Asilomar "Deadline" - NOT!?

What’s in a deadline?

People have asked why we need applications and deposits in April, six months before the Asilomar Weekend, and why does the application mention a lottery? The first answer is easy - our contract with Asilomar requires a 50% deposit from us 6 months prior to our Weekend. As a non-profit organization, the San Francisco Branch of the RSCDS does not have the resources to easily front tens of thousands of dollars to secure the weekend without a partial offset from attendee deposits. We depend on these to meet our contract.

How many attendees we can have is limited by the number of dance sets that will fit in Merrill Hall. In past decades, when we had more members, we had many more applicants than we could fit, so we instituted a lottery for space. We established a deadline, and subjected all who applied by that deadline to the lottery. Those who didn’t make it in went on to the waiting list, in lottery order, and it was only after all of them that late applications went onto the wait list.

But in recent years, with fewer members and more choices for how to spend our time, attendance no longer necessitated using the lottery. We have not had to turn away anyone wanting to attend in the last 10 years, and have had several years when we were not full. So some have begun to take it for granted that they can apply any time and still get in. This both hurts our cash flow and makes it hard to plan for how many classes we can have, as we won't know how many will attend far enough in advance of the Weekend.

Our cost per attendee is also higher when there are fewer attendees, and Asilomar requires a minimum number of filled rooms for a group to use Merrill Hall. Because of our long history at Asilomar, we get an exception for a lower number of rooms needed than other groups, but we still need to utilize (and pay for) at least 104 rooms to be able to use Merrill. So we have needed to seek attendees from wider afield to assure we meet our commitment.

The bottom line is, it really helps if we get your application and deposit by our deadline. But we usually do still have room after it passes. So don’t be too worried if you don’t or can’t commit by then - just go ahead and do it now! Or as soon as you can. You won’t want to miss the Asilomar Weekend, not least because we'll be celebrating 60 years of Scottish Country dancing at Asilomar in 2018! So apply & COME - Friday-Sunday, October 26-28, 2018.

Our Saturday night Ball musicians, Chris Duncan on fiddle and Catherine Strutt on piano are synonymous with the highest quality of Scottish fiddle and piano music in Australia, and the world.Their invigorating musical vitality bursts with infectious energy, drive, color and groove. Friday night's Welcome Dance's band Fiddlesticks & Ivory Players are well known to Bay Area dancers and beyond. The band features fine Scottish fiddling by Susan Worland and Janet Kurnick, with Lyle Ramshaw on piano, and David Mostardi on accordion.

Our outstanding faculty, teaching at Asilomar for the first time this Fall, include Englishman David Hall, now of Vienna, Austria, Canadian Craig Williams of Kanata, Ontario and Cecily Selling of Philadelphia, PA. And returning to teach the Weekend, are two native Scots, Linda Henderson, of Walnut Creek, CA and Elinor M. Vandegrift of Seattle, WA. All are in-demand teachers who have taught at workshops and weekend at home and internationally. If attendance permits, we will add a 6th teacher, to be announced.

Our October dates this year offer plenty of opportunities for you to expand the Weekend into a vacation if you so chose. For those traveling from a distance, we advise traveling early to acclimatize and get over jet lag. Consider attending the Bay Area Ball Previews and/or local classes ahead of the Weekend. Or travel to or from Seattle, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Yosemite, Los Angeles or many other destinations that California has to offer, before or after the Weekend. Or add on a extra day or more at Asilomar, Pacific Grove or in the San Francisco Bay Area. Enjoy whale watching, the Monterey Aquarium, Alcatraz or San Francisco. There are so many choices! Do get in touch if you'd like guidance on adding in activities to your trip.

To apply and attend Friday-Sunday, October 26-28, 2018, apply on-line. For more Weekend details, please go to

Any Questions? Feel free to contact me - Patti Cobb, Asilomar Weekend Chair

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RSCDS San Francisco Branch Address:

2250 24TH Street, Unit 225, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA

© 2014-2019 RSCDS San Francisco Branch, Asilomar Weekend

All Rights Reserved

Last updated 16 July 2019

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