Dancing Rabbit isn’t just a place, it’s a lifestyle. Living here is also a process.
Usually, the first time folks come to DR they’re a visitor in the visitor program or, less frequently, a guest of someone who lives here. We highly recommend that interested potential members participate in the visitor program; it has been thoughtfully designed to answer myriad questions and to enable visitors to interact with almost all current Dancing Rabbit members.
If, after visiting, they decide they like it enough to try living here, they can apply for Residency. During the application process, prospective residents write a “letter of intent” describing, among other things,
- their reasons for wishing to join Dancing Rabbit
- what they have to contribute
- how they intend to meet their (financial, social, spiritual, physical) needs here
We recognize that moving to Dancing Rabbit is often a major life change, and understand that applicants may not have all the answers to the questions (above). The residency period is designed to provide room for exploration, to find what fits and what doesn’t, if Dancing Rabbit is right for the resident, and vice versa. There is an interview by the Membership and Residency Committee (MARC), which, rather than an inquisition, is more of an inquiry and a reality check for both sides. MARC issues a recommendation for or against residency. Members of Dancing Rabbit have two weeks to comment on MARC’s recommendation before the decision becomes final.
When approved, the new resident then signs a residency agreement, which is a document outlining rules for behavior that could affect other people in the village, the project, or property. Residents may rent land, but may not build or hold warren leases – most tent or rent a room/space/house. Residents live here at Dancing Rabbit as members live: they are expected to participate in work rotations, utilize the vehicle cooperative instead of driving a personal vehicle, and are encouraged to serve on committees. They get a VCC bill along with any other co-op bills they incur through use. The main difference between members and residents is that residents cannot block consensus on member decisions.
After six months of residency, residents become eligible for membership and can apply to be a member. Ideally, during the residency period, a person has taken the opportunity to get to know as many Dancing Rabbit members as possible; to work, play, and possibly even disagree and resolve conflict. The more realistic the residency experience the easier the decision-making becomes.
The Membership selection process involves a residency review during which each applicant evaluates themselves as a match for Dancing Rabbit, and Members evaluate them, too. There is an interview, and then the Membership and Residency Committee (MARC) issues a recommendation for or against membership. While this sounds scary, MARC and the Dancing Rabbit community in general work hard to keep the process kind and compassionate; usually there are no surprises. Members of Dancing Rabbit have two weeks to comment on MARC’s recommendation before the decision becomes final. The new members then sign a membership agreement, in which they agree to abide by the covenants and keep the sustainability guidelines in mind.