Big Scioty Membership and Board


It’s not necessary to be a member to dance with Big Scioty. However, admissions at each dance fall short of our expenses (rent, talent fees, insurance, publicity, sound equipment, and supplies). This shortfall is made up partly by Winter WarmUp funds, but our membership dues also are needed. This extra cash allows us to hire a wide variety of talent so our dances stay lively and fun without having to raise admission prices.

For only $12 a year (Sept. to Sept.) you will receive the following benefits:
• Yearly personalized name badges
• $1 off admission to all 14 Big Scioty dances
• The right to vote for board members (or to run for board positions) and to vote on bylaws and Big Scioty concerns
• Members can bring first-time dancers to Big Scioty dances as their guests for free
• You’ll be helping to bring great bands and callers to town for FUN!


Since 2009 Big Scioty has had an operating board and has offered yearly memberships to dancers. Having board members spreads the workload of organizing the dance among several people. All Big Scioty members are eligible to run for board membership and to vote on board members. Elections are held every year at our annual meeting. Board terms are for one year.

Here’s a list of our current board members and their positions. Three of the members have titles (talent, financial, and volunteer coordinator) and the other two are “members-at-large”. Members- at-large assist the other board members and generally have other duties that will depend on their skills. Board members can have assistance from within the board or outside – it’s pretty fluid. All other dance committees report to the board as needed.

Current board:
• Richard Ades – Talent coordinator
• Martha Shaw – Volunteer coordinator
• Katrina Castergine – Treasurer
• Ellie Nowels – Member at large
• Another member at large needed

Any member who wishes to run for the board needs to submit their request (along with a short statement of their experience or other info they would like to share) to a board member at least 2 weeks before the annual meeting, so that info can be distributed. Want to help with the dance, but not be on the board, or have some ideas you want to share? Just chat with a board member!

Bylaws: Our bylaws spell out how the dance and board are organized and provides procedures we can follow if problems arise.

Annual meeting: Our bylaws require an annual meeting with election of board members, and require a quorum of 10% of current members. We announce an agenda prior to the meeting. Our treasurer always updates us on the regular dance and Winter WarmUp finances; other items that might be discussed might include ideas for Mayapple Stomp, publicity, recruiting new dancers, and more. Please note: Though everyone is welcome to take part in the meeting, voting is restricted to current Big Scioty members. 

Our 2019 annual membership meeting will be held at 6:30 before the dance on March 16. All current board members are running for reelection – here are their statements. In addition, Richard Reichard is running for the open member at large position.

In addition, we will be voting on an addition to the bylaws; see the text below.

Financial Coordinator: Katrina Castergine
My name is Katrina Castergine and I am running for Financial Coordinator. I have 19 rentals and know how to live under a budget. I manage all my property myself and feel that I can handle financial tasks with the keen eye that I have learned to have with rental management. I do everything from search out insurance to rehabbing the properties. Money is the bottom line when it comes to enjoying your job vs. dreading what you do for a living. I have come to enjoy property management.

Talent Coordinator: Richard Ades
As a longtime dancer and caller, I know contra is always fun, but it’s so much more fun when the band and caller are working at the top of their game. During the time I’ve served as Big Scioty’s talent coordinator, I’ve focused not only on booking talented and exciting callers and bands, but on combining them in a way that maximizes everyone’s enjoyment. As a member of this community, I’ve also concentrated on giving new talent a chance to develop and prove themselves. Booking Big Scioty’s dances is a challenging job, but it’s also a rewarding one. 

Volunteer Coordinator: Martha Shaw
Big Scioty has become a true dancing community, with willing volunteers to make dancing fun. My job ensures that no one feels too burdened, and different pairs set up for each of our dances. When Winter Warm Up arrives, I coordinate those volunteers, and everyone pitches in. In addition, I assist with financial duties and will continue to do so.

Member at Large: Ellie Nowels
I have been enthusiastically contra dancing for many years, and have served on the board for many years. I tell everyone I meet about what fun contra dancing is and invite them to our dances! My goals are to make Big Scioty a vibrant dance that welcomes new dancers and challenges experienced dancers. I am currently part of the Winter WarmUp committee and also many other duties, including most of the graphic design and publicity for the dances. I would like to continue serving as a member-at-large.

Member at Large: Richard Reichard
Contra dancing is so much fun. But it is not just the dancing that makes being a part of the Big Scioty Contra Dance community so special to me. It is the friendships and camaraderie that being part of this community have brought into my life that makes me want to commit more of my time to ensuring the continued health and vitality of it. I anticipate being part of this community for some time to come and would welcome the opportunity to serve it in a more meaningful way.

Proposed Bylaw Change:

6.9 Safety. It is vital that the Coordinating Committee work together with members and other dancers to ensure that Big Scioty events are held in an environment that protects the safety, comfort and well-being of each participant. Disruptions of that environment could include, but are not limited to:

· inappropriate or unwanted physical contact

· inappropriate or unwanted comments or attention

· actions or comments that belittle participants on the basis of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity

To ensure the comfort and safety of all, the Committee is charged with investigating any reported disruptions or misbehavior and taking action when necessary. At the Committee’s discretion, that action may include talking with the alleged offender, issuing warnings and/or, in the case of serious or repeated infractions, suspending or banning the alleged offender from future Big Scioty events.