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July-August 2014

SOCIAL DANCE in AMERICA A Multi-Cultural Explosion Throughout the Country, Celebrated by USA Dance, Dance Studios & Instructors, Dance Clubs and The Media.

National Ballroom Dance Week 2014

Official publication of USA Dance Inc.

DANCING AROUND THE WORLD with Vivian Beiswenger and

“Best River Cruise Line” 2013 Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Award



May 30, 2015 - June 11, 2015 St. Petersburg to Moscow

August 22 - September 16, 2015 CHINA & TIBET

on the Viking Truvor 13-day cruise

4 days Moscow

on the all-veranda Viking Emerald 16-day cruise with 18 guided tours, 6-day Yangtze River cruise, 3 days Beijing, 2 nights Xian, 3 nights Llasa, 2 nights Shanghai

Extensions: 3 nights Helsinki, 2 nights St. Petersburg, 2 nights Moscow

Extensions: 2 nights Shanghai, 4 nights Hong Kong & Guilin



with 11 guided tours 4 days St. Petersburg, Mandrogy, Kizhi Island, Kuzino, Yaroslavl, Uglich,

October 11 - 26, 2015 Amsterdam to Budapest on the Viking Eistla 15-day cruise with 13 guided tours Amsterdam, Kinderdijk, Cologne, Koblenz,

October 14 - 22, 2015 on the Viking Neptune Vivian plans to escort this trip

Miltenberg, Würzburg, Rothenburg,

and hopes you can join her

Bamberg, Nuremberg,

8-day cruise with 6 guided tours

Passau, Melk, Krems, Vienna,

Paris, Giverny, Vernon, Seine River,

Bratislava, Budapest

Rouen, Les Andelys, Conflans, Paris

Extensions: 2 nights Amsterdam, 2 nights Budapest, 3 nights Prague

Extension: 3-nights Paris.

With all four trips: all meals, wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch & dinner, audio headsets with all tours. We have group rates on the above dates but can book you on any Viking River Cruise dates. Call 215.855.2711 or 215.530.3482 or email Call about 2-for-1 rates and air.

July-August 2014 Lisa Dubinsky


12 USA Dance Junior II World Team in Moscow. Dubinsky & Matveev and Yiu & Lin. Story p. 44.

Yang Chen, President of USA Dance

8 New Forum:

10 What Social Ballroom Dancers Should Ask

By Judy Wright

6 Milestones

Action Report from USA Dance National

18 Second Chances In Life. . . The Unexpected Waltz

By Kim Wright

16 Socially Yours

By Jean Krupa, Social Dance VP

30 Grassroots

Chapter Highlights & Achievements

20 National Ballroom Dance Week

Sept 19 – 28, 2014 Bright Lights & Chapter Highlights

21 New Jersey DanceSport

34 In The Public Eye

By Angela Prince, PR Director

42 USA Dance 2014-15 DanceSport Calendar Tribute to Pierre Dulaine By Patrice Tanaka

Social Dance Tapestry In America By Angela Prince

Theresa Kimler & Inna Brayer

President’s Message

46 Legacies of Dance

Cover Story:

Ask A DanceSport Athlete



Classic NQE

By Dan Calloway, FISTD

22 A National Champion’s Perspective:

Pavel Stepanchuk & Anastasiya Danilova,

24 Dance To The Music:

Chapter DJs Reveal Their “Secrets”

Martina Lee

Dancing In The Streets. The Greater NY Chapter 3004 was sole ballroom demo group in the New York Dance Parade 2014.

27 Music Makes The Ballroom World Go ‘Round

By Brent Thomas Mills

28 Dancing – Still A Man’s Game? 38 WDSF Under-21 Latin World Championship Inspired Performances in Calvià, Mallorca

40 WDSF Open Senior IV Standard World Championship First-Ever Senior IV in Calvià, Mallorca

43 Seattle’s Quest for the Best Three Times A Charm By Laurel Preston

44 Moscow Revisited.

Juniors Kinsley Lin & Michelle Yiu The Rise to 5th Place in the World

Corrections: May-June story “Classic Black & White Vintage to Modern” features couple Kevin Jia & Karen Chen, rather than Jesse Hill & Elise Bui. The West Coast Swing class (p. 41) was hosted by Tacoma WA Chapter 1023. THE GREAT INHERITANCE

July-August 2014


FRONT COVER: Social Dancers Becoming Stars! Phoebe Renfroe of the Shenandoah Valley, VA Chapter 6022 partnered with James Madison University’s Provost Jerry Benson to compete in the annual Dancing With The Stars of the ’Burg to raise nearly $250,000 for a local child daycare center. Photo Credit: Brian Ripley

in AMERICA A Multi-Cultural Explosion Throughout the Country, Celebrated by USA Dance, Dance Studios & Instructors, Dance Clubs and The Media.

BACK COVER: Mark Your Calendars! The USA Dance 2015 National DanceSport Championships returns to Baltimore, March 2729, 2015. In the spotlight at The MAC NQE are Angus Sinclair & Dara Campbell (CA), who later became National Finalists 2014 in Senior I Championship Standard. Photo Credit: Ryan Kenner National Ballroom Dance Week 2014

Official publication of USA Dance Inc.

July-August 2014


regular contributors ANGELA PRINCE Public Relations Director

July-August 2014

Official Publication of USA Dance, Inc.

Angela Prince is the publisher/editor in chief of American Dancer Magazine. She has served as National Public Relations Director for USA Dance, Inc. since 2007. Her responsibilities include integrated communications, publicity, social media relations, sponsorship development, promotional support and brand management.

2014/Issue 49

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 DanceSport Rep – Inna Brayer, NY DanceSport Rep – Roger Greenawalt, IN


Social Dance Vice President


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.

Publisher/Editor In Chief Angela F. Prince Design and Production SPARK Publications 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 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 copy and 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:

MEMBERSHIP: Online registration or renewals at WEBSITE: NATIONAL SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook: USA Dance, Inc. American Dancer Magazine Social Dancers USA Dance

Twitter: @usadanceinc LinkedIn: USA Dance Inc. YouTube: usadanceinc

USA Dance Chapter websites and Facebook pages are listed at © 2014 USA Dance Inc. All Rights Reserved.


American Dancer |


DanceSport Vice President Ken Richards is the DanceSport Vice President for USA Dance, Inc, and is serving his fourth three-year term of office. As head of the DanceSport Council, he is responsible for all DanceSport programs, including athlete relations and educational opportunities, Adjudicator Congresses, the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships, the National Collegiate DanceSport Championships, all Sanctioned and 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.


resident’s Message

Carson Zullinger


he Governing Council, with its four new officers, met for the first time in person in April. Out of that meeting came several new Directors. We are pleased to welcome Hannah Cole, Director of College Network; Ann Durocher, Director of Development; Marta Pascale, Director of Chapter Liaison; and Linda Succi, Director of K-12 Student Programs. We look forward to working with them and are grateful for the contribution of their time, talents and energy. You can read more about our new Directors on page 7. All our Directors, Officers and DanceSport Delegates, who make up the Governing Council, are vital to our work, but even with all our combined backgrounds and skills, we cannot meet the goals we set for USA Dance without funding. As a non-profit membership organization, USA Dance depends on membership dues, donations and sponsorships as our main sources of revenue. We receive no government funds or grants. However, like any other organization, for profit or not, we incur expenses and costs. We are pursuing the Olympic Dream of getting

DanceSport into the medal program, and we seek to provide programs and events for all our social and competitive dancers that will improve and enhance their experiences and lives as dancers. To do that, we need to find other sources of income beyond the traditional ones we have been relying upon. We have full confidence in Ann Durocher, our new Director of Development, to lead our fundraising endeavors. But she cannot do it alone. Our Governing Council stands ready to offer her the support she needs, but we look to you, our members, to join us in meeting this challenge. If you have any fundraising experience or know of possible donors or grantors who would be interested in supporting the mission of USA Dance, let us know. We can use your expertise, experience, knowledge or contacts. • Consider making a tax deductible donation today to USA Dance. Any amount, large or small, will help. • Consider hosting a fundraiser to help send our athletes to represent the USA in world competition. • Consider hosting a fundraiser to support K-12 programs teaching children to dance.

We are open to your fundraising ideas. Or perhaps you have suggestions about how we can generate more revenue for our organization. Share them with us. Help us find new ways to bring money into USA Dance to fund our programs and operations.

Yang Chen

National President USA Dance, Inc.

July-August 2014





Everyone knows the importance and challenge of having the best music at an event, whether it’s a Sunday tea dance, a New Year’s celebration or a major DanceSport competition. The dance playlist can be pre-recorded or left to the DJ or music director to play to the crowd or the occasion. But seasoned event organizers know good music will keep them dancing; but great music will bring them back. As we request our favorite dance songs, we must appreciate that the artists who created Nick Shur these works are entitled to royalties every time NorthWest DanceSport their copyrighted songs are played. That’s why Championships NQE there are music performing right organizations, such as BMI, to represent these songwriters, composers and music publishers and collect license fees from businesses and organizations that use the music. Since 2010 on behalf of its 162 chapters, USA Dance, Inc. has renewed its annual agreement to secure the licensing rights for all BMI-licensed music. That way, all songs in the BMI-protected library can be played by chapters without fees or fines at any USA Dance event, including social dances, competitions and other special activities. The largest music rights organization in the U.S., BMI currently represents more than 600,000 copyright owners with a library of more than 8.5 million musical works. Today, approximately one out of every two songs played on radio is BMI-licensed music. The BMI library isn’t limited to U.S. copyrighted music. BMI represents songwriters and composers in more than 80 countries. Contrary to popular opinion, music licensing companies do not sign agreements with DJs or music directors, so USA Dance event organizers should recheck all music to be played against the official BMI playlists. In addition, since bands are licensed directly as “live performances,” no special licensing is required for USA Dance chapters at these events, and venues with licensing will also protect chapter events held on premise. How does a USA Dance Chapter know if it is playing BMI music? BMI’s list of song titles/artists is available at or by calling the BMI repertoire information line at 1-800-800-9313. 6

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ANNIVERSARIES As USA Dance prepares to celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2015, there are 13 chapters that will celebrate their own major milestones – 20 years of working together as community volunteers to provide the highest quality of ballroom dance opportunities in their areas. Hats off to these leaders in the USA Dance family!

Carolina Heartland, NC Chapter 6092 Charlottesville, VA Chapter 6044 Erie, PA Chapter 3032 Greater Louisville, KY Chapter 2021 Heartland, IN Chapter 2022 Honolulu, HI Chapter 4007 Inland, CA Chapter 4012 Mtn. Empire, VA Chapter 6050 Northern Lights, ND Chapter 2020 Piedmont, NC Chapter 6019 Pine Bluff, AR Chapter 5014 Redwood Coast, CA Chapter 4013 Shreveport, LA Chapter 5015



For The Three-Year Term 2014 - 2016

Marta Pascale

The Governing Council of USA Dance has approved the new Governing Council Directors for the three-year term of 2014 – 2016. Several directors who have served during the last presidential three-year term are continuing; others are brand new to their positions. The Governing Council of USA Dance has three components of representation — the elected Executive Committee (President, Senior VP, Secretary and Treasurer, DanceSport VP and Social VP plus two assigned DanceSport Council members), the DanceSport Council of four elected members and currently seven Directors appointed by the President and ratified by the GC.

FOUR NEW NATIONAL DIRECTORS: Marta Pascale, Director of Chapter Liaison. Marta has served as the president of the Greater Daytona Chapter 6002 for the past five years, during which time the Greater Daytona Chapter received District 9 Chapter of the Year for three of the five years and 2011 National Chapter of the Year. Marta also served as Area Coordinator for District 9 for 3 ½ years. Linda Succi, Director of K-12 Student Programs. Linda has served as president of the Rhode Island Chapter 3010, which under her leadership was honored as a Chapter of the Year. She is the Chapter’s Board of Directors of her home chapter and is founder/ coordinator of the Rhode Island USA Dance Special Olympics Ballroom Dance Team. She is also Director for the four-state District 5. Hannah Cole, Director of College Programs. Hannah is as assistant professor and director of the DanceSport program at New Mexico State University. In her 20-year career as a professional ballroom dancer, Hannah has taught thousands of students at all levels, won many top teacher awards, competed in Standard and Smooth divisions, trained and certified numerous dance professionals and produced instructional dance videos. She is a member of the West Texas/SouthNew Mexico Chapter 5017.

Linda Succi

Hannah Cole

Ann Durocher

Angela Prince

Gerald Bonmer

Efrosyni Iosiphidis

Ann Durocher, Director of Development. Ann began her dance training after a 31-year career at BellSouth Corporation. For two years, she was president of what is now the LA Gumbo Chapter 5031 and since 2002, has been the organizer of the highly attended Gumbo DanceSport Championships of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which celebrated its 10th year in June as a National Qualifying Event and hosted the USA Dance Junior II and Senior IV National DanceSport Championships.

THREE CONTINUING NATIONAL DIRECTORS: Angela Prince, Director of Public Relations. Angela has served as National PR Director since 2007 and is also the Publisher/Editor in Chief of American Dancer Magazine. She is a member of the Charlotte, NC Chapter 6029. Gerald Bonmer, Director of Membership. Jerry is the longest serving member of the USA Dance GC, retiring July 31 at his 35th year of service. He is a member of the Delaware Valley Chapter 3012. Efrosyni Iosiphidis, Director of Administrative Support. Efrosyni has served as Administrative Support Director for the past three-year term. She is a active DanceSport member and member of the Rhode Island Chapter 3010.

Chapter Fundraising

DANCE CONNECTION BEST TOOL FOR COMMUNITY OUTREACH As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, USA Dance and its chapters have the important task to raise dollars every year for its grassroots and national programs. At the grassroot level, chapters and members expand their outreach providing a “dance connection” to many charities, businesses and individuals. How can USA Dance Chapters increase their financial resources to support both Chapter and National programs? Here’s a quick checklist to consider:

• Grant Funding through city, county and state resources, local arts councils and foundations. • Advertising Space sold in Chapter newsletters and event programs. • Matching funds through employer charity support programs. • Ticket Sales and Sponsors for dance events and benefits. • Donations and Sales at live and silent auctions.

• T ickets to Dance Workshops taught by USA Dance DanceSport couples and Professional members. •S  cholarship Donations by businesses, groups and individuals. •V  endor Booths and Perimeter Site Signs at competition and workshop weekend events. • Hospitality or VIP Event Sponsorships at dance workshop weekends and competitions. • L ogo Merchandise Sales, from shoe bags and license tag frames to jackets.

July-August 2014








• 7X Open Smooth, 9X Open Rhythm, 4X 9-Dance Champion • 6X North American Rhythm, 2X Pro-Am Rhythm Champion • Member, USA Dance Minnesota Chapter 2011

There are approximately 4,000 registered DanceSport members competing as USA Dance athletes, ranging from PreTeen to Senior IV. They are all members of USA Dance local chapters and represent their chapters at local competitions, National Qualifying Events and, when they place in the top 65% of their divisions, go on to compete at the annual USA Dance National DanceSport Championships. At the USA Dance 2014 Nationals in Baltimore, there were approximately 31 Championship-level divisions that crowned National Champions and finalists. The top couples in each division are sponsored by USA Dance to represent the USA at upcoming World DanceSport FedTimeline Media eration (WDSF) World Championships and World Games. It’s a tough challenge being a DanceSport Athlete – not only is there a commitment of time and financial resources, but athletes must balance and succeed at their school work or careers, family life and other activities Nels Petersen & Theresa Kimler at to enjoy their “competiMid-Atlantic Championships NQE. tive journey.”

How can USA Dance chapters better incorporate local DanceSport couples into their programs? How can Social and DanceSport work closer together? Theresa: It’s important to understand in the majority of the U.S. that learning competitive dance is simply a way to learn social dance in a more structured manner. Partner dancing is partner dancing. You can learn it by “experimenting” on partners or learn it in a structured manner that will not hurt your partner quite as much. Some try harder and pay more money than others to acquire the ability to dance. Preaching the perspective that the dance community is a small percentage of the whole population, and should be considered as one community, is all favorable to partner dancing. Chapters should utilize competitive dancers for bringing up the level of social dance by inviting them to teach, demo and socialize. Competitive dancers should develop the wherewithal to integrate themselves with the social side of their chapters, too. Often times the higher level competitive dancers are in a position to provide leadership and direction to their chapters in alignment with the National USA Dance mission. Many of the highest level dancers are equally successful in other endeavors and are capable of bringing other great skills and diversity to the dance community that one might not immediately consider. Some people say competitive ballroom dancing takes away the artistry of dance and that DanceSport couples have lost the art. What are your thoughts? Theresa: Some learning of the ballroom dance syllabus may appear to be robotic. Think of your body as a musical instrument.


BLURRED LINES? IT’S A GOOD THING. By Ken Richards USA Dance DanceSport Vice President

It’s interesting to know that the majority of Adult and Senior DanceSport Athletes in our organization did not come to ballroom dancing as competitors. They came with more social


pursuits in mind — getting more fun out of life, losing weight, getting in shape, meeting new friends, finding a partner. . .all the wonderful benefits associated with social dancing. And they started their “new life venture” more often at a USA Dance chapter dance, a community dance activity or a local dance studio. And they realized their new-found talent and got hooked. On the other hand, most of our “new gener-

American Dancer |

ation” of ballroom competitors – our Pre-Teen, Junior and Youth dancers – may have started dancing with competition as their goal, but their pursuits were actually quite similar to the adults – finding ways to feel more confident, getting more athletic, fitting in with peers they liked, gaining more independence, meeting girls or boys. And long before our DanceSport Kids get the medals draped around their necks, they probably didn’t miss chances to dance their hearts out at school dances, in the hallways, wherever they hung out with friends.



• Multiple-Time USA Dance Adult 10-Dance National Champion • Represented USA in Six World Championships • Formerly Ranked 9th in World • Danced as “Pro” on Dancing With The Stars, Season 7 • Member, Greater NY Chapter 3004 – Instructor/Coach

You are not going to pick up a musical instrument and expect to be interpretive and artistic in a short period of time. Without getting some mastery of this instrument, being interpretive and artistic, it can give a person an upset stomach when watching their own dancing. I know this from personal experience. Beginners just do not understand that trying to add artistry to a sophisticated musical instrument, when they cannot hit a clean note to begin with, may not be a good idea for those who have to watch and that trying to do so may not be [in keeping with] the National mission. Teaching that joy in the process of learning to dance should be the endgame (where dancing really has no end and can be enjoyed for life), rather than being able to do a specific bit of choreography, should also be taught more often.

So learning to dance becomes the magic means-to-an-end for everyone. And the difference between a Social Dancer and a Competitive Dancer may actually be like “blurred lines”...a lot more than most may realize. It’s interesting to note that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) does understand and appreciate the value of the recreational, non-competitive side of sports. Their new world-wide initiative is called “Sports For All.” Essentially, it avoids the separation that some want to create between social/recreational enjoyment of a sport and the competitive side of

Some people say competitive ballroom dancing takes away the artistry of dance and that DanceSport couples have lost the art. What are your thoughts on these statements? Inna: Competitive ballroom dancing is an art. It is our art form that cannot lose its grace because our sport is defined by our artistic capabilities. It is most definitely an art form within the sport. We are all athletes with strong ties to many other art forms when we are on that competition floor. What are the greatest challenges facing amateur DanceSport athletes in our country today and what are the solutions? Inna: One of the greatest challenges facing our DanceSport athletes today they have always faced in the past — traveling to competitions in Europe is very costly and for our USA couples to make these trips often is quite difficult. In order for them to improve their craft, they need to be able to focus more on everything other than monetary expenses. It is crucial that we find more funding for these couples. We need to find sponsors that would be willing to cover their travel in an attempt to give them opportunities that were not available to top dancers in the past. If

sport that enjoys being tested or measured. USA Dance appreciates the value and role of both Social Dancing and DanceSport. While we tend to think of Chapters as primarily social dance groups, the lines are “blurred” there as well. Many Chapters actively support their local DanceSport couples and collegiate teams and quite a few organize weekend competitions or sanctioned USA Dance National Qualifying Events (NQE), which are run by social dancer volunteers. Blurred lines? It’s a good thing. It only means more dance partners for everybody. See you on the dance floor!

we can cover at least half of their travel expenses to and from competitions, USA Dance will benefit from the outcome tremendously. These couples will be making a name for themselves not only nationally, but internationally. When a DanceSport athlete says they want to “give back” to their industry, what are they wanting to accomplish or give? Inna: When an athlete plans on “giving back” to the industry, it means he/she plans on furthering the knowledge of our growing generation. In order for DanceSport to grow, our top athletes and officials need to work hand in hand towards the benefit of our new talent. These kids need to be given opportunities that were inaccessible in the past. As a dance family, it is our goal to implement such change. Whether it be in the form of competitive training camps similar to the one USA Dance offered at the U.S. Olympic Facility in Lake Placid in May 2013 or other formats. Many of the top professionals and amateurs in the world have access to such camps multiple times a year. Our Juniors and Youth need to be offered such tremendous training opportunities more frequently.

The IOC Sports For All Commission Promotes Sport As A Human Right For All Individuals. Sport for All is a movement promoting the Olympic ideal that sport is a human right for all individuals regardless of race, social class and sex. The movement encourages sports activities that can be exercised by people of all ages, both sexes and different social and economic conditions.

July-August 2014




Social dancers enjoying the Tidewater Chapter NYE dance and workshops. Mark Jernigan


here are foundational skills and concepts that can aid you in bringing your “A” game to dancing with a partner. Ask yourself the following questions, which I’ve developed as prerequisite learning steps to be reviewed and maintained. Do you look like a dancer? It doesn’t matter what body type you are, if you keep your head up and eyes focused on a spot approximately eye-level, then you look more confident. Mentally align your head, shoulders, and hips over your feet, or base of support. Another helpful image is a three-dimensional point behind your sternum, above your solar plexus, and aligned above your base of support. This is your center point of balance (CPB). Also, check that your free arm(s) are lifted against gravity in order to improve your appearance, define your half of the shared space, and assist your balance. Can you move with control and efficiency? Motion creates motion—and attention. If you stop the motion, the audience stops watching you and is drawn to whoever is moving. Newton’s laws of motion apply to dancers. For example, the law of inertia is a tendency to remain at rest if already at rest, and a tendency to remain in motion once in motion. Prepare to move by lifting the heel of your non-supporting foot. Good dancers walk with purpose, shifting and committing their center/upper torso over the ball of each foot on each step. No matter in what direction you move, where your center moves, your feet follow. Can you repeat basic rhythms in sync with the music? Your walking steps become meaningful by how and when they rhythmically coincide with the beats of the music that remain constant for the length of each song. Listen and identify the number of beats per measure by counting in sets of 4 or 3 to see which best fits the music. The majority of social dance music has four beats per measure with each beat getting one count (4/4 time), with the exception of the waltz which has three beats per measure with each beat getting one count (3/4 time). For example, the easiest rhythm to execute is to step on each beat of the music. When a recurring rhythm is established, you are dancing!


American Dancer |

—From Social Dance by Judy Patterson Wright. Copyright 2013 by Human Kinetics, Inc. Excerpted by permission of Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.

Tacoma WA Chapter – Social Dance West Coast Swing Class

Darlene Forbes

Do you demonstrate partner courtesy and respect? In social dancing, the goal is to be able to follow or lead any rhythmic step pattern and do so with a variety of partners. As the designated driver on the dance floor, the leader’s responsibility is to be aware of and to dance to the skill level of his

partner while also being aware of other couples on the floor to avoid any collisions. The follower’s responsibility is to maintain the rhythmic step pattern and react to the leads without anticipating. Dancing becomes a pleasure and a joy to watch whenever you, your partner, and the music are working in sync!

Judy Wright is a familiar face in the Charlotte, NC dance scene. You’ll see her and her husband out dancing and teaching the basics of social dancing everywhere they go – swing, hustle, country western and ballroom. And they never seem to tire of doing impromptu performances. But what many USA Dance members don’t know is that Judy is also a published author — on dance. Her book Social Dance: Steps To Success (321 pages) is now in its 3rd edition, and there are four questions she says social dancers should ask themselves if they want to succeed.



LIKE our Facebook Page at USA Dance Chapter #6008 - Tidewater VA







Tidewater Chapter USA DANCE Annual New Years’ Weekend Social Dances & Workshops SILVER ANNIVERSARY December 31, 2014 – January 3, 2015 Portsmouth Renaissance Hotel, Portsmouth, Virginia


Stay Tuned for Exciting Updates or Visit Our Website at:



July-August 2014




aya Angelou was one of the most influential and respected voices of our time. She was an active civil rights leader, an author, poet, singer… and she was a dancer.

over Story

She once stated,

“Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.”

— Maya Angelou, 1928-2014, her wisdom not forgotten.

Genevieve Collins

As a dancer, she believed that everything and everyone is connected somehow and has a unified purpose in movement.

Priscilla Messenger




Brian Bateman

Leitha Brown Courtesy of Heartland Chapter


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To a dancer, America’s greatest inheritance is the freedom of self-expression. That opportunity has attracted millions of people from all over the world to our country and has created through the resulting generations a rich ethnic and cultural diversity. Historians call it America’s “melting pot.” It’s what makes America uniquely America. With 162 chapters throughout the country, USA Dance’s membership and supporters are a reflection of that same diversity, as the enjoyment of dance has no exclusions, no restrictions. And as USA Dance soon approaches its 50th anniversary in 2015, we are reminded of the organization’s long-standing outreach mission to all Americans to “improve the quality and quantity of ballroom dancing in America”. At the Chapter grassroots level and supported by the national organization, we as dancers can make a difference in our communities. We have an unequaled volunteer network of thousands, who individually and collectively have the opportunity to open doors to those who want dance enrichment in their lives. America’s inheritance of dance — the legacy we leave for others today.



Dancing For A Good Cause. The Orlando (FL) Chapter 6002 sponsors a “Puttin’ On The Ritz” Charity Ball during NBDW and last year raised $4,000 to support the Shriner’s Childrens Hospital. There were 250 dancers in attendance, who enjoyed dancing, performances and bidding on silent auction items “all for a good cause.”

Brian Bateman

Let Me Take You On A Lake Cruise. It seemed like “cruising with the stars” for the Lake Norman (NC) Chapter 6119, when 90 dancers celebrated the Chapter’s second anniversary and National Ballroom Dance Week, all on a Sunday sunset-to-moonlight dance cruise on Lake Norman, aboard the spacious Yachta Yachta Yachta charter boat. Completing the three-hour cruise on smooth-as-glass waters was a fun halfhour salsa lesson and non-stop ballroom and latin music by DJ Maria McStravick St. John. Courtesy of Nick Shur

JoAnne Pacurar

The True Art of Ballroom Dancing…Also On Canvas. The Portland (OR) Chapter 1006 celebrates National Ballroom Dance Week in the “City of Roses” and last year in an art gallery displaying the original dance artwork of Chapter President Nick Shur, a local architect and artist.

A Time To Shine. Youngstown (OH) Chapter 2015 President Susan Ryan performed rumba with partner Stephen Barba at the Ballroom Dance Celebration Show at Eastwood Mall in Niles, OH, which in September 2014 will showcase nearly 50 exhibitions and formations, demonstrate 16 different genres and involve more than 70 members.

Courtesy of Ray Smith

“Day of Dance” Uniting Local Community. Last year when Flash Mobs were the in-thing, the Tidewater (VA) Chapter 6008 capitalized on their popularity to attract new people to its National Ballroom Dance Week activities. At Pembroke Mall, audiences enjoyed pro and amateur performances in most all the ballroom, latin and club-style dances and DJ Alan Hedgpeth’s music. Geoff Davis

Chinika Hood Shirley Esposito

As They Say, ‘What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas.” And for the Las Vegas Chapter 4038, it’s all good. The Chapter has a unique agreement with the City of Las Vegas—all of their dances and events are co-sponsored and National Ballroom Dance Week is no exception and will be held at the City’s Charleston Heights Art Center. Pictured: President Bill Esposito.

Official Proclamation of National Ballroom Dance Week. Last year, the Honorable Mayor Johnny DuPree issued an official city proclamation for Hattiesburg, MS for NBDW. Attending the presentation ceremony were Hattiesburg-Laurel (MS) 6116 Chapter President Karen Adams and Board Member Dr. Michael Forster. The Chapter is planning 10 days of free lessons, workshops, performances and social dancing.

Having A Ball In The Mall. The Greater Dayton Chapter 6026 will celebrate its 8th annual Mall Ball in Daytona Beach, which is a four-hour grand celebration during National Ballroom Dance Week, attracting hundreds of dancers, and shoppers. And if tradition holds, there’ll be standing room only to watch 30 performances and learn some basic ballroom and line dance steps.

July-August 2014



over Story




ithin the USA Dance social dance network, there are efforts to preserve the traditions and historical precedence of ballroom dancing – including its dance styles and music, its fashion and social rules of etiquette. Two of the more traditional dance formats frequently planned are tea dances and black-tie affairs. Both have time-honored histories, brought to America from European countries, but in more modern

History of

Foundation Black Tie Fundraiser NY State Capital District Chapter 3014

Black TieDance Excerpt from Wikipedia

Sherry Dickinson

“Puttin’ On The Ritz” Charity Ball Orlando (FL) Chapter 6002

Brian Bateman

Leitha Brown

District 10. Host: Lake Norman (NC) Chapter 6119 — Maggie Rohlik, Susan Johnson, Jim Cervenak, Chuck McGovern, Nancy Ullman, Sheila Lester, Jeff Morgan, Joan Barnett, Stephen Lucas, Eric St. John, Ina Edwards, and Alan Lo


times, in spite of ballroom’s efforts to preserve the protocols, there are many “variations on the themes” as current social mores often prevail. Yet, when black-tie dances are reserved for the very special occasions, such as charity and holiday balls and galas, then there’s a far greater acceptance for the required formal attire. And whether modern-day tea dances actually serve tea or not, the often Sunday afternoon dances have strong following.

When the dinner jacket (tuxedo in American English) first came into fashion in the Victorian era, it was used as a less formal alternative for the tailcoat which men of the upper classes wore every evening. Thus it was worn with the standard accompaniments for the evening tailcoat at the time: matching trousers, white or black waistcoat, white bow tie, white detachable wing-collar formal shirt and black formal shoes. Lapels were often faced or edged in silk or satin in varying widths. Dinner jackets were considered from the first less formal than full dress (cutaway) and etiquette guides declared it inappropriate for wear in mixed company. During the Edwardian era, the practice of wear-

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ing a black waistcoat and black bow tie with a dinner jacket became the convention, establishing the basis of the current black tie and white tie dress codes. The dinner jacket was also increasingly accepted at less formal evening occasions such as warm-weather gatherings or intimate dinners with friends. After World War I, the dinner jacket became de facto evening wear, while the evening tailcoat was limited to extremely formal or ceremonial occasions. During this interwar period, double-breasted jackets, turndown-collar shirts and cummerbunds became popular for blacktie evenings as did white and colored jackets in warm weather. In the decades following World War II, black tie became special occasion

attire rather than standard evening wear. In the 1950s, colored and patterned jackets, cummerbunds and bow ties and narrow lapels became very popular; the 1960s and 1970s saw the color palette move from muted to bright day-glow and pastel, as well as ruffled-placket shirts as lapels got wider and piping was revived. The 1980s and 1990s saw a return to nostalgic styles, with black jackets and trousers again becoming nearly universal. In the 2000s (decade), midnight blue once again became popular, lapel facings were sometimes reduced to wide edging and long ties were often substituted for the iconic bow tie. Black or colored shirts were more frequently worn.

History of the Excerpt from Wikipedia

A tea dance, or thé dansant (French: literally dancing tea) is a summer or autumn afternoon or early-evening dance from four to seven, sometimes preceded in the English countryside by a garden party. The function evolved from the concept of the afternoon tea, and J. Pettigrew traces its origin to the French colonization of Morocco….By 1880 it was noted “Afternoon dances are seldom given in London, but are a popular form of entertainment in the suburbs, in garrison-towns, watering-places, etc.” Tea dances were given by Royal Navy officers aboard ships at various naval stations, the expenses shared by the captain and

Tea Dance

officers, as they were shared by colonels and officers at barrack dances in mess rooms ashore. The usual refreshments in 1880 were tea and coffee, ices, champagne-cup and claret-cup, fruit, sandwiches, cake and biscuits. Even after the introduction of the phonograph, the expected feature was a live orchestra – often referred to as a palm court orchestra – or a small band playing light classical music. The types of dances performed during tea dances included Waltzes, Tangos and, by the late 1920s, The Charleston.

The expenses of a seated supper, wine and candles associated with a ball were obviated by the tea dance, when a stiff waxed canvas dancing cloth strained over the drawing-room carpet was considered sufficient, rather than taking up the carpet and waxing the floor in preparation for dancing. The dining-room served as the tearoom, with the dining-tables arranged at one end as a buffet. For the older generation a tea dance was a reception akin to an “at home”. The term [tea dance], sometimes spelled

T-dance or T dance, is also used within gay culture to designate similar dances: particularly those held on weekends (especially Sunday evenings) in nightclubs, or at the end of the day at gay resorts. Gay tea dances are also a prevalent featured event at circuit party festivals, where they are usually held outdoors and typically precede the indoor Sunday night ‘closing party’ of the festival. Gay tea dances have also become a major featured entertainment component on-board many gay-oriented cruises.

Tea Dance Time

in Minnesota By Bonnie Burton, Minnesota Board Member

Every spring, USA Dance Minnesota Chapter 2011 hosts a Tea Dance…and has been for 22 years! This delightful event is held on a Sunday in May at the exclusive Lafayette Club on the shores of beautiful Lake Minnetonka. ‘Tea Dance’ may be a misnomer, as the only tea served is iced tea during the afternoon! This year, after a dreary week of rain, we enjoyed warm sun and spring flowers on Tea Dance day! The event started at 11 am with a delicious buffet brunch on the veranda, overlooking the lake. At 1 pm, the dancing began for over 100 guests in the gorgeous historic ballroom with its beautiful chandeliers, French doors, and a 3,000 square foot dance floor. Bu mid-afternoon, the guests were treated to talented performances by DanceSport members – Sue and Greg Prasch, who performed International Standard waltz and foxtrot. The Twin Cities Performance Dance Team, comprised of four couples, also danced a WWII-themed Viennese Waltz formation to the music “1000 Years.” This year, 16 local college and university students were also able to attend the Tea Dance because of sponsor generosity.

Photos By Marjorie S. Debelak

July-August 2014



ocially Yours By Jean Krupa, Social VP


ankind has been dancing even before there was a word for it, because rhythmic bodily movement is simply instinctive. Dancing connects people to the rhythms of nature and is another way of just communicating. It comes from a human desire for personal expression and social connection, plus it feels good.



REFLECTIONS ON UNDERSTANDING OUR HUMAN DESIRE TO DANCE Generally in society, people dance for important reasons - to mourn, to celebrate, to heal, to give thanks, to preserve cultural heritage and to entertain. It’s far reaching. Almost anyone can dance, regardless of age or ability. Maybe it’s the tango, the square dance, the Viennese waltz, or an improvised step at a wedding. Whatever the style or situation, dancing is fun and a great way to socialize. And it’s an important part of our entertainment calendars, from ice shows, movies and music videos to broadway musicals. But are we making social ballroom dancing too challenging? I read that Lindy Hop was once believed too difficult to teach the average dancer


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in the 1940’s and mambo-enthusiasts were blamed for the demise of the Mambo in the early 1960’s. Some also believe that dances can become so technically refined and sophisticated that for the majority of dancers, it’s too difficult to do and the end result becomes the good dancers only want to dance with other more experienced dancers and aspiring dancers don’t continue. With the right balance, partner dancing itself will never die out, and in the preceding decades, its popularity has come in waves of enthusiasm for ballroom, disco, folk, country and swing. Did you know your dancing will improve three times faster if you social dance in conjunction with your lessons? And since social dance works as public relations for dancing as a whole, going out social dancing should be one of the most important parts of your training Varied tempos of the dances can help beginners as well as more advanced dancers feel the music. And once they feel the music – my observation — they are hooked for life! And the more accomplished social dancers know that a variety of tempos helps dancers improve their lead and follow skills. It’s also more fun. Is dancing truly a social thing? Look to all the recent trends in the media. Nearly 15 million people watched the first season of “Dancing With the Stars.” We even saw Harry Potter attending his first ball. Award-winning movies found dance as their story lines – “Grease,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Footloose,” “Saturday Night Fever,” “Urban Cowboy,” “Swing Kids,” “Scent of a Woman,” “Strictly Ballroom,” “Take The Lead,” “Shall We Dance?” and “Mad Hot Ballroom,” all mentioned by newfound dance enthusiasts as having inspired them to take that first dance lesson. Dancing will always be a part of our social lives. And through dance, we can better understand our humanity, our desires for social connection. It requires empathy, connection and communion through music and movement. It also requires us to pay attention, not just to the steps, but to each other — after all, it’s the human thing to do. See you on the dance floor!

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Joseph Brogan & Shelly Brogan (VA) and Jonathan Medlin & Malin Allert (NC) Carson Zullinger Carson Zullinger


By Kim Wright


WALTZ New Journeys, Second Chances Through Dance


Terry & Glendy Yeh (CA)


American Dancer |

n The Unexpected Waltz, my heroine Kelly Wilder is 52 and has been suddenly widowed. Her late husband has left her with plenty of money and a beautiful home, but Kelly has way too much time on her hands. Even though she tries to fill her days with good works, such as volunteering at the local hospice, she knows there has to be more to life. One day Kelly accidentally steals an apple from the local grocery and while in the process of trying to return to pay for it, she stumbles into the dance studio beside the grocery. Here she finds everything that’s been missing from her life, such as music, new friends, joy, and self expression. To reap

all the awards that ballroom dance can bring, she’s going to have to come out of her shell and take a few risks, including the risks that always come when you try something new. I got the idea for the book because five years ago, I happened to step into a ballroom and my life was similarly transformed. While I’m not as rich or beautiful as Kelly - darn it! - and I wasn’t led to the ballroom floor by an enchanted apple, I too found my introduction to dance to be nothing short of magical. Was my instructor mysterious, demanding, and completely charming? Of course. He’s Russian. Were there times when I was ecstatic with the process and other times when I sat in my car in the parking lot and cried through sheer frustration? Sure. That’s the nature of learning to dance. And my local studio introduced me to an entirely new circle of friends. Were they wacky? Absolutely. They’re dancers! When people ask me what The Unexpected Waltz is about, I tell them it’s about second chances. Sure it’s about the craziness of the sport - getting spray tanned at four in the morning in the bathroom of an airport hotel, the false eyelashes, and rhinestones and pouring over the judging sheets and the nights you practice until your feet bleed through your shoes. The way that you begin to evaluate every piece of music that comes on the radio in terms of what you could dance to it. But the book is mostly about a woman in her fifties finding the courage to pursue a dream that she thought had died. Finding the courage to strap on those shoes and take the first step into a richer, fuller life. What kind of second chances can ballroom offer? Dance can offer a second chance at love. Let’s face it, modern life doesn’t offer us many chances at romance. We may find love, sex, companionship and compatibility....but romance? It remains strangely elusive. Except, that is, on the dance floor. The couples I’ve met through dance say that dance has rejuvenated their marriages. One man claimed, only half joking, “It gives us a whole new thing to fight about.” But he and his wife have traveled across the country going to competitions from Seattle to Miami, have invested in ballgowns and tails, and have even choreographed routines based on the music they used to listen to when they first dated back in the early sixties. “To have a hobby we both care about so much is a gift,” his wife says.

Hans & Ans Stork (TX) Carson Zullinger

It’s commonly assumed that singles get into dance looking for a romantic partner, and sometimes it does work out that way. You certainly meet a lot of prospects. People who dance tend to be energetic and outgoing and at the Friday night parties, everyone dances with everyone, so you have the chance to meet everyone there. I personally know of four couples who met on the ballroom floor and three of them eventually married. But I think for most single people, the boost that ballroom gives their love life is a little more subtle. Whether or not dance leads them into a new relationship, it almost invariably reawakens a part of their soul which has lain dormant for a long time. Feeling flirtatious in a foxtrot, perhaps, or sexy in a samba. Remembering the pulse-pounding fun of a quick dance like the jive or relaxing into the elegance of the waltz. Dance can offer you a second chance at health. A recent study done by The Council on Aging, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluded that dancing is the number one activity for delaying the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, offering double the benefits of reading or working crossword puzzles. Researchers believe it is because dance requires you to move and think at the same time, and is thus the perfect mind-body workout. Dance improves flexibility, posture, and balance, of course, and the cardio benefits are undeniable. But it isn’t just your physical and mental health which improve with dance, it’s your psychological health as well. Dance is an undeniable mood elevator, causing your brain to release endorphins like it’s the fourth of July. Where else can you find an activity that makes you smarter, stronger, and happier? But mainly, dance offers you a second chance at self-reinvention. We all need a chance to get out of our self-imposed

ruts and nothing shakes up the routine quite like dance. Dancers get to go back to childhood dreams of being a princess or a cowboy or a bullfighter - or Elvis. There’s a deep kind of confidence that comes with learning to express your emotions through your body, acting out the mood of each particular piece of music. Of course, like any type of change, it doesn’t always come easily. As I’ve progressed from casual student to show dancer to social dancer to competitor, there have been plenty of setbacks and disappointments along the way. I remember one day I was so frustrated over my wobbly spins that I sat in my car in the studio parking lot and cried. My instructor saw me there but left me to sob it out and the next time we had a lesson I said to him, rather shamefacedly, “I’m sorry I lost it over these stupid turns.” And he said to me. “That’s all right. All cry. Some cry and come back.” Some cry and come back. That’s the beauty of dancing. It’s romantic, sure, and great exercise, but it’s also a discipline. Dancers are an interesting crew, all drawn to the sport for their own reasons. I dance with surgical nurses and airline pilots, people who are pregnant and those who have had hip replacements. Shy men and wounded women, people of every nationality and age group. Pieces of their personalities populate, The Unexpected Waltz, which is not only the story of how dance saves Kelly but how dance can save a whole community. Non-dancers sometimes ask me if I took up the hobby to meet a man, but the truth is I’ve met any number of interesting men... and fascinating women too. People who have the courage to pursue their dreams, even if their dreams may look foolish to others. No, better to say especially if their dreams seem foolish to others - are the most inspiring people in the world. For them, life is full of happily ever afters. Kim Wright has been a writer for more than thirty years, specializing in the areas of food, wine, and travel. Her new novel The Unexpected Waltz was released by Gallery Books June 3. Kim lives and dances in Charlotte, NC, where she is always looking for a good tango partner.

July-August 2014



Last year, Portland, OR Chapter President Nick Shur hosted a special gallery showing of his ballroom paintings to commemorate National Ballroom Dance Week, opening the studio to social dancing and performances.


ational Ballroom Dance Week is a 10-day annual ballroom dance celebration throughout America, organized and promoted by USA DANCE. The following NBDW events are just a sampling of all the activities planned. Please reconfirm all details/schedules with your local Chapter or visit for listings. ALABAMA: NORTHERN ALABAMA CHAPTER 6114 • Ballroom at Bridge Street Town Center (dance lessons, performances, social dance), Sat, Sep 27, 4:30-7:30 pm, free FLORIDA: GREATER DAYTONA CHAPTER 6026 • 8th Annual Mall Ball (30 Performances, Social Dance) – Sun, Sep 21, Noon – 4pm, Volusia Mall, free ORLANDO, FL CHAPTER 6002 • Supporting ‘Dance, Dream & Inspire’ (DWTS-Style Fundraiser) — Sat, Sep 13, Universal Orlando Resort’s Hard Rock Live Ballroom


TREASURE COAST, FL CHAPTER 6004 • Social Dance, Pre-NBDW (lesson, show, 50/50 raffle fundraiser, dance hosts), Mon, Aug 11, Dance Forever Studio/Clearwater • Social Dance (dance lesson, show, refreshments), Wed, Sep 17, 7:30-10 pm, Bayou Dance Club/Pinellas Park • Late Celebration of NBDW (live band, performances), Wed, Oct 1, 12:30-3:30 pm, St. Petersburg Coliseum , $8 members LAKE-SUMTER COUNTIES CHAPTER 6106 • Day of Dance (three dance lessons; social dance 9 pm) – Wed, Sep 18 MEMPHIS CHAPTER ____ • Social Dance, Sun, Sep 21

American Dancer |

MISSISSIPPI: HATTIESBURG CHAPTER 6116 • Public Dance Classes – Mon, Sep 22 – Thurs, Sep 25, free • Social Dance/Workshop – Sat, Sep 27, $40 pp • Public Street Dance – Tentatively Thurs, Sep 19, free

OHIO: YOUNGSTOWN WARREN, OH CHAPTER 2015 • Ballroom Dance Celebration Show – (social dance, 50 performances by 100 dancers, celebrity emcee), Sat, Sept 20, 12:30 – 5 pm Eastwood Mall/Niles, free • Social Dance/Samba Lesson – Sun, Sep 21





• Social Dance, Sun, Sep 21 • Celebration at Colonie Center (social dance, 20 demos), Wed, Sep 24, free • Annual Black Tie Gala – Sat, Sep 27, 7-10 pm, Wolfert’s Roost C.C., $65

• Charity Ball Benefiting LeBonheur Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Child Life Program – TBD in Nov TEXAS: DALLAS CHAPTER 5044 -Planning Dance In the Park (Arts District), TBD

All Photos By Peter Man-Un Ung

Pre-Teen II Gold Latin Division



COMPETITION IN THE NJ ‘TRIPLE CROWN’ By Dan Calloway, Fellow ISTD, WDSF Championship Adjudicator


he NJ DanceSport Classic in Hackensack, NJ is Amateur DanceSport’s own “Triple Crown” event, consisting of the Summer Sizzler (June), Fall Frolic (October) and Spring Fling (March), all beginning 13 years ago when USA Dance saw the need to create more competitive opportunities for all levels of amateur DanceSport couples. This two-day “Summer Sizzler” in June was also the first USA Dance NQE in 2014 to fulfill the new requirement that half of the judging panel be comprised of WDSF qualified adjudicators. This expert and diverse judging panel for The Sizzler was chaired by Jennifer McCalla. In this first National Qualifying Event (NQE) following the USA Dance 2014 National DanceSport Championships, the organizing team of Mario Battista and Wendi Davies presented another of their typically unique and outstanding events for avid DanceSport athletes. The competition series is held in the beautiful and spacious Roger’s Dance Center, a two-level studio with the top floor appropriated for a practice floor, dressing rooms, vendor space and registration, and the main floor perfectly suited for the main event. The timing of the Summer Sizzler could not be better for adult athletes who are looking for the best opportunity to qualify

for the USA Dance 2015 Nationals under the new 65% Rule. Yet early June occurs immediately after Blackpool and during the summer break for collegiate dancers, and the event tends to be under-represented on Saturday by those dance groups. On the other hand, Sunday was a tidal wave of junior competitors. In addition to the qualifying advantages of the Sizzler are the numerous and generous scholarships and outstanding perpetual trophies awarded. All advertising proceeds are directed into the scholarship funds, which are liberally dispersed throughout the competitive events. These New York-area, all-day, all-junior events, like the Manhattan Amateur Classic, are always a perspective-changing experience. The USA Dance Gumbo Championships may be the best opportunity to see the greatest cultural diversity in junior DanceSport in this country, but the New York area has the volume. And the things that happen when that many kids are involved in a crowded, competitive, visual art cannot be even imagined. At the Summer Sizzler, one little girl danced almost a complete samba holding her partner’s hands waiting for him to start dancing. Floorcraft concerns often turn into hilarity as some of these kids are apparently trained not to stop no matter what. Sometimes a couple will

Senior II Championship Standard Division Glenn & Bonnie Wuennenberg; Niklas & Yvonne Manz; Gregory Rominger & Jennifer Albury

Youth Latin Winners - Samuel Hacke & Katarina Herminova

just snowplow through another couple at whatever speed they happen to be going, with the slow motion drive-throughs being the most entertaining. Fortunately, this behavior is rarely dangerous and most of the children do learn to acquire the appropriate floorcraft skills along with the other dance skills and maturity. July-August 2014


Pavel Stepanchuk & Anastasiya Danilova USA Dance Adult Latin National Champions 2014



avel Stepanchuk (age 26) from Brooklyn, NY and Anastasiya Danilova (age 22) from Springfield, NJ are the new 2014 USA Dance Adult Latin National Champions, a title that has come to their partnership in less than three years. Dancing is their life and now as champions, they see their roles much differently. Pavel and Anastasiya train and teach as amateurs at Brooklyn DanceSport Club, owned by Eugene Katsevman and Maria Manusova, who are 11-time USA Dance National Adult Latin Champions.

Pavel Stepanchuk (age 26)

Brooklyn, NY

Anastasiya Danilova (age 22) Springfield, NJ

AMERICAN DANCER: What was your first reaction after winning the Adult Latin Championships Division at the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships? PAVEL & ANASTASIYA: We were very happy and relieved that all the hard work paid off. AD: How did you prepare for Nationals differently from previous years? P&A: This year we focused on preparing with more intense practices centered around strengthening our stamina. A main component of our practices were run-throughs. In addition, we added to our schedule of practices, sessions with personal trainer Muna Breitem, who is a WBFF pro.

AD: How does being a National Champion change your life and perspective? P: This is a title that I have always dreamed of having. I remember starting to dance and looking up to National Champions Eugene and Maria. Now that we hold this title, I feel like the responsibility is ours to influence the young generation of DanceSport. Everyday I go to work to teach the kids, I always want to make a positive impact. I know that they look up to my every move, the way I talk, the way I dress and down to what I eat.

AD: What are your thoughts about representing the USA at the WDSF Adult Latin World Championships in October? P&A: We are planning on doing so with great pride and honor to represent the United States at such a high-caliber competition.

A: I think when you become a National Champion everything changes in your life mentally. When you are a National Champion, people look up to you all the time. We teach kids, so I feel there is a big responsibility on our shoulders to look and act the best in what we do. The way I dress, teach and act should be impeccable. But I don’t think it’s a responsibility only for the National Champion. I think it’s a job of every human being to set an example for the young generation.

AD: What was the most important advice your coaches gave you going into Nationals? P&A: They told us to enjoy every moment on the dance floor, because you never know how many more Nationals you have.

AD: What has influenced your life most as a DanceSport athlete? P: I would say it has been a team collaboration of Eugene and Maria.


American Dancer |

Carson Zullinger


ment programs

The impact that they made on us shows on and off the floor. They are the most caring individuals that I have worked with. I feel like I was taken under their wing and guided in the right direction - that’s why I am where I am now. I really feel like I am the luckiest person with the best teachers in the world. A: For me personally it’s the feeling and impact that you get when people move to music. The emotions are overwhelming.

have to be really strong and not to give up if you fail or if things go the wrong way. P&A: We had a couple of times when we wanted to give up dancing. Usually it’s happening when things don’t go the right way, or you fail. In those moments you have to listen to your heart and think about what you love the most and why you started in the first place.

AD: What has been the most important decision for you as a DanceSport athlete? P: The most important decision was sticking to what I love which is dancing, because I can’t picture myself doing anything else that makes me this happy.

AD: How would you describe your partnership and what makes it really work? P&A: What makes any partnership work is hard work, dedication, commitment, compromise, passion and a common goal. And this is exactly the partnership we have.

A: The most important decision for me was not to quit. It is a very hard sport, and you

AD: How would you define a true champion in Amateur DanceSport?

Carson Zullinger

P&A: A true champion in Amateur DanceSport is somebody who is truly passionate, hard working and true to his/her beliefs, somebody who is a great representative of their country. AD: What is your most important philosophy saying as an athlete? P&A: Never lose passion for what you do and don’t give up when obstacles come along.

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July-August 2014








s I struggled to write something all-encompassing and prophetic about music, about dance, and why ballroom dancers are so passionate about their music and their dancing, and as it quickly became a novel that couldn’t be finished, I was comforted by the words of American



comedian Martin Mull that “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” For every dancer there is a different story, a different interpretation, about the power of dance and music to change lives dramatically, and forever. — Angela Prince, Editor





American Dancer |


By day, Craig Kunkel is a talented graphic designer and video editor. By night, he transforms into the Music Man for USA Dance’s Dallas Chapter 5044. It’s a big job, but according to Texan bravado, and Chapter President Diane Montgomery, everything in Texas is BIG. Craig started his “dance career” competing about 10 years ago, then moved

What past experiences, training helped qualify you to be a Volunteer DJ? I’m very good with a computer since I do graphics design and video editing on computer, so understanding DJ software is easy for me. Plus, I have a very large collection of music. How many hours a month do you DJ? Our Chapter has three dances a month, so up to 12 hours a month.

to social dancing and volunteering a little more as time passed. He joined the Chapter Board in 2004 (so much for going incognito) and since 2007 as the official Volunteer DJ, “spins and mixes” all the music for at least 20 social dances a year and edits all the annual showcase videos…and handles all the weekly email announcements to members. To Craig’s credit, his volunteer work for USA Dance didn’t go unnoticed at the

What distinguishes you from other area DJs? Mostly my collection of ballroom & latin music. How did you become involved in DJ’ing on a regular basis? When the Board voted to purchase a laptop in February 2007, I volunteered to be the DJ. What advice can you offer USA Dance chapters about selecting DJs for their dances?

Mexican Hat Dance, ballroom style…only in Texas. Meet Chapter DJ Craig Kunkel (and Betsy Lee).

National level either. In 2010, his chapter nominated him for Chapter and National Volunteer of the Year. And he won both!

ballroom and latin dancing is important in knowing what music to play at the dance parties. What are five rules that DJs should follow to stay popular? Pre-select your playlist. Know the songs. 2. Play at the right tempo. 3. Be able to hear the beat clearly, especially important in ballroom & latin dance music. 4. Select music that provides energy and emotion, along with mixing familiar music with new music. 5. Interact, socialize, and dance with the dancers. Get to know them! What have you learned the hard way about DJ work for social dancing? There will always be a song that one person loves to hear and dance to, but someone else may dislike. You can’t please everyone. Also, the amount of time involved in selecting good music for dances.

Betsy Lee

How extensive is your music collection for ballroom/latin dances? Around 1,200+ ballroom/latin dance songs. I have 15,000+ songs in my total music collection.

They should look for a DJ that is there for the dancers and focused on their needs, that knows that the music selection is important. Experience and knowledge of

Kari Halme

How do you stay on top of music trends and what’s in and what’s not? & are both good sources for finding ballroom & latin music. They both allow

you to listen to the songs before you buy, provide customers reviews and ratings of songs, and include BPM & MPM of songs. Do you do planned or prerecorded playlists? Our chapter provides a printed playlist for all of our dances, which I usually assemble ahead of time. Dancers love having a printed playlist and knowing what dance is coming up next. especially our beginner dancers. How important is music to a successful USA Dance event? Selecting the right ballroom and latin dance music can make a difference in the energy and mood of the dance party. My advice to selecting music is ask yourself: does the song have that driving energy that will sweep the dancer emotionally through the dance. Plus, ask yourself if the beat is clearly audible and the right tempo. Is there any one Do or Don’t for being a good social dance DJ? A popular song with great lyrics does not always make a great ballroom or latin dance music.

American Dancer: By the way, when you attend a Dallas Chapter dance, you can count on a lot of “big” moments including the very last dance. It’s a tradition…count on “Happy Trails To You. . .Until We Meet Again.” Thanks, Craig! July-August 2014


Leitha Brown


SOCIAL DANCER AND DJ DAHLING, CHARLOTTE STYLE By day, Maria McStravick St. John is an equestrian, training horses. By night (and sometimes day), she’s a traveling DJ for USA Dance chapters and other dance groups throughout the Carolinas. Her company Danse Dahling DJ Services aptly sums up her “southern style” and growing

What past experiences, training helped you be a DJ? I was in TV broadcasting in high school, then radio broadcasting in college totaling 4 years primarily as an on air DJ, but also serving as PA Director, News Director and Operations Manager.

Always putting her best foot, and face glam, forward. Meet Chapter DJ Maria McStravick St. John.

In addition to on-air work, my job duties included training staff for on-air work; writing scripts and public service announcement promos, editing and more. How many hours a week do you DJ? I average about 20-40 hours a week just prepping my playlists and about 4-20+ hours a week

popularity among dance groups. She’s been a professional DJ now for 10 years, but volunteers her time for two USA Dance chapters – Charlotte and Lake Norman. She’s also Charlotte’s go-to publisher of the weekly community dance calendar. Maria became a member of USA Dance Charlotte Chapter 6029 (then called Queen City Chapter) in 1998. She’s been a com-

petitive dancer, loves doing showcases with her husband, but these days she is primarily a social dancer, when she’s not busy spinning tunes.

playing music at actual events. A light month would be 16 hours of actual DJ’ing, but I now average closer to 25-30 hours.

miserable just sitting at dances. A local studio agreed to let me do the music for their dances. My reputation grew over time.

How extensive is your music collection for ballroom/latin dances? I have well over Maggie Rohlik 25,000 songs in my personal catalogue. Around 60,000 files.

What advice can you offer USA Dance chapters about selecting DJs for their dances? Be very careful! Experience and quality do matter! Finding a really good DJ is incredibly difficult and a poor DJ or poor music can ruin a dance. People can be very unforgiving, and if they have a bad experience, they may not come back.

What distinguishes you from other DJ’s in your area? Most other available DJ’s don’t specialize in ballroom-specific genres or have formal training. I incorporate music for everyone - competitors, social dancers, specialty dancers, with a variety of old and new tunes. How did you become involved in DJ’ing on a regular basis? I was a social dancer who contracted adult onset asthma unexpectedly despite being a very active and athletic person all of my life. I couldn’t dance and was

What have you learned the hard way about DJ work for social dancing? You can’t please everyone. There is always at least one person who is never happy, who is also more than willing to share their unhappiness, hopefully with just you (the DJ) but more likely with others without letting the DJ know. How do you stay on top of music trends? I listen to various stations, I am constantly searching on music sites and YouTube, capturing songs everywhere (restaurants,

retail stores, movies, other dance events, etc), networking with other DJ’s on Facebook and other media sources locally, nationally and internationally. Do you do planned or prerecorded playlists? I create playlists in advance for every event; however, I never just play exactly what I pre-planned. It’s the kiss of death! A good DJ is constantly monitoring the audience, the environment and adjusting. Also, I never pre-edit everything and then just let it go. I have those sorts of playlists for emergencies, but I rarely use them except at competitions for background practice music. I believe it is very important to vary the length of songs so that they fit the genre and crowd. How do you work with dance “theme” events vs regular general dances? I almost always try to incorporate a theme into the event, even if it is not obvious. Themes are very under-appreciated. People and organizations don’t realize the value having a theme can be for a DJ.

American Dancer: When you attend a Charlotte or Lake Norman Chapter dance in North Carolina, you can expect great music and “southern hospitality” no matter the song request. Thanks, Maria, for keeping everyone in sync! 26

American Dancer |




love this industry, love the music — still after all these years — and love the idea that MUSIC is what “makes the ballroom world go around!” No dancing. So, I’d like to shed some light on music lessons I’ve learned during my 15 years as music director for DanceSport events around the world — simple “do’s” for those of you who want your dancing to move ahead of the pack. The first and greatest “do” is this — “Listen First. Dance Second.” When composers write songs, 99% of the time, they are not thinking about dancers...I know, shocking. Rarely do musicians create a song and then think about how someone would dance to it. Not going to happen. Simply remembering that music is rarely designed for dancers allows us to be flexible and tolerant. However, knowing this can also assist in the first “do” – “listen first.” And I might add, “listen always.” When I was teaching ballroom full time, I would challenge my students to listen to every song they heard in a day and try to identify which dance would go with that song. Is it a foxtrot, hustle, quickstep, cha cha? You get the picture. The more you listen, the more you can work on: The second “do”—Know the Rhythm First. Tempo Second.

Since tempo (or the pace of the music) can be slightly different (i.e. International Foxtrot is slower than American Foxtrot), the beat of any particular song will, most likely, identify the dance. The beat is usually explained by the number of beats in a bar, such as the 3/4, if dancing a waltz. So when you’re playing a song in 3/4 timing, you might be counting “1- 2-3,1-2-3,1-2-3, etc” in your head. 1-2-3 is the beat. How fast you count the numbers is your tempo. So finding the beat (or the rhythm) first is key. In the competition scene, a common rule amongst coaches is “music first, always.” Why? When everyone has the same heel steps and toes, technical requirements, etc., musicality can set you above the pack. So when the music starts, be still. Listen to the essence of the

By Brent Thomas Mills

tune first and then dance. It helps your dancing from looking like you’re just “going through the motions,” and it helps you stand out on the dance floor. The 3rd and final “do” is — “Keep Listening!” Even after you’ve started to dance, keep that rhythm going by continuing to listen. Let your musicality come through your movement. Men especially need to know this as their partner will follow what they lead. There’s nothing more frustrating than two people dancing together and each has their own different rhythm! And, like it or not, dance music is evolving, and I know there are those who don’t like this evolution. Believe me, dancers don’t hesitate to tell me. My advice is not to worry so much about what’s “in” the music but instead, think IBM: •  IDENTIFY the dance by listening first; •  Find the BEAT by listening for the count; •  A nd last, but definitely not least, MAINTAIN the rhythm of the song. So I always tell dancers: “Not every song you dance to is going to be great, but you can achieve great dancing to EVERY song. All you have to do is listen.”

Reza Molavi

Brent Thomas Mills is currently music director for more than 80 DanceSport events worldwide. His company Music-4-Movement Records produces music for visual arts, including TV show SYTYCD. His website features song lists for dancers. He is a 2X U.S. Amateur Cabaret Champion and national professional finalist.

July-August 2014


In the March-April issue, AMERICAN DANCER stated that the re-emergence of this turning-point documentary about the legendary icon Gene Kelly might be trigger for some interesting discussions for an upcoming issue. And, we were right. So we selected two USA Dance members responses for our follow-up. We asked: 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?

“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.” —Gene Kelly 28





s Ballroom Dancing a man's game? I would like to say that YES it is definitely a man's game. I am new to the ballroom dancing sport with less than a year under my belt, but I have come into this world from artistic dance roller skating and have observed ballroom dancing from a distance for many years. While competing in artistic dance roller skating, I was privileged and honored to skate in three national final events. It was a wonderful experience. As with anything, ballroom dancing and dancers must provide a complete package in order to be successful. If one observes a dance team even for a split second, they will always be attracted to the aesthetics that are so pleasing to the eye, but the athletic component seems to always be overlooked. In ballroom dancing, if the lady represents the beautiful picture (and they do!), the man must represent a strong well developed frame. You will not see a Picasso in a cheap dime store frame nor will a Ferrari be the high performance machine it is without the solid well developed frame. This means that the men that are involved with ballroom dance must do everything they can to complete the total package. I think that Dr. Kellner said it well on page 27 of the March-April issue when he declared that “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.” Men participate in a variety of workouts that include, but are not limited to dead weight lifting, boxing and kick boxing, yoga, running and jogging. All of these exercises have elements that resemble dance in one way or another. Sometime during my lifetime I recall seeing a yearly montage of the outstanding plays that

American Dancer |

occurred during in the world of sports. It was shown with background music that had superstars looking like ballerinas with grace and lines that are typical of dance. If a man is truly ok in his skin, words like grace, beauty, and artistry do not hinder their choices or performance one

From Artistic Dance Roller Skating. . .

Frank & Rita Manley





orn in New York City nearly 80 years ago, I was drawn to sports like most guys my age. I even played shortstop for Queens College. At the same time, I was drawn to ballroom dancing. Before I graduated, I was teaching at Fred Astaire Studios in NYC. Through his wonderful films, I idolized Gene Kelly for his athleticism, charm and masculinity, which inspired me to study ballet and jazz. There I discovered my newest idol, Jacques Damboise, the great dancer with the NYC ballet. Inspired by these giants, I had proof, if any were needed, of the strength and masculinity in the dance world. I eventually moved from teaching to performing on a professional dance team to a featured dancer in summer stock productions "Kiss Me Kate" and "Bells Are Ringing." I eventually retired from the dance world to the world of business, but I will never retire from the wonderful world of social dancing with my great dance partner and beautiful wife, Marilyn.

And some words of wisdom from Jerry:

. . .to Ballroom Dancing. Frank & Rita Manley

bit, and I believe that is more true in this century then in any other in the past. Men seem to understand packaging very well and will train and do what is necessary to complete the packaging in dance. I, for one, once wore a peach tuxedo to complete that package. Today, men have even been known to shave their bodies to complete the package in some sports. I see no fear in men in this century relating to completing the package in any of the sports including ballroom dance. In my case, my love of music and physical fitness has motivated me to dance and the women are not hard to look at either. I never really liked just working out, although I did. I would rather play a sport like racquetball, water ski, snow ski, or baseball. Now in my senior years, as I slow down a bit, I find that even though ballroom dancing is rigorous, I am able to function at an acceptable level. I hope this can take me into my later years. This is also something I can do with my wife and that pleases me a great deal.

AD: If Dancing Was A Man's Game in the days of Gene Kelly, would that be true today? JP: Even more today with the accomplishments of dancers like Mikhail Baryshnikov and films like "Dirty Dancing" with Patrick Swayze.

JP: Seniors who dance keep active and will increase their physical well being as well as broaden their social circles. For me, dancing has helped me stay healthy, fit and happy.

AD: What has been ballroom dancing's real social contribution? JP: The opportunity to socialize and expand relationships with new people with similar interests, such as social dancing. AD: What are the personal benefits to men who dance? JP: Men who dance are in great demand socially. AD: What would you tell young men today about why they should learn to dance? JP: For young men, dancing can only enhance their popularity and sociability. AD: What are the real benefits to seniors (50+) who dance? Can you measure those benefits to your own situation? Jerry & Marilyn Perrone

July-August 2014


Grassroots Shenandoah Valley, VA Chapter 6022



Raises Nearly $250,000 for Local Child Day Care Center Dancing With The Stars Of The ‘Burg is a major production every year. And during the past four years, to a sell-out audience, has raised nearly $250,000 for the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Child Day Care Centers. Last year’s donations totaled approximately $116,000. And every year, volunteer members of USA Dance’s Shenandoah Valley, VA Chapter are paired with local celebrity stars to train for more than three months to compete in this DWTS-style competition. Instruction and coaching for the 4th annual event has been provided by Karen Thomas of Dancing With Karen Studio in Harrisonburg. The DWTS couples (called teams) actually compete in three phases, which starts long before the actual competition

night – pre-event fundraising, the actual DWTS dance competition and then more fundraising from the audience during the event. Points accumulated during any of the three phases can make or break a team’s chances to win the coveted “mirror ball” trophy, and there is no limit to the points that can be generated by audience votes during the competition. The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Child Day Care Center is a United Way agency and provides curriculum-based day care to local families of all income levels on a sliding fee scale. The funds are earmarked for a new, state-of-the-art permanent home for the many children and families in need. In addition to partnering with the celebrity stars, USA Dance members

Moment of elation for Matt Eddy (USA Dance) and celebrity partner Tracey Jones (WHSV-TV).

served as producers and costuming coordinator. They also volunteered as production assistants and extras for the show’s opening act. According to Chapter President David Taylor, over the course of four years, more than half of the Chapter’s membership has been involved in the program in some way. Phoebe Renfroe (USA Dance) and celebrity partner Jerry Benson (provost at James Madison University) chat with DWTS of the ‘Burg judges.

All Photos By Brian Ripley

Jamie Thomas (USA Dance) practices with celebrity partner Connie Hess (Hess Engineering).


American Dancer |

The new DWTS of the ‘Burg Mirror Ball Trophy Winners — Denise Dean Shifflett (USA Dance) and celebrity Hunter Woodard (McHone Jewelry).

SEP 19 - 20

Standard Action from New England NQE 2013


DANCESPORT STRONG IN BOSTON Social Dance, Jack & Jill, Dinner/Dance, Competition At Boston’s newly renovated Westin Waltham-Boston Hotel, the MASSabda Chapter 3002 will host the New England DanceSport Championships, a National Qualifying Event for the USA Dance 2015 National DanceSport Championships, on Sept. 19-20, launching a full weekend of exciting activities for DanceSport competitors as well as social dancers. The DanceSport events begin early Saturday morning, Sept. 20 and will showcase both American and International style competitions throughout the day and into the evening. The audience can expect a strong contingency from the Boston area, but rivaled by top dancers from many areas throughout the country – from Pre-Teen to Senior.

The New England NQE, now in its 3rd year, has earned its reputation among competitors. Its New England-style hospitality is a strong attraction. On Saturday night in the hotel’s grand ballroom, the Chapter is hosting a Gala Dinner and Dance while the Youth and Adult Championship divisions are on the floor; the International Team Match (USA/Iceland/Canada) happens Saturday; plus social dancing until Midnight. On Friday night, social dancers will gather for a four-hour Social Dance kick-off with buffet dinner option. DJ David Innis promises the best of ballroom, latin and club-style tunes. Midway there’ll be a fun Jack ‘n’ Jill competition for those who pre-register. NEDSC Details:

Lisa Dubinsky

Greater Memphis Chapter 2012



From Ice Cream Dance Socials and Proms to Black-Tie Charity Fundraisers

The Greater Memphis Chapter’s annual Charity Ball — Sylvia Rose, Michelle Stubbs (Child Life Dir.), Robert White, Gail Mays

School may be out, but there has been no summer vacation from dancing at the Greater Memphis Chapter 2012. In fact, members in Memphis know to mark their calendars way in advance for all the dancing and community support programs. USA Dance Prom Night in June kicked off the summer. It was a black tie optional, quite the nostalgia as the Edd Jones Orchestra set the mood. First in April and going again for seconds in August when the District 8 Meeting comes to town is the Chapter’s “How About A Dip Baby?” ice cream dance social. Every September, the Chapter celebrates National Ballroom Dance Week with a Charity Ball to support Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital’s Child Life Program. This elegant dinner/dance event is held in the hospital’s rotunda with a live band and attracts area VIPs and local media publicity for ballroom dancing. The annual Charity Ball, which also honors Chapter Founder Mavis Stanley, will be held this year in November.

July-August 2014



SQUARE Last year, the Pittsburgh Chapter 3007 organized an celebration of National Ballroom Dance Week in Pittsburgh’s historic Market Square. The event not only captured media headlines, including television, but attracted large enthusiastic crowds of onlookers. Unexpected ovations came from the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, who simply made an offer the Chapter couldn’t refuse – to team up with the City to do

Downtown Pittsburgh

a “repeat performance” every Friday, 5-7 pm, in June. Dancing In The Square, held June 6 – 27, was heavily promoted by the City, boosting the star power of USA Dance local dancers and offering free classes taught by professional instructors. The public was lured by the fun dances like Electric Slide, Cha Cha Slide, Cupid Shuffle, Wobble and the Samba Line Dance, and they had the

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Chapter

USA Dance teams up with Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership to make “Dancing In the Square” A Summer Sensation.

best seats on the square to see ballroom, latin and club-style dancing from Pittsbugh’s best. Stars of the shows included the Chris Drum Dance Team, USA Dance Pittsburgh Youth from Woodland Hills High School, The Yes, You Can Dance!

team, Arthur Murray Dance Team and the Pittsburgh Dance Center, which included members of the Embrace Dance Program, designed for amputees with prosthetics. Celebrity DJs were John Siefken, Cathy Kelly, Mark Boucher and Brian Lee.

AUG 1 – 3 Discover the missing dimension in dance!

For Professional & Competitive Dancers

—with Percell St. Thomass—

Offering Championship Level Ballroom & Latin Dance Coach | Adjudicator | National Examiner Choreographer | Actor | Director | Emcee

Reserve your 4 day program today! SHERRIWIMBERLY@GMAIL.COM —OR— 601.297.2185 Shorter programs available upon request. For more information visit With ceritified/professional partner Shellie Hubbard

2014 DanceKinesis is a trademark of Percell St.Thomass/photography © 2012 Robert Hubbard. All rights reserved.


American Dancer |


In the heart of thoroughbred race country, home to the Kentucky Derby, the Derby City DanceSport Championships, a National Qualifying Event for the USA Dance 2015 National DanceSport Championships, will be held Aug. 1 – 3 at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville. During its 10-year run history, Derby City has had a strong showing of competitors of all ages and proficiency levels, from PreTeen to Senior. Organized by the Greater Louisville Chapter 2021, celebrating its 20th anniversary, the three-day Derby City will also bring to the dance floor the Solo Proficiency divisions. [In 2013, the Girls Solo Proficiency Latin division made its debut at the USA Dance 2013 Carolina Classic NQE in Charlotte, NC.] At the Derby City, as they say in horses, the “stakes are high,” with the NQE event offering scholarship dollars in many of the top divisions. Once dancers qualify at Derby City in the top 65% of their division, they go onto the next event The USA Dance 2015 Nationals in Baltimore, which may not be a triple crown journey, but a prestigious “crowning of champions” event nonetheless. For social dancers attending Derby City, there’s a Social Dance on Friday night — so bring your ballroom-horsing-around shoes, for good luck! More details:

BALLROOM DEMO IN NEW YORK! GREATER NEW YORK CHAPTER JOINS 10,000 DANCERS FOR NEW YORK CITY’S ANNUAL DANCE PARADE With the Greater New York Chapter 3004, there are two things constant every May – the Chapter will take to the streets to dance, joining literally thousands of dancers celebrating the “freedom to dance” during New York’s 8th Annual Dance Parade down

Broadway... and their commemorative T-shirts will be a brand new color every time. The Parade’s theme was “Be The Momentum,” and the Chapter was just that, gaining distinction as the only ballroom dancers out of 142 participating groups. In all, there

were more than 10,000 dancers of all ages representing 77 different dance genres. If you love dancing, New York Dance Parade is the ultimate street party that culminates in the East Village for DanceFest, a four-hour program of free dance per-

Martina Lee

Greater New York Chapter Takes Tango To The Streets. Their T-Shirts Said “The Best”…And They Were!

formances and lessons, dance booths and social dancing throughout the Park.

Dance Parade, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting dance as an expressive and unifying art form.

Martina Lee

July-August 2014



PUBLICEYE USA TODAY Go Dancing With The (Young) Ballroom Stars


SA TODAY Newspaper is the leading in-print newspaper in America, reaching 3.2 million readers a day. Online, reaches far more – an impressive 18 million readers. So when USA Today came to the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships in Baltimore, it was a great opportunity to

tell one of the many behind-the-scene stories about today’s DanceSport competitors. This time, interest was in today’s young dancers. The film crews and reporter, working with USA Dance Public Relations and DanceSport, followed one of our pre-teen couples – Joshua Ginzburg from Massachusetts and Jhailyn Farcon from New Jersey — as their families

arrived in Baltimore, practiced and prepared to competed in the Pre-Teen Latin divisions. Because the story was primarily a video feature story, a few weeks following Nationals were needed for editing and final production. The story “Go Dancing With The (Young) Ballroom Stars” is now online and the coverage is an excellent portrayal of what it’s like

Carson Zullinger Full Story: The story link is also posted on the USA Dance, Inc. Facebook group page.


American Dancer |

In the practice room before the Pre-Teen II Gold Latin quarter-finals, Joshua Ginzburg, 10, talks with USA Today newspaper about why he likes to compete.

for today’s children to compete in ballroom and latin dancing. From the Video Story Online at by Carly Mallenbaum Spending some time at a ballroom competition, you get used to the smells of self tanner, hairspray and sweat. You become quickly unfazed by women's sequined bra tops and mens' hard-as-a-rock slicked-back hair. But it takes a while to get used to seeing children, who aren't yet tall enough to ride the big roller coasters, stand with perfect posture and move with grace across the floor. Jhailyn Farcon, 9, and Joshua Ginzburg, 10, are prime examples. USA TODAY shadowed the pair during the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships in Baltimore to get an idea of what a competition is like for the fastest-growing segment of ballroom dancers: 12- to 15-year-olds, and younger. Jhailyn and Joshua have danced together only for a few months. Since they're a long-distance pair, (Joshua is from Massachusetts and Jhailyn is from New Jersey) they mostly practice apart and with separate coaches. But so far, the new couple has done well, already placing first at the popular Manhattan Amateur Classic two months before this competition. Jhailyn's mother, Armie Farcon, says she's overheard people gossiping about the pair's sudden success. "It's just like the show Dance Moms," she explains. "We just try to be nice to everyone and stay out of the drama."


Joshua has been dancing since he was about 4. "I don't know where he gets it from," says Joshua's dad, Dmitry Ginzburg, who concedes he not a dancer. "It's magic." Jhailyn was inspired to dance after watching her older brother compete in ballroom in England. Her parents compete in ballroom competitions, too. "At a young age, she was exposed to dancing in front of people. I think in her head she thinks that's just what you do," says her father, Eddie Farcon.


Participating in a ballroom dance competition means a rigorous weekend. Participants often compete in multiple age groups, in several different categories over

three days. On Saturday, Joshua and Jhailyn dance in the junior and then pre-teen groups. Though the first official dance isn't until the afternoon, the day starts around 6 a.m. to make time for warm-up, hairstyling, eating and more warm-up. The hairstyling part is especially entertaining. Boyko, a sort of celebrity hairstylist to the ballroom stars, uses hair extensions to create a sleek updo for Jhailyn. His motto? "You can never use too much hairspray!"


Back at the practice room, Joshua looks surprisingly calm before the national competition. "But I'm not," he says, laughing. He will be when it's time to perform, though. "It's kind of like you know how to do well and you just Eddie Farcon

Jhailyn and Joshua dancing

walk out there and you dance," he says. Jhailyn, who has performed for the president and in the traveling Broadway production of Billy Elliott, shows very few nerves before showtime. "I'm just running through the routines in my head," she says. The partners go over their routines, with Joshua sometimes counting aloud. Their coaches come by to give them pointers.


The kids change into their competition outfits. Joshua wears a black tie and black pants and Jhailyn has a longsleeve pink dress that moves when she dances. After more practice, it's time to go into the ballroom. Their families are there for encouragement. "I say, 'Just smile, don't worry about anything,'" says Eddie Farcon. "She just says, 'Daddy I got this, don't worry. You'll go sit down and watch.' "

On the OVATION Arts Network

New TV Documentary Series ‘Young Marvels’ Features USA Dance Pre-Teens Lev Khmeleva & Natalina Chen OVATION, an arts network, has the mission to “inspire the world through all forms of art and artistic expression.” Its programming is considered one-of-a-kind, original and comprised of selective series, films, documentaries and special programs – and its tv programming reaches more than 50 million homes. Seeking to create a new television documentary series about the inspirational work of gifted children – musicians, vocalists and dancers – the Ovation network sought the production talents of Tremendous Entertainment, who contacted USA Dance Public Relations Director Angela Prince, requesting to feature a young DanceSport couple with exceptional talent. As USA Dance began its process of nominating pre-teen couples who had won their divisions at Nationals in 2013 and more recent NQEs, the production directors asked USA Dance to identify talent in the Los Angeles area where they were based. The production directors watched video of various young couples and made a decision to feature Lev Khmeleva and Natalina Chen, who reside in LA and are members of the Los Angeles County Chapter 4031. Then after the parents were in agreement to be part of the filming process for several weeks, production of Ovation’s “Young Marvels” took off on a whirlwind pace – filming Lev and Natalina in their everyday lives, at home, at play, at dance practice and at their showcase performance at the Los Angeles County Chapter’s Easter social dance. “Young Marvels” is a true documentary film, rather than a scripted reality show. The production crews were tasked with following Lev and Natalina in their real-life daily activities. Ovation wanted its viewers to witness the “trials and tribulations that come with being, and living with, a truly gifted child.” The Young Marvels’ 12 half-hour segments debut July 16, 2014 and each segment will feature the life of different gifted children.

July-August 2014




Eddie Farcon

Jhailyn and Joshua dancing

Stil, Jhailyn does appreciate the support. "If you're nervous on the floor and your family is watching you and cheering you on, you feel like they're with you on the floor," she says.


Joshua and Jhailyn stand in line until their dance heat is called to perform. They then find a spot on the floor as their families yell out their dancer number,: "Let's go 127!" Then, the music starts and they're off, powering through dance after dance. They make it to the semifinals, and then the finalists' names show up on a screen. "Get ready to see some kids cry," says Armie Farcon. Jhailyn and Joshua are on the list, but they get a warning, because they danced an illegal move. They'll have to do a back-up routine. They quickly review with their coaches, get some water, and dance again. "People say ballroom dancing is not a sport. And that's not right. If anyone can go and dance a minute of jive nonstop and say it's not a sport, then that's fine with me, but I don't think that's possible," says Joshua's dad, who is taking video of the performance.

Special thanks to Leonid Proskurov and Samantha Safir of Beverly Hills Ballroom for working closely with Lev, Natalina, USA Dance and the Ovation network to make possible an exceptional story about ballroom dance kids.


LA COUNTY CHAPTER 4031 The Los Angeles County Chapter worked closely with National PR to create an opportunity for Lev and Natalina to perform for the Ovation network in the LA area. On April 20, the chapter was already hosting a “theme dance” at the Culver City Veteran’s Auditorium. Lev and Natalina, working with their coach Leonid Proskurov of Beverly Hills Ballroom, were invited to be the star performers and performed five dances, both Latin and Standard, for the audience. The parents were among the audience for the show. Along the sidelines and behind the scenes filming unobtrusively were the television crews. LA County Chapter President Jerry Hernandez and District Director Herb McGurk, who worked with the production company for several weeks, were interviewed as USA Dance spokespersons and were key to the event’s successful filming.


After their dances are done and the judges deliberate, Joshua and Jhailyn stand with the other finalists and wait for their names to be called. "Come on, come on, do this thing!" says Joshua. Jhailyn tries to tell herself it's OK if she doesn't do well. "I'm proud of myself and I think I've done my best. There's always next time," she says. Their names are announced: third place overall. They hug and grab their medals. "There is a lot of discipline in this sport. Everybody's got to be upright and proper. But they're still kids. When they get off the floor, they're back to regular kids," says Eddie Farcon. 36

American Dancer |

District Director Herb McGurk ALL PHOTOS BY: Jerry Hernandez

Lev & Natalina



What was Lev’s reactions when he heard he and Natalina had been selected? Lev opened his eyes wide. He jumped for joy and spun. When we came home, he told me that it was his dream and it was fulfilled. Was this a positive experience for everyone? Our family has never had such an experience. But I realized how great it is… memories came flooding back…why we opted for ballroom dancing. We overcame the difficulties, lessons, discipline, finding partners. Because ballroom is no ordinary sport. It’s really hard to find a talented partner whose parents can spend their time, energy and money for dancing. We re-lived the three years devoted to ballroom dance and realized how much progress we have made. Only after the filming, I realized that those were the happiest years of my life…This event allowed us to look at our kids through different eyes.

Pre-Show Interview. Lev & Natalina Goody Time. Natalina & Mom ChunYen, Lev, Jerry Hernandez, Herb McGurk, Mom Irina Khmeleva


What was Natalina’s reactions when she heard she and Lev had been selected? Natalina was very excited when I told her. Right away, she was asking what she should wear and what kind of dances she can perform for filming. She started telling her teachers and friends that she was going to be on TV. Was this a positive experience for everyone? Our whole family was there during this filming process….we were amazed by how Natalina answered some of the interview questions since we did not prepare her in advance at all. She really showed her passion on ballroom dancing and her great friendship and partnership with Lev. Natalina said now she understands it is not easy to be a “movie star,” especially when she had to dance with a microphone tied to her body. This has been a lifetime amazing experience for her and our family.

What was the most fun part for the children? Lev and Natalina finally got to have their play date at Lev’s home during the filming – the most fun part for the kids. At the USA Dance performance, the LA Chapter was very thoughtful and gave them a private dressing room in the back of the stage. They really felt like VIP stars. July-August 2014



Calvià (Mallorca), Spain


ased on placements at the National DanceSport Championships, USA Dance selects the top DanceSport couples in the Championship-level International divisions (Standard, Latin and 10-Dance) to represent the United States at upcoming WDSF World Championships, World Cups and World Games. For Latin competitors, Vladislav Kvartin & Amanda Herrschaft and Briant Leytman & Nino Dzneladze, there wasn’t much time to get ready for the Under-21 World Championship which was happening less than four weeks following Nationals. But the invitation to dance for the USA and travel to Calvià, Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain, was an opportunity not to be missed. American Dancer asked both couples to reflect on Calvià, competing against 63 couples representing 23 different countries.


Vladislav Kvartin & Amanda Herrschaft

17 out of 63

Briant Leytman & Dino Dzneladze

21 out of 63


Dancing together for one year. Ages 18 and 17. Coaches: Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Oxana Petukhova, Andrei Gavriline. USA Dance/WDSF Placements: Manhattan Amateur Classic 2014: 4th in Adult Championship Latin; USA Dance 2014 National DanceSport Championships: 2nd in Under-21 Championship Latin; 5th in Adult Championship Latin

AMERICAN DANCER: How did you prepare for the Under 21 World Championship in less than a month following Nationals? Vlad/Amanda: It was definitely a rush. But like our coaches always say, "there will never be enough time to prepare yourself for these major events." We just had to come out, try our best, showcase what we're good at, and truly believe in it. That's when our best comes out. AD: How did your World Championship performance compare to USA Dance Nationals? V/A: Being that it was our first world championship — individually and together — the experience was truly incredible and unforgettable. We believe that there is absolutely no comparison between Worlds and Nationals.


American Dancer |

Helmut Roland

The Under-21 in Calvià was a first World Championship experience for Vladislav Kvartin & Amanda Herrschaft.

Helmut Roland

Dramatic Paso Doble ending for Vladislav Kvartin & Amanda Herrschaft.

We worked extremely hard in the short period of time we had.

B/N: We feel it was more energetic. Just had fun on the floor.

AD: How did you feel about representing the USA at this event? V/A: It was an honor and privilege to be able to come out at the World Championships and represent USA. Holding the American flag was definitely a memorable moment that we will never forget. Also, reading the Oath in front of everyone made the experience that much more special.

AD: How did you feel about representing the USA at this event? B/N: Feels great to represent a country in a world event. Feels like your country is counting on you to give them a good name.

AD: Were you pleased with your results? V/A: We were happy with the results and believe that this was a good start to our international competitive career. We will see what happens next year. But for us, the sky is the limit and we're heading for the finals. AD: If you could dance the World Championship over, would you change anything? Prepare differently? V/A: Absolutely not. We thought the whole experience was exactly what we imagined. Our preparation was good. V: The timing was a little difficult for me personally, since I had a lot of work going on in college as well. However, I would not change the dancing experience at all. AD: What one moment for you in Calvià stands out over everything? V: Besides the real-time dancing that was very thrilling, it was also very exhilarating to meet couples from all over the world. After the competition, we were able to talk to the other competitors and learn about the culture of their training and their daily lives. Also, and foremost, when my friends, family and girlfriend were really happy for me about my performance.

AD: If you could dance the World Championship over, would you change anything? Prepare differently? B/N: Absolutely nothing.

In the zone at the WDSF World Under-21 Latin Championships are Briant Leytman and Nino Dzneladze.

A: One of the moments that stood out to me the most was definitely holding the American flag. I felt so proud and blessed to be able to represent my country. AD: In Calvià, you dance in a real sports arena. How does that compare to typical hotel settings in America. V/A: The biggest difference for us was the projection of energy. When it comes to hotels, the audience is so up close to the dancers that there is more freedom to interact and "play" around with them - making the entertainment level of the atmosphere feel more like a show rather than a competition. However, the sports arena felt strictly competitive and all about the competition for us. AD: For dancers who don’t understand what it’s like to be a DanceSport athlete, what would you like for them to better understand? V: The number one thing is the dedication and commitment

Helmut Roland

that goes into our dancing. You don't have to be talented at dancing to succeed. In fact, talent alone, is not going to get you far. The long hours of practice, travel, tears, pain and stress... IS what's going to make you succeed. Even though you might have school or other obligations in the way, if you want to be a DanceSport athlete, then you must figure it out and devote your full self, mentally and physically, to dancing.


Dancing together for 11/2 years. Both 17. Coaches: Nadia Eftedal and Johan Eftedal USA Dance/WDSF Placements: 2X USA Dance National Youth Latin Champions; USA Dance Under-21 National Champions

AMERICAN DANCER: How did your World Championship performance compare to USA Dance Nationals?

AD: You attended this event with another USA couple.Did you dance in the same heats? B/N: Yes we did…We don’t focus on other people during the competition, just in our own inner bubble focusing on our dancing. AD: In Calvià, you danced in an actual sports arena. How does it feel once you’re on the floor compared to typical hotel settings in America? B/N: We love the sports hall atmosphere! AD: What was your experience with competitors from other countries? B/N: We don’t talk to anyone when we are at the competition like this. AD: For those dancers who don’t understand what it’s like to be a DanceSport athlete, what is the most important thing that you’d like for them to understand and appreciate most? B/N: Appreciate the art of this sport. AD:Have you competed at other WDSF World Championships or Cups? B/N: Last year in Youth Latin Worlds Championships in Chengdu China. July-August 2014



Calvià (Mallorca), Spain


mong the World DanceSport Federation’s 92 member countries, the Senior IV standard division has quickly gained world acclaim and is reportedly the fastest growing age category. The WDSF decision to create the Senior IV World Championship division this year has been heralded by seniors worldwide, who welcome the opportunity to continue their sport and to join with like-minded peers whose lives are better served through dance. For the Open Senior IV Standard World Championships in Calvià (Mallorca), Spain, USA Dance selected James Kleinrath & Melody Singleton to represent the U.S. as result of their Senior IV Nationals placement. Senior III couple Winston & Lilly Chow, who just became eligible for Senior IV, decided to independently enter this open-to-the-world event, which expanded representation for the USA. As Winston Chow reflected: “In Calvià, Spain (on the island of Mallorca), there were a total of 104 couples, who danced the World Senior IV Standard Championships. Couples there represented some 15 different nations. The largest contingent, some 49 couples, were from Germany, followed by 23 couples from Italy. The Pavello Galatzo (a municipal auditorium just above the coastal town of Santa Ponsa) was a great venue with a larger than average competition dance floor. There was an air of excitement in the auditorium all day long, with loud cheers from the audience as competing couples danced on by.” Note: The WDSF, and hence USA Dance, Senior IV divisions require that one partner must be at least 65 years old in the competition year and the other partner must be at least 60.

America’s World Team at the Open Senior IV Standard World Championship: Winston Chow, Lilly Chow, James Kleinrath, Melody Singleton, all from California.


James Kleinrath & Melody Singleton Winston Chow & Lilly Chow

58 out of 104 tied 28-29 out of 104

“Senior DanceSport competitors today have become the proverbial role models for the entire ballroom dance industry, inspiring particularly the “new generations” of young dancers who, through witnessing the Seniors’ achievements, appreciate the actuality of how dance contributes a healthier, more purposeful life in the years ahead.” – Angela Prince, National PR Director


American Dancer |

Santa Ponca Coastline - Winston Chow


USA Dance/WDSF Titles: Senior IV 2013 National Champions in Standard and Smooth. 10X USA Dance National Champions.

AMERICAN DANCER: How did you prepare for your first-ever WDSF World Championship before adjudicators from so many countries? J&M: We prepared just as we would for any competition. We practice or take lessons six days a week. I always concentrate only on becoming the best dancer I can be. That is all I can do. I have no control over what the judges do, so I don’t even think about it.

J&M: The two U.S. couples scored in the middle range. There were many more Europeans than Americans. AD: Were you pleased with your performances there? Which dance was your strongest? J&M: Our performances were about the same as at local competitions. The Viennese Waltz went well. AD: Was the judging at the World Championship any different from competitions in the USA? J: It seemed the same to me.

AD: What memories linger from the Senior IV Standard World Championship? J&M: The competition was very well organized and run. Dancers from all over the world are participating and enjoying the same activity as we are. AD: What can you tell fellow competitors about the World Championship that makes it a worthwhile goal? J&M: Enjoy your dancing. • You will spend much more time practicing and taking lessons than competing. • Enjoy the pleasure of moving to music. • Enjoy the improvement in your technique. • Enjoy the interaction with your partner. • Share your feelings of accomplishment with your partner. This is so much more important than placement at any competition. AD: Any unexpected challenges in Calvià and how did you handle those? J&M: Actually, everything went pretty smoothly. Plan ahead as much as possible. Allow enough time (twice as much as you think necessary) to accomplish what you want to do. AD: What is the level of Senior IV Standard dancers at the World level and how did America compare?

James Kleinrath & Melody Singleton

Moondance Studios

Winston & Lilly Chow Helmut Roland


USA Dance/WDSF Titles: Finalists, USA Dance 2013 & 2014 Senior III Standard Championships

AMERICAN DANCER: How was the Senior IV competition different from previous World Championships you’ve attended? W&L: The key difference was the friendliness of the couples in attendance. It was a more mature, older crowd. Those who danced in our category were either retired, or were near retirement. While still being competitive in spirit, folks appeared to be a bit more circumspect about their outcomes. And hence, the atmosphere was more, to our minds, congenial. AD: What lasting memories were there about this event? W&L: What can we say? The Town of Santa

Ponsa in the District of Calvià, Mallorca was simply a gorgeous location on the Mediterranean. Weather was great. The competitions at the venue ran quite smoothly. And for our age level and expectation, we felt the joy of dance all around us. With these new older Senior categories being created, we believe that we CAN continue to compete and enjoy our dancing at a comfortable level for years to come. AD: Is the WDSF World Championships a worthwhile goal for seniors? W&L: Our answer is a definite YES. Dancing (as well as observing) the World Championships gives one a benchmark in terms comparison against other comparable world class dancers in a given age group. It inspires dancers to continue to learn and evolve in their technique, mechanics, and — above all — to develop their own persona within their style of dancing. AD: What were your shining moments on the dance floor in Calvià? W&L: We felt that our best attribute at this competition were our lines. More than a few times, our line figures drew applause from the audience and smiles from the judges. We felt that we danced as well as we could and were generally pleased with our performance. Our first round was the best. We were more relaxed with the Viennese waltz than before, and we had good energy with our quickstep. AD: Any reflections on the World Championship judging versus USA events? W&L: We know not how dancers are being specifically judged at these World Champion events. Although we wouldn’t think that they’re any different. If they are, we didn’t notice very much. However, we have observed that those couples who were elevated to successive rounds had increasingly stronger top lines and postures, even at the expense of quality of dancing. July-August 2014


DANCESPORT CALENDAR 2014-2015 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 Rocky Mountain Fall Competition ** (see note) Sep 20, 2014 Hosted by USA Dance Denver Chapter #5006 & USA Dance Seattle Chapter #1004 Denver Turnverein - Denver, CO Coolanta/Georgia DanceSport Amateur Competition ** (see note) Sep 21, 2014 Hosted by Georgia DanceSport Atlanta Ballroom Center, Sandy Springs, GA

October 2014 Carolina Fall Classic – 2015 NQE Oct 3 - 5, 2014 Organized by Wayne & Marie Crowder University Hilton - Charlotte NC WDSF Open Senior II Standard & Latin Oct 4, 2014 Events held at Carolina Fall Classic University Hilton – Charlotte, NC

Northwest DanceSport Championships – 2015 NQE Oct 11 - 12, 2014 Hosted by Portland, OR Chapter #1006 Tiffany Event Center – Portland, OR 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 Nov. 15, 2014 Hosted by NorCal Chapter #4004 San Jose City National Civic Center - San Jose, CA 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 Hosted by Greater New York Chapter #3004 Manhattan Center - Manhattan, NY Winter Frolic ** (see note) Jan 31, 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 WDSF Open Under-21 Standard & Latin, Adult Standard & Latin, Senior I, II, III & IV Standard, Senior I, II Latin Jan 30-31, 2015 Events held at SW Regional DS Championships Veterans Auditorium - Culver City, CA

February 2015

Mid-Atlantic Championships – 2015 NQE Feb 14 - 15, 2015 Hosted by Mid-Eastern Chapter #6001 North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center - Bethesda, MD

March 2015 NJ DanceSport Classic – Spring Fling ** (see note) Organized by Wendi Davies Rogers Dance Center – Hackensack, NJ (Note: Date to be announced) WDSF Adjudicator’s Congress at Nationals Mar 26, 2015 Event held at USA Dance 2015 National DanceSport Championships Renaissance Harborplace Hotel – Baltimore, MD Registration form must be completed by Mar 15. Contact: USA DANCE 2015 National DanceSport Championships Mar 27 – 29, 2015 Hosted by USA Dance National Renaissance Harborplace Hotel - Baltimore, MD

April 2015 Quest for the Best ** (see note) Hosted by Seattle Chapter #1004 The Verve Ballroom - Lynnwood, WA (Note: Date to be announced)

June 2015 NJ DanceSport Classic - Summer Sizzler – 2015 NQE Organized by Mario Battista & Wendi Davies Rogers DanceSport Center - Hackensack NJ (Note: Date to be announced) River City Ball ** (see note) Hosted by Portland Chapter #1006 Ballroom Dance Company – Portland, OR (Note: Date to be announced) Gumbo DanceSport Championships – 2015 NQE Hosted by Louisiana Gumbo Chapter #5031 Crowne Plaza - Baton Rouge LA (Note: Date to be announced)

NJ DanceSport Classic – Fall Frolic ** (see note) Oct 12, 2014 Organized by Wendi Davies Rogers Dance Center - Hackensack, NJ

Quest For The Best ** (see note) Hosted by Seattle Chapter #1004 The Verve Ballroom – Lynnwood, WA (Note: Date to be announced)

Event organizers may add events to the calendar by contacting Rog Greenawalt at

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. SPECTATOR TICKETS: Please contact the individual competition websites/organizers listed on the USA Dance website For USA Dance Nationals tickets, please contact Daphna Locker via CALENDAR DISCLAIMER: All USA Dance sanctioned and listed competition events and activities within this

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


American Dancer |

Ed Brennan & Cecilia Wang

Nathan Murstein & Nicole Sheiman

Photos by Steve Walters & Laurel Preston

In The Pacific NorthWest



uest For The Best” is an inspiring name for the Seattle Chapter 1004 DanceSport competition series, where scholarships are awarded to the winners based on their overall performance earned during three competitions during the year. These competitions are held in February, April and September (see DanceSport Calendar p 42). The origin of The Quests, as they are often called, dates back to 1987, when the Seattle Chapter organized its first Chapter-sponsored competition. Inspired by the “mini-comps” popular at the time in the U.K., the new format was designed to give dancers more competition floor time with prizes being small gestures of appreciation. At that time, paper award certificates and bags of cookies were the norm and well received. Over the years, the Seattle Chapter has gained extensive experience hosting one National Championship event and eight regional championships. Some things have evolved – scholarships, new divisions, more youth — but hosting the smaller chapter competitions has remained their best formula for success – and an essential tool for building and nurturing their growing competitor community.

James Lear & Olivia Ellis

Mark Your Calendars! The next Quest For The Best is Sept. 20th at The Verve Ballroom in Lynnwood, WA. For More Details:

According to Laurel Preston of the Seattle Chapter, there are very distinct benefits to hosting smaller competitions like Quest For The Best: • It is less expensive for the competitor ($20/person all-day entry fees) due to hosting in a studio location, rather than a hotel or arena, and needing fewer judges than what is required for an NQE. • The setting is friendly, less intimidating for newcomers and beginning competitors. • The competition series becomes an effective training ground to help competitors learn the ropes of costume requirements and competition in general, so that competitors are well prepared when they go to larger comps. • Competitors gain more frequent floor time since there are three competitions to enter. • The scholarship series concept encourages more participation. • A nd, by adding mixed proficiency events this year, more people can compete, and these events are helping to grow the competitor community. And The Quests in their Pacific NorthWest location attract Canadian competitors thus increasing the competition experience for all.

Youth Premier Team

July-August 2014




JUNIOR II LATIN Mar. 30, 2014

Moscow, Russian Federation


or Kinsley Lin & Michelle Yiu of San Francisco, it has been a whirlwind year since becoming USA Dance National Champions in 2013. Qualifying for three WDSF World Championships quickly became a lot of responsibility, and pressure, but with the right game plan and support from USA Dance, coaches and family, the dream of competing at the world level seemed achievable. For Dennis Matveev and Valerie Dubinsky of Boston, having qualified to also represent the USA at the WDSF Junior II Latin World Championship along with Kinsley & Michelle, formed a Dream Team for the USA and both couples headed to Moscow to compete this past March. Unfortunately, this WDSF World Championship was held the same weekend as the USA Dance 2014 Nationals in Baltimore, but USA Dance made the decision to reschedule Nationals for the Junior II WDSF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS Championships at the Gumbo DanceSport JUNIOR II LATIN Championships Kinsley Lin & 5 out of 67 National Qualifying Michelle Yiu Event in June. (At American Dancer Dennis Matveev & 32 out of 67 Valerie Dubinsky press time, this event had not been held.)

AD: How did you feel representing the USA at the World Championships? K&M: We felt honored to be representing our country at the World Latin Championships… it was all just an amazing experience! We are very grateful. AD: What was your greatest challenge dancing against the world’s best Junior II dancers? K: The greatest challenge was coping with the time difference. It was hard towards the end because we were tired, but in the end, we pulled it through. M: My greatest challenge was not to put myself down watching all the amazing dancing…But, I overcame this by reminding myself that I am well prepared for the World Championship, and that I was great in my own unique way. Encouragement from my coach and parents helped me strengthen my confidence. AD: Were you surprised at your 5th place in the finals? K: I believe that both Michelle and I were surprised that we placed 5th in the finals, because we didn’t expect it to make it that far. But we told ourselves that we could make it to the finals, and we did. AD: How did “the team” work together at the event? K: We had to dance in a different heat each dance. So, whenever Dennis and Valerie were on the floor, we would cheer them on and shout their names to give them a boost of energy.

Lisa Dubinsky

Grand Entrance. USA World Team.


American Dancer |

AD: What did you learn that will help you in the future? K: I learned that we have to be prepared no matter what.

Even if you don’t think you will make it to the finals…you have to train as if you’re going to make it to the finals, both physically and mentally M: I learned that I really have to fight for it, to show that I really want to do well at competitions. If I do not do my best, there is a chance that I will not make it to the next round. AD: What was your shining moment on the floor? M: Our absolute shining moment on the floor was dancing the final, because we were so excited that we just danced, and left all that we had on the dance floor. I feel that we especially shined during the solo presentations where each couple danced about 3045 seconds of samba…we just danced our hearts out. AD: Would the judges remember you for anything special? K: I personally think it would be our dazzling costumes and the way we danced. I felt although the first couple of rounds were rough, we mentally thought that we could make it. So even though our dancing wasn’t as great, we still looked like champions from the outside. M: I think that if the judges remembered me for anything, I think it would have been how I really connected with the audience and maybe even the judges.


AD: How did you feel about representing the USA at the Latin Worlds? D&V: We had felt extremely honored to be given the

Lisa Dubinsky

Kinsley Lin & Michelle Yiu

opportunity to represent the USA. We wanted to perform to the best of our ability to promote our country. It was amazing to see so many talented dancers and to compete on the same floor as the best partnerships in the world. AD: Did you make new friends at the competition? D&V: We were very fortunate to meet friends in the dance community in Moscow. They

Lisa Dubinsky

Dennis Matveev & Valerie Dubinsky

welcomed us at their studio and provided an opportunity to practice and learn. Most of the dancers and coaches were generous in their compliments and supported our practice. AD: What was the judging in Moscow like compared to U.S. competitions? D&V: The judging panel was extremely diverse, with representatives from all over the world. They placed

themselves all around the floor, making it easier for couples to get noticed. Also, the heats were changed every time; therefore, we felt we had fair chances every time we took the floor.

AD: What would the judges remember you for? D&V: For our fiery character in dance and the speed of performance. Our costumes were very stylish too.

AD: What was your greatest challenge dancing against the world’s best Junior II dancers? D&V: One of the greatest challenges was realizing that we were competing with the most amazing dancers. Many times we were tempted to stop and watch their phenomenal skills, but we had to show our best performance and stay very focused.

AD: What advice and support did your coach give to you that worked? D&V: Our coach Mariam Izmaylova was with us in Moscow. Her support was crucial. She helped us get ready, prepared us mentally, spoke to us after every round and… would always boost our energy before every dance.

AD: What did you learn from the World Championships for the future? D&V: We learned that placement on the floor and partnering skills are very important AD: What was your shining moment on the floor? D&V: When we heard our names and number from a group of other dancers who cheered for us…we were thrilled.


Maria Tam

Skimelis & Jurga Pupelyte

Shining Moment. Michelle, Vaidotas, Kinsley.

How would you describe Kinsley & Michelle’s performance at the WDSF Junior II Latin World Championship? One word – incredible. It was an unbelievable experience for them as dancers and for me as their coach. Just to be representing the U.S. is already a big achievement, but to be in the top five in the World is amazing. We had only two months to prepare for the World Championships. We were not expecting anything, but were focused and prepared to be dancing the best. Michelle and Kinsley were putting a lot of time and hard work before the Championship and I knew that

AD: What else would you like to say to USA Dance competitors about the events? D&V: Competing for the USA at a WDSF event is an unforgettable experience that encourages dancers to perfect their skills and reach for the stars. Our lives changed and could be clearly defined by this moment. It was the time that we decided to dedicate our every moment to our dance career.

fundamentals. They had very good connection as a couple, good energy…and you could see that they were having a great day. They were on fire!

What was the atmosphere like among competitors there?

they were ready. They danced five rounds total and they were better and better every round. That was the best they ever danced.

What did the adjudicators appreciate? Kinsley and Michelle looked outstanding from their grooming to their dancing. They were very consistent from round to round. They showed solid

The atmosphere was very competitive. Everybody looked prepared to battle. The level of the competition was very high.

Once in Moscow, how did you help them prepare to compete? We had only one day before the competition and from my experience I know that it’s very hard to dance with a time change. So we went to practice…. but it was easier the day of the competition.

July-August 2014


L of

egacies Dance


PIERRE DULAINE Transforming Young Lives Through Dance

By Patrice Tanaka


ancers understand the life-transforming nature of dance and many of us believe that if more people danced the world would be a more joyful place. Pierre Dulaine, four-time World Show Dance Champion (with his partner Yvonne Marceau), has actually made it his life’s mission to transform the lives of young children one step at a time through Dancing Classrooms. This wonderful non-profit, which inspired the award-winning documentary, “Mad Hot Ballroom,” the film, “Take the Lead,” starring Antonio Banderas, and, more recently, “Dancing in Jaffa,” brings ballroom dance into public elementary schools. “My childhood had a big impact on what I do now,” said Pierre. “I was painfully shy as a child. When I came to England from the Middle East at age 13, I spoke with an accent. I had half a tooth and kids made fun of me so I didn’t smile much. I only had a couple of friends and one of them suggested I take dance classes. I did and something stirred inside me. Suddenly, I was accepted through dance.” Dance totally changed Pierre’s life and he vowed to make it his career. At 18, he took his Associate’s Degree as a professional dancer. At 21, Pierre passed his three major exams in Ballroom, Latin and Old Tyme and became a full member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance. He soon went on to twice win the "Duel of the Giants" at the Royal Albert Hall in London and captured the "All England Professional Latin American Championship.” For the next few years, Pierre danced professionally in London, Paris, Nairobi (Kenya) and then signed on as cruise director of a ship traveling to the Caribbean. In 1972, he disembarked in New York City, planning to stay for two weeks and never left. Pierre got a job at an Arthur Murray Studio where he met Yvonne Marceau with whom he went on 46 American Dancer |

Pierre Dulaine

American Dancer Magazine has chosen Pierre Dulaine as a true legacy of dance, whose lifelong work — “giving children the gift of dance” – is among the dance world’s most revered contributions. From shy Middle Eastern child to World Show Dance Champion and later to inspired teacher, Pierre Dulaine’s journey has opened doors to hundreds of thousands of children and to an industry to follow in his footsteps. to win numerous awards and accolades, including the 1977, ’78, ’79 and '82 British Exhibition Championships. In 1984, Pierre and Yvonne started the American Ballroom Theater Company to bring ballroom dance productions to theatrical settings and performed across the U.S., Europe and the Far East. In 1989, Pierre and Yvonne joined Tommy Tune's Broadway show “Grand Hotel” for 2 ½ years. In 1994, Pierre, who never forgot the life-transforming experience of ballroom dance as a painfully shy 13-year old, began teaching it on a volunteer basis at a New York City elementary school. He wanted to use ballroom dancing as a “tool” to teach children critical life skills such as confidence, respect and teamwork. “At Dancing Classrooms, we refer to children as ‘young ladies and gentlemen’ and very shortly they begin to respond in that fashion,” Pierre said. According to Executive Director John Schultz, Dancing Classrooms is a Social and Emotional Learning program that has shown to enhance self-esteem, confidence and cooperation among children. The program that Pierre Dulaine started in one public elementary school on the West Side of Manhattan in 1994 has since helped to transform the lives of more than 400,000 children in 31 cities and five countries. These children are the true “legacy” of ballroom champion and Dancing Classrooms founder Pierre Dulaine.

Patrice Tanaka is an amateur ballroom dancer and author of “Becoming Ginger Rogers…How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner and Smarter CEO.” She’s also a trustee of Dancing Classrooms.

National Qualifying Events

USA Dance 2015 National DanceSport Championships


Ryan Kenner

Lawrence Shulman & Dakota Pizzi (NY) Adult Championship Standard Division 2014 Manhattan Amateur Classic

Non-Profit Standard Class U.S. Postage


Lebanon Junction, KY Permit #542

USA DANCE 2015 NATIONAL DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS Renaissance Harborplace Hotel Baltimore, MD March 27, 28, 29, 2015



Angus Sinclair & Dara Campbell (CA) from the Manhattan Amateur Classic National Qualifying Event for the Adult Championship Standard Division

American Dancer Magazine July-August 2014  
American Dancer Magazine July-August 2014