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Recruitment Ideas


In February 2023 the JMO hosted an online zoom workshop all about Recruitment – see the video and associated resources at:

Here are some ideas to get you going.

Appoint a Recruitment Officer / Recruitment coordinator

'Join' button by Peter Lomas on pixabayIf a Side is seriously about recruitment then appoint a Recruitment Officer or Recruitment Coordinator.  Recruitment can be very time-consuming but having a Coordinator would mean that various Side members could each be responsible for certain regular tasks.  See more about these below.

Get your side well-known and remain well-known

Regularly and persistently make and keep your side known, locally and near-locally.


(use the AIDA method).  Here are some suggestions:

  • A = Attract Attention: well designed, printed on brightly coloured paper – high viz.
  • I = Inform/Interest: include details of the side (Men’s / Women’s / Mixed), practices, workshops, dance outs, |etc. (or at least mention them and suggest finding further details by telephoning or looking on Facebook etc.). Complete beginners and experienced musicians (M/F or as appropriate) are very welcome.  The side is available for bookings for a variety of events.
  • D = Desire: refer to fun, socialising, keeping fit, performing locally as well as further afield / overseas, fundraising for charity, being part of the local community, keeping the dance tradition very much alive.
  • A = Act: Contact us now for further details …. Why delay – start today!!

Produce a large number of leaflets with contact details of one or more Officers.  Not everyone uses Facebook or Twitter or whatever so as well as including their details, include a telephone number and the side’s email address.  Choose the shape to suit the type of use – A4 posters, A4 trifold or A5 for leaflet holders.

How to use the Leaflets

Supply them to pubs / other venues where the side will be performing – and have a notice of the time and date you will be there.  Interested parties can then take a leaflet home.  And, of course, hand them out to audiences – possibly collecting donations at the same time.

Dance in busy Shopping Centres and hand them out.

Noticeboards need leaflets!! 

  • in your practice hall as well as all the local halls you can get to
  • in schools (aimed at adults / older pupils / parents)
  • supply the local Education Authority with leaflets to go in the School Bag once a year
  • in Adult Education Centres
  • in local Supermarkets (this works very well indeed)
  • in local independent cafes / craft shops etc.
  • in Folk Club venues
  • in Libraries (supply the Central Library with sufficient leaflets for each branch library to have a good supply – to pin up on Noticeboards and to have as leaflets to take away).

Workshops for Complete Beginners

Hold Beginners’ Workshops (suggest starting in the autumn, on 4 consecutive practice nights) and perhaps teach one dance per workshop.  The side can demonstrate the dance beforehand – and during a break.  Have a feedback form so that you take the beginners’ contact details, find out how they heard about you, did they enjoy the workshop, etc.

It might be practical to also advertise your Workshops on Eventbrite.   It might conceivably be practical to form a MeetUp group for interested parties to come to practices / workshops.


Use local and not-immediately-local newspapers to advertise practices /workshops in their What’s On sections.  Sometimes get a bit of editorial – preferably before an event so that they can send a photographer along.  Invite someone from an editorial department to come along to a practice / workshop and try it themselves.

Occasionally you might be able to interest the national press (prior to 1st May or a Day of Dance, for example).

Perform Locally

Apart from dancing at venues the side has chosen to perform at,  it is no bad thing to dance at local fetes / events organised by organisations such as the Round Table (having put yourselves forward to them to be available to do so when possible).

Contact Local Groups

Social / activity clubs, Women’s Institutes,  Folk Clubs and offer to visit them and perform for them and/or run a workshop for them.

Local Community Websites

Use these too. 

Practice Outdoors in Local Parks

Practising in a local park is a very good recruitment tool.  Take leaflets with you!

Your Kit

Sometimes a side’s kit might be off-putting, so when/if it comes to changing kit, it would be good to bear in mind that something less dated / with more street cred might be good, especially to attract younger members. 

Retaining new members

Check with new members if they are happy with how they are being taught.  They may find difficulty in learning too many different dances / traditions and not have the satisfaction of being able to perform one dance properly or have the confidence to dance out and perform well.

See what other teams are doing

Ask around and find out what has been successful for other teams, but do also think of new avenues.  For a national summary, have a look at the results of the Morris Census to find out how other teams recruit:


Last updated: July 2023

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