IN AMERICA Attracting Dancers and Audiences of All Ages, In Pursuit of Sport, Art and The Joy of Dance.
The Journey To Nationals.
Official publication of USA Dance Inc.
Official USA Dance National Sponsor
Ernest Borel Swiss Made since 1856
ERNEST BOREL www.ernestborel.ch firstname.lastname@example.org
March-April 2014 FEATURES
Ryan Kenner Priscilla Messinger
Jim Cole/DOCMA Charity Fundraiser
Action Report from USA Dance National
By Ken Richards
Amateur DanceSport Strong in America. Nationals 2014 Preview. By Angela Prince, Dan Calloway & Others
Senior I Championship Standard at The MAC 2014. Angus Sinclair & Dara Campbell; Joseph & Shelly Brogan
WDSF 2014 Presidium Report
From the MAC, Yang Chen, President of USA Dance
The New Movement of DanceSport
By Jean Krupa
Chapter Highlights & Achievements
USA Dance 2014 DanceSport Calendar In The Public Eye By Angela Prince
46 Legacies of Dance Tribute to Frank Regan By Vicki Regan and Others
Dance Festivals in America
Celebrating Dance in the Great Outdoors By Angela Prince
Ringing In The New Year, Tidewater NYE Style By Ray Smith
The MAC Returns to the Grand Ballroom, 24th Year
WDSF Competitions Return to USA By Judith Aquino, Dan Calloway, Didio Barrera
Preventing Dance Related Injuries Advice from Medical Experts By Drs. Lyle J. Micheli, MD & Miho Urisaka, PT, DPT
29 Keeping Community Relations In Sync MASSabda Chapter/Boston By Jim DiCecca
35 Musical Chairs, The Film,
A Story of Determination
By Angela Prince
Never Too Late To Be Great Senior Perspectives On Dancing for Joy & Better Health By Angela Prince
USA World Adult Latin Team On Floor at WDSF in Berlin
Round-Trip Ticket to Latvia for Youth 10-Dancers
Northern Lights Shine Brighter at NorthWest NQE
By Nick Shur & Joe Leitch
Last Stop Israel for Under 21 10-Dance Champions
CORRECTION. In the January-February issue, Michelle Liu should be spelled Michelle Yiu. March-April 2014
IN AMERICA Attracting Dancers and Audiences of All Ages, In Pursuit of Sport, Art and The Joy of Dance.
The Journey To Nationals.
Official publication of USA Dance Inc.
FRONT COVER: National American Smooth Adult Champions Paul Freitas and Kelly Glasheen recently won 1st place American Smooth Adult Championship at the Manhattan Amateur Classic NQE in NYC. Photo Credit: Ryan Kenner. BACK COVER: USA Dance 2014 National DanceSport Championships return to Baltimore, March 28 – 30. In the spotlight are Angelo & Kayla Cristobal (Charlotte, NC Chapter), qualifying at the 24th annual Manhattan Amateur Classic, held in NYC, Jan. 17-19. Photo Credit: Ryan Kenner Photography.
regular contributors ANGELA PRINCE
Public Relations Director (non-voting)
Official Publication of USA Dance, Inc.
Angela Prince has served as National Public Relations Director for USA Dance, Inc., since 2007. She is responsible for integrated communications, publicity, national media relations, social media relations, sponsorship development and brand management. She is also the publisher/editor in chief of American Dancer Magazine.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: President – Yang Chen, NY Vice President – Shawn Fisher, ID Secretary – Greg Warner, MN Treasurer – Michael Brocks, PA VP, DanceSport - Ken Richards, DE VP, Social Dance - Jean Krupa, FL
Social Vice President (voting)
Publisher/Editor In Chief Angela F. Prince
Jean Krupa is the Social Vice President for USA Dance, Inc., and is serving her second three-year term of office. She is responsible for the programs, communications and a 11-district representation for 160+ local chapters and its members.
Design and Production SPARK Publications sparkpublications.com Photography Advisor Carson Zullinger Advertising Angela F. Prince Printing Publishers Press, Inc. SUBSCRIPTION: American Dancer, the official publication of USA Dance, Inc., is published six times a year for the membership and s included in annual membership dues. Subscription cost to non-members within the USA: $25/year SUBMISSIONS: American Dancer welcomes submissions of unsolicited articles, photos and other graphics. All submissions become the property of American Dancer magazine and are not returned to the sender. American Dancer reserves the right to edit all materials for space, content, grammatical and preferential reasons. Preferred method of editorial submissions is by written proposal to the editor who will initially review the story ideas and materials and make a final decision whether to request more information and/or publish. Submissions should be sent to email@example.com with AMERICAN DANCER submission/name of sender/story header on the email subject line. Photo submissions must be high-resolution jpegs (minimum 300-600 dpi and preferably 2400 x 3600 pixels) and American Dancer retains all first-usage rights to submitted photographs/digital images. PUBLISHER’S OFFICE: AF Prince Associates 11101 Robert Bost Road Midland, NC 28107 704-888-3073
CENTRAL OFFICE: USA Dance, Inc. 800-447-9047 Fax 239-573-0946 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MEMBERSHIP: Online registration or renewals at www.usadance.org WEBSITE: www.USADANCE.org NATIONAL SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook USA Dance, Inc. & American Dancer Magazine
Twitter @usadanceinc LinkedIn USA Dance Inc. YouTube usadanceinc
USA Dance Chapter websites and Facebook pages are listed at www.usadance.org. © 2014 USA Dance Inc. All Rights Reserved.
American Dancer | www.americandancer.org
DanceSport Vice President (voting) Ken Richards is the DanceSport Vice President for USA Dance, Inc, and is serving his third three-year term of office. As head of the DanceSport Council, he is responsible for all DanceSport programs, including athlete relations and educational opportunities, the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships, the National Collegiate DanceSport Championships, all sanctioned and listed USA Dance regional and National Qualifying Events, USA Dance University and all industry DanceSport relations. He also serves as an elected Presidium member of the World DanceSport Federation of which USA Dance is a member organization.
USA DANCE, Inc. is the National Governing Body for DanceSport in the United States as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee and the World DanceSport Federation. With more than 160 local chapters, soon to reach 20,000 national members, from pre-teen to collegiate to seniors and an estimated outreach of more than 200,000, USA Dance is also the representative association for all social and recreational dancers in the country. Membership includes both social and DanceSport, pre-teen through senior, amateur and professional classifications.
To improve the quality and quantity of ballroom dancing in America.
ith new leadership teams assuming their positions at the national and local levels, the first quarter of 2014 has been a period of change. We appreciate the cooperation and efforts of everyone involved in helping to effectuate a smooth transition. Even as changes occur, USA Dance proceeds with business as usual. Jean Krupa, our Social Dance VP, has been busily putting together another informative and instructive National Chapter Conference, taking place in Irvine, California, from March 6 through 9, with speakers and programs that will be certain to enlighten and energize chapter leaders from all parts of the country. Meanwhile, our chapters continue to hold regular socials and events for the enjoyment of members and dancers in their local communities. American Dancer, in its latest and greatest incarnation, under the helm of Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Angela Prince, shares wonderful stories about their numerous activities and the people who make things happen. At the end of March as spring begins to fill the air, DanceSport VP Ken Richards heralds the return of the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships to Baltimore, Maryland. Not only can we expect a multitude of DanceSport Athletes from all across the nation participating over the course of the three-day event, but for the first time USA Dance will host World DanceSport Federation events in the Under 21 Open Standard, Latin and 10-Dance
Competitions. We look forward to another exciting and fantastic Nationals. Beyond the first quarter, I expect to work closely with our national leaders in undertaking a strategic planning process to develop a road map to guide USA Dance for the next several years and to lay a strong foundation for the future, for our members, our dancers and the dance community in the United States. We remain mindful that first and foremost USA Dance is a membership organization. Without our members, we are nothing. We plan to explore ways to build up our base of members, not just to retain current members but to attract new ones. We seek to strengthen our members, mission statement, better define the benefits of joining USA Dance, and come up with other tangible benefits of membership — in short, give members a reason to stay and renew while making a compelling case for those who are not members to join. Those who have been longtime and loyal members of USA Dance can help us with retention and recruitment, because you would make our best cheerleaders and ambassadors. At Nationals, USA Dance will hold its Annual General Meeting of the members. We encourage you to attend, to hear about our plans and ideas in greater detail and more importantly, for you to share your ideas, insights and feedback with us.
USA Dance is your organization. Get involved, get active. After all, it takes two to tango, waltz, cha cha … you get the idea. Be our partner. Together, let’s shape the future of USA Dance.
National President USA Dance, Inc. March-April 2014
INSPIRED TO LEAD MEASURED BY OUR DIFFERENCES
USA Dance defines stronger presence in dance industry with newest ad messages
USA Dance’s new advertorial “Inspired To Lead…Measured By Our Differences” can be found in the current issues of DanceBeat newspaper, beginning with the December 2013 issue. The new presence in DanceBeat gives USA Dance an opportunity to clearly communicate with the dance industry about the distinct benefits and differences that are the foundation of our nonprofit, democratic, member-based organization. The new ad showcases three of our championship-level DanceSport athletes who have proudly represented the United States at home and also abroad at the WDSF World Championships and Cups – Taras Savitskyy & Tatiana Seliverstova, Irsan & Cami Tisnabudi and Kinsley Lin & Michelle Yiu. These three couples also represent the diversity of age divisions that USA Dance supports to attend world championships, from Junior and Youth to Adult and Senior. The new USA Dance advertorial also highlights the benefits of being a USA Dance member and affiliate – the primary one being members have a “voice and a vote.” And within the fast-growing and diversified dance world, our prevailing message is a clear one, that USA Dance supports unity, positive change and the freedom to participate for all dancers, athletes, officials and adjudicators.
USA DANCE INSPIRED TO LEAD
USA Dance is a multi-sport 501c3 non-profit organization, serving all DanceSport and social dancers throughout the United States of America. We are the official National Governing Body for DanceSport in the United States, as recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee under the provisions of the Amateur Sports Act of the United States Congress. We are also the National Member Body of the 92-country World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) and carry the torch in support of the global movement to bring DanceSport to the Olympic family. Celebrating our sport’s milestones in 2013, we sent teams to the WDSF World Cup, World Championships, The IOC Recognized World Games in Cali, Colombia, and The World DanceSport Games in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Kinsley Lin & Michelle Yiu, Junior II Standard World Championships in Moscow. Photo: Elena Anashina
...MEASURED BY OUR DIFFERENCES. • A true democratic organization, where all members have a voice and a vote. • 160 chapters reaching nearly 250,000 dancers and supporters nationwide. • Organizer of the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships and Sanctioning Body of 11 regional National Qualifying Events. • Organizer of 2014 WDSF Open Standard and Latin Championships in the USA, from Junior II to Senior III. • Organizer of the USA Dance National Collegiate DanceSport Championships.
Taras Savitskyy & Tatiana Seliverstova Adult Standard World Championships in Kiev. Photo: Helmut Roland
Irsan & Cami Tisnabudi, Senior I Latin World Championships in Czech Republic. Photo: Sports-Picture.net
• Provider of approximately $200,000 in annual scholarships for USA athletes. • Supporter of thousands of grassroots dance educational initiatives throughout America community, charitable and educational programs. • Host of the annual WDSF Adjudicator’s Congress in the USA for continuing adjudicator licensing and education.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT FOR UNITY AND POSITIVE CHANGE AND CELEBRATE THE FREEDOM TO PARTICIPATE FOR ALL ATHLETES AND ADJUDICATORS.
@ 2014 USA Dance Inc. All Rights Reserved.
DanceBeat Newspaper available in print and online at www.dancebeat.com.
SUPPORTING AMERICA’S DANCESPORT ATHLETE’S JOURNEY AS CHAMPIONS America’s top DanceSport athletes are proud of their sport and their achievements. They carry the USA flag high at the opening ceremonies at each of the World Championships and Games and they wear their official USA World Team jackets with great pride. Although many of us are not present at these events, we can witness first-hand many of them by livestream on the World DanceSport Federation’s website www.worlddancesport.org. The level of dancing is nothing short of amazing from the 92 countries within the WDSF organization, that carries the global torch for DanceSport in its determined journey to the Olympics. In each issue of American Dancer, read the inspiring inside stories from our athletes. They want USA Dance members to share in their journeys and their dreams. USA Dance supports America’s DanceSport athletes by providing the programs, training and travel assistance. Many of our Championship level couples could not attend the World Championships without our help. But we need more funding. Your Tax-Deductible Donations Help America’s DanceSport Athletes Achieve Their Dreams. USA Dance is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, in compliance with the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
American Dancer | www.americandancer.org
THREE WAYS TO DONATE: Call our Central Office at
1-800-447-9047 write to
email@example.com donate online at
Your generosity is appreciated!
“You can never really live anyone else’s life, not even your child’s.
The influence you exert is through your own life, and what you’ve become yourself.”
—Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady/Wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Humanitarian
From World DanceSport Federation website
A BIT OF HISTORY AND THE FUTURE WITHIN THE WORLD OF SPORTS,
DANCE IS ACCEPTED AS SPORT
Even at a time when the young sport was still known as competitive ballroom dancing, it received wide acceptance across Europe, North America and in parts of Asia. More and more expert dancers sought the thrill of competition and public recognition for their skills. Contested by amateurs and professionals in separate championships, dancing drew capacity crowds and garnered good exposure on television. The first ever live transmission of a tournament dates back to the early sixties. However, public perception as well as the dancers’ self-interpretation maintained a certain ambiguity when it came to DanceSport’s classification alongside all the other sports. Whether tails, gowns and high heels were considered incompatible with the notion of how athletes had to be dressed, or whether the ballrooms contrasted too much from the other sporting venues, fact is that certain idiosyncrasies kept competitive dance in a league of its own. Forever straddling performing arts and sports, it took its time to find the true identity. That different organizations overseeing the dance competitions held different views on the matter did certainly not help either.
WDSF has set its aims high and campaigns persistently to bring DanceSport to the future Games of the Olympiad. With the WDSF predecessor organization, the International Council of Amateur Dancers, opting to change its name to International DanceSport Federation (and later again to World DanceSport Federation), it affirmed its vision of dance as sport - in the true sense of
Zach Lapidus & Emi Terasawa
the word - and set out to establish it within the international sporting movement. Abandoning the previous policy of “splendid isolation,” DanceSport was soon able to join the world sports movement. By 1992, WDSF had become a full member of the General Association of International Sports Federations (SportAccord), an umbrella organization made up of more than 100 sports governing bodies. Soon there after, DanceSport was recognized by the International Olympic Committee and thus became eligible to be included in the Olympic Program. WDSF has set its aims high and campaigns persistently to bring DanceSport to the future Games of the Olympiad. Through its membership in the Association of IOC Recognized International Sports Federations it is grouped together with the governing bodies of other sports seeking to achieve the same. When golf and rugby were voted for inclusion into the 2016 Olympics by the 121st IOC Session, reaching their ambitious goal was certainly postponed for the other candidates, but it also made a clear statement about the IOC reviewing the Olympic Program periodically, in earnest and in a fair process. Today, DanceSport and its governing body are firmly embedded in the structures that constitute world sports. The number of organizations and sporting events that WDSF and DanceSport are associated with has grown even further. Copy Edited for American English Reading.
FOR NEW USA DANCE KIDZ™ PROGRAM With the new year, USA Dance announced the launch of USA Dance’s new dance education program for school-enrolled children -- USA Dance Kidz – designed to provide instructional and organizational support to local USA Dance Chapters and community volunteers Ryan Kenner who are interested in nurturing the next generation of ballroom and latin dancers. Under the direction of Barbara Wally, K-12 Development Director, USA Dance is developing teaching materials for this after-school program. Chapters are encouraged to fund raise Arthur Manouilovitch to support programs & Anna Gladkov they start in their area.
Since the story ran in American Dancer, two milestones occurred: he Pittsburgh, PA Chapter 3007, T under the direction of Chapter President Gretchen Brocks, jumpstarted the USA Dance Kidz program in their area. Details coming soon. A former member in Oklahoma was so inspired by the January-February cover story “Giving Children The Gift of Dance,” that he wants to relaunch the former USA Dance Chapter there that struggled as a social dance chapter -- this time with a focus on teaching children to dance. New chapters can have different reasons for existing, all in keeping with the USA Dance overall mission. Their focus can be DanceSport, community service, social dancing, introducing children to dance, or all of the above. Want to start a chapter in your area? Contact the Central Office of USA Dance if interested at 1-800-447-9047.
USA Dance is 160 chapters strong and we have much to celebrate…
50TH USA DANCE ANNIVESARY 2015 USA Dance turns 50 in 2015. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), that makes our organization a true Senior! And, we’re proud of that. USA Dance is 160 chapters strong and we have much to celebrate…so it’s time to start planning. It’s like a National Ballroom Dance Week all year long -- monthly activities that will stimulate new energy within your chapter, recruit new members and volunteers, and get the word out about USA Dance, your chapter and all the great benefits and opportunities for ballroom dancing. Three Assignments To Jumpstart Planning: Assignment #1: Make a list of all the “historic” milestones your chapter has reached since its beginning. Then make a second list of your chapter’s strengths and weaknesses. Several people can make separate lists. Then merge these lists together. Assignment #2: Make a list of good opportunities available to your chapter, especially the ones you keep passing by. Make a starter list of at least 10. Then merge all the lists into one to discuss. Assignment #3: Plan a fun 1-2 hour “great ideas” session involving your board and key volunteers in team planning. Bring a 2015 calendar and food/beverage for fuel. Encourage thinking outside of the box. But also discuss your lists of milestones, strengths, weaknesses and opportunities so you know what’s realistic when planning ways to improve. The goals? Getting a better handle on what your chapter is all about and creating a year-long calendar that helps you be an even better Chapter. If people start volunteering to help, you’re on the right track to your best year ever! IDEA TANK: Remember your Chapter’s participation on Facebook is one way to connect and share ideas with other Chapters and National. Want some new ideas? Just start a discussion. If your chapter still needs a Facebook page or just guidance, write to Efrosyni at AdminSupport-Dir@usadance.org or call the Central Office 1-800-447-9047.
WDSF 2014 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
USA Dance, as member organization of the World DanceSport Federation, selects championship-level DanceSport couples from the Junior, Youth, Adult, Senior I-IV Divisions to officially represent the United States at the World Championships, World DanceSport Games & IOC World Games USA Dance welcomes and appreciates donations and other funding to assist with ongoing Athlete Development, Training and Travel Expenses. Date
Moscow, Russian Federation
Show Dance Standard Chengdu, People’s Republic of China
Chengdu, People’s Republic of China
Ostrava, Czech Republic
10/25/14 World Championship
Moscow, Russian Federation
10/31/14 World Championship
10/31/14 World Championship
12/20/14 World Championship
Important Note: The dates, locations and scheduling for any/all WDSF World Championship and World Game events are subject to change throughout the year. Please contact the official event organizers before making plans. USA Dance is not responsible for WDSF changes, errors or omissions within this calendar. Please refer to www.worlddancesport.org for official event and contact information.
American Dancer | www.americandancer.org
Xingmin & Katerina Lu
WDSF PRESIDIUM UPDATE
NEW MOVEMENT OF DANCESPORT, NO LONGER JUST 10 DANCES
WheelChair Dance Denis Smotrov & Karina Mirochnik
By Ken Richards, DanceSport VP, USA Dance WDSF, Presidium Member Over a four-day period, the World DanceSport Federation’s Sports Commission, Athletes Commission, Professional Division, Managing Committee and Presidium came together in Barcelona, Spain, to unify and clearly define the mission of the WDSF on behalf of Athletes around the world. As a new member of the WDSF Presidium, I represent all 92 member countries that elected me during the 2013 Annual General Meeting to this important position. In addition, I also serve as the DanceSport Vice President for USA Dance, so I naturally keep focused on the issues and needs of athletes at home, when participating in these important WDSF decision-making sessions. While a number of the topics remain confidential until the meeting minutes are officially released or because they involve sensitive issues under development, I can assure all of our members that the WDSF is completely on track to continue its progress in managing a better sports environment for all and in achieving full Olympic Games status in the future. Multi-Sport Movement Defining DanceSport Much of the morning of the first day’s meeting was spent reviewing sponsorship programs under development, television contracts and organizational improvements from a sports marketing specialist that would endear us, even more, to the IOC, that will make the decision to accept DanceSport into the Olympic family. We also were officially introduced to the new Associate Member Organization -- The International Federation of Cheer. I had met their President Robert Huber, almost five years ago in Philadelphia on behalf of USA Dance, which actually started their path to the WDSF. The International Cheer Union is very excited to become part of the movement of dance as was demonstrated
last summer at the World DanceSport Games, a multi-sport event. The WDSF also discussed the opportunity of organizing a Collegiate Cheer Dance event in conjunction with the USA Dance National Collegiate DanceSport Championships held in Columbus, Ohio. Time will tell if this development is formalized. The WDSF also had thorough presentations from The Country Line Dance and World Rock ‘n’ Roll Federations, which detailed the different dance disciplines part of their respective events. WDSF Now Recognizes “Other Dance Styles” One of the more exciting news is the WDSF’s adoption and official recognition of Other Dance Styles inside the International Federation. Specifically, dances such as Salsa, Argentine Tango, Urban-Street, HipHop and others, which will be organized for International Championships inside of the WDSF DanceSport Family. This means that Member Bodies, such as USA Dance, can now officially outline a structure to welcome these other styles of dance into their organizations, furthering the vision that DanceSport is no longer just 10 dances. Pan-Am Games, Next Step in the Olympic Journey Other discussions focused on the future World Games in 2017 in Poland, World DanceSport Games, World Masters Games and the European Master Games. In addition, Jim Fraser (Canada) and myself presented on the progress of the work we have com menced on the development of DanceSport within Caribbean countries, for their eventual inclusion in the Pan-American Games. Presidium Creates Membership, Historical Commissions Another administrative item of the Presidium was the formulation of the various work commissions. I was nominated by the Managing Committee to be (1) a member of the
Membership Commission and the (2) Chair of the newly formed Historical Commission. For this, I’ll be looking for USA Dance volunteers to lend a helping hand in this area. If you are interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Updates: Adjudicator Licensing, New Technique Books, Medal Testing Then there was a Presentation by the DanceSport Academy which focused on the new General Knowledge test for Adjudicators, a new component of the WDSF Adjudicator’s License and the launch of the new WDSF Technique Books along with proficiency (medal) test program for systematic training. IOC Vision for Adjudication Addressed by Athlete’s Commission The last major topic of interest was presented by the Athlete’s Commission, as they discussed a number of important matters raised by the athletes in need of clarification or future consideration. Of special interest to athletes is the WDSF evolving effort to bring Adjudicator criteria into a world where adjudicators are not working also as coaches, trainers and members of specific teams. This, of course, is in keeping with the ideology of the International Olympic Committee, and Italy has already begun to adopt some of this structure into their National system. Clear WDSF Direction, Unity Defining DanceSport’s Future The meeting concluded with verification of plans for the Annual General Meeting in Romania in the summer. Presidium motions will then be released in advance for each country to study and participate in the democratic process of approving, modifying or rejecting. Overall, I am pleased to report that there is a strong and growing unity in all areas of our sport and a clear direction of the WDSF for our future. March-April 2014
Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind.
USA DANCE CHAPTERS PLAN OLYMPIC DAY EVENTS FOR JUNE 23 By Lydia Scardina, Immediate National Past President
Each year, USA Dance is an active participant in the annual Olympic Assembly, a business meeting of the USOC and its various entities, which discusses new initiatives and includes a presentation about Olympic Day and its physical fitness message for all Americans. USA Dance chapters or members interested in hosting an Olympic Day celebration (celebrated on or around June 23rd of each year) may visit the U.S. Olympic Committee site below to learn about Olympic Day and how to organize a successful event to support ballroom and latin dancing. USA Danceâ€™s Orlando Chapter (President John Davis) has successfully celebrated Olympic Day at a local shopping mall for the past two years. How To Celebrate Olympic Day:
At USOC Training Center
At Orlando Chapter Olympic Day
To help Chapters stage more memorable Olympic Day events, the USOC provides the following complimentary services and resources: Assistance contacting Olympians, Paralympians or Olympic Hopefuls to speak. Assistance connecting with key community organizations (Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, etc.) USOC account managers are available to assist chapter volunteers with planning. Please call 1-719-866-4535 or email OlympicDay@usoc.org.
The complimentary Olympic Day Tool Kit includes: Recommended Olympic Day agenda, FAQs, Certificates, etc. Olympic Day event materials and logos Publicity Resources -- press release & flyer template, mayoral proclamation, etc. Athlete Speaking Points on Fair Play, Respect, Perseverance and Sportsmanship Promotional Videos
USA Dance is a member of the Multisport Organizations Council (MSOC) of the United States Olympic Committee, comprised of community-based organizations such as the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Boy Scouts, AAU, Police Athletic League and others that provide athletic opportunities for millions of Americans. The MSOC also includes as members those organizations that have been recognized by the USOC as National Governing Bodies of their sport, but where that sport has not yet qualified to become a Pan American or Olympic Sport. This includes USA Dance, which is recognized by the USOC as the NGB of DanceSport. USA Dance already participates in the IOC-recognized World Games and is presently working with other countries throughout the Americas to gain inclusion in the Pan-American Games. And at that time, USA Dance would move from the MSOC to the NGB Council. Judi Chapman
OLYMPIC DAY HOTLINES: 1-719-866-4535 or email@example.com OLYMPIC DAY WEBSITE: http://www.teamusa.org/About-the-USOC/In-the-Community/Olympic-Day.aspx
Olympic Day, held annually, is celebrated by thousands of people, in more than 160 countries. Commemorating the birth of the modern Olympic Games, Olympic Day is not only a celebration, but an international effort to promote fitness and well-being in addition to Olympic ideals of fair play, perseverance, respect, and sportsmanship. 10
American Dancer | www.americandancer.org
AMATEUR DANCESPORT STRONG IN
AMERICA Carson Zullinger
American Smooth Champions Paul Freitas & Kelly Glasheen
anceSport was approved by the 106th Session of the International Olympic Committee in 1997 to define competitive Ballroom and Latin dancing as a globally recognized sport. This global acceptance for “dance as sport” resulted from efforts of the now World DanceSport Federation, the official IOC International Governing Body for DanceSport, and supported by 92 member countries, which includes USA Dance. With the recent completion of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the world witnessed the Opening Ceremonies grand exhibition of 400 dancers from the Russian DanceSport Union, a member body of the WDSF. This was not DanceSport’s first invitational world exhibition, but a sequence of exhibitions at World Games – Asian Games 2010 and The Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games. Then, more importantly, in 2013 DanceSport became a major sport at both The World Games in Cali, Colombia, and The World DanceSport Games in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, both with DanceSport athletes representing the USA. This is an exciting and promising time. 12
American Dancer | www.americandancer.org
ON THE SIDELINES…LIGHTS,
FAMILY & FRIENDS ‘PAPARAZZI’ (A Term of Endearment!) One might think the only story at a USA Dance DanceSport competition is the one happening on the dance floor. And, yes, it is the main attraction -- the one fans, family and friends come to see. The endless energy and emotion exploding on the dance floor, keeps you right on the edge of your seat, even as the dancers line up with anticipation in the on-deck “holding” area. Then, once the prior heat is over and they’ve jockeyed quickly to their best positions in front of judges and audience, it’s simply impossible to stay in your seat as they move to the music with every ounce of muscle and creative inspiration they’ve got. But there are untold stories that happen at DanceSport competitions. And if you take time to watch what happens en-
circling the dance floor, on the red carpet and in the practice rooms and hallways, you’ll see that the same energy, emotion and creative inspiration are exploding on the sidelines too! Let us introduce DanceSport world’s “Family & Friends Paparazzi.” In the dance world, it’s actually term of endearment, because what would dancers, and especially the kids, do without their followers? Moms, dads, siblings, grandparents, friends, friends of friends…and they come prepared with video cameras, still cameras, i-pads, tripods, i-phones, androids…you name it, they’ve got it. Our DanceSport “paparazzi” sometimes have a difficult time staying in their seats or zones, so the ushers have to issue kind reminders. But they never miss a
TOP 65% DANCE AT NATIONALS
DanceSport couples on the floor at USA Dance Nationals have placed in the Top 65% of their Division at one or more USA Dance National Qualifying Events during the 12 months prior. Exceptions are automatic qualification for couples who compete at an NQE in a division not offered at all 11 NQEs.
10-Dance Champions Taras Savitskyy & Tatiana Seliverstova
Inagural World-Class Event at Nationals 2014
WDSF UNDER-21 OPEN WORLD RANKING TOURNAMENT
STANDARD – LATIN – 10-DANCE
Lisa Dubinsky (3)
The Manhattan Amateur Classic National is one of 11 Qualifying Events leading up to the USA Dance Nationals. American Dancer was on hand to turn the cameras around, this time capturing the stories on the sidelines. And this time our Family & Friends Paparazzi get to be the stars!
move, a misstep, a moment of celebration or frustration, the wins, the losses, the smiles or the tears. Everything is captured on film faster than a jive tempo, soon streaming onto social media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – and from the dance floor they head to the Red Carpet to shoot their favorite “stars” in celebration!
Exciting news for DanceSport! The World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) has officially returned to the United States sanctioning three Open World Ranking Tournaments for 2014, hosted at three USA Dance competitions. The upcoming USA Dance National DanceSport Championships in Baltimore, Mar. 28 – 30, will host the highly competitive Under-21 Open Competitions in Standard, Latin and Ten-Dance. Top athletes from around the world are invited to join USA couples on the floor in Baltimore. Whether standard, latin or ten-dance, the Under-21 divisions are considered among the most competitive, dynamic on the floor today – competitors are young, fit, talented and hungry to be the best. There are scholarship dollars at stake, but also important points that impact the winning couple’s world rankings. And it brings them great pride to dance for the USA. Distinguished judges selected for the WDSF Open Competitions in the United States are all recognized WDSF-licensed Adjudicators and professional members of USA Dance. TJ Stanton & Dasha Goykhman, first to register Carson Zullinger
For more information: www.worlddancesport.org.
USA DANCE 2014 NATIONAL DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS BALTIMORE, MD – MARCH 28-30, 2014 RENAISSANCE HARBORPLACE HOTEL
Throughout the year, America’s DanceSport amateur couples travel to at least one of the 11 USA Dance National Qualifying Events to dance against their peers, hoping to qualify in the top 65% of their divisions. Qualification is the primary goal if they want to compete at DanceSport’s premier event – the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships. Now in its 34th year, the USA Dance Nationals, as it’s called, once again has attracted the best amateur dancers in the country, from preteen to seniors 65+. All four major dance styles are represented – American Smooth, American Rhythm, International Standard and International Latin, plus American Smooth 9-Dance and International 10-Dance. As expected, nearly 1,000 qualified dancers will hit the floor in Baltimore, all vying for top placements, some seeking National Championship titles and others hoping to qualify for the official USA World Teams, that represent the USA at World DanceSport Federation World Championships or World Cups throughout the year. For spectators who love the joyful absorption of dance, who love watching skilled and talented dancers at their best, who simply love the music, the fashion, the social networking that just happens, the USA Dance Nationals would be difficult to miss— in addition to the dance “marathon” for three days. Two USA Dance National Championships will not be held in Baltimore this year – Senior IV (all national divisions) and Junior II (championship division). These divisions will happen at the upcoming Gumbo DanceSport Championships NQE, June 27-29 in Baton Rouge, LA. Ticket, registration and hotel/transportation information: www.usadancenationals.org.
on the RED CARPET
On the Red Carpet at the USA Dance Nationals, where thousands of photos are taken, you just never know what celebrity might show up! Last year, we were honored to have DWTS Judge Bruno Tonioli attending….and Bruno, the Chinese Crested, looking for his 30-seconds of fame! And for the nearly 500 competitive couples, the real stars of DanceSport, the Red Carpet is definitely a special place to capture photo memories.
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In America, the momentum for DanceSport is strong, evidenced by the growing number of athletes, training opportunities and entries in the sanctioned USA Dance DanceSport competitions throughout the country. As in any major sport, there are devout supporters and devout nonsupporters; there are those who believe in the vision and those who’d rather see defeat. But the path is clear, once DanceSport is approved by the International Olympic Committee for inclusion in The Olympic Games, USA Dance’s role as National Governing Body takes on a whole new level of leadership for a sport whose dream has been a long time in the making. Dave Firestein & Nicole Shtern, Pre-Teen II Gold Latin
A JUDGE’S VIEWPOINT: PUTTING NATIONALS IN PERSPECTIVE The USA Dance National DanceSport Championships are a unique opportunity for couples to assess their yearly progress. Since virtually all couples are improving, the placings are not perfectly reliable Dan Calloway indicators of progAdjudicator ress, but with the help of a good coach and video, overall trends and valuable lessons are discernable. A competition can be worth 10 normal practice sessions in the value the dancers derive from it. The great benefits for dancers include the preparation and fol-
low up processes, including the sharper focus on priorities and on performance skills. The adage “Nothing focuses the mind like a hanging in the morning,” expresses the feeling vividly. The degree of pressure at Nationals is unique. It is not a practice comp. Everyone is expected to be at their best. And if the best dancers are there, dancing their best, then the best judges are expected to be there and judging their best. It is at the higher levels where the audience and the judges are more likely to be at odds. -At the lower levels, the dancers are highly inconsistent
in the PRACTICE ROOM
Practice Room and On Deck photos by Carson Zullinger
The Practice Room offers a sneak peak at an athlete’s preparedness and personality, a glimpse at what may show up on the competition floor, but the competitor has a slightly different perspective. Imagine practicing your technique or routine on a less than full-size dance floor, shared with many competitors (and their coaches and family), all practicing different styles and at different levels. Competitors say it’s more of a sweet and sour situation -- crazy at times, but accepted because it helps release whatever emotions are “bottled up” and prepares them for “anything goes” once they hit the competition floor.
In the On Deck Area, either stageleft or right of the event podium, is the competitor’s final safe haven, where couples line up and are checked in by the deck captain. Dancers are on deck usually one division prior, giving them time to relax, breathe, compose, find focus, get motivated, all the above… so when they’re called for their first dance, they are Ready to Dance!
and variation among judges is normally explained by the couples dancing differently from one moment to another. Bronze-level dancers will do well if they dance with the all-important correct posture, footwork, timing and basic actions of the dances, with some degree of showmanship. -At higher levels, more polished and enhanced partnering, changes of speed, and more developed body and leg actions are necessary. At the higher levels the judges assess nuance and qualities like characterization and musicality better than most audience members, who may value aspects like choreography, costuming and charisma to a greater degree. Deeper understanding brings different priorities.
MYTH OR TRUTH? ASK A JUDGE
AD: What is the Adjudicator’s 20-Second Rule? CALLOWAY: For every dance a judge normally waits approximately 20 seconds before marking any of the couples to allow time to assess the overall quality of the dancing. Then, the early, general, mental rankings progress to more specific rankings which need to be recorded before time runs out. AD: Do male adjudicators judge differently from female adjudicators? CALLOWAY: In general, it’s true. I believe most men see the man more and most women see the woman more when in critiquing competitors. I know of several notable exceptions. In addition, the two dancers in a championship partnership always teach differently which is probably reflected in their marking. And women feel and think differently from men, especially the way we develop the two gender roles in ballroom, right or wrong.
AD: How does an adjudicator stay unbiased in the judging when he/she knows couples? CALLOWAY: A judge must self-question every decision that could be the result of positive or negative feelings toward a particular person or couple. A judge is not just a person who knows a lot. He or she is also a person of character. AD: What three Coaching Tips do you offer the athletes heading to Nationals? CALLOWAY: 1. W hat you practice is what you will do. Competitions are won in the studio, not at the event. Do supervised rounds, whenever possible. 2. Devotion to the motion creates the emotion All great athletes enjoy the actual feeling of what they are doing, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. 3. W ork with coaches who motivate you. Even if it’s only once a month with a particular coach. March-April 2014
“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” -- Dr. Wayne Dyer, motivational speaker
USA DANCE PERSPECTIVE
COSTUMING FOR YOUNG CHILDREN It is not a responsible or healthy practice to put young children into high heels while their feet are still developing, nor should they wear heavy adult-like make-up and costumes that mimic adult costuming (especially those for latin/rhythm dancing). Sequins, rhinestones, feathers, elaborate mesh and cutaway panels and other adornments, no matter how attention getting on the floor, make the child appear like an adult rather than as an innocent child participating in the sport of competitive dance. Such Ryan Kenner practice, whether Andrew Malyava & Ani Martirossian, on a competition Pre-Teen II Gold Latin floor or in a showcase setting, can cause young children, have been esevent organizers, coaches, tablished for important reasons instructors and parents to by USA Dance and the World be misunderstood as to their DanceSport Federation. purpose and pursuits. Our responsibility is to DanceSport without policies provide a wholesome, fair, and rules designed to protect educational environment for our children’s best interests also our children to grow into opens the door to general public responsible adults. Costumcriticism and eventually the ing regulations are created to preserve and foster the healthy media portraying our children in far less than favorable ways. development, well being and As the National Governing reputation of the children who Body for DanceSport in the choose to dance competitively, United States, USA Dance will while creating a level sporting field that is about the quality of always advocate for the approthe dancing and not the invest- priate age and proficiency-level costuming. We ask that USA ment in the costume. Dance parents, instructors and As reference, the USA Dance Dress Regulations can be found coaches take a stand whenever appropriate costuming is not in the Rulebook under Section 3.10 and downloaded for free at regulated to protect our children and our industry. www.usadance.org. Children are the bright future of DanceSport in America. In the past 10 years, pre-teen and junior dancers are becoming the fastest-growing segment in ballroom and latin dancing. For that reason, costume regulations governing and guiding our
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MEASURED BY OUR DIFFERENCES:
USA DANCE SUPPORTS ‘THE PURSUIT OF ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE THROUGH NATURAL TALENT’ -ATHLETES ‘PLAYING TRUE’ In strict compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) vision of a world where all athletes compete in a doping-free sporting environment, USA Dance, member organization of the United States Olympic Committee and the World DanceSport Federation, strives to establish a level playing field in the sport of ballroom and latin dancing in America. At the USA Dance 2014 National DanceSport Championships, and in years prior, USA Dance will randomly test DanceSport couples upon completion of their final rounds to ensure that they as athletes are, in the words of WADA, concentrating “on the pursuit of athletic excellence through their natural talent” – “playing true”. Jean Barbour continues to serve as USA Dance Chair of the Anti-Doping Committee. She is FACT: Only sports that a helpful resource to USA Dance adopt and implement the athletes and encourages all World Anti-Doping Code athletes, adjudicators, coaches, can be included and officials and even social dancers remain in the program of to explore the following resources the Olympic Games. online to understand the importance of athletes “playing true” and why this is an important priority for not only USA Dance, providing competitive DanceSport opportunities in America and sending USA World Teams abroad to compete in the global arena -- at the World DanceSport Federation’s World Cups and Championships and at the World Games and World DanceSport Games. United States Anti-Doping Agency. www.USADA.org World Anti-Doping Agency. www.WADA-AMA.org World DanceSport Federation. www.worlddancesport.org USA Dance, Inc. www.usadance.org United States Olympic Committee. www.usoc.org IMPORTANT NOTE TO ALL ATHLETES: Athletes, parents, coaches and others should review the substances banned on the WADA Prohibited List and should consult the Anti-Doping section of the USA Dance DanceSport Rulebook, available online at www.usadance. org. If any athlete, for medical reasons, is using a substance on the WADA Prohibited List, he/she must complete a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) form and acquire final approval 30 days in advance of the competition. This procedure is detailed on the National Anti-Doping Agency’s website at www.USADA.org under the Athlete Tab. Section 4.42 of the USA Dance DanceSport Rulebook 4.4 Doping section explains this further.
ocial dancing is exactly that, social. A dance is like chatting at a party, after which one moves on to the next conversation. Each of these conversations may be funny, professional, polished, or provocative. They are all brief conversations enjoyable for the moment, but do not signify any long-term interaction. This viewpoint also applies to social dancing: each dance is a brief, enjoyable, social encounter. Yet newcomers to dancing may have a hard time understanding this. Sometimes they might assume an invitation to dance indicates a personal interest, especially when the dance itself might look passionate or provocative. A social dance is a safe place where one can play a “role” in the dance and have a degree of uninhibited fun. The common understanding in the dance community makes this level of fun possible; it has been agreed that we come together, enjoy our dancing, and that our dancing activities have no implications beyond the dance floor itself. To read more into what happens on the dance floor would be a mistake. While romances do develop in the dancing community, be careful about making those assumptions. You will save yourself from an awkward moment. The dance community can also be like family. That is why maintaining friendships and positive encounters are important. As long as you go dancing in the same area, you will run into the same people over and over again, and an awkward situation may remain awkward. There are a few situations where dancers “get into trouble.” One of these situations involves not knowing dance etiquette. When you see someone who is, in your opinion, in violation of dance etiquette, it may be tempting to give the offender a piece of your mind or even to politely point out the mistake. Don’t give in to that temptation! You are likely to generate resentment without accomplishing anything. Although an exception might be the case of a close friend, whom you feel obliged to help out. In any case, conversations should take place tactfully and in private. Sometimes in social dancing there are cliques, or groups that only dance among themselves. But if you are part of a group, try to be more welcoming to others. One way to increase your circle of dance friends is to ask beginners to dance.
Dancing with beginners is an excellent way to develop your lead/follow, and beginner dancers don’t remain beginners for long. If someone is a more practiced dancer than you, then ask them in moderation. How do you get dancers, especially better dancers, to dance with you? Be a considerate, fun-loving partner, and keep improving your own dancing. Your happiness in social dancing depends more on you than anyone else. If you are determined to have a good time, and have a good attitude, you have a good chance of enjoying your dance experience. If you are not asked for dances, or are turned down, don’t let it bother you. If a particular dance does not go well, if you misstep, let it pass. Be nice to others, continue to improve your dancing, and you will eventually have a more enjoyable dancing experience. The key to enjoyment in dancing is being aware of your goal -- to enjoy dancing. If you like a song and want to dance, and if you see someone you want to dance with, don’t hesitate to go and ask him or her. All it takes is little effort from you. Only you can make you happy and dancing can help. See you on the dance floor!
ASSUMPTIONS GETTING THE MOST OUT OF
SOCIAL DANCING by Jean Krupa, Social VP
MAYO Dance fiesta in the streets
ne of America’s favorite celebration days is the 5th of May, or Cinco de Mayo, in Spanish. Actually, in America, Cinco de Mayo celebrations are held more often than in Mexico itself and can last an entire week. No doubt, this day of Mexican history has become a great promotion for restaurants, pubs and radio stations, but in the case of Cinco de Mayo, the more promotion, the bigger the fiesta. Throughout Cinco de Mayo, traditional Mexican music, singing, dancing, food and cerveza abound in the streets and public squares in almost every major metropolitan area. Many cities in collaboration with their local arts and cultural associations, plan the “fiesta” year to year and close off designated streets to organize all the traditional parades, vendors booths and live-music dance venues. And whether your heritage is Mexican or not, you can still join in the fun by wearing a traditional sombrero or dancing alongside the folkloric dancers twirling in their multi-colored skirts to the clicks of their castanets. But, if costuming isn’t your style, there’ll be plenty of live bands so you can find a familiar beat to dance your favorite cha cha, salsa, bachata, meringue or even swing moves.
Cinco de Mayo.
AMERICA’S TOP 10 CITY CELEBRATIONS.
OUTDOOR DANCE FESTIVALS
REFRESHING WITH GRAND VISTAS
Some of America’s finest natural and urban settings provide remarkable sensual backdrops for for many of the country’s culturally diverse dancers and audiences. For the attendee, it becomes a therapeutic and relaxing escape to enjoy music, movement and artistic expression.
2014 DANCE FESTIVALS TO CONSIDER:
Dance Parade New York 2014 New York, NY May 17, 2014 3 - 7 pm www.danceparade.org
2014 Vail International Dance Festival. 26th Season. Vail, CO July 27 – August 9, 2014. Tickets available to public Mar 25 online. Sponsored by the Vail Valley Foundation. www.vvf.org
throughout the city. Three days of traditional dancing, musical concerts and food, with children-focused activities, attracts sizeable crowds.
(according to worldweb.com)
CHICAGO: Chicago’s Latino population outdoes itself each year to rival St. Patty’s Day, organizing the three-day Cinco de Mayo fiesta – parades, mariachi music, folk dancing, food at nearly every restaurant with Mexican dishes. DENVER: Mile High City has a 20% Latino population which produces one of the largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the USA. More than 450,000 people attend this two-day, weekend fiesta with dancing, food and music...just good carnival fun. KANSAS CITY: Kansas City actually celebrates Cinco de Mayo in different locations 18
LOS ANGELES: There could be a hundred different Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Los Angeles, beginning at the end of April with Fiesta Broadway until after May 5. Twenty blocks downtown are designated and the event attracts a half-million partiers. PORTLAND: Since 1984, Portland attracts 300,000 visitors to its five-day Cinco de Mayo celebration in Waterfront Park, which has three stages for live dancing and musical entertainment. It’s Oregon’s third-largest multi-cultural celebration. PHOENIX: In Phoenix, a city of strong Mexican heritage, Cinco de Mayo is a citywide celebration with dance competitions,
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Chihuahua races, hundreds of vendors, art and cultural demonstrations, food and music. RENO & SPARKS: Reno, known as the Biggest Little City in the World, rivals larger cities with a two-day Cinco de Mayo festival. In addition to traditional dancing and music, it also has a chili cook-off, a car show and Mexican wrestling demonstrations.
FOR USA DANCE CHAPTERS
DANCING OUTDOORS BECOMES A ‘RITE OF SPRING OR FALL’
allroom and Latin dancing in the great outdoors is always great fun, weather permitting. When weather is a little cold, raining or simply too hot most of the time, the great outdoors venue for some chapters becomes the great outdoors at the mall. After all, today’s malls have glass atrium areas and there’s plenty of sunshine! Steve & Stephanie Sutton
& Alexan dra lu e n Philip Ca
man Caroline Alt
Aydin Aksoy & Gaida Paulovska
ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK IN PASADENA Rosalyn Hansrisuk
LIVE FROM NEW YORK! IN THE STREETS! In May every year, the Greater New York Chapter of USA Dance 3004 performs in the streets during New York City’s annual Dance Parade that attracts nearly 5,000 dancers. Each year is a different color t-shirt for the “revelers” who demo everything from latin to swing, ballroom to club-style dances for New Yorkers L an c e and visitors, who line the streets and Am a Mor to n & nda party at local venues afterwards. Li sci e
SAN DIEGO: In the city’s Old Town, San Diego hosts a two-day Fiesta Cinco de Mayo, including re-enactments of the symbolic May 5th battle. Twenty-two blocks and three days are devoted to dance competitions, social dance, music and even Chihuahua races. SAN MARCOS: In San Marcos, Viva Cinco de Mayo last three days and hosts Texas’ famous menudo (spicy soup) competition. There are traditional parades, music, dancing, and children’s pageants and folk dance demos.
Every January, the Tournament of Roses Parade is viewed by 300 million people around the world with another three million lining the streets of Pasadena, CA. The California Clock Company, creator of the iconic Kit Kat Clock, commemorated its history and asked the Los Angeles County Chapter 4031 to organize dancers to perform nostalgic American rock ‘n’ roll, slicked back hair, leather jackets, poodle skirts and all. Richard Moss
THE GREAT OUTDOORS INDOORS IN ST. PETE In Florida, the “great outdoors” sometimes is enjoyed in atrium areas of air-conditioned shopping malls, after all, seasons are less defined, and it can be a little warm outside after two hours of dancing. The Tampa Bay area chapters celebrated their Mall Christmas Show in St. Petersburg, two hours of general dancing, line dance classes (taught by Gail Spear) and performances by members – always a crowd pleaser for residents and tourists.
DANCE AMBASSADORS IN THE JAMAICAN SUN The ultimate dancing outdoors experience for many USA Dance members happened on the inaugural USA Dance National Dance Cruise, when 150 of the 400 dancers from 38 states shared ballroom and latin dancing with Jamaican Hotel and Tourism and the school children of Ocho Rios, who demonstrated their native folk dances. West Coast Swing to Reggae music was the big hit!
FLASH MOB AT PITTSBURGH’S MARKET SQUARE
ST. PAUL: Even though Canada is Minnesota’s closest neighbor, St. Paul attracts more than 100,000 party goers to its two-day Cinco de Mayo fiesta. Six blocks of dancing and live music, car shows, children’s activities, and competitions are the attractions.
National Ballroom Dance Week every September is an opportunity for Chapters to promote ballroom dancing publicly. In Pittsburgh, it was a “flash mob” opportunity to perform for a crowd of 200+ at the downtown area’s Market Square. The two-hour event showcased both social and competitive dancing, and produced television exposure for the Chapter and the performing collegiate teams. Courtesy Pittsburgh Chapter
TIDEWATER CHAPTER RINGS IN THE NEW YEAR IN GRAND STYLE T By Ray Smith, Tidewater Chapter President photos by Mark Jernigan
Four Days & Nights of Workshops, Social Dances, Dance Shows & Virginia Hospitality
he USA Dance Tidewater Chapter 6008 celebrated its 24th annual New Year’s Weekend social dance and workshops at the luxurious Portsmouth Renaissance Hotel, ringing in the New Year in grand Virginia style. The NYE venue had moved from its previous seven-year Norfolk location to the Renaissance in Portsmouth, a layout which allowed all events to be located on two floors rather than the previous four. The dance floor space was increased to 8,000 square feet with a 5,500 sf main ballroom and a 1,600 sf featured “Club” Room. The 24th New Years Weekend Event, as it was promoted, spanned four days and
was even larger than we thought. Not only were there dancers there to learn ballroom, but also other styles of dancing such as West Coast Swing, Line Dance, Chicago Stepping, Argentine Tango and Salsa. It was an impressive mix of teachers and classes. On the Sunday performance night, many of the students and teachers from around the area were very excited to perform in front of such a large crowd of 300+.
Damian Pataluna & Irina Morozova, KY USA Dance National Nine-Dance Champions Guest Instructors & Performers at Tidewater NYE 2013
Editor’s Note: A candid conversation with Damian Pataluna about their role as ambassadors for American Style Ballroom and Rhythm and for USA Dance at the Tidewater Chapter’s New Year’s Weekend Event (NYE).
AMERICAN DANCER: What were your expectations and realizations about the Tidewater NYE ? D&I: We expected to be working with mostly American style social dancers teaching group classes throughout the day. From what we had heard from others, it was a fun event that the students came to from around the local area and many returned on an annual basis. Upon arrival, we realized it
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AD: As ambassadors for DanceSport American Style and USA Dance, what do you try to accomplish when you are performing in front of audiences? D&I: We want the audience to see our appreciation and love for the American Styles of dancing. At Tidewater, we chose dances that were specific to the American Style (Bolero, Swing, Foxtrot and Waltz) to show the audience something to make them want to dance them. Many were surprised to find out we were amateur dancers. They liked the way put the emotions into the dancing and connected it all with the music. One viewer told us ‘watching the two of you dancing just made me happy.” AD: Tell us more about the many Tidewater NYE classes you taught. D&I: All of the students were very engaged in every class and asked questions, which we
nights of dance instructional workshops and social dances from Friday, Dec. 28 through New Year’s Eve on Tues., Dec. 31. The event included a sold-out Dinner Dance with Shows on Sunday night as well as the New Year’s Eve Gala , which drew 275 attendees. The open dances held on Saturday and Monday nights were attended by more than 120 each evening and, all together, 33 dance exhibitions were performed during the four evening dances. Sixty-Four dance workshops were conducted over the four days in both American and International styles, offering introductory through advance level classes in both traditional ballroom and other dance styles, including West Coast Swing and Chicago Steppin’. Nearly 600 students attended these workshops. New to the New Year’s Weekend event were dedicated dance rooms each evening promot-
ing a “club-style” atmosphere and hosted by the local Argentine Tango, Salsa, West Coast Swing, Shag and Chicago Steppin’ communities. These “clubs” drew in more than 200 additional participants to those attending the dances and events in the main ballroom. Another key change was the featured performers – Tidewater invited the 2013 USA Dance National 9-Dance American Style Champions, Damian Pataluna and Irina Morozova, who conducted workshops and performed at the Dinner Dance and then
closed out the NYE performances. During the Dinner Dance, the Tidewater Chapter presented $500 scholarships to assist two local studio youth students who will be competing the end of January. The incoming USA Dance National President Yang Chen attended the full event and provided comments at both the dinner dance and during the closing moments of the year. At that time, the Chapter presented Mr. Chen with a $500 scholarship for the Ambassador’s Program supporting Youth DanceSport. As the Chapter Board agreed, implementation of these significant changes produced an overwhelming success, a substantial increase in attendance from USA Dance Chapter members and guests traveling from 10 states to the Virginia Tidewater area. Please join us New Year's 2014 for our milestone 25th Celebration!
”Tidewater is an excellent event that is well run and thought out. It takes a team working together to make something of that scale run so smoothly.“ absolutely encouraged. We had many students return to the same style classes on several occasions, which was nice as we could sometimes build from one class to the next. We received a lot of appreciation for focusing on the technique, rather than just teaching new moves, so it was fun to focus on the basics and teach the students how to dance better. Others liked the new moves and wanted to implement them in their dancing as soon as possible. AD: As the American Style Nine-Dance National Champions, what role and mission do you have for yourself, DanceSport and your supporting organization? D&I: As champions and ambassadors for the American Style, whenever we perform or teach, we always want the audience to
walk away wanting to learn more about the American Style. We also try to highlight the differences, especially in the smooth styling with the open choreography, to give a better appreciation for it, while at the same time, letting dancers know there are a lot of technical crossovers between the styles. And we want the audience to know that, although amateurs, we are very serious about our dancing and performances, especially since we represent USA Dance. There’re a lot of people working hard for USA Dance every day.
D: I really try to get everyone on the same page from the start. This starts with the timing, rhythm and character of a dance. If a dancer takes a moment to think about what he/she is getting ready to dance, the dance can be more fun with a partner, rather than just going through the moves. I like to have students I’ve never met start a class by social dancing for a few minutes and then watch them again at the end of class. I can usually see a difference which gives me a sense of accomplishment.
AD: Were there special moments at the Tidewater NYE event? D: Yes, on Sunday morning, Irina was presented with a rose in a vase by a couple that were the only ones to sign up for a particular group class. They were thankful that Irina gave them the fullest attention for 75 minutes and basically treated it as a private lesson.
AD: What lasting memory did you bring back from the Tidewater NYE? D&I: Tidewater is an excellent event that is well run and thought out. It takes a team working together to make something of that scale run so smoothly. We had support from the moment we arrived until the moment we left. The chapter was very appreciative to have us there and also very personable. We enjoy meeting the people we are working with and getting to know them personally.
AD: If you can only accomplish one thing teaching, what would that be?
Adult Championship Standard
GRAND BALLROOM MANHATTAN AMATEUR CLASSIC CELEBRATES 24th YEAR, HOSTS WDSF JUNIOR II OPEN LATIN, STANDARD By Judith Aquino, Journalist, NYC
Allen Torrenueva & Lori Yip, Senior III, IV Championship Standard (Toronto)
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Gregory Rybakov & Naomi Spektor, Youth Championship Latin
photography by Ryan Kenner
ompetitive ballroom dancers sashayed, dipped and twirled across the Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center in January when the Manhattan Amateur Classic (MAC) returned for its 24th consecutive year. Hosted by the Greater NY Chapter of USA Dance, the MAC is one of the United States’ largest amateur ballroom dance competitions, and this year’s three-day competition drew nearly 1,100 competitors from all over the country. Typically dancers range from as young as five years old to seniors in their 70s. Among the fastest age divisions are the Pre-Teen, Juniors and Youth. College students dance in Youth, Adult and Open categories. Seniors
Michael Gun & Marta Khersonskaya, Pre-Teen I Bronze Latin
Daniel Shafir & Ellen Anshelevich, Youth Championship Latin Division
have four divisions, beginning with Senior I at age 35 to Senior IV starting at age 65. This year’s MAC was marked by a number of firsts: the first Senior IV division (dancers must be age 65 and older) at the MAC and the MAC’s first opportunity to host World DanceSport Federation events at a USA Dance competition, hosting the Junior II Open Standard and Latin events. USA Dance is member of the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), the global governing body for DanceSport. Competitors in these highly competitive open Junior II categories are 14 and 15 years of age, or turning those ages this year. There was a final for the Standard division and a semi-final and final round for the Latin division. (See WDSF report on page 23 & 24.) “We were excited to host the WDSF events, and we hope it will bring more world-level competitive events to the United States,” said Yang Chen, the newly elected National President of USA Dance and one of the emcees at the MAC. Joshua Lishnevetsky, 14, from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and a finalist in the WDSF Open Junior II Latin category, said he enjoyed the “responsiveness” of the crowd and the chance to compete with other high-level dancers. Yvonne Smith, 54, from Harlem, Manhattan agreed, “The MAC draws some of the best dancers from all over [the U.S.] which
WDSF JUNIOR II OPEN STANDARD WORLD RANKING TOURNAMENT MANHATTAN AMATEUR CLASSIC JAN. 17, 2014 NEW YORK, NY A USA JUDGE’S PERSPECTIVE – DAN CALLOWAY WDSF OPEN EVENT FOR FIRST TIME HELD AT USA DANCE CHAMPIONSHIP! The World DanceSport Federation returned to America impressively at this year’s 24th anniversary of the Manhattan Amateur Classic (MAC) on January 17th. The WDSF Junior II Open Standard World Ranking Tournament was a climax event on Friday evening, with the equivalent but separate Latin event on Saturday evening. The WDSF Competitions were conspicuous on the Friday and Saturday evenings as juniors dancing among the otherwise adult events and for the importance and prestige of the WDSF brand. The other junior events are held as part of the Junior MAC, held annually on the Sunday, and are a spectacular and indelible display of the quantity and quality in junior dancing in the Northeast. Junior II’s are children who will be 14 or 15 this calendar year or younger dancers who choose to dance in this older division. Eight couples entered the WDSF Standard open event originally but only five couples submitted the necessary WDSF paperwork and took the floor. Dennis Matveev and Valerie Dubinsky dominated the event with nearly all of the first place marks from the seven judges over the five dances. They were comparatively diminutive in stature but highly nuanced in their dancing with great flair, musicality and an understanding of dance principles seemingly beyond their years. The remaining four couples generally appeared older but still demonstrated great skill and aplomb for their young years.
Competitive and social dancers are often at a loss as to what differences the judges are seeing and prioritizing between high level couples. This final perfectly exemplified those distinctions. Dennis and Valerie gave the tightest per-
WDSF Junior II Standard Winners Dennis Matveev & Valerie Dubinsky
formance in that they were the best connected and most responsive to each other. That kind of action-reaction is like catnip to a judge because it enables musicality, contrasts in power and speed, and most importantly, allows for real interaction in the relationship as opposed to just demonstrating a choreographed routine. Congratulations to all of these successful junior competitors. You all demonstrated great skill and command of our art and your points toward your WDSF world ranking are well earned!
Dan Calloway of Maryland has competed professionally, coached and judged for 37 years, earning numerous Top Teacher and Professional of the Year awards. He was the youngest ISTD Dual Fellow in the world. He has chaired judging panels at the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships and the North American. He is the DanceSport coach for Georgetown University and University of Maryland.
WDSF JUNIOR II OPEN LATIN WORLD RANKING TOURNAMENT MANHATTAN AMATEUR CLASSIC JAN. 18, 2014 NEW YORK, NY A USA JUDGE’S PERSPECTIVE – DIDIO BARRERA After years of absence from the USA, the WDSF (World DanceSport Federation), an official body for DanceSport in the world and a member of the IOC, is finally back in the USA. Two WDSF events were run this past weekend at the well-known Manhattan Amateur Classic (The MAC) in Manhattan, New York City, organized by USA Dance, the WDSF member in
WDSF Junior II Latin Winners - Kristers Smits & Sophie Shvartsman
the USA. The events were run in the beautiful Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center, and it was fully packed and with audience coming to support the athletes participating. The most supported event and the more exciting of the two was the WDSF Junior II Open Latin Ranking Event. Latin. Here we had a full semi-final round and the couples fighting for the opportunity and the title were excellent down to the semifinal. Kristers Smits & Sophie Shvartsman won the
event by tying for second in the samba, placing first in the cha cha, paso and jive and third in the rumba. As you can see by the marks, the judges could not make up their minds. Matthew Kheyfets & Vanesa Falisova placed second by taking the samba and rumba from Kristers & Sophie, placing second in the cha and jive and third in the paso. Third place was awarded to Dennis Mateev & Valerie Dubinsky. They tied for second in the samba were fourth in cha cha and rumba and tied for fourth in jive. Joshua Lishnevetsky & Angela Gerzberg were fourth (5,3,2,5,3); fifth went to D’Angelo Castro & Amanda Carbajales (4,5,5,7,4.5). In sixth place were Levy Agaronnik & Simona Vigodner (6,6,7,6,6,) and last but not least in seventh position was Kamil Falkowski & Alexis Turko (7,7,6,4,7). The placements in this competition will award the couples a certain amount of points for the WDSF world ranking system, placing them on an equal footing with other athletes around the world from South America to Europe, Africa and Asia. It is great to see that now all aspects of ballroom dancing are being represented in the USA and the promotion of ballroom dance, whether as a sport or as an art or social form, continues stronger than ever in this the land of the free. Congratulations to all the couples for being the first to earn their points in this DanceSport arena and also to USA Dance for running two successful WDSF events. This is the first time USA Dance has hosted a WDSF event since the World Adult Latin Championship in 2010.
Didio Barrera of Florida began his dance career with Fred Astaire Dance Studios at age 13 and was teaching by age 15. He was owner/ dance director of a Miami dance studio for 10 years, and is currently Features Editor of DanceBeat International and DanceBeat Newspaper. Didio is also an NDCA-recognized Adjudicator and WDC World-Class Adjudicator. He is also an active TV producer of DanceSport events. Al Parker/ParkWest
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William Stansbury & Jenny Sokolsky, Youth Championship Standard
makes you work even harder,” she said. A competitor in Senior I and II Novice and Pre-Champ Standard, this was Smith’s fourth time dancing at the MAC. She nearly missed this year, after getting hit by a cab in the spring and having to undergo surgery on her right shoulder. “After the surgery there wasn’t much time left to practice, but we [with partner Patrick Haizel] still came in second in novice, which isn’t bad at all,” Smith said with a smile. Some described this year’s MAC as a homecoming, since the competition was held last year at Pier Sixty in Chelsea Piers, part of a modern sporting complex built in the 1990’s. The Manhattan Center, in contrast, was built in 1906 and the Grand Ballroom includes intricately embellished high ceilings and a wraparound balcony. “Last year [at Chelsea Piers] was all right but this feels like you’re dancing in a real ballroom,” commented Pre-Champ Latin competitor Oleg Kordunskiy, 23, and a recent graduate from Cornell University, where he danced with Cornell’s ballroom dance team. Since its first competition in the church basement of St. Paul the Apostle on 59th
Street in 1991, the MAC has changed locations a number of times. From a church basement in Manhattan, ballroom dancers have gathered at the former NYU Loeb Auditorium in Greenwich Village, a dance studio in midtown Manhattan, the Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn, Columbia University’s Alfred Lerner Hall and Pace University. The MAC is also a National Qualifying Event for the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships which in 2014 will take place in Baltimore, Maryland from Mar. 28 – 30. (See Cover Story on pages 12-16 for details about the upcoming USA Dance Nationals.) Regardless of where the MAC is held, Chen is proud to note that the competition has never missed a year. “The MAC has been unbroken from the start,” Chen said. “It is the only ballroom competition that has run continuously for nearly 25 years in New York City. No other competition can lay claim to that. The MAC is a long-standing tradition, and we hope it stays that way for many years to come.”
COACHING FROM A CHAMPION’S PERSPECTIVE
Inna Brayer with Joshua Lishnevetsky & Angela Gerzberg, Junior II Latin
USA Dance DanceSport Council Member Former USA Dance National 10-Dance Adult Champion Former World Team Member, WDSF World Championships
The MAC 2014 is a prime example of how strongly ballroom dancing has developed in the past 20 years. As an American 10-Dance National Champion, it pleases me to see how much interest there is among the juniors. Not only has ballroom and latin dancing transitioned into a sport over the years, but our art form has also been embraced within our community. As a kid growing up in New York City, multi-tasking school, work and dance practice was always a character trait I worked hard to achieve and maintain. Now, as a coach, I strive to teach my students that along with their dance success, they can have educational success as well. My own experience as a competitor provides tremendous support and guidance for my students as their coach. Over the years, the quantity and level of junior dancing is a direct reflection of the higher standards for technique, dancer speed and flexibility and with that has come new rules and restrictions that may have limited both costume and choreography flexibility, but, collectively these improvements have given us a generation of very talented junior dancers.
A DANCER’S GREATEST FEAR? TIME LOSS DUE TO INJURY! So American Dancer asked two leading medical experts to share their best advice and practice with USA Dance members — whether social dancers or dancesport athletes — to help avoid injury and get the most out of their greatest passion — dancing. Here’s what they had to say.
Dance. Train. Dance …
TO AVOID INJURIES AND COMPETE!
By Lyle J. Micheli, MD allroom dancing is a serious discipline and no one knows that like you. Those watching national competitions or shows such as Dancing with the Stars, might think to themselves, “They make it look so easy. I can do that!” However, you and I both know that the hours of practice competitors put into their routines makes the finished product all the more impressive. I have been treating professional and competitive dancers for nearly 40 years and have noticed that with your drive, high fitness level and determination; almost nothing can stand in your way … expect of course, an injury. Dance injuries are often the result of overuse, instead of acute trauma, and these injuries tend to occur in the foot, ankle, lower leg, low back, shoulder and hip. To help you stay free from injury this year, I have developed a top five list of things to keep in mind as you rehearse and train for your next competition. 1. Work to Balance your Muscles. Muscle imbalances (i.e. a combination of short, tight and strong muscles and elongated, weak muscles) on the same side of the body (i.e. quadriceps and hamstrings in the leg) and between sides of the body (i.e. right leg stronger than left leg) can lead to injuries and chronic pain. Dancers often have tight hip flexors (known as the dancers’ muscles). These muscles are overused in dance. Also, be careful to use and stretch the idiotibial band with concerted stretching. These imbalances can be corrected over time by stretching tighter muscles and strengthening weaker ones. Don’t underestimate the importance of stretching, which must be done every day. 2. To dance your best … dance more. Part of your training as a competitive dancer should include different forms of dancing. I believe that every dancer of any
kind should take one or two ballet classes each week. The ballet barre offers not only the variety necessary but focuses your balance. 3. Listen to your instructor! And, if possible, get more than one. A well-trained, credentialed instructor is your first line of defense against dancerelated injuries. It is also up to your instructor to decide at what time, based on your age and experience, it is appropriate for you to move on to the next level of dance. Keep in mind that your instructor may be the very best person to teach you how to perfect your dancer form. But, ask yourself if he or she is the best possible person to work with you to become stronger. You may need more than one instructor to help you train. It is vital you work with someone who can understand that your upper and lower body and core strength must be challenged and who can create strengthening protocols just for you. Once you have your protocol, a strengthening program should be done at least three days a week. 4. Relax! Dancers face a great deal of stress from competitions and/or auditions and are naturally prone to experiencing performance anxiety. Mental relaxation techniques, including proper breathing techniques, can decrease stress and help dancers conquer these muscle-tightening anxieties. If you are having problems with muscle strains, consider seeing a sports psychologist to maintain your competitive edge and put the athletic demands into perspective, while helping you focus. 5. You are an athlete. Train like one. And, eat like one. Many of the injury prevention guidelines recommended for other sports are also true for dancers. You are challenging your body to work to its maximum capacity with every workout. Though I understand there is an emphasis on appearance in
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ballroom dancing, keep in mind that to perform you must adhere to proper nutrition and understand where your diet may be deficient. I would suggest that you seek a sports medicine nutritionist to help you adjust your diet appropriately. Dancers are vulnerable to a wide range of injuries including stress fractures, tendon injuries, sprains and strains. These injuries show up with greater frequency in dancers as they age, making it important to take on injury prevention initiatives at a young age and keep up not only your rehearsal schedule, but a serious training protocol. In the meantime, don’t forget the basics. • Wear properly fitting clothing and shoes. • Perform proper warm-up and cool-down exercises. Before you begin your rehearsals, do 15-25 minutes of movement and exercise to break a light sweat before you start your demanding routines. This will loosen muscles to help prevent injuries. • Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after. • Pay close attention to correct technique. I wish you luck on the dance floor and throughout the year ahead. And, in this case, don’t break a leg. Dr. Lyle J. Micheli is an orthopaedic surgeon and member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) who enjoys meeting and treating dancers and helping them return to the stage or the dance floor. He is the director of the Division of Sports Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He has been the Attending Physician for the Boston Ballet since 1977 and is Medical Consultant to the Boston Ballet School. For more information, visit http://www.themichelicenter.com/about-us/staff/.
RIGHT KIND of
Warm-Up Routines Can Actually Make Dancers More Prone To Injury. By Dr. Miho Urisaka, PT, DPT
s dancers – social, professional, or competitive – we've all heard that we can prevent injuries by warming up and stretching before we dance. So most of us have warm-up techniques and stretching routines that are supposed to help protect our bodies. But what if your warm-up routine actually makes you more prone to injury? Sure, most dancers “warm up” by stretching, but injuries are still the leading cause of time loss for professional dancers. In fact, research shows that in any given year, one is likely to suffer up to three injuries that result in having to take time off. One of the biggest factors that causes injury is the lack of an effective warmup. And one of the biggest factors that determines whether or not your warm-up is effective is the type of stretch you do.
ARE YOU A STATIC STRETCHER, OR A DYNAMIC STRETCHER?
When we think of stretching, we usually think of sitting on the floor, trying to touch our toes and lengthen our hamstrings as much as possible. This is called static stretching, where you hold the pose.
There's another type of stretching called dynamic stretching. The concept is to stretch while you are fluidly moving, rather than holding the stretch. (For example, to stretch a hamstring, you may swing a straight leg forward and back, gradually increasing the height of the swing.) This gently propels your muscles to reach an extended range of motion.
SO WHICH TYPE OF STRETCH BETTER HELPS TO PREVENT INJURIES?
Research has shown that excessive amounts of static stretching before an activity can decrease strength and power. In addition, static holds have not shown to be effective in gaining range of motion. They simply increase stretch tolerance by decreasing pain receptors. This means that by doing static stretches before dancing, not only do you make your muscles slower, you actually weaken your muscles. Conversely, dynamic stretching has been shown to have many positive effects on the body, including increased nerve and muscle responsiveness, increased flexibility, and increased joint position sense. Dynamic stretching prepares your body to react faster and more accurately, decreasing your chances of injury.
EVERY TIME YOU DANCE, BE SURE TO:
Lunge to the side and rotate your ribcage. Draw a large circle with the opposite hand over your head to stretch your torso, back and abdominals.
1. Warm up with jumping jacks or a light jog to increase your heart rate and improve blood circulation. 2. Perform some dynamic stretches, emphasizing movements used in your style of dance. (Think rolling your shoulders, circling your arms, and doing gentle torso twists. Forward and side lunges are great warm-ups for both Standard and Latin dance.) 3. After dancing, cool down with a
Note: Dr. Urisaka recognizes that it is difficult to convey dynamic stretching through static photos, so these photos are only suggestive of the continuous motion.
What Performance Prescriptions Do They Write For Themselves? Editor’s Note: Dancing definitely attracts people of many ages and professions, from teachers to engineers to even doctors. What prescriptions do they write for themselves to get the most out of their practice and performance time? Or are the challenges no different from everyone else’s?
AMERICAN DANCER: What specific knowledge, training and best practice as a medical doctor has enabled you to enjoy and get the best performance results from your dancing? WRIGHT: As a physician, you have to be persistent and thorough. I approach dancing in the same way. Dancing is great physical exercise and it provides a creative outlet. I think my balanced lifestyle benefits me in my work, causing me to be more efficient. KELLNER: Knowing human anatomy was a major help. Understanding the structure of the human body and the range of motion of the joints is an asset when dancing. When partnering a woman, being familiar with the musculature and weight division of her body makes it go better, such as helping with the positioning of hands and adjusting the locations of the weight-bearing connections. Also knowing my own body’s internal structure allowed me to take maximum advantage of my strength, and aided in finding and achieving the most pleasing presentation of lines. GOODMAN: Competitive dancing gives me an outlet from the stress of my profession. March-April 2014
Ballroom dancing has improved my health and cognition. AD: Granted any physical exercise and training comes with its own set of challenges, but what have been your greatest dance challenges as a doctor? WRIGHT: During my intern year, I regularly went to ballroom technique class and to practice after having worked for 36 hours straight at the hospital. I found time to practice even while I was preparing for major exams. I never gave up! Sometimes, my on-call schedule conflicts with competitions that David and I would like to attend, and my colleagues are usually understanding and accommodating and agree to switch call shifts with me, for which I am very grateful. KELLNER: When I was actively practicing medicine the greatest challenge was time: finding the time to dance, to take class,
to get to the gym, to rehearse, etc. Dance was impossible for me during medical school, internship and residency, due to a lack of time plus exhaustion. After medical training was completed, it became better, but there were still time restrictions. Time limitations also make it more difficult to find and work with a partner. At one point I reduced my work to part-time from fulltime to allow more time to dance. This led to a sacrifice of income, and questioning and wondering from colleagues. GOODMAN: By biggest dance challenge, and it has nothing to do with being a doctor, is to become competitive with open level dancers who are either younger and/or more experienced than myself. I have to overcome the physical challenges imposed by COPD from smoking cigarettes in my younger years…and so called “senior moments.” Mentally, I have to overcome the anxieties that come with competing against high level dancers.
JACK KELLNER, MD, MPH
Retired Physician, New York, NY National Cabaret (2x) & Theatre Arts (3x) Champion Partner: Three difference partners Years Dancing: Since age 18 Practice Time: Not currently competing, 1x per week Eric Bandiero
LIVA ANDREJEVA WRIGHT, MD Hospital Practice in New Haven, CT Senior I Standard National Champion, 2012 & 2013 British Open Championships, Runner-Up, 2013 Partner: Husband David Wright Years Dancing: 22 Practice Time: 2 hours per day, 6-7 times per week. Peter Suba
SUMNER GOODMAN, MD Retired Psychiatrist, Albany, NY Senior III Standard Champion, 2011 Currently Dancing Senior IV Standard Partner: Wife Grace Goodman Years Dancing: 20 Practice Time: 6x per week totaling 5 hours
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Reach up as high as you can, feeling the stretch from your toes all the way to your fingertips. Then reach left and right to increase the stretch through your sides.
few static stretches. For each stretch, exhale and relax your body into the full range of motion. Hold for 30-60 seconds. By preparing your muscles for the types of moves they'll need to perform, you can prevent injuries, increase your strength, speed, and flexibility, and enjoy even more time on the dance floor, no matter what type of dance you do. For more examples of dynamic stretches, please go to www.DanceSportPT.com This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, are for general information purposes only. If you have any injuries or feel pain during the exercises, discontinue them immediately and consult a healthcare professional Miho Urisaka, PT, DPT is founder and owner of DanceSport Physical Therapy, PLLC in New York City. She graduated from the University of Southern California with her doctorate in physical therapy, and treats amateur and professional performers from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Avenue Q, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and many others. Dr. Urisaka enjoys competitive latin and standard dancing in her free time.
TURNING PASSION FOR DANCE into
POSITIVE COMMUNITY RELATIONS By Jim DiCecca
assachusetts has a very active ballroom community with many professional instructors, studios, college programs and competitions, as well as a very vibrant and widespread social dance community. When I became president of the MASSabda Chapter, I realized there was a great opportunity to help the area grow and thrive, but also challenges to co-exist with the dance community. USA Dance chapters face challenges remaining neutral, developing associations in the community, being recognized as a unifying and supporting organization, and not seeming a threat to other dance entities. Our Board then worked diligently reaching out in our community — attending dances, speaking with teachers, owners and dancers. We pursued our message of support, cooperation and opportunity. We made a decision to have a win-win scenario with all that we touch. We actively promote dance activities in our area through our website, emails and social media. As a result, many in our area have chosen to become official MASSabda Supporters, offering discounts to our members. In turn, our supporters are provided with promotion of their support and our members are encouraged to patronize them. In an effort to foster greater unity in the community, we initiated the MASSabda DanceSport Series. The series introduces both beginner and experienced dancers to furthering their dancing skills and to DanceSport competition. Numerous studios donated use of their facilities, so we took our DanceSport Series classes to a different studio weekly. Our participants
not only honed their skills, but were also encouraged to make use of the services of the various studios. And today many of our participants frequent these studios for lessons or social functions. In addition, one of our local profession instructors now donates his time and expertise as the Series’ instructor. Following each Series, the class then partic- ipates at one of several local dance competitions in a specially created MASSabda DanceSport division. MASSabda board members and local professionals also have joined forces as volunteers to sustain The Kids Ballroom Dance Program of Massachusetts. The program originators worked with schools, principals and school systems to develop the program. Now, this self-sufficient program has effectively introduced 800 or more children to ballroom and latin dancing, and we see today many of these same kids still dancing at local studios and in competitions. In 2014, MASSabda will once again organize the New England DanceSport Championship, bringing a top-notch competition to the area, allowing amateur couples to own the floor and qualify for the USA Dance 2015 National DanceSport Championships. Our chapter collaborates to support The AdMeTech Foundations’ “Dance For A Cure of Prostate Cancer” program — a truly worthwhile cause made possible through the goodness of the dance world. In our area, Bill Morganti is a wellknown coach, instructor, clinician and
ky Lisa Dubins
adjudicator. He tells others often, “I once heard a saying that a team would beat any individuals no matter how skilled those individuals. MASSabda and USA Dance are just such an example. A group of self-sacrificing individuals making up a team armed with the passion for dance. Their hard work and dedication to bring joy by introducing dancing to all ages is immeasurably admirable.” Organizing events, supporting and co-sponsoring events with local organizations makes MASSabda and USA Dance a true focal point for the dance community. We are proud of our accomplishments and excited about the future. For more than 10 years, Jim DiCecca has served as president of the MASSabda Chapter, one of USA Dance’s largest chapters, expanding dance opportunities and fostering Lisa Dubinsky positive industry relations throughout the Boston area. As he admits, everything in the ballroom world has become his passion. He dances socially and competitively, serves as USA Dance Area Manager for District 4 and volunteers for numerous national committees and task forces.
Grassroots 10TH ANNIVERSARY
Los Angeles County Chapter Still Rocking Around The Clock Time passes quickly when you’re having fun (dancing) they say and the Los Angeles County Chapter 4031, now celebrating its 10th anniversary, is still “rocking around the clock”, promoting ballroom dancing throughout their area. As Chapter President Jerry Hernandez explained, “Since we’re located in the entertainment capital of the world, our chapter has been able to seize incredible opportunities.” Los Angeles is the number two media market in the country focused on entertainment and celebrities, and they have a close relationship with many Dancing With The Star’s professionals who live in the area and are willing to teach lessons at their social dances -- Alec Mazo, Edyta Sliwinska, Anna Trebunskaya, Jonathan Roberts and Karina Smirnoff – and it has attracted attendance and new members for them. The LA Chapter also doesn’t hesitate to take advantage of high profile events. The most memorable one was their invitation to be in the 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade, part of the California Clock Company’s Kit Kat Clock float celebrating its 80th anniversary. Rose Parade star performers were junior DanceSport members Aaron Altman and Rashell Khalfin, who danced latin and swing atop the float’s 50’s style soda fountain scene (Rashell donning a traditional poodle skirt.), as skateboarders 30
maneuvered on and off ramps. Adult social dance members from three USA Dance California chapters – Los Angeles, Orange County and Antelope Valley – got in on the act and actually walked along the entire parade route, dancing swing in the streets. Chapter President at the time was Herb McGurk. For the Chapter, the Rose Parade event became a valuable “dress rehearsal” for maximizing public and community relations. Ask Herb. It was a weeklong project -- decorating the float,
TOURNAMENT OF ROSES PARADE stars were junior DanceSport members Aaron Altman and Rashell Khalfin, donning 50’s attire to “rock around the clock.”
DANCING WITH THE STARS IN LA! The Los Angeles County Chapter definitely reaches for the stars for many of its pre-social dance classes. Mirror-ball trophy winner Karina Smirnoff inspires her class with her energy and some latin technique.
meeting with TV news crews at dawn, returning reporter calls, attending rehearsals and meeting the parade’s schedules. The float’s theme “Timeless Fun for Everyone” meant the Chapter’s “Swing Kats” – in spite of all the work -- had a great time dancing to “Rock Around The Clock” and were seen by three million people along the Pasadena parade route and another 300 million tv viewers worldwide…not to mention front page Los Angeles Times!
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The Los Angeles County Chapter also supports numerous local charities and causes, focusing more often on USA Dance programs and initiatives. Since 2010, they have contributing monies to the K-12 Young Ballroom Dance Program, organized by the Antelope Valley Chapter 4037, under the direction of Lisa Sandoval, president, to train 5th and 6th grade teachers to conduct ballroom dancing as
an extra-curricular activity with the incentive to compete at the Chapter’s High Desert Classic competition. For the past two years, the Chapter has provided volunteers and financial assistance to the Southwest Regional DanceSport Championships, organized by the Orange County Chapter #4018, and held at the Culver City Veterans Auditorium. And during the annual December Holiday Ball, members bring gifts and donations to support the Marine Corp Reserve’s Toys for Tots program (see page 33 for full story).
“Many men make the mistake of confusing beauty of movement with the feminacy of movement. I believe that’s the prime reason for making the American man afraid of the words grace and beauty, and that’s nonsense.”
THE 1958 DOCUMENTARY: DANCING, A MAN’S GAME FROM STEREOTYPE TO ACCEPTANCE – HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?
Gene Kelly was still at the top of his game when he produced the documentary “Dancing, A Man’s Game” in 1958 for NBC. But more than being a master of his form, he aspired to be an advocate for its place in society with his first television production. Kelly assembled a group of America’s greatest sportsmen of that time – Mickey Mantle, Sugar Ray Robinson, Johnny Unitas, e.a. – and re-interpreted their moves choreographically, as part of his lifelong quest to remove the effeminate stereotype of dance. He attempted to persuade the ‘50s-era viewer that the lines of continuity between dance and sport were many. And that “aesthetic” and “athletic” were certainly not polar opposites. Article Resource: www.worlddancesport.org
AMERICAN DANCER believes the re-emergence of this turning-point documentary is trigger for some interesting discussions for an upcoming issue. Is Ballroom Dancing a man’s game? What motivates men to dance, both socially and/or competitively? Do men in this century really fear being associated with words like grace, beauty, artistry? Is DanceSport the modern-day lure for men, rather than Art? USA Dance members interested in contributing to this discussion should write to American Dancer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RICHMOND VA CHAPER 6006
Holiday Showcase - Regency Square Mall
Richmond Chapter President Phil Sisk emceed the Holiday Showcase at the Regency Square Mall and welcomed 12 showcase routines involving about 30 members, ages 20 to 80, and all the local dance studios. Shoppers at the mall congregated quickly to enjoy the hour-long performance and learn more about USA Dance. There were several fun group dances – swing, waltz and cha cha – just to get the audience on their dancing feet. And the instructors taught fun line dances, including crowd favorites The Electric Slide, Samba Line Dance and the Cupid Shuffle. The mall manger was extremely pleased with the audience of 200 and made a monetary donation to the chapter in appreciation.
Cupid Shuffle works every time with “Virginia Is For Lovers” bystanders.
SANDUSKY OH CHAPTER 2094
“GIANT WAVE” MEMBER DANCE Benefitting Chapter Founder Diagnosed With ALS
The Sandusky, Oh Chapter selects different community causes each year to support and it’s a strong attraction from their members. As member Doyt Echelberger explained, the common thread is “ballroom dancers contributing their skills, talent and enthusiasm to benefit and entertain the community.” Unique to this young chapter is the privilege of holding their regular dances in the village of Duane Mills Milan…in a historic 150-year old ballroom. They raised $5,000 for Serving Our Seniors to Described by fellow members as “firecrackers at every dance”, Rilley Polley and Karina Browne, both help redistribute unused prescription medications area college students, attended the Benefit Dance to those in need. and are avid ballroom social and competitive The Chapter and Black Tie Dance Studio dancers, also practicing ballet every day as well. co-sponsored a special benefit dance for the chapter’s founder Brian Stuckey, who later died from ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Brian was able to attend the benefit and the dance community once again came together all because of Brian’s love of dance and dedication to making dance opportunities part of their lives.
FINDING A GOOD CAUSE TO DANCE USA DANCE CHAPTERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR COMMUNITIES
ick a number, any number and that’s how many reasons there are to dance…for stress relief, losing weight, physical and mental fitness, improving self-esteem and confidence, relaxation and social outlet, meeting new friends, rekindling relationships…for social reasons, for athletic reasons…and so the list goes on.
In the process of gaining all those personal benefits, USA Dance members through their chapters also find time to volunteer their time and raise funds for important USA Dance charitable dance education and DanceSport programs as well as other worthy causes and charities in their communities.
NORTH CENTRAL NEW MEXICO CHAPTER 4033
DOCMA CHAPTER 3039
DANCE FORMATION TEAM WINTER BALL 2013 Benefitting Multiple Local Charities, Causes
Throughout the year, seven North Central New Mexico chapter members rehearse choreographed routines in order to serve the local communities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe through dance. It’s a chance to share their love of dancing with senior citizen centers, nursing homes, assisted living centers, civic organizations and community events. They call themselves ambassadors for USA Dance and they volunteer all together more than 100 hours a month and even their professional dance coach has been a volunteer for the past three years. The Chapter has a budget Jim Ruark for costumes, equipment, Pilar Alcazar & Mike Sanchez at Grand practice space rental and Re-Opening of Bear Canyon Senior travel. They’re quite popular in Center, Albuquerque. New Mexico. Special dance performances have included several high profile events -- Rio Rancho Community Foundation & Chamber Fundraiser (Mayor’s Ball); Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta Week; Bear Canyon Senior Center; Vietnamese New Year and the Albuquerque International Festival. Oftentimes, they engage the audience in dancing much to their delight. Going strong since 2008, the Dance Formation Team currently includes: Pilar Alcazar, Mary Ann Dix, Sylvia Mock, Sue Thorson, Gordon Chandler, Mike Sanchez and Kris Tjptowidjojo.
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Benefitting Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots & Worcester County Food Bank
In December, the Dancers of Central Massachusetts (DOCMA) Chapter held its annual Winter Ball at Lake Pearl Luciano’s in Wrentham, MA, attracting 250 plus dancers who enjoyed an afternoon of dancing. Winter Ball is a holiday celebration and charity fundraiser. Dancers donated three huge cartons of toys to the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program and were on hand to collect the gifts, and a raffle generated an additional $400 for the Worcester County Food Bank. Members of the MASSABDA chapter were also in attendance.
Marine Corps Reserve servicemen expressed their gratitude for the DOCMA Chapter support.
“Dancing for Food” at the Winter Ball are members Caroline Harris & Jim Daubney.
CHOO-CHOO (TN) CHAPTER 2009
ANNUAL HOLIDAY BALL Benefitting Chattanooga Room in the Inn
Los Angeles County Chapter Holiday Ball annually supports Toys for Tots: Two U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Servicemen with 2013 board members Alexandra Caluen, Herb McGurk, Nancy Rincon, Gayle Gould, Sue Barr and Jerry Hernandez. Courtesy of LA Chapter
ANNUAL HOLIDAY BALL
Benefitting Marine Corps Toys For Tots and made financial donations. According to the Marine representatives, the LA Chapter is the largest contributor of toys to the local program. Approximately 150 to 200 dancers have attended the Holiday Ball each year, donning their finest LA dance attire and receiving a $5 ticket discount for bringing a toy.
CEDAR VALLEY IA CHAPTER 2033
ANNUAL CHARITY BALL
Benefitting Various NonProfits, Alzheimer’s Association & Rotary Club
In April, the Cedar Valley Chapter (IA) will host its 19th annual Charity Ball, where usually 150 – 200 people will dance the night away at the Electric Park Ballroom, part of the National Cattle Congress, in Waterloo, Iowa. Live music resounds in this historic ballroom, played by the Ken Paulsen Orchestra. Former Chapter President (for 17 years) Hilda Ostby has organized 17 of the 19 balls so far (whew, she says). Recipient charities vary, but have including the Alzheimer’s Association and Rotary Club, most helping sell tickets and promote. Of historical note is that the Glen Miller Orchestra has played at Electric Park Ballroom, and music
NORTH ALABAMA CHAPTER 6114
LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CA CHAPTER 4031
Among the largest USA Dance chapters, Los Angeles County, with more than 500 members, supports the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys For Tots charity at its annual Holiday Ball, held at the Culver City Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium. Over the past seven years, the chapter has successfully collected several hundreds of toys
The Chattanooga Chapter in Tennessee sponsored its annual Holiday Ball at the Allemande Hall in Chattonooga to celebrate dance and benefit the Chattanooga Room in the Inn, which is a 24/7 transitional shelter and support program for homeless single women and women with children. Services are offered free of charge and include transitional housing, three meals a day, assistance with finding affordable housing and other stability needs.
legend Buddy Holly visited there the night before his fatal plane crash. Cedar Valley always invites the Southern MN Chapter 2017 to attend each year. The two chapters have a friendly win-win competition going on between them anyway to see who earns the Traveling Dance Shoes Award for bringing the most guests to the other’s events.
University students Bryce and Alexa perform at the historic Electric Park Ballroom in Waterloo, IA. Hilda Ostby
Benefitting Downtown Rescue Mission In November, the Northern AL Chapter held its annual Dance Showcase at the Trinity United Methodist Church, and after expenses, raised $3121 from 124 ticket sales and donations for the Downtown Rescue Mission. Exhibitions included amateur, pro-am and professional routines. One highlight was watching all the local DanceSport competitors dance on the floor as if in a Matthew Johnson competition. Music was provided by For the benefit, Hal Reid President Ricky Calle, & Jessica Cash did a waltz performance. joined by emcees Bob Pratico and Hal Reid. The chapter services the Greater Tennessee Valley area of Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee. Northern AL members hope to sponsor a dance benefit every year, as the event was highly supported by a long list of local businesses and associations, dance studios and independent instructors, as well as the nearby Birmingham, AL Chapter 6037. To read their newsletter story, please visit their website www.huntsvilleballroom.org
DANCESPORT CALENDAR 2014-2015 March 2014 Star Of The North ** (see note) Mar 1 - 2, 2014 Hosted by Minnesota Chapter #2011 Crowne Plaza Riverfront – St. Paul, MN NJ DanceSport Classic - Spring Fling ** (see note) Mar 2, 2014 Organized by Wendi Davies Rogers Dance Center - Hackensack, NJ WDSF Ajudicator’s Congress at Nationals Mar 27, 2014 Event held at USA Dance 2014 National DanceSport Championships Renaissance Harborplace Hotel - Baltimore, MD The attendance form must be filled out before March 15. For more information contact: email@example.com USA DANCE 2014 National DanceSport Championships Mar 28 - 30, 2014 Hosted by USA Dance National Renaissance Harborplace Hotel - Baltimore, MD WDSF Open Under-21 Standard, Latin & 10-Dance Events Mar 28 – 30, 2014 WDSF Open Under-21 Standard Friday, Mar 28, 2014 WDSF Open Under-21 10-Dance Saturday, Mar 29, 2014
WDSF Open Under-21 Latin Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 WDSF Events held at USA Dance National DanceSport Championships Renaissance Harborplace Hotel - Baltimore, MD
April 2014 Quest For The Best ** (see note) Apr 12, 2014 Hosted by Seattle Chapter #1004 The Verve Ballroom – Lynnwood, WA
June 2014 NJ DanceSport Classic Summer Sizzler – 2015 NQE Jun 7 - 8, 2014 Organized by Mario Battista & Wendi Davies Rogers DanceSport Center - Hackensack NJ
Senior IV National Championships Jun 27 - 29, 2014 Held at Gumbo DanceSport Championships Crowne Plaza - Baton Rouge, LA Junior II National Championships Jun 27 - 29, 2014 Held at Gumbo DanceSport Championships Crowne Plaza - Baton Rouge, LA
July 2014 Mid-Summer Classic ** (see note) Jul 26, 2014 Hosted by Southern Star Chapter #6038 Rhapsody Ballroom – Tampa, FL
August 2014 Derby City DanceSport Championships – 2015 NQE Aug 1 - 3, 2014 Hosted by Greater Louisville Chapter #2021 The Galt House - Louisville, KY
September 2014 Kansas City Dance Classic ** (see note) Sep 6, 2014 Organized by Matt & Ellen Pansing Camelot Ballroom - Overland Park, KS (Kansas City) Quest For The Best ** (see note) Sep 20, 2014 Hosted by Seattle Chapter #1004 The Verve Ballroom – Lynnwood, WA New England DanceSport Championships – 2015 NQE Sep 20, 2014 Hosted by MASSabda Chapter #3002 Westin Hotel - Waltham, MA
Chicago DanceSport Challenge – 2015 NQE Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2014 Hosted by Chicagoland Chapter #2001. Hyatt O’Hare Hotel - Chicago, IL
November 2014 California State DanceSport Championships – 2015 NQE (Date not finalized for Nov. 2014.) Hosted by NorCal Chapter #4004 National Collegiate DanceSport Championships Nov 22 – 23, 2014 Hosted by USA Dance National Columbus Convention Center – Columbus, OH
January 2015 Manhattan Amateur Classic (The MAC) - 2015 NQE Jan 16-18, 2015 (tentative) Hosted by Greater New York Chapter #3004 Manhattan Center - Manhattan, NY Winter Frolic ** (see note) Jan 25, 2015 Hosted by Royal Palm Chapter #6016 Gold Coast Ballroom - Coconut Creek, FL Southwest Regional DanceSport Championships – 2015 NQE Jan 30 - 31, 2015 Hosted by Orange County Chapter #4018 Veterans Auditorium - Culver City, CA
Carolina Fall Classic – 2015 NQE Oct 3 - 5, 2014 Organized by Wayne & Marie Crowder University Hilton - Charlotte NC.
Quest For The Best ** (see note) Feb 2015 (Date To Be Announced) Hosted by Seattle Chapter #1004 The Verve Ballroom – Lynnwood, WA
WDSF Senior I Standard & Latin Oct 4, 2014 Events held at Carolina Fall Classic. University Hilton – Charlotte, NC
Mid-Atlantic Championships – 2015 NQE Feb 14 - 15, 2015 Hosted by Mid-Eastern Chapter # 6001 North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center - Bethesda, MD
Gumbo DanceSport Championships – 2015 NQE Jun 27 - 29, 2014 Hosted by Louisiana Gumbo Chapter #5031 Crowne Plaza - Baton Rouge LA
NJ DanceSport Classic – Fall Frolic ** (see note) Organized by Wendi Davies Rogers Dance Center - Hackensack, NJ (Note: Date not finalized)
CODING: All National Qualifying Events for the 2015 USA Dance National DanceSport Championships are identified by (Year) NQE. COMPETITOR ELIGIBILITY: Please refer to USA Dance Rulebook (Eligibility Criteria 4.2) for complete qualification details to participate in the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships. All USA Dance active members are permitted to dance in any and all events listed below. Please note that events above designated ** do not
accrue proficiency points and may not follow all rules in the Rulebook. http://usadance.org/dancesport/forms-andresources/rules-policies-and-bylaws/ SPECTATOR TICKETS: Please contact the individual competition websites/organizers listed on the USA Dance website www.usadance.org. For USA Dance Nationals tickets, please contact Daphna Locker via www.usadancenationals.com. CALENDAR DISCLAIMER: All USA Dance sanctioned and listed competition events and activities within this
Northwest DanceSport Championships – 2015 NQE Oct 11 - 12, 2014 Hosted by Portland, OR Chapter #1006 Portland, OR
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Event organizers may add events to the calendar by contacting Rog Greenawalt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
calendar are subject to change of date, location and other details without prior notice. Please check with the actual event organizers via the event websites or by personal contact to confirm the accuracy of all event details before making plans as a competitor, spectator or sponsor. ERRORS/CORRECTIONS: For any changes/updates, please contact DanceSport Council Representative Rog Greenawalt directly at email@example.com.
MUSICAL CHAIRS. THE FILM.
once simple dream – to learn to dance as a couple despite physical challenges – for USA Dance members Aubree Marchione and Nick Scott has now become their life work and the whirlwind of it all seems like a dream in itself. But their vision is clear – to bring the joy and opportunity of ballroom and latin dance to Americans, otherwise in wheel chairs. Aubree and Nick first met at the Arnold Sports Festival in 2009. Nick was a bodybuilder and already an icon in the fitness industry. Aubree’s film production company was there hosting. From that point, Nick would fly monthly from Kansas City to the East Coast for dance lessons that resulted in their becoming America’s first representatives at the World Paralympic Wheelchair DanceSport Championship in Germany in 2010. But the story still unfolds. . . now the new movie “Musical Chairs” has just been released on HBO 2, HBO Comedy and HBO Latino. The directors selected Aubree to choreograph the entire film and both she and Nick have roles as dancers.
Choreographer, Musical Chairs - the Film. the director Susan Seidelman, who wanted more information about wheelchair dancing in America and wanted to speak to me about wheelchair dance choreography. Nick connected us, and we set up an interview in NYC…and ended up getting the job as choreographer for the entire film! Nick and I were also featured in the movie during the dance scenes.
wheelchair dancing is all about…from the struggles of first learning how to dance in a wheelchair to the beauty of proficient wheelchair dancing.
AD: How long have you been teaching wheelchair dancing? Nick & Aubree I’ve been teaching wheelchair dancing for AMERICAN DANCER: How about eight years, and this did Musical Chairs get year I became the Artisstarted and what was your tic Director for American involvement in the film? AD: What was it like DanceWheels Foundation choreographing for the film? The idea and story of Musi(ADF), the largest non-profcal Chairs was conceived by I had an absolute blast it organization in the U.S. the main producer of the film, working with the actors in for wheelchair dancing. Janet Carrus. With the help this film! Although most of of her friend, Marty Madden, them were not trained in AD: How can USA Dance who was also the screenwriter ballroom dance, let alone members or chapters get of the film, they put together wheelchair ballroom dance. a production team, including But they all had natural dance involved? Many ways. They can help producer Joey Dedio and well- ability and their own style, our cause by sponsoring one known director Susan Seidel- strengths and weaknesses. of our instructional videos man. It took a lot of work, cast, I took the strengths of each or raising funds for a local dancer and couple into conand crew to make the movie dance teacher to become come to life. sideration when developing My dance partner Nick Scott the choreography. I especially certified in Wheelchair Ballroom and Latin Dance. received a call one day from wanted people to see what Aubree Marchione is a professional dancer trained in the International and American styles of ballroom & latin dance, as well as hiphop, jazz, and Wheelchair DanceSport. She is the new Artistic Director of American DanceWheels Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides wheelchair ballroom dance training and programs in America.
Inspiring Americans in Wheel Chairs to Dance For Joy, Hope and A New Way of Life
Courtesy Musical Chairs
Featuring able-bodied and disabled actors and dancers and directed by award-winning filmmaker Susan Seidelman, MUSICAL CHAIRS is about the strength of the human spirit, love and compassion in the face of life’s adversities. MUSICAL CHAIRS is a romantic tale of two New Yorkers, Armando Ortiz from the Bronx and Mia Franklin from the Upper East Side, who come together through their love of ballroom dancing. Mia and Armando meet at a midtown Manhattan dance studio where Mia is an instructor and Armando is a part-time handyman who exchanges his janitorial duties for dance lessons. Despite their differences, there is clearly a spark between them that is ignited one night when they find themselves alone practicing in the studio. But before their relationship has a chance to grow, a tragic accident changes Mia’s life forever. True to his nature, Armando dedicates himself to helping Mia overcome the everyday challenges that follow. Despite Mia’s many rebuffs, Armando refuses to give up, struggling to find a way to win Mia over and get her to dance again. Then one day, Armando hears about a “Wheelchair Ballroom Dance Competition” — a dance phenomenon big in Europe and Asia, but relatively unknown in the USA — soon to be held for the first time in New York City . Armando convinces Mia and the off-beat gang of rehab residents to give it a shot, and after initial skepticism and some hilarious attempts, they begin to seriously rehearse for the upcoming event. “A terrific film full of life, heart, music and fantastic dancing. A movie that just makes you feel good. See it!” — Pete Hammond, Boxoffice.
PUBLICEYE By Angela Prince
AMERICAN DANCER DEBUT OUTREACH FOR USA DANCE NOT LIMITED BY GEOGRAPHY
ith the exciting debut of the JanuGIVING ary 2014 January-Febru N H ary-February 2014 issue, American C ILDRE T IF G E TH Dancer Magazine began its metamorE F DANppC O ening phosis to becoming a more significant, meaningWhat ’s Ha , from ca in Ameri ms to School Gy nas. ful lifestyle magazine and voice for USA Dance Are DanceSport AM and its 160+ chapters and members. DANCEATEUR SPORT USA Dance is proud to reveal that almost all of the reader feedback for the inaugural issue was overIN At tractin whelmingly positive and supportive. Two readers gD of All Ag ancers and Au diences es, In Pu rsu were not fond of the larger page size and one reader and The it of Spor t, Ar t Joy of D ance. did hope there’ll be more social dancer stories in the The Jour future. Thank you to everyone for letting us know your ney To N ationals. Official pu thoughts and suggestions. blication of USA D ance Inc. As they say in baseball, American Dancer may not be batting a perfect 1000 yet, but we’ll keep coming to the plate! . A Dance Inc cation of US Because communications technology is changOfficial publi Circle. Coming Full Inspiration. ing at a seemingly unfathomable rate, USA Dance’s leadership role and outreach into the world of dance On Becoming A Media Sensation is no longer limited by geographical boundaries. American Dancer recognizes that and will utilize social media tools to reach greater audiences, and in time, when financially possible, supplement the print edition with an online reading option. MOVING A FEW BRAIN CELLS AROUND USA Dance’s long-standing mission has been to improve the quality and quantity of ballroom dancing in America. It It’s amazing how a good story can appear in one paper, makes it on the will be the purpose of American Dancer magazine, as USA wire service and boom, it goes “viral”. That’s what happened with a smallDance soon celebrates its 50th year in 2015, to bring further town newspaper story about Dr. Michael Forster, a member of the Hattiesawareness, understanding and appreciation for the mission burg, MS Chapter 6116. that is USA Dance at all levels of its contribution. Dr. Forster is the Dean of the College of Health at the University of
STRONG AMER ICA
DANCING DEAN IN MISSISSIPPI
NOTE: To subscribe to American Dancer Magazine or view archived copies, please visit the USA Dance website www.usadance. org. American Dancer is a complimentary subscription for active-status members of USA Dance and is published six times a year.
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Southern Mississippi, and the Hattiesburg American newspaper staff writer Ed Kemp loved the angle – “By day, he’s a university dean. By night, he’s a master of the foxtrot.” “Or something like that,” he goes on to say. Next thing the chapter knows, the story is being picked up all over the state – Clarion Ledger, The Sun Herald and others. But the grand pickup was the Miami Herald in Florida! Nowadays, there’s very little that’s
SOCHI GAMES 2014
Spectacular Pageantry, Global Recognition for DanceSport
photo from WDSF website
considered a local story. Internet and social media have given grand exposure to the smallest of stories (good and bad). Dr. Forster, if you don’t know him, is an enthusiastic ambassador for ballroom dancing. You’ll find him promoting on Facebook. The newspaper story also mentions about the definite health benefits of dancing, after all, that’s Dr. Forster’s vocational interest. “There’s a lot of scientific evidence that’s been repeatedly researched that dance is one of the best ways to join physical challenges and cognitive challenges,” he told the reporter. Most memorable quote? “I’ve been doing this for over a year and a half, and every time there’s a new dance step, I can feel a few brain cells moving around trying to grasp it the same time as the body does.” So when did Dr. Forster get the bug for dancing? A university fundraiser in two years ago called “Dancing With The Deans”. As the story revealed, “He’s been memorizing steps ever since.”
Dr. Michael Forster & Wife Sylvia
Nothing short of spectacular, the Olympic Opening Ceremonies to the Sochi Games in Russia lived up to all the pre-Games promises of DanceSport pageantry, choreography and local color by Russia’s top DanceSport couples, 400+ in all. The City of Sochi issued a global press release just a week before the Games, quoting Valentin Yudashkin, President of the Russian DanceSport Union and renowned fashion designer: “Over 400 dancers are currently getting ready in Krasnodar for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Sochi.” At that point, the DanceSport world celebrated one more step closer to the Olympic Dream. Throughout the Sochi Games, comparisons were made to the 2000 Games of the XXVII Olympiad in Sydney, where some 500 DanceSport couples, members of the Australian WDSF member body, danced to “Love Is In The Air,” sung by John Paul Young. Yudashkin now believes “Sochi may become the dancing capital of Russia” with the Olympic Winter Games and their legacy in the host city. Russia’s DanceSport industry already encompasses more than 1.5 million athletes. At American Dancer press time, the Feb. 23 Closing Ceremonies in Sochi had not concluded. More information: www.sochi2014.com.
ASIAN FUSION EDITOR DISCOVERS
THE CULTURAL EXPERIENCE OF DANCESPORT AT THE MAC
Asian Fusion Magazine is the #1 Asian lifestyle magazine in the greater New York City area, celebrating the NY Asian scene and cultures. The editor attending the Manhattan Amateur Classic in January came away in sheer awe of the art, the sport, the exuberance … and even the fashion, after all Asian Fusion is a cultural experience covering music, fashion, entertainment, travel and lifestyle.
A few excerpts from Editor Jim Zhou’s story are below. “Ballroom is a place of joy, like Tiffany’s, nothing bad could happen to you here. Hosted by Greater New York Chapter of USA Dance, the Manhattan Amateur Classic, also known as The MAC, is back for its 24th year and a return to Manhattan Center.” “Dancing gives one a new dimension of feeling connected to yourself and the outside world. It can be as wild as singing in the rain or
as romantic as the silver linings playbook. Studies show that there are many benefits related to learning to dance and can be a rewarding lifelong activity, whether you dance for competitively or just for joy. It helps one to lose weight, and keep fit.” “It is a great way to release inherent energy and just let the fluidity of motion lead your direction in the space, your brain will think nothing but enjoying the touch from the space. Without a doubt, ballroom dancing can bring people the utter joy and become a happy person. ‘It is evident that dancing teaches people how to concentrate, how to listen to the melody, it makes one aware of one’s own manners when coordinating with the music and your dancing partner. More importantly, boys and girls who are exposed to ballroom dancing early in life find themselves becoming the best they can be as gentleman or a fine lady, after all, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet met in a 19th century English
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Justin Lin & Sasha Dubinsky at The MAC
Ballroom! Thus, Ballroom dancing brings together people from all cross classes and breaks social rules that govern our society.”
It’s always interesting to know how ballroom and latin dancing impresses people for the first time.
Louise & Paul Giuliano
DANCING REDEFINING SENIORAGE IS JUST A NUMBER WHAT AGE QUALIFIES By Angela Prince
veryone says age is just a number. Some people just have higher numbers than others, which actually means they’ve accumulated a lot more in life. More birthdays. More experiences. More reasons to reflect. And a lot more reasons to celebrate! The media call today’s seniors the new 40, the new
50 or even the new 60, because seniors are living longer than previous generations and for good reasons – they’re active, they care about their mental and physical fitness, and they’re finding activities to be truly passionate about – activities like dancing. And it motivates them to do more.
DON & YOSHIE DAVENPORT
quickly, whether socially or competitively.
Lehigh Acres, FL
SENIOR IV American Smooth/Rhythm Dancing Competitively: 3 years Practice Days Per Week: 3 Competitions Per Year: 2 THEIR STORY:
Don and Yoshie Davenport have been married for 52 years. They started dancing socially after Don’s retirement at age 70 and spent years “floating from studio to studio” until they found USA Dance and learned more about “what dance gives to our society.” Don is 81 years old and Yoshie is “of the same generation.” For them, dancing is more about enjoying things together, whether they compete or not. But they have several Senior III 2nd and 4th placements they’re proud of.
What circumstances brought you together to dance competitively? D&Y: We wanted to set an example for new dancers. “If we can do this at our age, you can do it.” What are your greatest challenges during practice and on the floor? We worry too much about each other. On the competition floor, our biggest challenge is not
being concerned with other competitors. Simply dance our best. How do you stay physically and mentally fit to withstand the demands of competing? We do lot’s of walking, at least four to six hours practice of dancing weekly. All smooth routines based on long and short wall, with similar waltz and foxtrot figures. Rhythm
is planned from figure to figure with alternatives. Is there ever a time you question if you can compete one more year? We never think about that. We just enter competitions when ever we wish. What are the greatest challenges facing senior dancing and competing today? Trying to advance too
Have you ever had to overcome anything physical that limited your dancing or reaching your goals? Yes, I would say between hernia and two knee injuries, we were set back two years. Do you see yourself as a model senior couple? We do not see ourselves as a model couple, but we try to be.
AS SENIOR? According to USA Dance and WDSF SENIOR I. One partner at least 35; other partner at least 30. SENIOR II. One partner at least 45; other partner at least 40.
SENIOR III. One partner at least 55; other partner at least 50. SENIOR IV. One partner at least 65; other partner at least 60.
According to AARP
(American Association of Retired Persons): SENIOR. Age 50+
What does America need to do to grow the Senior Division opportunities? Adding Senior IV is a positive step in the last few years, but we need to create a bridge between the social and competitive dancer. Why do you dance? Three reasons – the joy of dance, to bolster our relationship and to keep healthy. March-April 2014
Xingmin & Katerina Lu
Kevin & Louise Payne
SENIOR I International Standard
SENIOR II International Standard, American Smooth/Rhythm.
New York, NY
Dancing Competitively 9 years Practice Days Per Week: 5 Competitions Per Year: 12
Fort Pierce, FL
Dancing Competitively: 8 years Practice Days Per Week: 3 Competitions Per Year: 9
THEIR STORY: Xingmin and Katerina were married in 2001 and started dancing competitively as a senior couple in 2005. Katerina had retired three years earlier from her lifelong dance career. Xingmin still has a full-time career in finance and started dancing as a senior. They are 6-times U.S. Senior I Standard Champions and Finalists at WDSF World Championships, Blackpool and International Championships.
challenges during a competition. We prepare for competitions to the best of abilities, mentally and physically. Have you had to overcome anything physical that limited your dancing? X&K: We are very lucky that we are pretty much pain and injury free. Knock on wood.
THEIR STORY: Kevin and Louise have been married for 34 years. Louise danced ballet for 16 years. Kevin was a professional musician for 14 years. At their 24th wedding anniversary, Louise refused to dance with Kevin since he “had no rhythm” but signed them up for dance lessons so they’d see their 25th. Kevin was attracted to competing, Louise to the fashion. Today, they typically make finals in their events.
As a dancesport couple, what are your greatest practice challenges? K&L: Working together as a team and avoiding heated discussions…Once all the excess energy and frustration is released, things calm back down, and we become
Do you expect to be dancing as a senior couple into the next age division? X: Absolutely. One day, Katerina plans on pushing a walker in front of her on the dance floor. Ryan Kenner
As a dancesport couple, what are your greatest practice challenges? X&K: To overcome various physical difficulties coming with age, fatigue after a full day of working, constant battle with maintaining physical form, weight and shape. Yet, we believe it is important for senior couples to feel ok with the fact that they are aging and there will be “young” senior couples coming into the ranks. What are your greatest challenges on the competition floor? X&K: We don’t feel that senior couples have different 40
Do you see yourself as a model senior I couple? K: We don’t perceive ourselves as role models…we hope we act in a way that we are good representatives of senior couples. We receive positive comments and praises…lately Xingmin started doing my hair and I think we get more praises on that than our dancing. Why do you dance? K: It is a basic need for me like water and food….I enjoy the freedom and discipline in dancing. It is like nothing else I ever did in my life. X: I just like it. I feel I am good at it. It gives me pleasure. As a couple, we love the fact that this is something we can do together.
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compete one more year? No. It’ll be a long time before that ever happens. What are the greatest challenges facing seniors dancing and competing today? To prove to the general public that just because someone is over 50 years old that they can still perform as productive athletes at a high level. What has changed positively in the last 5 to 10 years for Senior DanceSport? The creation of the Senior IV division. But, it would be nice that this championship be held at Nationals instead of an NQE.
best friends again. That’s when we really get productive. What are your greatest challenges on the competition floor? Remembering the key points that our coach has kept impressing us to do…posture, technique and show everyone we’re having fun dancing. Have you had to overcome anything physical that limited your dancing? Is there ever a time you question or doubt if you can
Do you see yourself as a model senior II couple? Locally, we are looked upon by our friends as the “big fish in the sea.” We have inspired a lot of our local dance friends. When we compete, we are smaller fish in the big sea. At times that can be intimidating. We hope to inspire others. Why do you dance? At first, it was to do something together. We were empty nesters. As we got into the competitive side, we developed a desire to see how we performed against other people our own age and how to get better than we were yesterday.
Paul & Louise Giuliano
Sumner & Grace Goodman
SENIOR III 10-Dance (Standard/Latin)
SENIOR IV International Standard
Dancing Competitively: 13+ years Practice Days Per Week: 1-2 Competitions Per Year: 5-10
Dancing Competitively: 10 years Practice Days Per Week: 6 Competitions Per Year: 10+
Paul and Louise have been married for 44 years, and started dance lessons on their 25th wedding anniversary. They won Ryan Kenner their first four dances at a fun competition, and were inspired. By 2005, they placed 1st in Senior II Latin, by 2007 1st in Senior III 10-Dance and today consistently place 1st in Senior III 10-Dance …they are also crowd favorites in NY Hustle and Polka in the Carolinas! They recently founded the Albany DanceSport Club.
As a dancesport couple, what are your greatest practice challenges? P&L: Finding time to practice because we are involved in too many things. Our ability to remember choreography is frustrating. Stamina has not been an issue so far. What are your greatest challenges on the competition floor? The biggest challenges are in following our choreography while avoiding other couples on the dance floor. Sometimes we forget what to do next when we are caught up in traffic. How do you stay physically and mentally fit to withstand the demands of competing? We do a fair amount of social dancing for endurance and stamina…we try to do continuous rounds when we are practicing for a comp. Being 10-dancers, it is even more demanding. Is there ever a time you question if you can compete one more year? We have thought about quitting many times because younger athletes are moving up into the senior levels, and
the field is growing much more competitive. We have stuck with it for the mental and physical challenge and because – knock on wood – we do not yet have any major physical issues that would prevent us from practicing or competing. What has changed positively in the last 5 to 10 years for Senior DanceSport? It’s a whole lot more competitive. It is not unusual any more to see quarter finals in senior events. What does America need to do to grow the Senior division opportunities? Showcase the senior dancers to the general population so that the 35-plus social dancers and even non-dancers will see that it is never too late to be a dancesport athlete. If all that people see are young and beautiful dancers with an occasional “comedic” old dancer thrown in for laughs, they will never see themselves as potential dancesport athletes. Why do you dance? We like the challenges of learning and improving our dance technique….the most satisfaction comes from the way we feel together during the dance and the love we feel from the audience.
Sumner and Grace Goodman have been married for 42 years and have been dancing competitively for 10 years, although they began taking ballroom dance lessons so they could dance at weddings. Ryan Kenner Grace had studied ballet and contemporary. Sumner was the newcomer. They began as social dancers and got hooked after watching a friend compete. Their best achievement was placing first in all dances in the Senior III Standard Silver and Gold at USA Dance Nationals in 2011. (See Dancing Docs, page 28)
As a dancesport couple, what are your greatest practice challenges? S: Remembering increasingly complex routines is problematic for me. It is not yet muscle memory…Floor craft is definitely my biggest problem. Physically, my biggest challenge is getting out of breath, a combination of not breathing properly during the dance, as well as years of smoking and resultant COPD. How do you stay physically and mentally fit to withstand the demands of competing? S: The best preparation for me is practicing by myself and with my wife in order to get the routines into muscle memory and increase my cardio and pulmonary stamina. Coffee helps sharpen my concentration. What are the greatest challenges facing seniors dancing and competing? S&G: Staying physically fit and maintaining mental sharpness. Also, staying competitive in an age category increasingly infused with younger dancers.
When you walk onto a competition floor, what do you say to yourself or to each other that makes a difference in your performance? S: Smile and be happy, no one died! Do you see yourself as a model senior couple? Do others comment on your dancing? S: I don’t think we are model senior competitors, though we keep trying. Even when we don’t place well, we do get compliments from other senior competitors, spectators and even judges, which surprises me…still it’s nice to be flattered. What does America need to do to grow the Senior division opportunities? S&G: Focus on Senior 4 and even Senior 5. Promote it. Why do you dance? S: When my wife and I dance socially, we laugh, especially when we screw up. And, of course, dancing is good exercise for the body and the mind, and is fun. It is something I can do well into old age….it’s all good, even when it isn’t. March-April 2014
WDSF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ADULT LATIN – Nov. 30, 2013 Berlin, Germany
Savitskyy & Seliverstova 44 out of 87 (Round 2 of 48 couples)
Golbert & Krasko 72 out of 87
(Round 1 of 87 couples)
SA Dance selected two DanceSport couples to represent the United States at the WDSF World Championship in Adult Latin, held in Germany’s capital of Berlin, Nov. 30, 2013. Taras Savitskyy & Tatiana Seliverstova (National 10-Dance Champions) and Edward Golbert & Maryanna Krasko (U.S. representatives to the 2013 World DanceSport Games), both with world-turf experience. The Adult Latin World Championship was organized by the Berlin DanceSport Association and held in the iconic Max Schmeling Hall. WDSF-licensed adjudicator representing the USA was Didio Barrera. American Dancer asked Edward and Maryanna to reflect on their experience competing against some of the world’s most formidable couples, where finalists (1-6 places) were from Italy, Moldova, Germany, France and the Russian Federation.
USA World Team: Taras, Tatiana, Maryanna, Edward
AMERICAN DANCER: How did your performance in the Adult Latin World Championship in Berlin compare to that at the World Games in Cali, Colombia? E&M: The World Games happen once in four years, just like the Olympics, and include athletes from all over the world. Just the opening ceremony alone, in a stadium filled to capacity, where we got to march with other American athletes, was an experience we will never forget. The WDSF World Championship in Berlin, on the other hand, was a more conventional title event and was held indoors like most competitions we are accustomed to. There crowd was very enthusiastic and cheered couples on, but of course, it cannot compare to 17,000 clapping and screaming 42
fans we saw in Cali, Colombia. Still the caliber of competitors was the highest possible, and we did everything we could to bring our A-game. AD: What was the judging like in Berlin? E&M: The judging system in Berlin was conventional and very similar to competitions in United States. The judging panel was international – each judge representing a different country. Many adjudicators were accomplished dancers in their past and it was a great privilege to be judged by them. We were also very glad to see Mr. Didio Barrera as one of the judges on this international panel. But there were some noticeable differences. The judging panel on WDSF events reminded us of other sports like figure
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Edward Golbert & Maryanna Krasko
skating, gymnastics, etc. All judges were wearing similar dark suits, and did not socialize with anyone, be it spectators, dancers, or coaches. We think that usage of professional suits vs some flashy attire is intended to make sure everyone in the ballroom or watching on TV, is 100% focused on the competitors. AD: What one moment in Berlin stands out the most for you and why? E&M: Without a doubt, it is always an opportunity to walk with fellow countrymen in the opening ceremony being led by the American Flag. We were happy and proud to experience this feeling twice this year. Another thing that stood out for us was the Dancers Pledge and Adjudicator Pledge that happened at the ceremony. A dancer was chosen to say a pledge on behalf of all competitors, followed by another pledge given by an
Dr. Helmut Roland
adjudicator on behalf of all judges. Things like this always make you feel that you are part of something very special and much bigger than you. AD: How did you prepare for the world championship in Berlin and what difference did it make? E&M: Competitions of such caliber require all the training in the world. Besides trying to improve on purely physical aspects by attending the gym and run-throughs, we drastically increased our practice times and doubled on the numbers of lessons we took. We re-evaluated some of our choreography decisions to make them more in-line with the creative direction WDSF is trying to go to, added speed, worked on precision and musicality, and tried to make our dancing a bit more daring and exciting. Oh, and of course we had new costumes made, and all covered in ‘bling’!
MIKHAIL VOROBIEV & SONYA TSEKANOVSKY
WDSF WORLD YOUTH 10-DANCE CHAMPIONSHIP Riga, Latvia
RESULTS: WORLD YOUTH 10-DANCE CHAMPIONSHIP
MIKHAIL VOROBIEV & SONYA TSEKANOVSKY Adult 10-Dance 28 out of 34
rom Washington State, Misha Vorobiev and Sonya Tsekanovsky have been dancing together for 11 years and have had the honor to represent the USA at several world championships since 2012. They are the USA Dance 2013 Vice National Champions in Youth Standard and Youth 10-Dance and in 2012 were the National Youth Standard Champions. USA Dance selected Misha and Sonya to represent the USA in Riga, Latvia. Although they would have liked higher placements, they were able to dance amongst the world’s top youth 10-dance champions. AMERICAN DANCER: How did you feel representing the USA at the World Youth 10-Dance Championships in Latvia? We were nervous, because we wanted to dance our best, but also anxious to get out on the floor, dance, and proudly represent our home country. AD: What was the judging like in Latvia compared to U.S. competitions? We got the impression that the judges look for larger movement and shaping in the standard and very clear and sharp movement in Latin, as well as great presence and ex-
pressive emotions throughout. Nothing dramatically different from competitions in America. AD: What was your greatest challenge dancing against the world’s best youth dancers? The greatest challenge for us would have probably been leaving a good impression on the many judges and spectators that have never seen our dancing before. AD: You were the only USA representative at this World Championship. How did you stay motivated? If anything, we were more motivated to dance and show
our best, knowing we were there to represent all of our great competitors in America. AD: What did you learn from the World Championships? Just having the experience of dancing at such a large competition and competing against the world’s best youth couples is already a great preparation for other competitions. It gave us a new and additional perspective of how to approach and improve our own dancing. AD: When you’re on deck what are you thinking? Of course we think about all the little details that our coaches ask of us, but mainly we try to get a really good mental and physical connection so that no matter what happens on the floor we are always together. AD: Did you expect to do better in Latvia than your placements? We don’t regularly go into a
competition, expecting a certain result. If couples place ahead of us, then there is always something that we can learn from their dancing to improve our own. AD: What was your shining moment on the floor? That is for the judges and spectators to decide. We strive to make sure every moment on the floor is a shining moment. Although we were told that our quickstep really stood out, because of the energy and excitement we brought to the floor. AD: In Latvia, what would the judges remember you for? We hope that they remember us for quality dancing, our unique look [Misha’s height] and the way we move across the floor. March-April 2014
NORTHWEST DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS BEYOND THE FOUNDATION YEARS
Reasons To Mark The Calendar:
Portland Bragging Rights
pectator seating in 2013 sold out – marking S the event’s highest ever attendance. he largest division increase was the fastT growing Senior age groups.
ROSES, COFFEE HOUSES, MICRO-BREWERIES. . . AND IN GROWING CIRCLES – DANCESPORT
ince the Portland and Seattle studios S have placed strong emphasis on pre-teen instruction and performance teams, there was a significant turnout of young competitors.
Resources: Joe Leitch and Nick Shur Photos by Nick Shur
or the first 10 foundation years, the NorthWest National Qualifying Event (NQE) circuit was organized jointly by USA Dance Chapters in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. Even though the cities are approximately 174 miles apart, their dance communities have always shared much in common and partnership – dancers, coaches and adjudicators -- creating a unique family of dedicated dancers, spanning all ages, in the Pacific NorthWest and a solid foundation for a well-attended, distinguished DanceSport event. Yet 2013 marked the first year that the Portland Chapter had solely organized the NorthWest NQE, and the same community support and team spirit once again became driving forces for its new success. Known for a century now as the “City of
Daniel Bernecker & Olga Kornohod, James Itaya & Hannah Gasinski-Shinsato
Roses”, the city of Portland is an ideal location for an NQE. It is a welcoming city that attracts visitors and dancers by virtue of its natural beauty, its great outdoor activities and rich entertainment and cultural centers. Portland has earned its bragging rights. Not only is it the celebrated home to the International Rose Test Garden…but it’s also famous for its coffee houses, micro-breweries, sports teams…and in growing, distinguished circles, DanceSport. Event organizers for the Portland Chapter have already started planning and marketing the next NW NQE, scheduled for Oct. 11-12, 2014 and will create an even bigger push during National Ballroom Dance Week in September. They want to create a better awareness of why dancers will find Portland inspirational. To better reach the local Portland
Nathan Murstein & Nicole Sheiman
here were nine different states plus T British Columbia represented, with Oregon, Washington State and Hawaii leading the numbers.
Show by Simeon Stoynov & Kora Stoynova
From the Hawaii DanceSport Team: “We really enjoyed ourselves. Hats off to you for all your hard work! Well done!”
Increased newcomers indicated strong regional growth. usic by DJ Dave Watson even had the M judges dancing with each other on the sidelines at breaks.
community, the NW NQE has become a sanctioned event within the Portland Rose Festival Association. According to Nick Shur, public relations chair, the Rose Festival endorsement will add “marketing muscle” which means reaching thousands of people who already support the arts, entertainment and cultural activities. David Margasign & Jessica Chang, Misha Vorobiev & Sonya Tsekanovsky, Angus Sinclair & Dara Campbell
American Dancer | www.americandancer.org
he City of Portland’s Mayor, the honorable T Charlie Hales, also a ballroom dancer, described Portland’s quality of life including ballroom dancing.
fter the competition, celebration at a local A Chinese restaurant further united competitors, families, visitors, coaches and organizers.
NORTHWEST DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS www.portlandballroomdancers.com
WDSF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP UNDER 21 TEN-DANCE Ashdod, Israel TARAS SAVITSKYY & TATIANA SELIVERSTOVA
FIND WHEN YOUR FAN CLUB IS BACK HOME, YOU JUST HAVE TO EARN A NEW ONE!
SA Dance Dancesport couples who qualify at Nationals to compete at the World Dancesport Federation (WDSF) World Championships and Cups also become savvy travelers. In addition to competing against the best dancers in the world, they bring home great memories of new friends and the unique cities and countries they visit. Taras & Tatiana’s journey to the Under 21 10-Dance World Championships took them to the vibrant port city of Ashdod, Israel, where 200,000 people live and another 100,000 tourists visit every year. At the Championship, their placement of 22nd doesn’t tell the complete story, so we asked them more about their dance experience.
Taras and Tatiana (far right) with friends and coaches visit the historic Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.
AMERICAN DANCER: What was special about the World Championships in Israel? T&T: We were very excited when we heard the worlds would be in Israel. It is usually somewhere in Europe, therefore it was nice for a change. Since it was in December, it was nice to get some warm weather. Also it was the first Under 21 TenDance World Championships which it made it feel even more special.
AD: This was the last event in your world travels for 2013, was it any more difficult to sustain the quality of your performances? T&T: Each competition that we performed in really helped us for the next one. We felt we were more ready and focused after each performance, and we had a bit of experience on how to get everything done in an orderly fashion. AD: What is it like to be the only USA representative couple at a World Championship? T&T: It’s a huge honor for us to represent the entire country. It was a lot of pressure on us, but we couldn’t be more happier. AD: What did you learn from the earlier World Championships before Israel that helped you this time? T&T: We were much more
concentrated. We learned from our mistakes at the last competition, and we did our best not to do it at the next one. Therefore, the last competition was stress free. AD: Did you dance your best in Israel? What was your shining moment on the floor? T&T: Yes, of course we danced our best, and it started from the first dance. One of our shining moments was when we
Courtesy of Taras
danced jive to a large group of people, and they began to clap and cheer for us even though we didn’t bring a fan club. It really felt amazing. AD: In Israel, if the judges remember you for anything, what would that have been? T&T: In our Paso Doble routine I have a certain set of spins that I do. Many people remember us for that and they really enjoy it.
DanceFloorUSA DanceFloor In your studio or in your home. DanceFloorUSA.com has professional DanceFloorUSA quality flooring, by dancers - for dancers. Many studios across the country have been using our flooring for more than 10 years. For pictures of our beautiful projects check us out online: DanceFloorUSA Facebook.com/DanceFloorUSA & DanceFloorUSA.com DanceFloorUSA Call for more information (901) 361 2340 Portable competition & show floors available by special order. March-April 2014
American Dancer Magazine and USA Dance in tribute to Frank Regan, a true legacy in the world of dance, extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and many dancers whose lives have been touched forever by his unique talents and passions in life. Frank’s influence was profound and far reaching. Whether it was as a choreographer, adjudicator, coach, historian, educator, dancer or friend, he made a measurable difference in the lives of both amateur and professional dancers across America.
By Vicki Regan
His name is synonymous with genius, eccentricity, humor, talent and superior eloquence.
he tributes written since Frank’s passing on December 26th via the social media and email have been overwhelming. The love and admiration people felt about Frank speaks volumes on how he touched all who came in contact with him. He taught so many about the History of Dance, his personal techniques and demonstrated his love for latin instruments and musicality. Clearly his favorite thing was producing and choreographing. He displayed this passion through his dance company and what I believe was one of his greatest accomplishments, his collaboration with Edward Villella and his choreography for Miami City Ballet. His name is synonymous with genius, eccentricity, humor, talent and superior eloquence. He was the gentleman and adjudicator who wore the carnation and beautiful suits with shoes to match. Sometimes those shoes were green! Frank Regan taught me my first feather step, my first rumba walk and was my first and only husband. Frank remained my best friend for life. He taught me all this but the most important thing he taught me was the act of devotion and unconditional love. This is how I will always remember him and will hold him close to my heart and soul forever. Admittedly, he has set an extremely high standard for love, friendship and commitment that is hard to equal.
rank Regan was truly a multi–faceted and talented individual – a pilot for the Royal Air force, a U.S. and Canadian National Champion and a Canadian television and show producer. As a dance coach, which is how I knew him, Frank possessed a unique way of communicating. “The most important step is the pen-ultimate step,” was one of Frank’s oft-repeated eternal truths. His concepts have had a profound impact on my teaching and I can still hear his Scottish brogue when I use his philosophies to this day. I also had the pleasure of being the principal dancer in his company American Dance Montage and particularly enjoyed collaborating on a Fosse style tango/chair number he choreographed especially for me. Frank’s eccentric style, an affinity for small gestures and circular movement, were every bit his signature, as his fashionable ascot or the carnation in his lapel. They say the measure of a man is what he leaves behind. Frank’s teaching, intellect and humor have touched thousands, and I’m thankful to include myself as one of the people whose life was positively affected by his presence. By Sharon Savoy
American Dancer | www.americandancer.org
or those who did not know Frank, imagine yourself climbing a mystical Himalayan mountain in search of the answers to the dance universe. Frank would be the guru floating peacefully on a carpet when you arrived at the peak. Frank seemed to see dance in a way few of us do. To him, dance was simultaneously an exact science waiting to be mastered and a highly philosophical and emotional mystery that cannot and should not ever be fully defined. Frank spoke in way that was kind, witty, and supremely knowledgeable. There was no mistaking his raspy Scottish brogue, and his sentence structure and lexicon were unparalleled in their intelligence. Most pupils were left looking for a thesaurus after one of his seminars, but they were all the better for it. Frank was small in stature but large in his delivery and was nothing short of dapper (he was known for his swank dinner coats which he often topped with a silk ascot.) He moved with deceptive speed and agility and thought with a deep downward gaze and a low hum of reverence to any question. But most of all Frank was young… A man whose life was devoted to the art he dearly loved. By David Thomas Moore, from his blog Doré Photography
National Qualifying Events
USA Dance 2015 National DanceSport Championships
FOR 2015 (first six):
Jun 7 - 8, 2014 NEW JERSEY DANCESPORT CLASSIC Summer Sizzler Hackensack, NJ Jun 27 - 29, 2014 GUMBO DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS Baton Rouge, LA Aug 1 - 3, 2014 DERBY CITY DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS Louisville, KY Sep 20, 2014 NEW ENGLAND DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS Waltham, MA October 11-12, 2014 NORTHWEST DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS Portland, OR Alex Rowan, DanceSport Photograhy
Eric Snajdr & Lisa Berry Senior I Standard Championship Division 2013 Chicago DanceSport Challenge
Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2014 CHICAGO DANCESPORT CHALLENGE Chicago, IL For more information visit: www.USADANCE.org
Non-Profit Standard Class U.S. Postage
Lebanon Junction, KY Permit #542
USA DANCE 2014
NATIONAL DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS HOSTING THE WDSF WORLD RANKING TOURNAMENTS:
WDSF OPEN UNDER-21 STANDARD WDSF OPEN UNDER-21 LATIN WDSF OPEN UNDER-21 10-DANCE
FOR REGISTRATION & SPECTATOR INFORMATION: www.USADANCENATIONALS.org Renaissance Harborplace Hotel Baltimore, MD March 28 – 30, 2014 USA Dance, as the National Governing Body for DanceSport in the United States, is the USA member organization of the World DanceSport Federation and the United States Olympic Committee. www.USADance.org www.WorldDanceSport.org www.USOC.org
NATIONALS www.USADANCENATIONALS.ORG PHOTO CREDIT: Ryan Kenner Photography
Angelo & Kayla Cristobal (NC) Adult Championship Standard
American Dancer | www.americandancer.org