Possible formation of a United Kingdom Lindy Hop Association
Records of meetings held by the working party for a United Kingdom Lindy Hop Association.
Thus far there have been 2 meetings held:
- 10/12/2000 - Minutes published below.
- 14/01/2001 - Minutes published below.
NOTE OF MEETING TO DISCUSS THE FORMATION OF
THE UNITED KINGDOM LINDY HOP ASSOCIATION (UKLHA). 11.00am- 2.00pm
Sunday, 10 December 2000, Master
Brewer Hotel, Hillingdon Circus, Uxbridge
Those attending: Martin Ellis
and Jane Eliot of Swingland, Dan Guest of the Lindy Circle, Andrew Winton,
of "Swingtime", Fred Hunt and Beckie Menckhoff of Live2Jive, Angela Andrews
(arrived a little late), Les Jones of Oxford Swing Dance Society, Claire
and Robert Austin of Swingtastic
Independent Chairman: Rob
McKim of Jive Junction: Minute Taker: Jean Harper
Apologies: James Hamilton,
Julie Oram, Ann Peskett and Graeme Puckett, Christie Guest, Simon Selmon,
Jiving Lindy Hoppers.
ITEM 1: Those in attendance and
The Chairman asked everyone to introduce
themselves and summarise their interest in the formation of a United Kingdom
Lindy Hop Association (UKLHA). The Chairman started off by describing
his own background where he was fairly well known on the swing/jive scene
as a promoter / organiser /DJ (and mediocre dancer) with two regular venues.
He had personally established good relations with virtually everyone on
the Lindy Hop scene who he knew him. He hoped that in accepting the offer
as impartial chairman, he would set out the meeting to be constructive
with those present given the opportunity to express their views.. He also
explained that Jean Harper, herself a Lindy hop teacher with a dance class
in Reading, would take the notes to ensure a formal record was made for
openness and wider circulation.
Martin Ellis (ME): Social
dancer and teacher of lindy hop (LH). Co-founder and director (with Jane
Eliot) of "Swingland". Purpose should be to promote swing music and LH
in the UK and deal with international matters affecting the UK LH scene.
Jane Eliot: As above - ME’s
partner in Swingland.
Dan Guest (DG): Social dancer
and with his partner, Christi, founder member of the Lindy Circle performance
and teaching group. Purpose is the promotion of LH.
Andrew Winton (AW): Social
lindy hop dancer, enthusiast for the history of lindy hop and writer of
"Swingtime" an informative website for the swing community, providing,
news, reviews and listings of LH and other related events.
Beckie Menckhoff (BM): Founder
(with Fred) of "Live 2 Jive", and organiser with Fred of the "Swing Jam",
Lindy Hop teacher and one of small circle of UK teachers of West Coast
Swing in the UK: Beckie is now becoming more involved in private gigs and
Fred Hunt (FH): (As above).
Fred had danced most of his life and Beckie’s partner in Live2Jive. One
of the few present not to have come to LH via modern jive but through ballroom
and other forms of dancing.
Les Jones (LJ): One of five
organisers of the Oxford Swing Dance Society, formed mainly to encourage
dancing in the Oxford Area
Claire Austin (CA) & Robert
Austin (RA) :Dancing since 1987, started briefly with LH before
concentrating on Jive and forming "Le Jive" as teachers and organisers,
later widening their interests. They now separate their interests under
different brands: Swingtastic - Lindy/Hollywood Swing – and attending this
meeting under this brand; LEJIVE - Strictly Modern Jive: Mojo Boogie -
Live Bands (R&B, Swing, R'n'R).
Note: Angela had not arrived
in time for the above round the table introduction session.
Item 2: The purpose of forming
a United Kingdom Lindy Hop Association
FH Explained that their original
proposal had been for a UKLHA for LH teachers and promoters because of
the logistical problems of universal membership. This would also overcome
the perception from abroad that the organisers in the UK do not speak to
one another. F&B believe that teachers ought to represent the views
of the people they teach.
RA: Called for a wide-bodied
organisation that represents the UK LH interest internationally. Believes
in the importance of competitions, particularly because they are one of
the main ways the dance achieves general publicity.
ME: Expressed concern about
those who were not present, stating that those at the meeting were a minority.
DG: This initial meeting was
not in a position to make decisions but should rather come up with a proposal
which those absent would have an option to join if they wished. He was
most concerned with what the purpose of the organisation was to be.
RA: Wanted the proposed UKLHA
to represent lindy hoppers in the UK
CA: Expressed her hope the
UKLHA would help remove the divisiveness that currently existed within
the LH community in the UK.
LJ: Felt the UKLHA prime purpose
should be to promote the dance itself and was less interested in the competition
BM: Stated the belief that
there is more co-operation than is given credit for and that the UKLHA
would offer security for its members as they will be more inclined to do
more and take more risks if supported by others. She felt it was as important
to state what the proposed organisation should not be, as well as
what it should and that she did not like the idea of the WRRC making decisions
on the LH scene in the UK. There was a need to market LH separately from
other jive organisations.
AW: Wondered if there was
enough in common between potential members of the UKLHA to keep them together.
He publicised the clubs and activities of those present and others, but
in no way represented them He thought it was important to have an organisation
that did represent Lindy Hop in the UK. Believed the WRRC to be an irrelevance.
It the WRRC wanted to do something in the UK then they should have to do
so via the UKLHA.
DG: Summarised his views on
what the UKLHA should be for discussion:
a) It should not primarily
be about competitions. He is happy that they exist and recognises they
are part of the LH scene but does not believe a great number of lindy hoppers
in the UK are really interested in competing as demonstrated by the low
number of entries in competitions.
b) It should not be a "closed
shop" for teachers, but a resource for everyone dancing in the UK and visitors
to the country and provide a central point of information. The UKLHA might
also provide an archive of the more expensive LH material.
c) The UKLHA should consider
applying for grant money to achieve this.
In conclusion DG stated that if the
UKLHA proved to be just about competitions he would still consider being
part of it but wouldn’t be prepared to play an active part.
ME: Important that those present
leave the meeting with a firm sense of the organisation. It’s prime purpose
should be to represent the UK internationally and that the UKLHA should
talk to the WRRC. He suggested that perhaps those who gave their reason
for not attending to be the fact they believed the UKLHA would work with
the WRRC, really wanted to work with the WRRC themselves.
Chairman: Then introduced
a discussion on what the UKLHA mean by LH, i.e. was it just those interested
in 1940’s swing or should have a wider genre and incorporating some of
the other dance styles on the scene associated with the LH dance e.g charleston,
AA: Warned against the difficulty
of defining an art form, saying that any attempt to do so will always fail.
The best she could suggest is that LH is about dancing to music that swings.
RA: The focus should be LH
but that the UKLHA could still incorporate other dance styles. It should
a) A gateway to LH hop in
b) An information and archive
CA: Added that competitions improve
dancing standards and give LH dancers a more public profile.
c) A focus for competitions. These
are a great promotional opportunity.
BM: Stressed it was important
to start small and not take on too much as the organisation could always
Chairman: Summarised that
the discussion led to agreement by the meeting that the UKLHA’s purpose
to promote and develop LH. However he added there was some dissent with
some views that the organisation should
represent the dance in the
UK and internationally.
AA: Expressed strong reservations
about the inclusion of "represent" as those present did not constitute
all those involved in LH in the UK. It was not representative at the moment
and never could be.
DG: Shared these reservations
but thought it a reasonable "aim" for the UKLHA.
AW: The UKLHA should endure
even if it’s membership changes over time.
Chairman: Initiated a vote
that the purpose of the UKLHA should be:
"To represent, promote and develop
Lindy Hop in the UK and internationally"
agreement on the purpose carried
7 – 1.
(AA requested that it be noted she
voted against the motion)
Item 3: Membership of UKLHA
Chairman: Requested views
on possible membership criteria:
ME: It should be as open as
possible and include all those who had an authentic interest in LH. He
believed in promoting LH as an art form.
AW: Open to anyone who shares
BM: Concerned about how membership
should be structured because those involved would have different roles
and interests, e.g., dancers, teachers and promoters.
LJ: Agreed it needed to be
open, particularly to dispel any fears that the UKLHA was trying to be
some kind of restrictive "Big Brother" organisation.
RA: Proposed a two-tiered
organisation with as wide membership but stressed the need to protect the
interest of those for whose livelihood depended on the dance.
AW: Proposed the UKLHA needed
a committee but no classification of members.
RA: Thought there should be
different classifications of members.
DG: The committee must represent
all the factions within the membership and that it wouldn’t be constitutional
if it didn’t, but that all members should have the same status.
Chairman: Summarised the views.
He proposed, with the broad agreement of those present that for wider circulation,
the membership criteria should be developed as follows:
"Membership of the UKLHA is open
to everyone with an interest in lindy hop and will be structured to reflect
the various interests of those members."
Chairman thanked all those present
for attending and summarised the overall view of those present that the
meeting had been open and constructive with some concerns openly expressed.
He suggested that the next meeting, proposed by FH for mid-January, should
deal with what now needs to be done to move the ‘proposed body’ forward,
including to a legal footing.DG, RM and FH were given the task of researching
what is needed to achieve this to report back to the next meeting.
He also proposed, as agreed by the
meeting, that a wider and more UK representative audience should be invited
to the next meeting. This further pool of people would also be a valuable
resource needed to contribute their skills and expertise to establishing
and organising a UKLHA in all its processes and visions.
Date of next meeting :
agreed that the next meeting would be held at The Master Brewer again,
at the same time (a Sunday 11.00 – 14.00) in January 2001.
7 January 2001
Minutes from the Meeting of the Working Party
to form the UKLHA - 14/01/01
Andrew Winton - AW
Martin Ellis - ME
Rob Austin - RA
Richard Evans - RE
Fred Hunt - FH
Beckie Menckhoff - BM
Dan Guest - DG
Christi Guest - CG
Rob McKim - RM
All agreed that Andrew Winton should
chair this meeting.
Christi Guest volunteered to take
1) Minutes of meeting held on
10 December 2000
Minutes were passed around for verification.
ME clarified that his reference to the UKLHA talking to WRRC was not a
proposal for the UKLHA to do this. Rather, he meant that if there comes
a time that anyone should speak to the WRRC, the UKLHA should be the group
to do this.
With some minor typographical amendments
made, the minutes were accepted as an accurate record of the previous meeting.
Possible topics for the meeting were
discussed, and the group prioritized legal structure and administrative
procedures for the agenda.
2) Legal Structure
FH, RM, and CG had been asked to
look into legal structures for the proposed UKLHA. According to FH’s findings,
the UKLHA at present is not a legal association. RM in the previous meeting
suggested that the group is actually a working party to set up a UKLHA,
and FH agreed with this.
RM had also sent the group information
in regards to legal structures of trading organizations. FH highlighted
that there are qualifications to business names and that companies must
have approval by Companies House to use certain words like United Kingdom
in their name.
AW expressed his concern that most
of the information from the Model Trade Association may not relate to the
CG presented information in regards
to legal structures for non-profit organizations. She stated that her information
was biased towards groups wishing to become a charity.
According to CG, there are two relevant
structures, an unincorporated association and a company limited by guarantee.
The unincorporated association is fast and simple, with fewer monitoring
obligations until the organisation holds money. It is appropriate for groups
that will have few assets, as trustees can be liable.
Companies limited by guarantee are
subject to stricter monitoring, as they must register with Companies House.
This type of structure limits liability for the members. This limit is
usually not more than £10 per member.
Organizations that have charitable
aims must register with the Charity Commission once they have over £1000
turnover. This is applicable to either structure, and is separate from
CG answered questions and it was
suggested that she send further information to members of the working party.
to send model constitutions and information regarding legal structures
via email. AW to send formatted DTI to the working group. FH to send his
findings to CG to collate the information.
AW presented information about various
groups that he had found. He had spoken to 3 groups, ranging from hobby
and interests groups to a sporting association. Two of the groups were
unincorporated associations, and the sporting association was a company
limited by guarantee. AW emphasized that charity status can come at a later
time. AW to forward information about these organizations to CG for
ME proposed that one objective of
the next meeting is to agree a legal structure for the proposed UKLHA.
This proposal was
There was a brief break, and all
attendees contributed £10 to the hall hire of £70.50.
3) Administration procedures for
the working group
FH formally proposed that the group
was a working group for the formation of a UKLHA. It was agreed
There was discussion as to what would
need to occur for the next meeting to be opened to everyone.
CG suggested that there be two further
meetings, an open meeting for consultation where others can find out more
about the proposed UKLHA and become involved in the working group, and
another working party meeting to decide on legal structures. There was
general consensus on this.
ME stated that there needed to be
an agreement of the agenda and responsibilities of the organisation of
such a meeting, as well as a presenter.
RA stated that there needed to be
an agreed press statement inviting all interested parties.
The discussion turned to dates of
ME stated that the group was effectively
actively excluding Julie Oram because, while others have made apologies,
she has specifically stated that she is unable to make Sunday meetings.
ME suggested Saturdays for the next meetings, and the working group agreed
the following dates
February 2001 for the open meeting
After discussion in regards to a public
statement, the following statement was agreed:
Saturday 10th March 2001
for the working party
Calling All Lindyhoppers!
It was also agreed that attendees
would publish the minutes of the two working group meetings on their websites.
A working party has been set up
with the intention of forming a United Kingdom Lindy Hop Association with
the following aims:
"To represent, promote and develop
Lindy Hop in the UK and internationally"
Two meetings have now been held
and minutes are available on several websites including [working party
member to insert own website]. To find out more, come to the next meeting:
Saturday 24 February 2001, 11.00-14.00
Master Brewer Hotel, Hillingdon
Circus, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB10 9NX
opposite Hillingdon Underground
Station (Metropolitan Line)
All are welcome so let everyone
know. If you are interested in coming, please contact [working party
members to put own contact details].
Apologies if you receive this
email more than once.
NB: Attendees will be asked to
contribute (maximum of £3) to the hall hire and refreshments.
BM to distribute to initial working
party list the dates of the next two meetings.
CG to distribute the public statement
the next day to those at the meeting for feedback. CG to then distribute
the publicity again (with any amendments) to the entire working group on
Wednesday for distribution to the public.
BM suggested that the group discuss
an agenda and chair for the open meeting.
It was agreed unanimously
that AW chair the open meeting, and he accepted.
After discussion about the agenda,
the following agenda was suggested, but not agreed as RA and ME had to
leave before the discussion finished.
AW proposed that this agenda be circulated
to those at the meeting for comment, with a deadline for comments. CG
to circulate the agenda and collate comments.
2. Overview of what has happened
in the 2 meetings
3. Statement of aims as agreed in
the first meeting
4. Brainstorming session for people
to discuss the broad aims of UKLHA
5. Presentation on legal structures
6. The purpose of the working party
– invitation for others to get involved
BM suggested that there be regular
open meetings. There was general consensus on this point, although the
frequency of these meetings was not agreed.
DG queried the logistics of the open
meeting and it was agreed that the working party would meet an hour
before the open meeting to finalize the agenda and agree upon the logistics
of the meeting.
Date of next meetings:
24/02/01 10.00 – 11.00
pre-meeting, Master Brewer Hotel
24/02/01 11.00 – 13.00 open meeting,
Master Brewer Hotel
10/03/03 11.00 – 13.00 working
party meeting, Master Brewer Hotel