Back to Thursday Contra home page

Role Terms Taskforce

Philadelphia area contra dances have traditionally used the role terms Gents and Ladies. Since 2015, the dance board has made it clear that everyone may dance any role with any partner. Some people in our community would like our dance to use gender free role terms, such as Larks and Ravens. Some people in our community have reservations with changing role terms.

The PATMAD Board established the Role Terms Taskforce to guide discussion and identify options for the future. The Taskforce members are Sheryl Neckritz, Mark Moore, Jim Rice, Jim Kitch, Jennie Walsh, Donna Hunt and Chris Deephouse (chair). The Taskforce represents a range of views on the topic and seeks to include everyone in the discussion.

Community Round Tables

On October 10 and 24, the Role Terms Taskforce is hosting round table discussions where community members can learn about, discuss and contribute to the decision about the role terms to be used at our dance. The discussions will take place at 6:30pm before the dance in the Commodore Barry Room. Please come to at least one session.

If you wish to express your views and you are unable to attend either session, please and let us know when and how you would like to participate. We are open to scheduling an additional round table session at some date and time in November.

Membership Vote

On March 5 and 12, 2020, the members of PATMAD will vote on proposals that set policy for the role terms used at the Thursday contradance. The vote will follow procedures used for board elections set in the PATMAD Bylaws. To be eligible to vote you must become a member or renew your membership between August 1 2019 and February 6 2020. More details on the proposals and the voting process will be posted here by the end of January.

Why Change? Why Not?

The Mt. Airy dance community has identified several benefits of and concerns about changing to gender free role terms. Some significant themes are listed here. Which do you agree with?

Taskforce discussion
and dancer comments
Click on a thumbnail to
see the full size image.
Taskforce brainstorming July 25 Taskforce brainstorming #1 Taskforce brainstorming #2
Dancer comments March 7 Dancer comments 3-07-19
Dancer comments July 25 Dancer comments 7-25-19
Dancer comments September 5 Dancer comments typed up

Timeline

March 7 2019 Maia McCormick calls with Larks and Ravens after the break
April 17 The PATMAD Board authorizes trial dances using Larks and Ravens and establishes the Role Terms Taskforce
May Phil Baumgarten, board president, appoints Sheryl Neckritz, Mark Moore, Jim Rice, Jim Kitch, Jennie Walsh, Donna Hunt and Chris Deephouse to the Taskforce
June 20 Scott Higgs coordinates the callers with Larks and Ravens after the break
July 25 Will Mentor calls a full evening with Larks and Ravens
September 5 Donna Hunt calls a full evening with Larks and Ravens
October 10
October 24
Community Round Table discussions at 6:30pm in the Commodore Barry room
October 31 Dave Rupp coordinates the callers with Larks and Ravens after the break
January 2020
February 2020
Two Larks and Ravens dances to be scheduled
February 6 Last day to become a PATMAD member and be eligible to vote in March
March 5 & 12 PATMAD members vote on the policy for role terms going forward
May 2020 The policy decided by the membership is in effect with the May through August booking period
Back to Thursday Contra home page