Southern Star Constitution
The aim of Southern Star is to dance longsword and to promote it among younger people.
We aim for a high standard of dance and costume.
We are a non-profit making organisation.
We are open to dancers of all religions, genders, ages and sexual orientations.
Dancers are encouraged to learn an instrument so that they can play when not dancing.
Musicians are encouraged to learn one or two dances to help them understand the tempo and rhythm of the dances.
The Foreman, will decide which dancers have reached a sufficient standard to dance any specific dance in public.
The Band Leader decides which musicians are ready to play for public performances.
The practice season officially starts on the Monday of September, but can begin earlier, anytime the dancers feel it is too dark/wet/cold to dance outside in the evenings.
Practice will continue at least until and runs to the last Monday before Wimborne Minster Folk Festival in June, but can continue after that date at the Foreman's discretion (especially if the side has new recruits). Practice sessions can also be held in quiet areas behind pubs, etc. when the weather is fine.
Performances (especially paid bookings) can happen at any time of year, but will primarily be outside the practice season.
There is a discretionary fund (treasurer/committee to decide) for occasional petrol expenses, especially if the person requesting petrol is crucial for the event.
Subs and Accounts
Subs will be set by the Treasurer, and will depend on our bank balance. The Treasurer after consulting with the committee, may set a lower rate of subs for members on low incomes.
All new members get the first week free.
The Treasurer should:
- Make accounts available to any member upon request.
- Confirm any purchase over £40 with the side.
- See if any item can be found cheaper via the side.
Members will vote at each AGM on a charity to collect for.
Kit consists of:
- Black shirt
- Black trousers
- Black footwear and socks
- Brightly coloured waistcoat
Kit inspection for the entire side will be held in early April.
Equipment bought by or given to the side, such as swords, remains the property of the side, not individuals.
If the side disbands, the members will vote on how to dispose of assets, with a focus on donating items to teams/individuals who can use them.
The AGM will be on a Monday in September.
All committee posts are elected every year.
Nominations should ideally be given to the Squire before the AGM, but may also be made at the AGM. Members should check whether a person is happy to stand before nominating them.
Every key post should have a deputy learning the post, so as to ensure there is someone capable of taking over in case of illness, etc.
Anyone who is up to date with their subs is eligible to vote at the AGM
Posts that MUST be elected are Squire, Treasurer, Bagman, and Foreman.
The AGM may also choose to elect other posts from the list below:
The squire will be chair of any meetings, represent the side in public, and is the person in authority when the side is dancing out.
(Deputy Squire)Represents the side when the Squire is unavailable.
ForemanThe person teaching the dances.
TreasurerCollects subs and pays the hall hire.
(Assistant Treasurer) Will audit the accounts.
BagmanThe person to talk to if you want to book the side to perform in public at an event. Also, the person who finds pubs/folk festivals/castles/etc. to dance at. Keeps a record of which dancers will able to attend which dance-out and is responsible for cancelling events, and telling the members of the side, if there are not going to be enough dancers. Outgoing bagman should assist new bagman until new bagman is confident.
(Web) Responsible for keeping the web site up to date.
Committee Voting Rules Voting posts are Squire, Foreman, Bagman and Treasurer. The Squire acts as chair and holds the casting vote, but will only vote in case of a tie.
People holding multiple committee posts only have a single vote in the committee.
All committee posts to be non-voting when held by non-members. (May happen with Web, as this can be carried out by a non-member)
Deputies are not full committee posts and do not get votes.
Honorary, non-voting, membership (mainly for insurance purposes) will automatically be granted to people who are invited by the committee to play or perform with us on occasional events like maypole bookings or mumming plays, or who join the side part-way though the summer dance season.
If a matter arises that requires an Emergency General Meeting (EGM), then this should be discussed with the Squire, who will determine if a meeting should be called. Two weeks notice is required for an EGM to allow time for all members to be notified and to be made aware of the issues to be discussed. If the issue needs to be resolved quickly and two weeks is too long, then the Squire will make a decision on the issue and report to the members on the action he has taken.
A vote of confidence in the Squire is always a valid reason for an EGM.