFlurry Organization Members
From:             DanceFlurry Organization Board
Re:                   2020 Annual Membership Meeting and Slate for Board of Directors
Date:               April 30, 2020

The Annual Meeting will be held via an online session on Sunday, May 17th, at 7:00 pm.  (Instructions on how to join the meeting are forthcoming–please check back!)  Members will need to return their ballot ahead of the meeting by US mail or email, or via online form.   Votes must arrive by noon on May 17th.  The slate of nominations and the ballot form are below.

We appreciate your participation throughout the year, and look forward to being able to gather again to enjoy a variety of traditional music and dance events.

CONGRATULATIONS and Thank You to the Flurry Festival Managers, the festival Committee, and many volunteers who planned and produced the 2020 Festival!!!  It was another spectacular weekend!

 THANK YOU to the amazing volunteers who contribute so much time and energy towards providing wonderful dance and music events for our community year-round.
Adirondack Dance Weekend  Harvey Raufman, Laura Perrault, Ann Thomas, Pat & Terry Kinal, Bonnie Terry  ●  Albany Contradances! & Contra Fest!  Peter Stix, Gary Allocco, Dennis Bub, Marjorie Geiger, Larry Gould, Amy Jesaitis, Tracey Ledder, Alan McClintock, Joan & Jim Savitt, Laurel Stix●  Albany First Friday Swing Dance   Jim & Candy Dolen, Gary Allocco, Phyll Brienza, Candace Johnson, Tom Swimm, Amanda Stickney, Heather Coleman, Mike Ibrahim, Anita Riccio, Fred Elfenbein  ●  ALBS (Albany Lindy & Blues)  June Bischoff, Meredith Becker, Lauren Keeley, Jason Purificato, Casey Wolfe  ●  Albany Sacred Harp Singing  Tarik Wareh  ●   Buhrmaster Barn Contra Dance  Jane Husson, Kathryn Wedderburn, Gary Allocco, Rich Futyma, John Guay, Alan McClintock, Peter Stix  ●  Cajun/Zydeco  Ron Bruschi, Marie Bruschi, Cynthia DeMichele  ●  Capital District Megaband  Melanie Axel-Lute, Terry Klein, Judy Pardee, George Wilson  ●  Capital English Country Dancers  Janet Nardolillo, Melanie Axel-Lute, Fred Barker, Nancy Yule, Deann Springer, Marilee Urbanczyk, Bob Henshaw, Bob Gaesser, Harvey Raufman, Helen Patti, Sandy Waxgiser  ●  Clifton Park Contras  Michael Kernan, Rich Futyma, Ann Haller, Gary Allocco, Bill Schwarz  ●  Family Dance  Paul Rosenberg, Armand Acosta, Jim Broden, David Gerhan, Patricia Kernan, Marshall Knoderbane, Sue & Jim Mead,  ●  Hubbard Hall Community Dance  Fern Bradley, Bliss McIntosh, Robbie McIntosh  ●  North Berkshire Community Dance  Doone MacKay, John Case, John Seto, Pat Dunlavey, Kate Abbott, Maarten Pellegrini, Tony Pisano, Mac Bellner, Julie Mackaman, Mark Berman, Barbara Lampron, Katie Case, Shira Wohlberg  ●  Old Time Community Barn Dance  Paul Rosenberg, Sue Mead, Amy & Russ Porkorny  ●  Rensselaer English Country Dances  Don & Diane Bell, Vonnie Estes, Gail Griffith, John Guay, Patricia Kernan, Marilee Urbanczyk  ●  Savoy Diamond Dance  Dave Wolf, Audeliz Matias  ●  Stockade Assembly  Janet Nardolillo, Paul Axel-Lute, Fred Barker, Diane Bell, William Brearley, Tom Bubnack, Skip Darcy, Bob Gaesser, Linda Goodman, Laura Paris, Katie Sanger, Katie Selke, Ed Smith, Ann Thomas, Marilee Urbanczyk, Sandy Waxgiser  ●  Troy Barn Dance Experience  Paul Rosenberg, Patricia Kernan, Paul Cronin, Shira Love

DFO Board Members (2019-2020)
John Guay, President                                           Melanie Axel-Lute, 2nd Vice President
Rich Pisarri, Treasurer                                         Mark Berman, Secretary
Will Anderson           Barbara Bemis                    Karyn Dornemann              Ken Fisher
Cindee Herrick          Lauren Keeley                    Kristen Lilkas-Rain             Shira Love
Harry Pisila               Juliana Post-Good               Patricia Stephens                Peter Stix
Sandy Waxgiser

Board Members, Emeritus
Jen Brown, Past President     Bill Matthiesen, Past President
Pat Melita, Founding Member       Paul Rosenberg, Founding Member

 Staff (Contractual)
Lisa Allendorph, DFO Bookkeeper
Jonathan Greene, Flurry Festival Program Curator
Vonnie Estes; DFO Constant Contact PR
Tamara Flanders; Flurry Festival Admin. Manager
Ian Hamelin Flurry Festival Finance Manager
Jim Mead, Flurry Festival Webmaster
Sue Mead, Flurry Festival Admin. Assistant
Josh Snitkoff, Flurry Festival Technical Manager
Lorraine Weiss, DFO Administrator

 THANK YOU to our retiring board members

 John Guay joined the board in 2008, previously served as Secretary, and served as President since June, 2013.  John was interested in the mundane details as well as the big picture, and in participating as well as planning.  During his tenure he worked to strengthen the organization’s fiscal framework and procedures; establish more collaboration between the board and dance organizers with the creation of a liaison system; expanded participation in outreach opportunities; helped to re-establish the DFO Megaband, where he plays the hammer dulcimer; and served as one of the board liaisons to the Flurry Festival committee.  When he hasn’t been dancing at the various contra or English Country dances, he’s been playing along in the band.

Melanie Axel-Lute joined the board in 2014 and has served as Second Vice President.  She worked with John Guay and George Wilson to re-establish the DFO Megaband and has coordinated the group’s activities in addition to playing the fiddle as a band member.  A contra dance and English Country Dance caller, Melanie served as board liaison for several of the English Country dance events and helped to plan and present “A Day of Dance” which celebrated the link between Shaker and English Country dance traditions.

Mark Berman joined the board in 2014 and has served as Secretary.  His expertise and wrangling skills were crucial in the research and development that led to the creation of the new DFO website which premiered last fall, and he has continued to establish and administer a number of online tools for the board and organization.  Mark also worked as board liaison to help launch the North Berkshire Community Dance, and has frequently shown up to play his mandolin at DFO outreach events.

Patricia Stephens joined the board in 2014 and has long been a volunteer for a number of the DFO dance events.  She served on the Finance Committee and was the liaison for the Buhrmaster Barn Contra dances.

Sunday, May 17, 2020  7:00 pm
(Eastern Time Zone)

  1. Introductory Remarks and Review of 2019-2020 (John Guay, DFO President)
  2. Election of DanceFlurry Organization Board Members

  1. Proposed Slate Of Board Members For Election

The Nominating Committee presents the following slate of one returning and five new directors who will be nominated at the meeting.  Additional nominations may also be made by written petition of five members, provided that the consent of the nominee has been obtained.

Returning Board Member

Ken Fisher (Schenectady) is a contra dancer and swing dancer who has served as the board liaison to the First Friday Swing Dances.  He also assisted with the development of the new website and a review and draft outline of the board organization and functions.

New Board Members

Marie Bruschi, Rachel Glick, Jordan Kammeyer, Kevin Musick, Harvey Raufman

 The nominees provided responses to these questions:

  1. Are you currently involved with any Dance Flurry Organization activities?
  2. Do you have any organizational or prior Board experience, professional skills, or relevant interests you would bring to DFO operations?
  3. Which specific program or organizational goals would you personally like to promote with the DFO, and what ideas do you have that might further those?
  4. Which committee would you be most interested in joining?

Marie Bruschi (Albany)  Currently the co-organizer and co-workshop leader for DFO Cajun/Zydeco series and co-instructor of Cajun, Zydeco & Irish Sets at past Flurry Festivals.  Past experience & service on boards:

  • Eighth Step board for several years in the 70’s including one year as Chair (that was the year of the fire, but we worked with First Pres Church to rebuild and improve that original basement space). I also was involved with running Eighth Step Contra Dances.
  • The first board of directors of Historic Albany Foundation, one year term, Secretary.
  • By the time the 80’s came around, I was starting a family & a business, but was also a Girl Scout leader for 10 years.
  • More recently, I have led the Albany Irish Set Dance Group/class for the past 20 years, and I was inducted into the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann Hall of Fame last year for promoting and keeping Irish Set Dance alive in this region.
  • My skills: organization, planning, tenacity, willingness to speak up, leadership, enthusiasm.  I try to understand how & why people learn to dance, develop confidence and get hooked.

Of course, I wish to promote and build the Cajun/Zydeco dances.  I am dedicated to preserving traditional dances to live music with experienced instructors.  Promotional ideas:  special workshop events demos of Zydeco at swing or contra dances, workshops at colleges.  Committees I’m interested in:  Liaison, Outreach, Program.

Time commitment:  I’m currently devoting 5-6 hrs (besides actual event time) in the months that we have Cajun/Zydeco dances.  I can probably add 6 – 8 hours a month, depending.

 Rachel Glick (Troy)  I attend the Albany Contra Dances and occasionally First Friday Swing Dances. I’ve been a regular attendee of ALBS and the Flurry for 6 years.

  • No relevant board or organizational experience. I have a strong interest in social justice.
  • I would like to promote inclusivity and diversity with the DFO. Gender diversity can be helped by adopting Larks and Robins/Ravens during regular contra series, and racial diversity can be helped by adding different forms of outreach. I also think that the dances would benefit greatly from a Safer Spaces Policy and team, which I would like to help create.
  • I’m willing to try anything! I tend to be a fast learner but will definitely need to be caught up and learn more about specifics of each committee.

Jordan Kammeyer (Great Barrington, MA)  Note:  Jordan will turn 18 in September, the minimum age for board membership in NYS for those organizations not primarily focused on serving youth.  She will serve as an advisory board member until that time.

I live near Great Barrington, so my home dances are Lenox, Chatham, and Sheffield. I am a contra dancer, though I enjoy other dancing. When I went to the Flurry in February (my fourth time), I did swing, waltz, and blues, and tried tango, salsa, and Cajun, in addition to being in the main hall.

I am obsessed with contra; before the pandemic hit, I was working on a semester-long contra-centered project with Jon Greene as my mentor. I have written several dances, called with the Callers’ Club in Housatonic and Chatham, and organized a contra dance gym class for a local high school. The class unfortunately had to be cancelled, but I had scheduled a space in a Town Hall, volunteer musicians, and prepared to teach them myself.  I would love to be able to be part of this.

Kevin Musick (Albany)  I am a PhD student at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany. I regularly participate in the Albany contradances and have attended the Flurry festival for the last 5 years. Outside of DFO activities, I’ve also done some Scandinavian dance, and practice with a local capoeira group at my university. I would love to take a more active role in contributing to the dance community in my free time.

  • In graduate school, I became heavily involved in student government. Initially, this was focused on planning and overseeing social events for students. I learned about budgeting for events, and ways of promoting them to students. Additionally, as a representative to UAlbany’s graduate student association assembly, I was exposed to the inner workings of the organization, including organizational bylaws, and Robert’s Rules (various interpretations over several executive boards.) When SUNY Polytechnic Institute separated from UAlbany, I was elected to the new executive board for the graduate student organization and served for several years. I served twice as vice president, and filled in half a year as president. My responsibilities included meeting with the interim president of the university, serving on the faculty senate, and serving on several faculty committees. I personally led a committee to revise and add to the bylaws of the new graduate student government, after seeing firsthand the importance of having clear governing documents during my time in UAlbany’s GSA assembly meetings.
  • I regularly post fliers for the Albany contradances in our graduate office.
  • I am most interested in supporting drawing in new dancers into the community. Ideas include: increased social media presence, outreach at local events, and hosting dances marketed for beginners (with extended lesson time.) People need to made aware of the dances in a way that catches their interest, and they need to feel comfortable trying something new. Any marketing and outreach that emphasizes our welcoming community of dancers would go a long way in reducing peoples’ anxieties. Also, phrases like, “Beginners always welcome!” on marketing materials, and emphasizing lessons before dances could reduce anxieties about being the odd-one-out beginner among an unfamiliar group of experienced dancers.
  • I would be willing to join any committee as needed, though given the choice, I would be most interested in the outreach or media committees. I would also be interested in the liaison and event support committees. It is hard to estimate how much time I’ll have at this time. I anticipate graduating with my PhD in Nanoscale Engineering and will be looking for full-time jobs in the area.

Harvey Raufman, Chatham   I am a member of the Flurry Planning Committee. I served in the very early years, creating and then expanding the volunteer structure. I took a hiatus of several years, and once again am serving as the volunteer coordinator. I also manage the lost & found crew. I have attended every Flurry festival, save one.  I run sound for the Capital English dance series

  1. I have been dancing since 1974 and a regular dancer, in the Capital District, since 1987, dancing at all of the contra dance series, the swing dances, with the (now defunct) Scandinavian dance group, and all of the English dance groups.
  2. I served on the early DFO board when the organization was known as the Hudson Mohawk Country Dancers. I founded and ran the [first] Cajun and Zydeco dance series.
  3. I have an interest in developing youth involvement in traditional music and dance.
  4. At this point, I am interested in being a board member at large, to give me time to evaluate and then determine where my experience and skills would best serve.


Nominations for Officers.
The positions of President, First Vice President, and Secretary were vacated by retiring board members.

President:  Shira Love (Averill Park)  Shira is a life-long contra dancer who has passed the love of dance and music on to her two daughters.  She was first involved in the DFO board as a member of the Family Dance community.  Over the past year she has taken the lead in assessing and revamping the DFO’s approach to publicity and social media, working with dance organizers to assess the overall approach to publicity, working with a consultant to redesign the e-newsletter and develop guidelines and strategies for social media, and arranging training.  She has also reviewed the board’s committee structure and developed a proposal for a revived committee framework.

First Vice President:  Will Anderson (Niskayuna)  Will is a swing dancer who has taken the opportunity to dance in other communities during his frequent travels.  This past year he began to teach swing dancing.  He has served as chair of the Program Committee to review applications for program grants and has undertaken the lead in developing discussions on dance event issues such as community, inclusion, and youth outreach.

Secretary:  Marie Bruschi (Albany)  As noted in her nomination information, Marie has extensive experience serving on non-profit boards.

Only DFO members can vote.  Here are both Word and pdf versions of the ballot which includes instructions on submission.  Ballots must be received by noon on May 17th.

Word document:  DanceFlurry Organization Annual Meeting Ballot 2020
DanceFlurry Organization Annual Meeting Ballot 2020 .

You may also vote online by completing this form.

Thank you for taking the time to participate in this important DFO meeting!