The aim of Anonymous Morris is to dance Border Morris 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.
All musicians are encouraged to learn one or two dances to help them understand the timing and rhythm of the dances.
The Wrangler, aided by 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 starts on the first Thursday in September and runs to the last Thursday before Wimborne Minster Folk Festival in June. 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. Everyone pays the same amount. The Squire and Treasurer may agree an exemption if there are special circumstances.
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.
Accounts should be audited once per year. The Treasurer must bring opening and closing bank statements to the AGM so that these can be seen at the same time as the figures in the accounts.
Members will vote at each AGM on a charity to collect for.
Kit consists of:
- Tatter jacket with purple, black and white being the dominant colours.
- Black top hat
Apart from a tatter jacket and black top hat which must be worn, side members are free to choose what they wish to wear though these choices must be in side colours
Shirts and t shirts should contain no wording or logo of any kind apart from the Anonymous Morris logo.
Members provide their own clothing and footware.
Dancer's jackets may have longer, heavier, tails than musician's jackets.
The Squire and Ragman are responsible for determining whether a member’s kit is up to the required standard for dancing out.
Tatter jacket inspection for the entire side will be held in January.
Kit inspection for the entire side will be held in early April.
Tatter jackets are provided by the side and remain the property of the side. (A member may choose to make their own jacket with fabric provided by the side, but they must still give the jacket to the side if they leave)
Members buy their own top hats and may decorate them in any manner they choose. Hats bought by dancers remain the property of the dancer (though donations are always appreciated). Hats loaned to members by the side remain the property of the side.
The side owns a small number of pirate shirts. These will be loaned to members on a long term basis, but must be returned if the member leaves (donations always welcome).
The side usually provides bells, but members are welcome to buy their own bell pads. There are no restrictions on the style of bell pad.
If the member has been awarded any kind of badge by the side, then the member always gets to keep it free of charge.
Equipment bought by or given to the side, such as bells, sticks and drums, remains the property of the side.
If the side disbands, the members will vote on how to dispose of assets, with a focus on donating items to other sides.
The AGM will be early in the year, within the first three weeks of the practice season.
All committee posts are elected every year.
Any changes within the constitution to the various roles should be agreed and made known before electing new committee members
The committee may co-opt new committee members if a post falls vacant during the year or an assistant is required. The new job holder may stand for election at the AGM to continue long term in the post.
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, Foreman and Band Leader.
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.
- The person teaching the dances.
- Collects subs and pays the hall hire.
- Assistant Treasurer
- Will audit the accounts.
- The 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.
- Assistant Bagman
- Someone to help the bagman with bookings, and getting people to fill in the dance grid.
- Works out a list of dances for each event and who will be dancing which dance. Maintains a record of which dancers have learned which dances to the required standard.
- Web Monkey
- Responsible for keeping the web site up to date.
- Band Leader
- Responsible for organising band rehearsals and ensuring that the band are playing at the correct speed for the dancers. Also responsible for ensuring that everyone has copies of the music and knows the pattern of As and Bs for each dance. It would be helpful for the band leader (or an assistant) to be able to produce ABC files and create midis and PDFs for the web site.
- The person who looks after the fabric, inspects kit to make sure it falls into the rules set by the side and makes most of the tatter jackets. A sewing machine is very useful, but not essential.
- Publicity and Recruitment Officer
- The person who gets coverage into newspapers, puts up posters, organises leaflets, etc. Should also keep an eye on the Facebook page.
- The person entrusted with finding grant and sponsorship money from charities, councils, businesses, etc.
It’s possible for a person to be elected to more than one role.
Nonelected post (and nonvoting):
- Master of Tea
- The person who makes the tea/coffee, makes sure we have milk and often produces biscuits (The bag will cover costs, if necessary).
- Master of Tea may be replaced by a self-service tea bar.
It is possible for other positions to be voluntary and nonvoting if they are carried out by someone who is no longer an active member of the side (this is most likely to apply to web monkey and ragman).
Committee Voting Rules
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. (Most likely to happen with web monkey and Ragman, as these can easily be carried out by non-members)
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.
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