[SCA-Dance] The Future of KWDS, part 1

Mary Railing mrailing2 at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 5 16:58:44 EDT 2011

[Below are the first part of my notes from the "Future of KWDS" roundtable at 
KWDS last weekend. Because there was so much said, I have grouped together the 
descriptions of the two bids in this post, and I will post the more general 
comments about what worked and what people would like to do differently is a 
later post. --Urraca]

Felice Debbage began by recapping the decision made at Pennsic two years ago 
when there were three bids for KWDS. At that time the decision was made that the 
next KWDS would be in Bloomington, Indiana in 2011, the next one would be in 
Columbus, Ohio in 2012 and then Deonna von Aachen would find a site in upstate 
New York for 2013.

Since then, some concern has been expressed about having KWDS be an annual 
event. However, Felice has enlisted the help of Laurel Victoria Grey, the 
director of the Silk Road Dance Company, internationally known for Central Asian 
and Middle Eastern dance. Dr. Grey already runs a dance workshop in Columbus 
that draws 300-400 dancers. She has enough Middle Eastern classes lined up to 
fill 8 tracks. However, the Middle Eastern classes will have to be done like 
mundane dance workshops with advance registration for specific classes because 
of class size limits. Because of this strong Middle Eastern component, even if 
fewer of the Renaissance dance crowd are able to come two years in a row, Felice 
believes the event will not lose money.

Felice has other teachers already lined up for Renaissance dance classes from 
among the usual suspects. She is thinking of having the theme be "Anthony & 
Cleopatra" to show love between East and West.

The event will be June 21-24. The date cannot be changed. Urraca asked why that 
weekend instead of the Fourth of July weekend. Felice said that because next 
year the fourth will be on a Tuesday that would be more awkward. She originally 
picked the weekend because it was the former date of Origins. She wants there to 
be more for dance widowers to do, such as arranging for outdoor fighting space. 
(Some objected to the idea of adding fighting.)

The site is the Ohio Union. It is a modern building, unlike the IMU, but it is 
very sexy. (She showed pictures.) There are rooms available with carpeting for 
Middle Eastern classes and with sprung floors and mirrors for Renaissance dance 
classes. The lecture room has a mic at every seat. We can have a cash bar at the 
balls. There are a lot of rooms available, including an open dance room next to 
troll and a room away from the other rooms where people can rehearse without 
being overheard. There is not a connected hotel, but there are shuttles from 
area hotels to the campus because of football games. She has not yet checked 
into getting room blocks, but she would like to reserve room blocks is hotels at 
a variety of price levels. The university is in the process of switching from a 
quarter system to a semester system next summer, so she doesn't think dorm rooms 
will be available, but she will check. There are lots of restaurants within 
walking distance.

The bid will be submitted to the kingdom at the Pennsic curia meeting. Felice 
believes the financials are strong. (Pre-reg price will be $60 and at-the-door 
will be $90) She is calling it KWDMS 9 to call attention to the music track. 
(Aaron Drummond is organizing the music classes.) It is already on the kingdom 
calendar as a baronial event. There is a web site http://kwdsix.org (Yes, she 
realizes that looks like "six" instead of "ix")

Deonna spoke about her plans to host KWDS in Saratoga Springs in 2013. No money 
has been put down yet. The site and date are not set. She has baronial support. 
She has some staff. She passed around flyers of locations she is looking at. It 
is tourist destination with Victorian hotels at the hot springs and a family 
destination as well. The National Museum of Dance is there with space we can 
rent. Deonna would like to use it at least on Friday, but it is expensive, and 
it makes much of its money renting out to weddings in June. We would be able to 
have our own food there all day. Skidmore is the college in the area, but they 
already have a dance camp scheduled for the weekend she wants to use. An event 
in Saratoga Springs would have to be before horse racing season starts, i.e., it 
would have to be in June. Urraca asked whether, if we are not using the 4th of 
July weekend anyway, would there be a date when Skidmore would be available? 
Other possible sites include a former monastery with dorms, and the Saratoga 
Music Hall, which is where Dance Flurry (a large ECD event) is held. There is a 
mundane dance community in the area, no belly dance community that Deonna knows 
of. The nearest airport is Albany. Need to look into airport shuttles. There is 
also train service. Hotels in Saratoga Springs have a "trolley" bus that goes 
between hotels and various destinations. 

Since this is still at the discussion stage, Deonna said she would be willing to 
postpone the event until 2014 if people really feel that every year is too much. 
People asked if there were any other possible bids. Urraca said that in 2009 
Judith of Northumbria had talked about the possibility of a bid to host it in 
Germany, but nothing has been posted about this idea in a long time. The 
question could be put on the SCA-dance mailing list for discussion. The 
consensus was that the time frame for discussion should be to talk about it 
online until Pennsic and then have a meeting at Pennsic to decide whether to put 
off KWDS 10 until 2014. Urraca noted that this was the time frame that was used 
after KWDS 7 when we failed to come to a decision in Toronto, so using the same 
process to amend the plan makes sense. Deonna said that she would have to be 
ready to present a bid by January 1. Darius noted that she could look to other 
SCA groups in the area to help her bid.

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