This article was originally written as a Facebook post by our guest blogger, Renee Harris Baker, a member of the Lancaster Shag Club.
It takes more than just people showing up to dance to support a shag club.
Our goal is to preserve and promote the shag.
Why pay a membership fee? Lots of people are content to pay more money for entrance to parties rather than save money by paying a membership fee and paying the lower entrance fee to parties, because they don’t want to have to “do a job” in the club. Well, memberships are needed for clubs to survive.
- Clubs that are members of the ACSC (Association of Carolina Shag Clubs) have to pay a yearly fee (this also entitles you to buy your SOS card at a reduced amount).
- Clubs have to pay a fee to the one of the music associations in order for the DJs to be able to play artist's music for the public.
- Clubs have expenses such as websites and their upkeep, newsletters to publish, flyers for parties or events, and other expenses just to exist.
The Price of Parties
Membership money doesn’t cover the cost of weekly or monthly parties. Some clubs are fortunate enough to have a restaurant or club to support them and allow them to use their facilities free of charge. These clubs are few and far between. Most clubs have to pay rent for the facility and also pay for the DJ to play. Venues aren’t cheap. This is why clubs must also charge a fee at the door for the party and sell raffle tickets and 50/50 tickets.
An average club will have to pay at a minimum $400 or maybe even $600 to have a party. That would be $4-$6 a piece entrance fee for 100 people….see where I’m going with this? Then, even if you have a cash bar and members bring food or snacks, the club has to furnish plates, napkins, forks. Decorations? Not required, but people prefer a little something. You need tickets to have a raffle, paper, pens, books to keep track of people signing in, expenses, etc.
Money aside, parties don’t just happen. Parties have to have a venue, they need a date, a DJ, persons to get the room ready – set up tables, decorate, persons to man the door and sign in people, take up the money, someone to organize the food, persons to sell the raffle and 50/50 tickets, someone to make the announcements, people to clean up, someone to pay the venue and the DJ, someone to send updates and pictures to the webmaster and the editor of the newsletter.
What about when the party is over? Someone has to publish the newsletter, coordinate charity functions, make flyers for upcoming events, teach the shag lessons to get new members in…. the list goes on.
You have members that serve as Officers and Board Members. Should they have to do ALL the work for the club? No. They are the representatives and final decision makers, but they alone can’t do all the work. Our officers are required to attend 3 of the mandatory meetings held by ACSC (who own and maintain SOS). Should these unpaid workers have to spend their own money for gas, food, rooms, and event fees to serve their club?
So what does it mean to be a member… let’s see… Webster says a “constituent part of a whole”. It takes the members working together as a whole to keep the group together. Everyone must play their part. Not everyone needs to perform the same task, and some are better at different tasks than others.
The club can’t function without the members. Without the members, there is no party. Without a party, you don’t get to talk to your friends and dance. Therefore, participate, support your club by coming to the dances, promote the club, work for the club, bring new friends in to further growth of the club, have an opinion and don’t expect something for nothing.
Renee Baker, former President of Lancaster Shag Club, is the "go to" person for all upcoming shagging events in the Lancaster, S.C. and Charlotte, N.C. areas.
She and her former dance partner Rick Honeycutt of Salisbury, N.C., created the premier website of the shag world, ShagTour.com.
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/renee.h.baker