The education of organizers ~ Swing, jazz and blues - Dance to the music

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The education of organizers

Swing dancers in a jam session. Copyright: Henrik Eriksson ( The photo may not be published elsewhere without written permission.

Tuesday night I dj:ed at the weekly dance event Cats Corner that has continued at GH nation this semester. The djing went well I think (please tell me what you thought of it).

A new place always means that things work a little bit different, it also means that things doesn't work in different ways. We've had some technical challenges but I think we have solved them now. This is where experience comes in handy: You know that something almost certainly will happen, but hopefully you have solved the problem before and it can easily be taken care of.

I've been involved in arranging events ever since Swingkatten, our dance organisation, started seven years ago. I'm one of the go-to guys when it comes to technical issues.

I've started to write "brain dumps" so that more people get to know how to do technical stuff. My main goal in Swingkatten in the coming year will be to educate people on technical issues.

I think it's important to have a large group of people that are available to arrange events. It's dangerous to rely on only a few people. What if someone disappears from the scene for one reason or another? You also avoid people getting burned out from doing too much work.

Swing dancers in a jamsession. Copyright: Henrik Eriksson ( The photo may not be published elsewhere without written permission.

Everybody has their favorite way of doing things. In Swingkatten we've had the principle: "If you make things happen, you get to do it the way you like it".

Obviously, everyone can't completly agree about how things are done. That brings us to the other side of the principle: "If you like things done your way, you got to make things happen". Get involved! More people means more variety.

Over the the last couple of years I've implemented the plan that Swingkatten should have technical equipment to be able to independently arrange events. We have almost reached that goal and that feels great. Only a few things are lacking.

So now the challenge is to make use of all this equipment. The next step is to educate people. Setting up equipment is not that hard that it may seem. We need to set up some form of apprentice program. Have you done anything like that? I'd like to hear how you did it.

The photos in this post are taken by me at an impromtu jam session at Cats Corner. The photos may not be published elsewhere without my permission. Contact me if you want to buy or license them.

Would you like to be an apprentice? Please comment.

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