December 28, 2022
Dear Members, Friends, and Supporters of TADAMS;
TADAMS is starting 2023 by returning to a twice a month schedule, and trying a new venue.
West End Ballroom
2300 John Rolfe Parkway
Henrico, VA 23233
West End Ballroom is a dance studio in the John Rolfe Commons shopping center in western Henrico County. They have a large floor, plenty of well-lit parking, and good availability of our preferred Saturdays. Sam Atkinson, the Facility Director is happy to welcome another dance discipline to their space.
The decision to try another venue was not an easy one. The old schoolhouse of Lewis Ginter Recreation Association is a wonderful and unique venue. However, several factors led the TADAMS board to consider alternative venues. The three main factors were: affordability, community, and urgency.
Rent of the LGRA dance hall has gone up over the years but began to rise significantly starting in 2017. For 2020 the TADAMS board negotiated a lower rent than LGRA wanted by dancing on one Sunday and one Saturday a month instead of two Saturdays. It looked like TADAMS could grow attendance to support the agreed rent increase, but Covid-19 hit and everything shut down. During the pandemic LGRA adopted a new business model which has further increased their rental rates.
The TADAMS and LGRA communities worked together in the past to bring a second life to old schoolhouse. More recently, however, the Covid-19 pandemic forcibly disrupted many relationships including the one between LGRA and TADAMS. As a result, there was wide disparity in expectations at the start of negotiations to rent the old schoolhouse for 2023.
The most significant reason for changing venues, was urgency. This fall, with LGRA negotiations stalling after several months, TADAMS board members inquired at many other potential venues. Sam Atkinson, the facility director of West End Ballroom was happy to welcome another dance discipline and even attended our November 10th dance to learn more about our dance and community. As of our November 12th meeting, we did not have a rental agreement with any venue but needed to book bands and callers for 2023; and so TADAMS board voted to pursue an agreement with WEB for the first quarter of 2023.
There is hope for returning to LGRA. The TADAMS board is considering an agreement with LGRA for five Sundays in 2023, and we hope to hold Springforth Ball there in 2024. While the pandemic has hit both TADAMS and LGRA hard, we are working to reestablish a mutually supportive relationship and hopeful of finding common ground once again.
Please join as we start 2023 by dancing 2nd and 4th Saturdays at West End Ballroom. January 14th we have music by Stay All Night (Bill Wellington on fiddle, Andrew Carter on banjo, and Lorie Lichtenwalner on guitar) with Ben Albrandt calling. Our first quarter is scheduled and booked. We hope to see you there.
The TADAMS Board
Robert, Jeff, Virginia, Greg, Jim, Lucie, & Chris
Traditional American Dance and Music Society