Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

I’ve never danced before. How will I know what to do?
The caller goes through each dance before we do it. The caller also calls dances appropriate for the experience level of the crowd. If you come a bit early (between 6:30 and 7:00) and ask for a “beginners welcome workshop,” our callers are always willing to give you some how-to tips. In the half hour before the dance, you can learn a lot.

What if I make a mistake?
Not to worry  — everyone makes mistakes, including the most experienced of dancers. Most people learn quickly, and we are a friendly bunch and are not bothered by mistakes.  The most important thing is to have fun, so just relax and dance. As you gain experience you’ll probably learn how to make the most of your mistakes!

Can I come by myself?
Most people do. It’s customary to get a new partner for each dance. You can ask anyone to dance — ask people who look like they know what they are doing and they’ll guide you through the dance. It’s also fine to come with a partner if you wish.

What is the structure of a dance event?
Our dances typically start at 7:00 PM and go until 10:00. There is break about half-way through for snacks and conversation. The band frequently plays a waltz as a last dance before the break and another waltz as the last dance of the night.

Do you have a COVID-19 policy?
Currently, our only COVID-related protocol is that we collect your contact information so that if we learn that a dancer has COVID we can contact others who were at the same event. (This is rare, but has happened.) We do not currently require that dancers document their vaccination status or wear masks. Several of our dancers do prefer to wear masks when they dance, and we have masks available if you wish to wear one but did not bring any. If you have any questions about our COVID protocols, please feel free to contact Jennifer at covidsafety@syracusecountrydancers.org. [This policy was last updated in May 2023, and might change in the future if the public health situation warrants it.]

How can I find out about last-minute changes?
Join our email list (there’s a form to do this below the schedule on the home page) and you’ll be sent a reminder a few days before each dance. On rare occasions, we have to change our previously printed schedule and the email list is the easiest way to find out about it. We also try to post any changes on this website.

Are all dances held in the same location?
Most of our dances are held at the United Church of Fayetteville, but we also sometimes dance in other places as needed and for fun. Our schedule will always alert you when the dance is not in our regular location in Fayetteville.

Who brings the snacks?
Usually the dancers, but sometimes the caller or band members. Don’t see snacks that you like? All snacks are welcome and gratefully eaten, so feel free to bring some!

How much is admission?
We have different recommended rates of admission, so you can choose what works best for you:

$10 – Regular admission
$15 and up – Supporter rate, for those who can afford to pay more and want to give extra support for this activity that they love
$5 – Seniors, students, and others with limited income
Or pay what you can – Everyone is always welcome regardless of their ability to pay.

Because it costs more to us to put them on, we sometimes recommend higher rates for special events. But our “pay what you can” policy is always an option.

Why are there all these different rates?
We want everyone to know that they are always welcome at our dances, period. And… We encourage everyone to support our dances to the extent they can, so that we can continue to hold them. This support can come through paying any rate of admission, bringing snacks, or by volunteering (see below). Our suggested admission rates are mostly to simplify the process when you walk in the door.

Where does the admission money go?
Not to the organizers, who are all volunteers. All the money collected is used to pay expenses: the musicians, the caller, rent for the hall, new sound equipment as needed, and a few miscellaneous expenses like copying and hosting for the website.

Who gets paid?
The caller and the musicians get paid, although usually much less than they are worth! They love playing for our dances, and are generous with their time, so we hope that you will be generous with your applause as well as donating when you can. We also pay a fee to use the space. No one else gets paid.

So the people cleaning the kitchen and putting away chairs are not paid?
Yes, that’s right. We are all volunteers who would love your help. Feel free to join us.

How can I help with all the work that goes into putting on these dances?
We enjoy the work, but we appreciate all the help we get! Email Patty, our volunteer coordinator to volunteer.

The sound system looks like fun. Can I help with it?
The sound system is set up and run by volunteers. If you are interested in learning how, either email Bob Nicholson or ask at a dance. We’re always looking for people to help.