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January-February 2014

GIVING CHILDREN THE GIFT OF DANCE What’s Happening in America, from School Gyms to DanceSport Arenas.

Inspiration. Coming Full Circle.

Official publication of USA Dance Inc.

Official USA Dance National Sponsor

Ernest Borel Swiss Made since 1856

Cocktail Collection


January-February 2014 FEATURES

Chapter Anniversaries | 36 Arno Nadolny



President’s Message




Farewell Message


Socially Yours


Yang Chen, Newly Elected President of USA Dance

Action Report from USA Dance National

Special Letter from Past President Lydia Scardina Surviving Your First Dance

Carson Zullinger


Cover Story:


Masquerade Dance in America


A Dancer’s New Year’s Resolution


From Moscow With Love


USA Dance Chapters Come Of Age


On the Best Seller’s List


DanceSport GlobeTrotting


Kansas City Here We Come!


Chapter Highlights & Achievements


USA Dance 2014 DanceSport Calendar


In The Public Eye



By Angela Prince

Giving Children The Gift of Dance By Angela Prince, Barbara Wally & Others

The Art of Deceptive Fun. By Angela Prince

An Interview With WDSF Judge Wayne Crowder

Annual Road Trip

National Collegiate DanceSport Championships By Shawn Fisher & Ken Richards

Legacies of Dance

Tribute to Sam Sodano By Sharon Savoy


Chicago, Chicago, Our Kind of Town!

25 The Eye of the Beholder Capturing the Essence of Dance in Photography

January-February 2014

GIVING CHILDREN THE GIFT OF DANCE What’s Happening in America, from School Gyms to DanceSport Arenas.

Create Your Joy Calendar By Patrice Tanaka

Celebrating 10, 20 and 30-Year Anniversaries!

Dancing With Wives (and Husbands) By Angela Prince

JetSet or JetLag for Taras Savitskyy & Tatiana Seliverstova?

FRONT COVER: National Junior II Champions Kinsley Lin and Michelle Liu (NorCal Chapter - San Francisco) recently placed 12th overall at the WDSF Junior II Standard World Championship in Moscow. Capturing their quickstep leap, Photo Credit: Elena Anashina. BACK COVER: USA Dance 2014 National DanceSport Championships returns to Baltimore, March 28 – 30, 2014. In the Spotlight are Brian Luhman & Alexis Koda at the Chicago DanceSport Challenge NQE Photo Credit: Alex Rowan/DanceSport Photography

Inspiration. Coming Full Circle.

Official publication of USA Dance Inc.

January-February 2014


regular contributors ANGELA PRINCE

Public Relations Director (non-voting)

January-February 2014

Official Publication of USA Dance, Inc.

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

2014/Issue 46

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: President – Yang Chen, NY Vice President – Shawn Fisher, ID Secretary – Greg Warner, MN Treasurer – Michael Brocks, PA VP, DanceSport - Ken Richards, DE VP, Social Dance - Jean Krupa, FL


Social Vice President (voting)


Jean Krupa is the Social Vice President for USA Dance, Inc., and is serving her second three-year term of office, effective Jan. 1, 2014. 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 Art Director/Production Fabi Preslar/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 is included in annual membership dues. Subscription cost to non-members: $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 600 dpi) and American Dancer retains all first-usage rights to submitted photographs/ digital images. PUBLISHER’S OFFICE: AF Prince Associates 11101 Robert Bost Road Midland, NC 28107 704-888-3073

CENTRAL OFFICE: Mary Schauffert at 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. Twitter @usadanceinc

LinkedIn USA Dance Inc. YouTube usadanceinc

USA Dance Chapter websites and Facebook pages are listed at


American Dancer |


DanceSport Vice President (voting) Ken Richards is the DanceSport Vice President for USA Dance, Inc, and is serving his third three-year term of office, effective Jan. 1, 2014. As head of the DanceSport Council, he is responsible for all DanceSport programs, including athlete relations and educational opportunities, the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships, the National Collegiate DanceSport Championships, all sanctioned and listed USA Dance regional and National Qualifying Events, USA Dance University and all industry DanceSport relations. He also serves as an elected Presidium member of the World DanceSport Federation of which USA Dance is a member organization.

USA DANCE, Inc. is the National Governing Body for DanceSport in the United States as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee and the World DanceSport Federation. With more than 160 local chapters, approximately 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 promote the quality and quantity of ballroom dancing in America.


resident’s Message


et me begin by thanking everyone who voted in the 2013 USA Dance election. It was the first time to my knowledge -- in my 25 years as a member -- that over 1,000 votes were cast. This historic turnout underscored for me and my running mates just how passionately our members feel about USA Dance, its direction and its future.

Joey Pasaoa

for their many years of commitment and service to USA Dance and for the valuable contributions they have made.

Before pondering where we are going, let us consider where we have been. As a lifelong resident of New York City, I often find myself in Grand Central, one of the city’s most prominent landmarks. In 2013, Grand Central celebrated its centennial. In 2015, USA Dance will hit its own milestone when it reaches the half century mark.

The New Year beckons ahead along with many tasks and challenges facing a new leadership team. I look forward to working with Shawn Fisher, Michael Brocks and Greg Warner as the new crop of National Officers. We have worked well together to get elected as a team, and we fully intend to expand that spirit of teamwork and cooperation into the Executive Committee, across the Governing Council and extending to our Area Coordinators and chapter leaders. We seek to engage all of our leaders and members to create a nationwide community of dancers.

Milestones remind us of those who preceded us. In that vein, we remember and celebrate the leaders that helped to build and shape USA Dance over the decades. We cannot have come this far without their vision, dedication and volunteerism. In more recent times, Lydia Scardina, Bill Rose and Esther Freeman as the outgoing National Officers perpetuated this legacy of leadership, and we thank them

Just as Grand Central brings together people from all across the United States and the globe, our new leadership team working in collaboration with all our national, regional and chapter leaders can make USA Dance into Dance Central, serving all our members and dancers in the broader dance community, creating a vibrant hub for dancers everywhere, buzzing with activity, ideas and movement.

Join the team. Help Us Take USA Dance into the Next Half Century.

Yang Chen

National President USA Dance, Inc. Newly-elected National President Yang Chen has been a member of USA Dance since 1989. He has been an active board member of the Greater New York Chapter since 1994, during which time he helped to organize the Manhattan Amateur Classic NQE. Outside of USA Dance, Yang serves as executive director of the Asian American Bar Association of New York.

January-February 2014


Milestones January-February 2014



What’s Happening in America, from School Gyms to DanceSport Arenas.

New Design, Exciting New Direction! American Dancer Magazine has been the official publication of USA Dance since the 1980s. Before the internet it was the organization’s sole means of mass communication. In the early days it was called Amateur Dancers and it was primarily black & white. Over the years, and particularly when USABDA (the United States Amateur Ballroom Dancers Association) changed its name and industry role to become USA Dance, Inc., the magazine became American Dancer, reaching not only 20,000+ members but gaining an increased outreach throughout the ballroom industry and the general public. Now, because of the new communications technologies, American Dancer is on radar with dancers around the world who connect to us via the internet and social media. But, with this expanded presence comes increased responsibility and new, evolving changes in perspective. American Dancer’s January-February 2014 issue marks the official launch of this exciting new lifestyle magazine format…after all, dance is a lifestyle, whether for social, sport, career or business reasons. American Dancer will publish six times a year and is currently 48 pages. With 160+ chapters representing social dancers throughout America and as the National Governing Body for DanceSport in the United States, USA Dance embarks on this new direction to cover

Inspiration. Coming Full Circle.

Official publication of USA Dance Inc.

a greater diversity and depth of topic appealing to both social and competitive dancers as well as affiliates. The future for American Dancer and USA Dance is very bright. And with continued support from our readers, we can expand our magazine print version to include an online version. Thank you for your suggestions and guidance. Email inquiries to Publisher/Editor Angela Prince at or the Central Office at NOTE: To subscribe to American Dancer Magazine or view archived copies, please visit the USA Dance website American Dancer is a complimentary subscription for active-status members of USA Dance.

USA DANCE TURNS 50 IN 2015 – TIME TO CELEBRATE! By Angela Prince Many historic events have defined American History in the 1960s – from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the War in Vietnam and campus unrest, and the Civil Rights Movement to the first U.S. space walk, the arrival of the Beatles and the start of Social Security. Historians have called this time in American history its Turning Point. President Lyndon B. Johnson defined Americans as the “Great Society.” Historians have also noted that out of times of great difficulty inevitably grows society’s focus to find balance –


and people turn their focus to enriching activities such as sports, entertainment, music and dance. It was during this era that USA Dance, Inc. found its beginning as the United States Amateur Ballroom Dancers Association (aka USABDA). The year was 1965 and its leadership sought to unite people through dance and through dance enrich lives. In 2015, The “great society” of ballroom dancers will celebrate their 50th anniversary – from humble beginnings, USA Dance has come of age!

American Dancer |

Chapters are encouraged to start their homework and plan a year-long celebration of USA Dance. Every chapter has its milestones. Several have recently reached their decade-anniversaries – those reporting so far are Nor Cal (30), Daytona (20), Derby City (20), Dallas (10) and Los Angeles (10). Please write to the USA Dance Central Office at to get started. The USA Dance 50th Anniversary can be like a National Ballroom Dance Week, all year long!

FAREWELL MESSAGE FROM LYDIA SCARDINA As this message reaches you, my term of office as National President of USA Dance concluded on Dec. 31, 2013. I have been deeply honored to serve as your president for the past four years, and on January 1st , I will be joining my colleagues as the newest member of the National Past Presidents Council of USA Dance. In looking back over my term of office as National President, I am proud of a number of accomplishments and milestones. Here are some of the highlights: In 2010, USA Dance organized a successful WDSF Adult World Latin Championship in New York City. In 2011, the Governing Council made the difficult but necessary decisions to begin Lydia T. Scardina the process of placing our members into a new on-line membership system and using funds that had been previously allocated to the popular, but unsuccessful chapter rebate program, in order to upgrade both the national and chapter websites. In 2012, USA Dance was successful in overturning the WDSF’s banning of athletes and officials who participated in competitions outside the WDSF. This was made possible by joining forces with like-minded countries led by the efforts of our own VP of DanceSport Ken Richards, as well as through the legal assistance I was able to obtain from the U.S. Olympic Committee in support of USA Dance’s position on this issue. In 2013, USA Dance further cemented its relationship with the USOC by holding its first-ever Olympic Training DanceSport Camp for our Junior World Team members and alternates at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY. All of the above activities were accomplished because the members of the Governing Council work as a team, and I would like to thank each and every member of that team for the services they have rendered to our organization. Most especially, I would like to thank the two outgoing Corporate Officers Esther Freeman and Bill Rose for their thousands of volunteer hours over the years in support of USA Dance and its chapters. We all owe them a debt of gratitude. I will look forward to continuing my association with our fine organization for many years to come, and as a member of the National Past Presidents Council, I will attend Governing Council meetings and National Championships on a regular basis and plan to begin work for the benefit of USA Dance in my new capacity. Again, thank you to all our members for the honor of allowing me to serve as your National President.

Lydia T. Scardina USA Dance Outgoing National President Serving from Dec. 1, 2009 to Dec.31, 2013



USA Dance proudly announces three brand new Chapters have been organized and approved to officially join the USA Dance Network! IOWA CORRIDOR #2100 – Serving Iowa City, Coralville & North Liberty, IO MOHAWK VALLEY, NY #3066 – Serving Utica, Rome and Ilion, NY TRI-STATE ALLEGHANIES #6121 – Serving Garrett & Alleghany Counties in MD, Monongalia County in WV and Somerset County in PA


“The national past presidents, because of their length of service to USA Dance, are in a unique position to provide a historical perspective on USA Dance programs and activities. As the newest member to join the Past Presidents’ Council, I am looking forward to joining our four other past presidents, in becoming involved in a variety of projects in the coming years, and advocating for necessary initiatives, in order to make USA Dance an ever more successful organization.” – Lydia Scardina Immediate Past President USA Dance, Inc. January-February 2014


Milestones NEXT WDSF ADJUDICATOR’S CONGRESS – MARCH 27 IN BALTIMORE THE WORLD DANCESPORT FEDERATION has made a commitment to the athletes and the sport to provide educated, experienced, and unbiased adjudication to further the standards of our sport. In the U.S., the next WDSF Adjudicator’s Congress will be held Thursday, March 27 at 1:00 PM, at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, Baltimore, MD. The event will take place the Thursday before USA Dance National DanceSport Championships are held (March 28-30). Requirements. WDSF Adjudicator Candidates are required to attend two Adjudicator’s Congress before submitting their credentials/background to the DSC for approval. Once the candidate is approved by the DSC, they are submitted to the WDSF for final approval. WDSF Adjudicators must attend a Congress every two years. Exams are given to each WDSF Adjudicator after attending the Congress. WDSF Adjudicator’s marks are scrutinized and records kept as to the accuracy of their marks at WDSF events. For further info contact, please contact Wayne Crowder, Professional Certification Chair, 336-623-4961 or write to USA Dance is the USA member organization of the World DanceSport Federation.


Children who are exposed to ballroom dancing, at any age, have received a very special gift that if nurtured and protected will become a rewarding lifelong activity -- whether they dance for recreation or competitively -- so long as they’ve danced for joy. Please help USA Dance bring the gift of dance to children in our chapters and in our communities. Our K-12 Development Program and Athlete Training & Development Programs need your help. Remember that your membership dues and other donations, whether time or money, are the first steps in a child’s “syllabus for life”. MAKE YOUR DONATIONS TODAY! Call our Central Office at 1-800-447-9047 or Donate Online at


American Dancer |

WDSF Certified Adjudicators in the USA are also professional members of USA Dance. Event organizers of the USA Dance National Qualifying Events and other USA Dance-listed competitions are encouraged to consider the services of the following 18 certified WDSF Adjudicators based in the USA. Didio Barrera Dan Calloway J. Wayne Crowder William Davies Randall Deats Melissa Dexter Rufus Dustin Shawn Fisher Anya Klimova-Preston

Stephan Krauel Claudia Marshall Spencer F. Nyemchek Inez S. Sahlin Renata Shvarts Zack Stevens Darya Sushko Keith Todd Glenn Weiss


To improve the quality and the quantity of ballroom dancing in the United States USA Dance, Inc. is the National Governing Body for DanceSport in the United States and with 160+ chapters throughout the country represents and supports at the grassroots level, social and recreational ballroom and latin dancing. USA Dance is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, approved by the Internal Revenue Service, and authorized to seek and accept donations to support its promotional and educational programs. USA Dance Inc is proudly the official USA member organization of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), which is the official global member organization of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In collaboration with the WDSF and its 90+ member countries, USA Dance has the supporting mission to support DanceSport’s mission to gain acceptance as a medal sport in the Olympic Games. Important USA Dance programs include support and establishment of local chapters, financial and training support of athletes, organization and regulation of DanceSport competitions, and support to special community dance programs involving Special Olympics, children and seniors. For more information:


For The Three-Year Term 2014 - 2016 AS A DEMOCRATIC MEMBERSHIP ORGANIZATION, USA Dance, Inc. elects national officers for its Executive Committee of the Governing Council and DanceSport Council delegates every three years. And 2013 proved to be a highly contested election year for the new term which began Jan.1, 2014. For the first time, members had the opportunity via social media to hear the candidate’s platforms and pose questions directly, although only 347 members joined the Facebook Elections Forum page for the discussions. The Executive Secretary position and two USA Dance vice president positions - DanceSport and Social - were unopposed in the election; all other Executive Committee positions were contested and voted upon by the general membership, who submitted official ballots by mail to the Elections Committee, chaired by Phil Sisk of the Richmond, VA Chapter, who supervised the official Teller Committee, who verified and counted all ballots, later ratified by the Executive Committee. The membership also voted to accept or deny the proposed Bylaw Changes of January 1, 2013. The Governing Council’s appointed Director positions will be announced in the next issue of American Dancer magazine. For the three-year term 2014-2016, the new Executive Committee and DanceSport Council delegates were determined from 997 verified ballots, representing approximately 7% of the 14,188 members eligible to vote. Approximately 13% of eligible DanceSport members voted and 6% of Inna Brayer eligible Social members voted. RESULTS IN NUMBERS President Yang Chen Lydia Scardina 

Yang Chen

Shawn Fisher

Greg Warner

Michael Brocks

Ken Richards

Jean Krupa

Scott Coates

Roger Greenawalt

Taras Savitskyy

Vice President of Social Dance: Jean Krupa 515 (Elected) 637 (Elected) 316

Senior Vice President: Shawn Fisher Bill Rose

609 (Elected) 336

Treasurer: Michael Brocks  Esther Freeman

587 (Elected) 361

Secretary: Greg Warner

856 (Elected)

Vice-President of DanceSport: Ken Richards 296 (Elected) DanceSport Council: Scott Coates Roger Greenawalt Inna Brayer Taras Savitskyy Edward Golbert

271 (Elected) 266 (Elected) 258 (Elected) 198 (Elected) 186

Approval of January 1, 2013 Bylaws: Yes734 (Passed) No 89

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE President – Yang Chen Vice President – Shawn Fisher Secretary – Greg Warner Treasurer – Michael Brocks Dancesport VP – Ken Richards Social VP – Jean Krupa DANCESPORT COUNCIL Inna Brayer Scott Coates Roger Greenawalt Taras Savitskyy January-February 2014


NATIONAL CHAPTER CONFERENCE 2014 “HAND IN HAND, TOGETHER WE CAN” March 6-9, 2014 – Hilton Irvine/Orange County, CA

Hosted By USA Dance Chapters Los Angeles, Orange County & Inland Empire.





“ Protecting Our 501c3 NonProfit Exempt Status – A Must For Chapter Treasurers”



“ The Power of Effective Recognition – Retaining Volunteers Through This Simple Process”

Additional Presenters and Classes To Be Announced.


“ Chapter Web Marketing Program – Explore Best Practices and Strategies for the Available Tools under the National Web Marketing Program, Including New Member Lead Generation”


Other Conference Details: Q&A SESSION: MEET THE NEWLY ELECTED NATIONAL OFFICERS. President Yang Chen VP Shawn Fisher Secretary Greg Warner Treasurer Michael Brocks



Evening dinner dances & performances planned every night.



“ Grow Your Membership, Recruit and Retain – Others Have Done It and You Can Too”


“ The New American Dancer Magazine – New Directions & Opportunities” “Maximizing Public Relations Strategically For Your Chapter – It’s Showtime!” “The Social Media Mixer – Good Partners, Bad Partners & Three-Quarter Timing”



“ Conflict of Interest Policy Case Studies – How Chapters Should Disclose and Manage Conflicts.

Both Days $195 total, includes meals. One Day Only (Fri or Sat) $105, includes meals.


To help defray costs, one member from each chapter is allotted a 50% reimbursement from National toward their travel expenses. Each USA Dance Area Coordinator is able to qualify chapters in need and award one scholarship per District.


Visit today for complete hotel and venue information. Or write to Jean Krupa at

The USA Dance Chapter Conference is organized annually by the Social Dance Events Calendar of USA Dance; Jean Krupa, National Social Dance VP. 10

American Dancer |

Prince of Gymnastics and Olympic medalist Marcel Nguyen named as Global Ambassador of Ernest Borel In 2012 and 2013, Ernest Borel was proud to be the national sponsor of USA Dance National Championships and Qualifying events.

Authentic icon of fashion and elegance, Marcel Nguyen will spread the romantic style and classicism of Ernest Borel all over the world. Marcel’s performances and status in the international sport field are greatly acclaimed. However, he not only excels on gymnastic carpets Since 1856, the Swiss watchmaker from the Jura Moun- but also fascinates the global fans with his handsome tains in Switzerland built his success and fame thanks to outlook and charming smile. an implacable work ethic and attention to details in order to produce timepieces acclaimed for their quality and precision. Each watch manufactured in Ernest Borel’s workshop is the result of more than one and a half century of traditions and perfection in watchmaking that allowed Ernest Borel to win numerous prizes and awards. In fall 2013, Ernest Borel was proud to announce the nomination of its new Global Ambassador. As Olympic Medalist, German born “Prince of Gymnastics” Marcel Nguyen personifies the values dear to Ernest Borel and USA Dance. Precision, movement, timing, passion and harmony separate the virtuosity from the common. The inch-perfect precision with which Marcel performs all manner of difficult moves are in the same vein as Ernest Borel's sophisticated watchmaking art and USA Dance athlete strive for perfect synchronization and elegance.

At the 2012 London Olympic Games, worldwide rising star Marcel Nguyen collected the third all-round gymnastic medal for Germany since 1936. Just like in dancing and watchmaking, his dedication, grace, passion and skills were the keys to success to reach the summits of Mount Olympus.

The German star of gymnastics will embody the leading role in the promotion of Ernest Borel’s Retro Collection, showing the world the outstanding watches designed by the Swiss quality timepieces manufacturer. In order to pay a tribute to the common values shared by Ernest Borel, Dancing and Gymnastics, a limited edition of the Retro Collection will be produced with only 1,000 pieces in number; its case is engraved with Marcel’s signature. An exclusive design inspired by classicism, latest trends and fashion will feature a dual time zone dial powered by a Swiss automatic TT651 caliber.

Emphasizing the nostalgic elegance, the passion and precision, Ernest Borel and Marcel Nguyen celebrate the values shared by watchmaking, gymnastics and dancing, as a tribute to their own history.



Giving children

over Story

the gift of ance in America

Marina Avnet

Tyler & Anjelica

Samantha & Maxwell

USA DANCE™ KIDZ USA Dance announces

Nurturing the next generation of dancers

By Barbara Wally

USA Dance K-12 Development Director


SA Dance’s new dance education program for school-enrolled children -- USA Dance Kidz – is designed to provide instructional and organizational support to local USA Dance Chapters and community volunteers who are interested in nurturing the next generation of ballroom and latin dancers. The need for dance programs is more prevalent than many communities may realize. Some communities may have no formalized dance instructional resources at all. There are schools without liberal arts funding or had dance eliminated from their programs. The benefit to many communities who become involved in USA Dance KIDZ is affordability and accessibility to quality resources. USA DANCE KIDZ utilizes local volunteers and professional resources


American Dancer |

Carson Zullinger

and is readily adaptable to the needs and unique circumstances of each community. USA Dance Kidz will provide essential teacher training, continuing education and course materials, as well as the important planning and promotional support needed to successfully launch and sustain the program. Dancing doesn’t have to stop when the bell ends each day. Students who have completed in-school dance programs often want to continue learning dance after school. Yet they often can’t find or can’t afford private lessons. While some students may choose to pursue dancesport athlete activities, for others they are just interested in dancing for fun -- the social, physical, and mental benefits can be life changing for them. How can chapters get involved? The local chapter would first contact USA Dance Central Office to express interest and to obtain the introductory materials. Once registered in the program, the chapter would identify potential target schools and recruit volunteer support for the program. Volunteer resources would include chapter members who dance, local dance instructors if available, as well as educators, other students, parents and grandparents and target school staff members. And, as an added benefit, volunteers may find their own dance knowledge and proficiency will improve they complete the training program and as they share their love and talent for dance with others. USA Dance Kidz educational materials are in development and will include a written syllabus for ballroom and latin dances, a teaching video of the various dances and music selections appropriate for children. USA DANCE KIDZ™ is a trademark of USA Dance, Inc.

“Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.” – Garrison Keillor, Leaving Home

Teaching Children

Natalina & Lev

TO DANCE American Dancer question: “At what age can children be introduced to ballroom/latin dancing and at what age can children begin competing?”

John Elsbury. FL Instructor. “I started teaching my two boys seriously at the age of five when they were able to understand the difference between left and right…Obviously at five years old their ability to concentrate is limited so I started with fifteen minute lessons and a real emphasis on FUN. The learning of patterns was secondary to having fun and feeling movement to the music. I have found that children below this age benefit enormously from ballet classes where they can learn to enjoy music and using their body to express that joy.” Redolph Renoire. TX Instructor. “As soon as they understand left and right!” Christine Lys. CA Mom “We have 2 boys, ages 9 & 6, and have started them this year in classes. But I wonder how parents make ballroom/latin more exciting than soccer and electronics for boys?”

Joshua Brownlie. PA Instructor. “…A dancer introduced too young may become discouraged and a dancer introduced too late may find themselves continuously trying to catch up to their constituents. It is most definitely a balancing act.” Dean Abraham. FL Instructor. “There are many barriers already in place for children. I believe that if we were able to develop a system to make dance more affordable for all children, and from that provide the possibility to develop further for them to compete that would be amazing. Age should be no barrier at all.”


YOUTH DANCE PROGRAM According to Chapter President John Davis, the Orlando Chapter has an extensive youth dance program involving four high schools, two colleges, one Montessori School and several dance studio youth classes. They have secured a substantial Youth-Student Grant Fund from which aid is given to the schools and youth groups – scholarships and cash awards at competitions. Shayanne & Talon

Irina Suvorov. CA Instructor. “Children can be introduced to ballroom/ latin dancing at very early age and they can even dance at the comp at 4-5 y/o. But competitive feeling wakes up a bit later by 7-8 y/o or even 9-10. If it’s one of the recommendations for parents: start them early but don’t push till they’re ready.” Judi Chapman


Inna Brayer & Dance Kids

The World DanceSport Federation assurance: Getting gradually exposed to competing at local, national and international levels, young athletes in DanceSport progress at a pace which is closely monitored by coaches and officials. Separate competition rules and dress codes are enforced for Juvenile/ Pre-Teen and Junior grades to avoid overtaxing children and young adolescents both physically and mentally, and to impose clear restrictions on their costuming.

Much like in many other sports, athletes start to approach maturity, in terms of their sporting development, in the Youth grade (16 to 18 years), where they compete under rules which are virtually identical to those for adults. WDSF produced a three-part video at the 2008 World Championship for Youth in 2008, providing excellent insights into the Y/Z Generation’s commitment to DanceSport, and it allows for an assessment of the proficiency levels young athletes are able to reach.

January-February 2014



Giving children

“Every child needs a champion.”

the gift of ance in America

– Hillary Rodham Clinton




s part of its continuing involvement with youth and the community, the Richmond VA Chapter successfully partnered in October with The Riverside School in a 5K fundraising walk called Tread-athon, which was held at the Chesterfield Town Center Mall in Chesterfield, VA, for the sole purpose of increasing dyslexia community awareness. The 2013 Tread-a-Thon event registered more than 270 walkers, including USA Dance members, who helped raised $16,800 for the program.

How the Richmond Chapter became a contributing partner. The Chapter’s goal was simply to integrate ballroom dancing into the TreadA-Thon event as a post-walk wrap-up: all participants were invited to gather back at the main stage area to celebrate their success and enjoy ballroom and latin dance exhibitions. The invitation was popular and approximately 250 people attended. The volunteer dancers included Phyllis Harris, professional dance instructor also instructor at Riverside

Riverside School dance class

School; Lynne Wagner and Bill Irwin, co-owners of the Dance Space; and Harry Salvat, Bill Busch, Marlene Pascarella, Karen Anderson and Gabe Pascarella. Chapter board members Ginny Engler,

Connie Nelms, Karen Anderson and Bruce Ripley were on hand throughout the event to interact with the attendees to tell them more about the joy and benefits of ballroom dancing.

From Facebook Chat to Real Voice

JUNIOR ATHLETES DANCESPORT ASSOCIATIO GAINS USA DANCE SUPPORT By Todd Kirrane What started as an informal group on Facebook became a game-changing movement within DanceSport within the United States. In one year, a Facebook chat group, created with just a handful of New York and New Jersey-based parents of junior athletes, grew into hundreds of members from throughout the country – including parents, coaches, studio owners, and officials who cared about the future of junior DanceSport within the United States. This group became the Junior Athletes

DanceSport Association, commonly known as JADA. From the very beginning, JADA has enjoyed the support of and been strategic partners with USA Dance, led in most part by DanceSport VP Ken Richards and Nationals Organizer Daphna Locker. With their early and continued support and through the tireless efforts of JADA’s six officers and wide base of volunteers and supporters, this volunteer organization has dedicated itself to providing junior athletes a voice in DanceSport. Sean & Valerie


American Dancer | Lisa Dubinsky at NEDSC

Maria Manusova & Eugene Katsevman were the USA Dance 11-Time National Latin Champions

COMING FULL CIRCLE Champions Inspiring the Next Generation of Champions

By Angela Prince


elebrating an unprecedented 20year dance career, Eugene Katsevman and Maria Manusova, from Brooklyn, will always be best-known in USA Dance circles as our 11-time undefeated United States National Amateur Latin Champions. But before retiring from competition just a few years ago, they also became multiple-times World and British Open Amateur Finalists, Professional Latin World and British Open Finalists, WDSF Grand Slam Champions and WDSF World Games Gold Medal Winners. Like so many young dancers today, Eugene and Maria met as juniors and had ambitions of being professional dancers. They had unconditional family support, and there were coaches who made a difference in their careers. They also created at an early age a partnership and friendship that formed their foundation. Yet, competition wasn’t the dream’s end for Eugene and Maria. One important dream remained, unfulfilled. So in 2011, they formed their studio Brooklyn DanceSport Club, in the heart of where they began,. It was time to complete the circle – to teach the next generation of dancers and champions, “helping them reach their full potential,” they said. When did you realize that you would become champions? Was it your dream or did it just evolve? E&M: We always dreamed of making a career in dance, but never planned on being champions per se. We lived and breathed dance from the very beginning, and after winning Under 21 British Open Championship in 1998, we dedicated ourselves full time to our dream of becoming professional dancers.

Courtesy of Brooklyn DanceSport Club

Is it easy or difficult being a role model for dancesport kids coming through your tutelage and guidance? E&M: We don’t give that too much thought to be honest. We just do what we do, and if we happen to inspire some people in the process, that’s great. At the end of the day, when and how do you know that you made a difference in your young dancers’ lives? E&M: We do our best to help them find joy in their dancing, as corny as that may sound. Because we believe that the results and everything else comes from being happy on the dance floor.

Thomas Chu

Children & youth classes at Brooklyn DanceSport Club.

What are your goals for this teaching stage of your career? E&M: Our goal is to offer dancers something we didn’t really have as competitors. A nurturing, supportive atmosphere, that caters to their every need and helps them become the best that they can be. Our doors are open for everyone, whether it’s just for one lesson, a practice session, or a dance lifetime.

How have your students fared in competitions this year? E&M: Our pupils have had many outstanding results this past year, but those are not the only benchmarks by which we measure success. Every obstacle overcome, every special performance, every breakthrough, every step forward is a success, and we’re proud of all of them. What is important, of real value, when teaching children to dance? E&M: What people should remember is that teaching is a responsibility and a privilege that bears profound consequences on people’s lives, and it should not be taken lightly. January-February 2014



Lavish Celebrations and Social Deception


istorically, the most famous lover of Masquerade was perhaps Marie Antoinette and the French aristocracy. Once a year, the aristocrats would attend their annual masquerade ball, dressed in elaborate costumes and masks to hide their true identities, so that they could remain anonymous and break the strict social rules that governed their class. Etiquette would be tossed aside for revelry and secrecy until the Midnight Reveal, or grand unmasking. Traditional masquerade dances had three requirements – masks, music and dancing – all designed to limit conversation, hide identities, and encourage uninhibited social interaction through dance. History of the Venetian Masquerade Ball and Carnivale dates back to 11th century, peaking in the 18th century. The Venetian Carnivale was held annually in February in Venice, Italy and was a street celebration with masked balls, street entertainers and elaborate costumes and masks. The Venetian Masquerade has been popularized in literature, movies and plays such as “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Mask of the Red Death,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Casanova.” Once masked balls moved into England, the Venetian-style costuming changed. When it crossed over to America, there was an anti-masquerade movement that didn’t rekindle with exuberance until the 1990s. Celebrating Mardi Gras. America’s Resurgence of Masquerade. Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) is one of America’s greatest cultural celebrations, occurring the day before Lent’s Ash Wednesday. It is also the last day of Carnival (a word derived from ‘carnevale’, which actually means ‘goodbye meat.”) It can occur anytime between February 3 and March 9 and is always 47 days before Easter (40 days of Lent plus seven Sundays).


American Dancer |

New Orleans, aka The Big Easy = Mardi Gras. And every year, a million-plus visitors migrate to New Orleans to celebrate, listen to the best of jazz, dance in the streets and clubs, over-indulge and return home with great photos and bragging rights. There are more than 60 parades in the 12 days preceding Mardi Gras, a legal holiday. There are also many grandiose private masquerade and tableau balls to discover, usually sponsored by the Mardi Gras’ many non-profit clubs – called krewes. Newer krewes have replaced the bal masques with elaborate supper dances at the fine hotels. (Check out Mercedes-Benz Superdome and Morial Convention Center.) But Mardi Gras is not just a New Orleans celebration. For some, it’s simply an excuse to celebrate throughout America. Celebrations on the map include Mobile, AL - the oldest carnival celebration; St. Louis - the biggest Mardi Gras outside of New Orleans; Galveston, TX – just considered famous; Port Arthur, TX - called the most family-friendly…and rivaled by Orlando and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

If MARDI GRAS Is On Your Bucket List…


If you’ve never been to a New Orleans Mardi Gras and it’s on your bucket list…you don’t want to just show up. You’ll want to find best of Mardi Gras festivals, dance and music hot spots. Since 95% of the hotels book out early, you’ll want to research this now:

QUADRILLE BALL. NYC. January 25, 2014 (8:30 pm until 4 am) The 54th annual charity ball benefitting the German-American graduate student exchange program at Columbia University and the Institute of International Education, featuring the performance of the French Quadrille dance, featuring the 13-piece Alex Donner Orchestra and Robby Scott’s New Deal Orchestra.

2014 GRAND BALLS IN THE USA Check out for event information (New Orleans Tourism) (Float Designer Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World builds more than 80% of the floats during Carnival season)

VIENNESE OPERA BALL. NYC. February 2, 2014 (9 pm to 1 am) The 59th white-tie charity gala launching Carnegie Hall’s threeweek festival “Vienna, City of Dreams,” celebrating Austria’s cultural legacy, held at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, featuring Peter Duchin and his Orchestra, opera singers from New York’s Metropolitan Opera Company, Point Cadets, Midnight Quadrille (Germanic square dance), horse and carriage.


Many USA Dance Chapters celebrate Mardi Gras and Halloween as their Masquerade Ball (Dance) of choice. Three USA Dance Chapters -Lake Norman, NC, Orlando, FL and Daytona, FL – had great photos from 2013 to share. Lake Norman Chapter #6119 celebrated during Carnival season at the Palace Theatre in Cornelius, NC and more than 70 dancers from different states and chapters turned out for the revelry. Masks and beads. Complimentary hurricane drinks and King cakes. And the grand parade and crowning of the King and Queen.

Orlando Chapter #6002 celebrated Masquerade during October, with some members treating it as a historic Masque Ball, others like an early Halloween. Either way, their costume parade is always an exciting highlight as dancers take masquerade seriously. According to Chapter President John Davis at some point, the dancers were foregoing their masks to dance, but not before the parade was over. Brian Bateman

photo courtesy of Lake Norman Chapter.

Behind The Masks. Lake Norman Chapter President Maggie Rohlik and Vice President Sheila Lester.

BALLROOM DANCERS RESOURCE FOR GRAND BALLS IN THE USA & AROUND THE WORLD: is a website that covers the most beautiful and glamorous balls in the world – Viennese balls, masquerade balls, historical balls and charity balls. It provides event information and tips on etiquette and how to dress. Balltrotter was created in 2011 by Eric Barthe.

Geoff Davis

Daytona Chapter #6026 members celebrated Halloween in its usual diversity of costuming and masquerade, from elegant costuming to humorous and ghoulish attire.

January-February 2014



WDSF Adjudicator

WAYNE CROWDER RETURNS FROM MOSCOW With New Perspective On ‘New World Order’ Of Dancesport Interview conducted by Angela Prince, Editor


ayne Crowder, a professional member of USA Dance, is the current president of the U.S. branch of the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing). He was invited to judge at the WDSF World Cup 10-Dance and the World Junior Standard Championship in Moscow in October. Having sent two U.S. junior couples to represent the United States at the Junior Standard Championship, USA Dance was interested in knowing how a certified judge would “competitively score” these events. Q: Wayne, you recently returned from judging in Russia, tell us how this came about?


American Dancer |

Kinsley Lin & Michelle Liu, family and friends in Moscow.

Kinsley Lin & Michelle Liu in Semi-Finals

Elena Anashina

Wayne: I received an invitation to judge the WDSF 2013 World Cup 10 Dance and the World Junior II Standard Championships in Moscow, from the WDSF home office in Spain. These events were to be held October 19 and October 26 respectively. After I accepted both invitations, the Russian Dance Sport Union asked me to judge several events in the Russian Open DanceSport Championships held during that same week.

order to finish all the events within a week’s time frame. To give you another example, I judged the Open Russian Junior I Standard Championships. The first round consisted of 264 couples. The judges were given the task of recalling 182 couples from 18 heats. We started at 10:00 AM and finished the first round by 12:45 PM. The final round finished at 11:45 PM that night. And I must say, the quality of dancing was quite superb! Q: Did we have any American couples represented? Wayne: Yes, in the WDSF World Junior II Standard Championships Kinsley Lin and Michelle Yiu, and Mike Monokandilos and Cara Yun Loo represented the USA.

Q: You must have felt honored to be asked to judge these events? Naina Monokandilos Mike Monokandilos & Cara Yun Loo Wayne: Yes, of course. These WDSF World Championships Q: Did you do any sightseeing while bring in couples from all over the world visiting Moscow? to compete, with each country sending Wayne: This was a special treat for my their best athletes. Per WDSF rules World wife Marie and me. After judging the World Championships require the judging panel to Cup 10 Dance Saturday October 19th, I had all be from different countries. The panel for several days off. We saw as much as we could the Junior II Standard was from: Germany, of Moscow and loved every minute. France, Sweden, Armenia, Lithuanian, Singapore, Holland, Croatia, Russia, and the Q: Overall, it sounds like a great USA. These are very elaborate events with experience? opening ceremonies, which consist of the Wayne: The WDSF is the IOC-recognized parade of athletes behind their country’s flag International Federation of DanceSport of or banner, and that end with the playing of which USA Dance is a Member Body. It is the national anthem of the winning couple. extremely important, both as an athlete and an official, for USA Dance to be represented Q: Tell us about the venue? in these world events. The WDSF is gaining Wayne: The venue was rather large, momentum throughout the world. From with two floors back to back, divided by a Asia to Europe, as well as the World Games curtain. Sometimes, two completely different and World DanceSport Games that USA competitions were running on both floors Dance was involved with this summer, the using the same music. For instance, you WDSF has established itself as the governing would have a Youth Latin event running on body of dance in the world of sports. It is floor A, with an Adult Latin event running on imperative that USA Dance position itself in floor B at the same time. The sheer number this new world order. of competitors required this arrangement in


A USA JUDGE’S PERSPECTIVE— WAYNE CROWDER Just returned from Moscow where I judged the WDSF World Cup Ten-Dance competition, which had 18 couples, one from each of the countries represented. Oct. 25 began the Junior I Standard Russian Open with 268 couples. During the first round the judges were to recall 184 from 18 heats. What fun! Some very fine dancers made up every heat. Oct. 26 was the day of the WDSF World DanceSport Championship Junior II Standard. There were 78 couples. Kinsley Lin and Michelle Yiu and Mike Monokandilos and Cara Loo represented the USA. Both Mike and I were honored by being asked to read the Competitor’s Oath and the Official’s Oath during the opening ceremonies. Oct. 27, our two USA couples competed in the Junior II Standard Russian Open, of which I saw very little for having to judge the Russian Open Championships. I was very impressed with the competition and the organizers, the Russian Dance Sport Union. The venue was very large with two floors, often running two separate competitions back to back using the same music. The main venue was beautifully done and made a perfect backdrop for the two televised Grand Slam events. WDSF Adjudicator Wayne Crowder


Kinsley Lin & Michelle Liu (Moscow – Russian Federation)

30 out of 58

Mike Monokandilos & Cara Yun Loo 33 out of 58 JUNIOR II 10-DANCE

Kinsley Lin & Michelle Liu (Riga, Latvia)

12 out of 31

January-February 2014



How to Survive



kay, your New Year’s resolution was to take dance lessons. Now it’s time to go to your first dance. Nervous? Admit it. You’re certain you’ll look foolish, say the wrong thing, not get asked to dance, or just be totally out of place? As a newbie, you are nervous for a good reason. You want to fit in and do things right. But you have to go to a dance sooner or later. Otherwise, why are you learning to dance? Fortunately, there are a lot of strategies for surviving your first social dance. Whether it’s your first dance ever or your first dance in a new city, try some of these for best results:

STRATEGY #1: Baby Steps Slowly but surely, ease into the social dance scene. If you’re insanely nervous, just drive by the venue without going in. Seriously. You may think that’s silly, but lots of people have social anxiety. If you drive by the venue, at least that’s something. You can also figure out the parking situation and where the entrance is, two fewer things to worry about. The next time, gather up your courage to go in and sit and watch. Stay for at least 30 minutes. The third week, make a deal with yourself to ask three people to dance. STRATEGY #2: Power in Numbers Take a friend! Anyone from your class is a good choice. You can even take a non-dancing friend if you’re just planning to watch. If your class is particularly friendly, someone might organize a dance outing. Get in on that! Pretend your dance-mates are your best friends for a night. Soon you’ll make lots of new friends by going to dances regularly. STRATEGY #3: Look Like You Belong What you wear says something 20

about who you are. On your first night out dancing, you want your clothing to say, “I belong here.” Find out what people wear to a social dance in your city. Ask your teacher, ask your classmates. Drive by and have a look in the window if you’re employing Strategy #1. Seriously, though, don't obsess. Get details! Type of shoes? What kind of pants or skirts? Dressed up or down? As long as you have the basic style down, you’ll feel more comfortable and relaxed. STRATEGY #4: Assume Nothing I’ve heard people say this about the dance scene: “Our community is so welcoming!” Others will say, “People are really cliquish.” Don’t take any of that to heart. Your experience at your first social dances will be unique, and it likely won’t match what others are telling you. Allow yourself to feel whatever you feel. Don’t assume people will ask you to dance. Don’t assume you’ll be left alone if you’re feeling shy. Don’t assume the etiquette will be effortless to figure out. Keep in mind that each venue has a different flavor. Venues even vary from week to week, depending on the music, the mix of people, and the balance of leads and follows. Expect to be a little confused. Expect to integrate slowly into this new social circle. Expect to get your feet (and feelings) stepped on a few times as you figure out how things work and how you fit. And remember… It’s not wrong to be nervous. However, that super-nervous feeling? It only lasts for a few dances at most. In a couple months you’ll be an old pro, gleefully telling your friends how awesome dancing is. And then you can help them go to their first dance! See you on the dance floor…

American Dancer |


Teaching Children to Dance

By Sandra Fortuna, Dance Teacher, Studio Owner, Mom


hat’s my new favorite quote—not because it has truth, but because it does not. Everything makes a difference. Especially one’s behavior towards others—manners are a huge part of partner dancing. The manners one learns as a child in the ballroom dance world, floorcraft, presenting partners, being gracious as a winner and as an ‘also ran,’ how to meet new people, how to make the right impression, carry over into the rest of one’s associations and relationships for one’s entire life. There are really countless benefits to partner dancing and the effort to learn how to dance with a partner at any level. My feelings about this used to focus around the physical benefits of fitness required to dance well competitively. More recently, I am extremely aware of the mental benefits related to learning to dance and all the things that require brain power when coordinating with one’s partner, the music, the space. Now that I see the final results of my own child’s ability to make his way outside the competitive dance world, balanced on the various skills he learned at our dance school, it is evident the biggest difference dancing can make is the social part, the part related to being mannerly. Using good manners makes one more acceptable, more professional, more easily believed and trusted. Here’s a compliment I get often: “Oh, Sandra, your son is such a gentleman,” or “Your son has beautiful manners,” or, “It’s such a pleasure to work with your son.” Though it’s also good to hear, “I love your son’s dancing,” it doesn’t mean nearly as much and we know that expert dancing will only take one so far in the outside world, the world of entertainment and business. I have watched a lot of children grow up while spending much of their free time at the studio. Many grew up to make names for themselves in the competitive world; some grew up to run successful studios;

Carson Zullinger

Kids at USA Dance 2011 Nationals

in London and leads in the pantos “Aladdin” and recently “Peter Pan”. Our son Brian learned to dance, Carson Zullinger but more importantly, through learning how to do ballroom and Latin competition dancing, he got the one grew up to do some amazing things not opportunities and the reinforcement to be necessarily with his dancing but built on mannerly, considerate and professional. He other skills learned at dance school. then used those good skills to get ahead We didn’t intend to make our son, outside the dance world and make the Brian Fortuna, into a dancer, but he was right impression with the right people. He around it from infancy. The music, the still dances and teaches dance to support people, the creative opportunities, the himself, while he waits for the ‘big break,’ big spaces, the emphasis on coordination, but his preferred choice to be an actor fitness, expression, meeting expectations, involved with theater and film started with enjoying being on the road and visiting dancing with a partner and learning how to new places, meeting new people were just use the many things that part of the life-style. Most importantly, he had to learn some good manners to fit into go along with using good manners. the competition world when it used to be What difference does it make? All the populated by mostly adults. Using good difference in the world! manners was inescapable. SANDRA FORTUNA Being around the kind of adults who Sandra’s career began attend our dance school is fabulous for as a dancer performing youngsters. There is always the support and and traveling with reinforcement the adults share with all the Philadelphia Opera children. The interaction between the adults Ballet and Jordan and the children exposes the children to the Ballet Company, then examples of the adults’ success stories and acquiring a Bachelor’s life experiences. The children learn how to Degree in Dance from behave and how to interact with grown-ups Butler University. who are not their teachers or relatives. She is designated as World Class Adjudicator Some achievements my husband, Andy, with WDC and as a National/Championship and I as parents relished: Brian making Adjudicator with NDCA. She was the National the National 10 Dance Finals, winning the Top Teacher of the Year in 1989 and 1993 North American Latin Championships, and co-organizer of the Philadelphia Festival his award winning salsa team Ritmo DanceSport Championships and Atlantic Coast Latino, and making the cover of the former DanceSport Championships 1988 to 2011. Amateur Dancers...also his appearances on She owns and operates Universal Ballroom “Dancing with the Stars” TV and the Tour, Dance Center in Collingswood, NJ. “Strictly Come Dancing”, “Burn the Floor” January-February 2014


Claremont Colleges (CA) Formation Team

Paul Roach


Not Your Typical National Championships…but wow! Columbus, OH – Nov. 23 & 24, 2013 A Perspective from Ken Richards, USA Dance DanceSport VP

Shawn Fisher



here am I? The room has a large dance floor, bleachers on three sides a Dias with podium and DJ… but there are also about 40 tables and clothes racks covered with gym bags, back packs, tablets, cell phones, dresses, vests, plus sneakers, uggs and ahh – here’s the hint – dance shoes. Yes – it’s the annual gathering of the nation’s top Collegiate DanceSport Athletes to compete for the coveted title of USA Dance National Collegiate DanceSport Championship. This event is held each year in Columbus, OH in conjunction with the Ohio Star Ball (OSB). Attendance came from 37 schools representing 800 athletes dancing all disciplines – syllabus through Championship, along with a formation competition, team match and, of course, the infamous FUN dances! Day one and the on-deck area is now filled with as many as 90 couples ready to compete in the newcomer division – and 122 enthusias-

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tic couples lined-up for the Bronze Latin – wow! It’s certainly not your typical National Championships. The largest school represented at NCDC was the team from the University of Michigan (115 competitors). The winning formation honors went to Utah Valley University for winning both the Standard and Latin formation team competitions. Worth noting was the team from New Mexico State University team. This was their first year in attendance, and they placed 5th overall in Teams, had multiple finalists in the Newcomer and Bronze levels, and placed 6th placed in the American Style Team Match – kudos for the beginning of an amazing program. Another special feature enjoyed by all registered competitors comes in the form of generosity from Ohio Star Ball event organizer Sam Sodano, as each athlete is provided free spectator passes to the Friday and Saturday evening sessions of the OSB.

The energy level was amazing at the NCDC as the teams, their parents and grandparents fill the stands and cheer from beginning to end, each day. Several of the professional dancers participating in the OSB stopped by to see what all the excitement was about – and expressed appreciation for our enthusiastic audience. The USA DanceSport Council has just accepted Amanda Ashcraft on appointment and ratification of the Governing Council to assume the duties of Chair of the Collegiate DanceSport Committee on the DanceSport Council (DSC). This spot on the team was recently vacated by the newly elected Executive VP Shawn Fisher, so that he could assume his new duties. Amanda has a lot of great plans for improving the NCDC and for assisting Collegiate Teams with their development in the future. Welcome aboard Amanda, and here’s hoping every eligible Collegiate Competitors finds their way to Ohio next year.

By Shawn Fisher Event Organizer/USA Dance National VP


dream more than 10 years ago with one room and only a hundred students, the National Collegiate DanceSport Championship now attracts both large universities and small college competitors and teams. Many events have entries of over 100+ couples. In order to accommodate all the dancers, team match entries and formation teams the floor is now 48 feet by 88 feet. The room has more that 50 tables, 4 sets of risers and 15 plus stations, and many coat racks not to mention all the food, costumes and luggage especially on Sunday. Dancing daily from 8 am straight through to 6 pm, many of the dancers leave tired and energized. Annual favorites to win the prize money given out by Sam Sodano are always present in large numbers, Michigan with over 100, and Purdue with close to 80 students this year. The committee has already discussed how to make the event even better next year. I might mention that “Yes, the music director will be back.” Shawn Fisher

Alex Rowan/DanceSport Photography


“Without a doubt the NCDC is one of the most spirited dance events I’ve ever attended, even though it’s just college kids. There are few events throughout the year that I look forward to more. As a photographer I’ve been to Blackpool as well as other top-notch events throughout North America, and in my opinion, the NCDC tops them all in terms of camaraderie among dancers and energy within the crowd…I’ll come and relive the madness every year I can.” — Alex Rowan, Photographer, Former President of Michigan Ballroom Team.

University of Michigan Purdue University Ohio State University University of Minnesota New Mexico State University Michigan State University Carnegie Mellon University Indiana University University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign Cornell University Valparaiso University University of Maryland University of Iowa University of Wisconsin/Madison Rutgers University Kenyon College George Washington University Georgetown University University of Toledo University of Tennessee/Knoxville Northwestern University University of Arkansas


(115) (78) (34) (39) (21) (44) (28) (42) (28) (40 (33) (40) (23) (11) (18) (18) (22) (29) (17) (21) (2) (15)

4071 2746 1422 844 842 770 769 753 740 679 581 579 467 445 408 335 304 29 3 232 218 180 156

Schools under 100 Points: Binghamton University (3), Iowa State University (9), Ithaca College (4), Johns Hopkins University (2), Kansas City Art Institute (2), Madison College (2), MIT (2), Oakland University (2), Penn State (2), Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (2), University of Arizona (2), University of Texas/ Austin (5), University of Virginia (2). Formation Only Schools: Claremont College (12), Utah Valley University (18)

January-February 2014



t’s often said: “There’s a first time for everything,” and in the case of Paul and Louise Giuliano from Albany, NY, the dance shoe fits in more ways than one. They are a senior couple in the International Division, and participated in the Chicagoland Chapter’s 9th annual competition for the first time in 2013. Married more than 45 years (also a first), they started dancing shortly after their 25th wedding anniversary and have been hooked ever since. The Giulianos, along with more than 300 other competitors from states all across the country, attended the Chicago DanceSport Challenge NQE, which was held in November at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Hotel. The competition was organized by Barbara Finn for the ninth year. Midway through the Saturday evening program, Tim Place, chapter president, announced that Barbara was retiring from her role, and acknowledged her many contributions over the past several years. As Barb shared with the attendees, “Dance is

very much a part of my life and heart.” The competition featured the International Standard and Latin, American Smooth, Rhythm and Cabaret Divisions, as well as Formation Teams, general dancing and a fun Jack & Jill contest for both competitors and spectators. In addition, there were special workshops for the dancers to attend because there’s always something new to learn. Another twosome who enjoyed this year’s event were Rob and Briel Wakerly from the Chicago area. They competed in the Adult Rhythm and Caberet Divisions. Rob and Briel met at an Argentine Tango class five years ago and have been together ever since. Their cabaret performance during Team Giacchino’s formation number on Saturday evening was a real crowd-pleaser. Clearly, Briel has no fear of heights and puts her trust in Rob --- an important part of any dance partnership. From young to “getting up there” in age, everyone joined the fun and got out on the floor to social dance or compete their heart


Formation Team Winners - My Dance Hub “Charleston”

Event Organizer Barbara Finn

Alex Jacoby & Naiya Soyavong, Junior I Novice Standard


Alex Rowan, DanceSport Photography

Senior I Standard Finalists; Sponsor Ernest Borel

out. Speaking of young, participating in the International 10-Dance Junior Division were Tomas Baliutavicius and Gabrielle Bartkeviciute. They’ve been dancing together for about six years and did their parents proud. When asked if she and her partner fought from time to time, Gabrielle said, “No, we get along just fine.” Hmmm … could be the fighting part comes with age. A very special moment at the comp was the performance of Dimitry Solomakha and Gabriela Sevillano --- the Chicago Chapter’s guests for the 2013 event. As Tim Place said during the competition, “The volunteers make it all possible.” How right he is. Tim and the Chicagoland team invite you to come to the Windy City Oct. 31 – Nov. 2 and experience all that Chicago and its ballroom community have to offer. 24

American Dancer |

Renzo Aida & Katherine Woolfe Adult Championship Smooth


DANCE PHOTOGRAPHY Dance photography is a highly specialized fine art form that requires innate creativity and sensitivity, trained technical skills and the ability to tell “the story.” While competitors are somewhat oblivious to the photographer’s intrusion and the audience only when they’re standing in view, DanceSport photographers must come to USA Dance events with passion, endurance and a drive for perfection. It’s a tough business.

Sometimes they’ve shot 10 to 40 thousand digital images. And at the end of the day, they’ll be judged by the moments captured in time. American Dancer asked four of USA Dance’s well-known competition photographers to select two USA Dance event photographs – one capturing “the essence of dance photography”, the second simply a personal favorite.

BOBBY CAMPBELL Moon Dance Studios Atlanta, GA Professional photographer since 2002. Shoots: DanceSport, Nature, Weddings, Fashion, Costuming, Portraits, Sporting Events, Equestrian. USA Dance Events: Gumbo of Ballroom NQE, Carolina Fall Classic NQE Dances: Ballroom, West Coast Swing. Interests: Rock Climbing, Mountain Biking, Ziplining, Dancing, Singing. Likes: I enjoy traveling, the art form of dance photography, capturing that moment that will never happen again. Dislikes: Heavy bags and airport security. Rewarding Moments: I get excited every time a dancer sits at my booth and says “wow”.

above The sharp detail of the dress and complete confidence in the dance partnership makes this image a favorite. left I love a tight, crisp, clean shot. This image is sharp. Timing of the shot, balance and position of the dancers are perfect.

January-February 2014



DANCE PHOTOGRAPHY RYAN KENNER Ryan Kenner Photography Boston, MA

Professional photographer since 2008 Shoots: USA Dance Events: Dances: Interests: Likes: Dislikes: Rewarding Moments:

DanceSport, Weddings, Marathons, Triathalons, Showcases Manhattan Amateur Classic NQE. Ballroom as Pro, formerly as Amateur. Biking, Skiing, Outdoor Sports, Dancing. Shooting Juniors & Youth, Watching them progress. Lack of space to shoot at competitions. People complimenting the business for customer service, excellent quality of images such as timing, composition, lighting.

above The young woman is developing a sensual yet delicate line while her partner clearly displays his intent to grab her…why I love this image so much is that we are not sure who is truly in control…moments like this one are why I love photographing dance. left I like this image because it showcases consistency. First thing I notice is the composition. Couple is well centered. Lighting is soft and clean with mild shadowing. The shot was timed to capture both dancer’s faces and expressions while at the most action packed moment….


American Dancer |

ALBERT T. PARKER Park West Photography, Chandler, AZ

Professional photographer since he was 19. Shoots: USA Dance Events: Dances: Interests: Likes: Dislikes: Rewarding Moments:

DanceSport, Commercial, Location Portraiture, Studio Glamour National DanceSport Championships. Ballroom, West Coast Swing. Art photography, capturing beauty of women in portraits. Moving to the music as I photograph. Dealing with people who do not like themselves. Hearing the joy and happiness my photography brings to so many dancers.

above I love to create beautiful dance images, to capture action and the young people almost always appear to have more of this in their dancing. right I like this particular photo taken at Nationals in Los Angeles due to the inherent energy, apparent speed and the flow of the material in the green dress.

January-February 2014




Professional photographer since mid-1970s Shoots: USA Dance Events: Dances: Interests: Likes: Dislikes: Rewarding Moments:

DanceSport as Volunteer, Museum Photography, Fine Art with More Than 30 One-Person Exhibits. National DanceSport Championships. Ballroom. Contemporary art, art advocacy. Watching the development of dancers as they grow in their craft and artistry. Standing for many hours. Seeing the first USA Dance Nationals in 1999 and being overwhelmed with the excitement and energy of the event.

above I love the utter joy and the fluidity of motion that Taras and Tatiana exhibit in this image. left This image of Eugene & Maria from Nationals 2005 shows the amazing skill and intensity of their dance. I always loved photographing them. They always owned the floor.


American Dancer |


OUR VOTE FOR MOST CREATIVE POSTERS! FOR CHAPTERS STRUGGLING TO FIND NEW IDEAS to promote their dances or activities, there are many resources available on the internet for free –stock photos and clip art, design templates for posters and brochures. The Greater Memphis Chapter #2012 already has a masterplan for 2014. They know their event dates, the themes and they have great posters to promote it. Kudos to the creative team in Memphis!

Grassroots JAN 17 - 19

The MAC is back at Manhattan Center in NYC, hosting WDSF Junior II Open Championships The 24th annual Manhattan Amateur Classic (known as The MAC), sponsored by the Greater New York Chapter # 3004, will be back at the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center on 34th Street in NYC on Jan. 17-19. Last minute reservations, please visit

Ryan Kenner

A USA Dance 2014 National Qualifying Event, the MAC is also hosting the first WDSF Open Championships in the USA in several years – Open Junior II Latin and Standard – to be held Friday and Saturday evenings. The MAC also features pre-bronze through Open, Standard, Latin, Smooth and Rhythm events of all proficiency levels, and for all age groups of competitors. It’s an exciting, highly attended event by competitors as well as spectators. USA Dance National Sponsor Ernest Borel Swiss watch company will also be sponsoring the MAC for the second year. January-February 2014



STREETS ALIVE! AND THE HEART OF USA DANCE STREETS ALIVE! is an annual event sponsored by Lee County, FL to promote healthy lifestyle by opening the Ft. Myers downtown streets for fun, physical activities and nutritious food, thereby improving the overall health and wellness of the community. USA Dance Ft. Myers Chapter #6049 participated offering a segment on Cha-Cha. When local instructor and member Eric Jenkins went over to a lady in a wheel chair to ask her to dance, “this represented the heart of USA Dance,” said Tom Timmons, Event Planning Chair.

ASK JOHN DAVIS, PRESIDENT OF THE ORLANDO CHAPTER #6002. The chapter sends out email announcements via Constant Contact to approximately 800 persons, twice a month. Combined with their activities on Facebook (both on their page and on the USA Dance Inc. national page), they average about 500-600 hits per week. When they have a monthly dance, activity doubles to over 1,000. Top performance will be their major events that have netted up to 6,000 hits. End result? More attendance at event, recruiting more members, having an impact on more people in the community!


DID YOU KNOW that USA Dance has an online retail store for logo merchandise? Chapters and members can now purchase team jackets, logo patches, shoe bags, shoulder bags, license plate frames, fans, signs, banners… whatever you need to promote your chapter more successfully. Visit the website home page and click on the Membership drop down menu.


LAST MINUTE IDEA…want to go to Hawaii in January? USA Dance Honolulu Chapter # 4007 is hosting a “world class ballroom dance show” and general dance on Jan. 17, showcasing WDSF Italian amateur freestyle standard finalists Marco Camarlinghi and Martina Minasi at the Ala Wai Palladium in Waikiki. Contact: Anne Ho. 30

American Dancer |

Grassroots JAN 31 – FEB 1

SW Regional DanceSport Championships NQE Now Hosting WDSF Adult, Senior I, II, III Open Championships

Bill Rose

THE SOUTHWEST REGIONAL DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS, a USA Dance 2014 National Qualifying Event, sponsored by the Orange County, CA Chapter #4018, will be held once again at the Culver City Veterans Auditorium. Highlights include the return to Southern California of the prestigious WDSF Open Championships for Adult and Senior I, II and III Latin and Standard competitors. Strong interest has come from top competitors in several European countries. In addition to the full agenda of USA Dance events, from pre-teen to seniors, ballroom, latin, smooth and rhythm of all proficiency levels, the SW NQE, will host a distinguished WDSF judging panel including the Chairman and six adjudicators – two from Canada and four from the USA. More information: American Dancer ad 2_Layout 1 11/27/13 11:57 AM Page 1

January-February 2014


A dancer’s

New Year’s g Resolution

By Patrice Tanaka Author of Becoming Ginger Rogers Original

Scheduling JOY in Your Life for the New Year


n New Year’s Day, I engage in my annual ritual of creating a “Joy Calendar” for the upcoming year filled with fun things I plan to do every month throughout 2012. This is important for two reasons: 1) it gives me great pleasure to look at the year ahead and anticipate all the joy-filled events I’ve scheduled for myself every month, including dance lessons and ballroom competitions; and 2) it reminds me that if I want joy in in my life I must proactively “schedule” it. Most of us schedule important events. Our Outlook calendars are populated with business meetings, board meetings, PTA meetings, soccer games, doctor and dentist appointments, etc., but, how many of us regularly schedule time for “joy”? Somehow, taking precious time for an activity like dancing, which is my joy, seems like a selfish indulgence. We’re so busy meeting a myriad of obligations to family, friends and colleagues that we don’t feel right taking time to make our own joy a “priority.” Sadly, I know from personal experience the dangers of putting everyone else in your life “first” under the misguided notion that, if you do find yourself with spare time – usually when some scheduled commitment falls through – then maybe you’ll do something fun for yourself. We all know, however, that if something’s not scheduled, it usually doesn’t happen. And, when we unexpectedly find ourselves with found time, we usually end 32

up doing nothing because it’s too late to plan anything and, because we haven’t planned, we don’t have the energy for these activities even if we could do them. So, too often, we default to passivity, watching television, sleeping or being (too) available for help needed by others when we could be out there getting great exercise on the dance floor. Being there fully for others requires that we take care of ourselves so that we are in the best condition to help them. I liken it to being instructed by flight attendants before take-off that, if the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, to put the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST before attempting to help others. I’m sure this is incomprehensible to parents whose instinct is to help their children, FIRST. But what happens, if by doing so, you become lightheaded, faint and are then unable to help your child or children. For the safety of those you love, you must put the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST before attempting to help them! If we don’t oxygenate our mind, body and spirit with things that bring us joy to animate our life force we’re not really at our very best to help those we care about. No doubt, the world would be a much better place if it were populated by joy-filled inhabitants whose interaction with others came from a place of joy. If you think about it, taking responsibility for being joyful and, thus, being able to interact with others in a joyful manner, is a true act of love and kindness.

American Dancer |

“Scheduling” joy in your life, therefore, is NOT an act of self-indulgence, it is an act of selflessness, ensuring that your way of being in the world and impact upon others will be gentle, healing and uplifting. I was able to totally transform my life, starting with one scheduled ballroom dance lesson a week, and become a happier woman, a better partner and a smarter CEO. So with the New Year ahead filled with great hope and promise – just waiting to be realized by us – let us “schedule” joy every day, every week and every month and, in so doing, make it a wonderful 2014 for ourselves and everyone whose lives we touch!

Patrice Tanaka is Co-Founder, Chief Counselor & Creative Strategist, PadillaCRT, an award-winning PR & Marketing agency that is one of the “top 10 largest, independent PR agencies” in America. Patrice is also a competitive ballroom dancer and the author of “Becoming Ginger Rogers…How Ballroom Dancing Made Me A Happier Woman, Better Partner and Smarter CEO.” For Patrice, pursuing a life-long dream of dancing like Ginger Rogers was what brought joy flooding into her life.

DANCING AROUND THE WORLD Vivian Beiswenger and

Not your usual dance cruise!

MEDITERRANEAN MIX & MATCH 1-, 2- or 3- Week Cruises QUEEN ELIZABETH Choose your dates:

Choices from June to November 2014

Choose where you want to start and end your voyage: Rome to Rome, Venice or Athens. Athens to Athens or Rome. Venice to Rome or Athens.

Choose from eight different 7-Day itineraries:

Pearls of the Adriatic, Aegean Jewels, Greek Isles Interlude, Mediterranean Moments, Mediterranean Discovery, Mediterranean Delights, Italian Serenade, Italian Sojourn. Or combine two or three of the above 7-day itineraries to create one of ten unique 14-day itineraries or one of twelve unique 21-day itineraries.

We will help you find a cabin mate! Not all cruises are escorted.

See our other ad in this publication for more exciting cruise options!

Luxury cruises for adults who enjoy dressing to the nines and dancing! Largest dance floors and authentic ballroom music on the youngest luxury fleet at sea. Dance teachers and male hosts on EVERY cruise. Numerous intriguing itineraries; smaller/more intimate groups with special rates and amenities.

2014 SOUTH AMERICA WORLD CRUISE SEGMENT 1/24-2/9 Rio de Janeiro to Valparaiso around Cape Horn. Sold out, but we have a gent and a lady looking for a cabin mate.


Early booking discounts & premium White Star Service packages available until 2/28/14.


83 to 119-day options between 1/10/15 & 5/10/15 Start in Southampton, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles or San Francisco. End in Southampton or New York . Segments include Panama Canal from NY (or Fort Lauderdale) to LA (or San Francisco). Segments may also start/end in Sydney, Yokohama, Singapore or Dubai.


93 to 127-day options between 1/3/15 & 5/10/15 Start in New York, Southampton, or Dubai. End in New York, Southampton, or Cape Town. Segments include Australia & New Zealand 13-day roundtrip Sydney. Segments may also start/end in Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, or Cape Town.


82 to 103-day options between 1/20/15 & 5/3/15 Start in Southampton or Fort Lauderdale. End in Southampton or New York. Segments include Panama Canal options include Fort Lauderdale to LA (or San Francisco) or San Francisco (or LA) to Fort Lauderdale (or NY). Other segments include 48-day roundtrip LA, 21-day LA to Sydney, 19-day SF to Sydney, 27-day Sydney to LA & 12-day Fort Lauderdale to Southampton.

For pricing or more 2014/2015 cruise options, CALL 215-855-2711 or EMAIL

© 2010 Cunard Line. Ships’ Registry: Bermuda

DANCESPORT CALENDAR 2014 January 2014 Manhattan Amateur Classic (The MAC) - 2014 NQE Jan 17 - 19, 2014 Hosted by Greater New York Chapter #3004 Manhattan Center - Manhattan, NY WDSF Open Junior II Standard Championships Jan 17, 2014 Hosted by Greater New York Chapter #3004 Manhattan Center - Manhattan, NY WDSF Open Junior II Latin Championships Jan 18, 2014 Hosted by Greater New York Chapter #3004 Manhattan Center - Manhattan, NY Winter Frolic ** (see note) Jan 25, 2014 Hosted by Royal Palm Chapter #6016 Goldcoast Ballroom - Coconut Creek, FL Southwest Regional DanceSport Championships – 2014 NQE Jan 31 - Feb 1, 2014 Hosted by Orange County Chapter #4018 Veterans Auditorium - Culver City, CA

February 2014 WDSF Standard & Latin Events Feb 1, 2014 Standard and Latin Events for Under 21, Adult, Senior 1, Senior 2 Senior 3 Standard Events held at Southwest Regional DanceSport Championships Veterans Auditorium - Culver City, CA Quest For The Best ** (see note) Feb 8, 2014 Hosted by Seattle Chapter #1004 The Verve Ballroom – Lynnwood, WA Mid-Atlantic Championships – 2014 NQE Feb 15 - 16, 2014 Hosted by Mid-Eastern Chapter # 6001 North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center - Bethesda, MD

March 2014 Star Of The North ** (see note) Mar 1 - 2, 2014 Hosted by Minnesota Chapter #2011 Crowne Plaza Riverfront – St. Paul, MN

August 2014

WDSF Ajudicator’s Congress at Nationals Mar 27, 2014 Event held at USA Dance 2014 National DanceSport Championships Renaissance Harborplace Hotel - Baltimore, MD The attendance form must be filled out before March 15. For more information contact:

Derby City DanceSport Championships – 2015 NQE Aug 1 - 3, 2014 Hosted by Greater Louisville Chapter #2021 The Galt House - Louisville, KY

USA DANCE 2014 National DanceSport Championships Mar 28 - 30, 2014 Hosted by USA Dance National Renaissance Harborplace Hotel - Baltimore, MD

Kansas City Dance Classic ** (see note) Sep 6, 2014 Organized by Matt & Ellen Pansing Camelot Ballroom - Overland Park, KS (Kansas City)

WDSF Open Under-21 Standard, Latin & 10-Dance Events Mar 28 – 30, 2014 WDSF Open Under-21 Standard Friday, Mar 28, 2014 WDSF Open Under-21 10-Dance Saturday, Mar 29, 2014

WDSF Open Under-21 Latin Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 WDSF Events held at USA Dance National DanceSport Championships Renaissance Harborplace Hotel - Baltimore, MD

April 2014 Quest For The Best ** (see note) Apr 12, 2014 Hosted by Seattle Chapter #1004 The Verve Ballroom – Lynnwood, WA

June 2014 NJ DanceSport Classic Summer Sizzler – 2015 NQE Jun 7 - 8, 2014 Organized by Mario Battista & Wendi Davies Rogers DanceSport Center - Hackensack NJ Gumbo DanceSport Championships – 2015 NQE Jun 27 - 29, 2014 Hosted by Louisiana Gumbo Chapter #5031 Crowne Plaza - Baton Rouge LA Senior IV National Championships Jun 27 - 29, 2014 Held at Gumbo DanceSport Championships Crowne Plaza - Baton Rouge, LA Junior II National Championships Jun 27 - 29, 2014 Held at Gumbo DanceSport Championships Crowne Plaza - Baton Rouge, LA

July 2014

September 2014

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

October 2014 Carolina Fall Classic – 2015 NQE Oct 3 - 5, 2014 Organized by Wayne & Marie Crowder University Hilton - Charlotte NC. WDSF Senior I Standard & Latin Oct 4, 2014 Events held at Carolina Fall Classic. University Hilton – Charlotte, NC NJ DanceSport Classic – Fall Frolic ** (see note) Organized by Wendi Davies Rogers Dance Center - Hackensack, NJ (Note: Date not finalized) Northwest DanceSport Championships – 2015 NQE Hosted by Portland, OR Chapter #1006 Portland, OR (Note: Date not finalized) Chicago DanceSport Challenge – 2015 NQE Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2014 Hosted by Chicagoland Chapter #2001. Hyatt O’Hare Hotel - Chicago, IL

November 2014 California State DanceSport Championships – 2015 NQE (Date not finalized for Nov. 2014.) Hosted by NorCal Chapter #4004

NJ DanceSport Classic - Spring Fling ** (see note) Mar 2, 2014 Organized by Wendi Davies Rogers Dance Center - Hackensack, NJ

Mid-Summer Classic ** (see note) Jul 26, 2014 Hosted by Southern Star Chapter #6038 Rhapsody Ballroom – Tampa, FL

National Collegiate DanceSport Championships Nov 22 – 23, 2014 Hosted by USA Dance National Columbus Convention Center – Columbus, OH

CODING: All National Qualifying Events for the 2014 and 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 |

DANCING AROUND THE WORLD Vivian Beiswenger and

Not your usual dance cruise!

Sail to and/or from the 2014 BLACKPOOL DANCE FESTIVAL QUEEN MARY 2 New York to Southampton Transatlantic

5/16/14 - 5/23/14 (Arriving for the first full day of the festival)

We will assist with transportation to and from Blackpool, hotels, tickets and transportation to and from airports if you choose to fly one or both ways.

Festival Dates: May 22 - May 30, 2014

After the festival, spend four days in London or your favorite UK city. Sail back: 6/5/14 - 6/13/14 Southampton to New York Transatlantic with a stop in Halifax.


Luxury cruises for adults who enjoy dressing to the nines and dancing! Largest dance floors and authentic ballroom music on the youngest luxury fleet at sea. Dance teachers and male hosts on EVERY cruise. Numerous intriguing itineraries; smaller/more intimate groups with special rates and amenities.


5-day Independence Day Celebration 1/1/14 - 1/6/14 12-day New England & Canada 9/15/15 - 9/27/15 or 10/16/14 - 10/28/14

12-day Caribbean Christmas/NYE Fiesta 12/22/14 - 1/3/15


Northern Europe 14-day St. Petersburg & Baltic Discovery 5/9/14 - 5/23/14, 6/5/14 - 6/19/14 or 8/31/14 - 9/14/14 14-day Geysers & Glaciers 6/22/14 - 7/6/14 Call for more Northern Europe options

Stay on the QUEEN MARY 2 for the



We will help you find a cabin mate!

Grand Norwegian Explorer Cruise 5/23/14 - 6/5/14

Grand British Isles Cruise 5/23/14 - 6/5/14

Not all cruises are escorted.

See our other ad in this publication for more exciting cruise options!

Transatlantic Crossings 7, 8, 9, & 10-day options (many dates)

Why We Don’t List Prices

While we have group rates for most of the sailings listed, often flash sale, past passenger rates, regional and national promotions and future cruise sale prices can be lower than the group rate. We will get the best price available at the time of your deposit and continue to monitor prices to improve that price up until final payment and/or sailing.

CONTACT INFORMATION Vivian Beiswenger 215.855.2711 or 215.530.3482

© 2010 Cunard Line. Ships’ Registry: Bermuda


hapter Anniversaries

USA Dance Chapters are reaching milestones of their own as USA Dance nears its 50th Anniversary in 2015. DAYTONA CHAPTER A 20-YEAR CELEBRATION IN GRAND STYLE By Marta Pascale, Chapter President In September, the Greater Daytona Chapter USA Dance #6026 celebrated its 20th Anniversary in style at the newly opened Gold Star Ballroom in South Daytona, Florida. This celebratory evening of dancing included four showdances, Viennese Waltz, Waltz, Argentine Tango, and a Foxtrot/Quickstep routine, performed by Rick Elliott, Jennifer Caminas, William Proper, Noelia Guerrero and Martin Cardoso. The Greater Daytona Chapter now boasts approximately 325 members, making it the largest chapter in Florida and one of the largest and fastest growing chapters in the nation. The chapter promotes dance through outreach in the community and the annual Mall Ball for National Ballroom Dance Week.

Dallas Chapter Thinking BIG

Arno Nadolny

10TH ANNIVERSARY DANCING BIG WITH USA DANCE DALLAS By Diane Montgomery, Chapter President Taking cues from the City of Dallas motto, BIG Things Happen Here, USA Dance Dallas has been making BIG things happen in ballroom dance for 10 years. While celebrating our 10-Year Anniversary, we’re reflecting on these BIG things. Here’s our Top 10 plus One:

1 2

Grew USA Dance membership from 25 to more than 200! Supported the Dance Council of North Texas, encouraging the dynamic presence of dance in the community.


Hosted The Art & Soul of Dance, featuring workshops and performances by U.S. and World American Smooth and Rhythm Champions.

4 5 6 7

Helped our youngest dancers learn through Dancing Classrooms. Gave back by supporting Dance for the Cure and other causes. Promoted National Ballroom Dance week in partnership with studios and instructors. Held Annual November Showcases, featuring amateur, pro-am and professional performances.


facebook, meetup and our website.


Celebrated—at a minimum of 33 social dances each year—themed events, holiday, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries— you name it!


Recognized—every chance we get— our members, volunteers, instructors, studios, history and dance community that make this possible.


Communicated what’s up every week through emails,

Served it all up with a Texas-sized welcome mat and whopping smiles!

Hurry, y’all come dance with us real soon. Together, we’ll have a mighty good time making the next 10 years even BIGGER!

Donna Keller, Marta Pascale, Jean Krupa Tony Keller


“Several of the Pros you now see on “Dancing with the Stars” got their amateur competitive start with Nor Cal …

American Dancer |

Karen Andersen, a founding member and current chapter vice president of Nor Cal Chapter.


Louisville Chapter 2013 Leadership Team

Janet Foist

To celebrate the 20th milestone anniversary of the Greater Louisville Chapter #2021, all members were invited to a complimentary dinner and dance in appreciation for their continued support. Non members were also invited as guests, and we were honored to have members of the Indianapolis Heartland Chapter join us,” Betty Stevens said. This special evening began with a welcome from current President Steve Houpt and followed by the presentation of the colors by the Adventurers Swiss Alps 2016 Girl Scouts of America, who assisted with hospitality chores during the dinner and received a generous donation from USA Dance for their programs. A special proclamation honoring the chapter’s 20th Anniversary was issued by Louisville Mayor Fisher and presented by Dr. Alexandra Gerassimides (Mrs. Greg Fisher). Following dinner, guests danced to live music performed by Dave Mehl’s Swing Street Band. Sister Ink Photography was on hand to take photos. Additional highlights of the evening were the many dance exhibitions. Bravo Dance

Studio opened the evening performances with exhibitions by dancers Alex Loukhnel and Lynne Brown, JoAnna Flaherty, Terri Fowler, Donna Habig-Sachleben, Pat Richardson, and Ann Marie Werner. A special Standard Medley was performed by dancesport couple Hannah Purdy and Oliver Kratholm, while American Smooth champions Roger and Amy Greenwalt of the Heartland Chapter performed an impressive American Tango. Jonah Grimes and Melissa Pylant delighted guests with their West Coast Swing. Chapter 2021 has came a long way from its humble beginnings 20 years ago, and has a dedicated volunteer force to thank for that. This special night was a way to say thank you to the many members and volunteers who continue to support the chapter by renewing their memberships and putting in countless hours of effort, making the chapter what it is today. The Greater Louisville Chapter 2021 will host an NQE the first weekend in August.

NOR CAL CHAPTER MANY FIRSTS & 30 YEARS STRONG By James Kleinrath, Chapter President


he Northern California Chapter of USA Dance (Chapter #4004) more commonly known simply as Nor Cal, celebrated its 30th anniversary during 2013. This chapter, which is the oldest USA Dance chapter west of the Mississippi, was founded in 1983 by Mike Riggs (President) and John Duffy (VicePresident), two very active and enthusiastic San Francisco Bay Area amateur dancers. They invited Karen Andersen to be the Secretary and Bruce Leppert to be the Treasurer. Karen, a founding member and current chapter vice president, reminisced that “The chapter was created to give the area competitive dancers more opportunity to compete, and for the social dancer to come and enjoy the dancing and have some fun”. As Karen proudly pointed out, “Several of the Pros you now see on “Dancing with the Stars” got their amateur competitive start with Nor-Cal, and many of the Pros on that program have been judges at Nor Cal events over the years.” Nor Cal has played a large role in local,

regional and national DanceSport history. has also successfully organized more than 80 Nor Cal organized the first Regional/NQE DanceSport competitions during its history. competition in the country in 1992. For many Nor Cal, made up almost entirely of years Nor Cal ran this event, named the competitors, looks forward to a bright future Southwest Regionals, by itself, but starting in organizing high quality, reasonably priced 2000, it began sharing the hosting duties with competitive events for USA Dance members, the Orange County Chapter on a rotating basis. including the California State DanceSport During its storied history the Nor Cal Chapter Championships and NQE. has had additional notable firsts, including being the only USA Dance chapter to host three national championships (in 1995, 1999, 2006) where all three events turned a healthy profit for the national organization. The chapter is also proud that two of its members, Art Lashbrook and Mark Scardina, wrote the first Nor Cal Leadership Team - James Kleinrath, Alex Chan, DanceSport Rulebook David Getchell, Tina Moretti-Rose, Karen Andersen, Ken in 1993, and Nor Cal Greer, Scott Sahlman, Hugh Chapman and Mark Scardina

January-February 2014


IN THE Sometimes You Just Get Upstaged When You Least Expect It JhAilyn Farcon, age 8, youngest daughter of the Farcon dance family, was recently center stage in NYC in front of millions of tv viewers. Seems all that practice with brother Jaryd Farcon paid off? JhAilyn danced on stage alongside Mariah Carey at the Rockefeller Center’s annual tree lighting celebration. The dance routine was choreographed by the award-winning dancer Debbie Allen, with instruction from other notables – Allen’s daughter Vivian Nixon and Cathie Nicolas, granddaughter of the famed tap legends, the Nicholas Brothers. In this photo, taken by ballroom dance mom Armie Farcon, looks like Mariah got upstaged – just for a moment! [In addition, Debbie Allen also asked Jhailyn and three other children to perform at the White House National Tree Lighting ceremony in D.C.]

If You Want A Great Story Written

…Invite A Violinist!

Geoffrey Maingart is a well known professional violinist in the Los Angeles area. He also writes for Hollywood Today. At the USA Dance Nationals last year, Geoffrey joined everyone in the VIP section to get a front-row view of the action. It was all new to him. And after a “million” questions later, he wrote perhaps one of the best-ever stories about USA Dance and Nationals…but in this case, from someone who understands the music and the passion of performance. So when we write about our dancers, the competitions, the social events…we should come to the assignment with equal exuberance about the real story we’re telling others. To read Geoffrey’s story, please visit archives.


In the Hood From Ballroom to Hip-Hop

Courtesy of Armie Farcon


On deck or off deck, USA DanceSport couples have loved every minute of their travels to other countries. At the WDSF World DanceSport Games in Taiwan, a multisport event, ballroom met hip-hop. Center stage is World DanceSport Games representatives for the USA Mechyslav Pavlyuk and Emma Arnold.

American Dancer |

Courtesy of Mechyslav Pavlyuk

Carson Zullinger

USA Dance Alum Brian Fortuna – from DWTS to Peter Pan

Reaching more than 300 radio stations in the U.S. and Canada, Let’s Travel Radio is a live, global radio talk show that has a broad base of listeners interested in the world of travel and culture. USA Dance, represented by Yang Chen, has now appeared on the show two times, more recently joining various dance organizations for a lively discussion on the growing popularity of Latin dancing in America. The podcast (11-21-13) is online at podcasts/ if not moved to archives.

Courtesy of Yang Chen

The Latin Explosion: Yang Chen On Let’s Talk Radio

Yang Chen joined Michael Zufolo (center) and representatives from Dzul Dance, Casa Brazilia, BAKUA Afro-Latin Dance Company, Nieves Latin Dance Company, Alvin Ailey Dance and Piel Canela Center of Latin-Arts.


PHOTO CREDIT: Gareth Jones, Liverpool Echo

Dancers are often stereotyped as dancers, that’s usually all other dancers see. But “hidden talents” don’t stay surpressed too long, and it’s not surprising to discover the dancer’s competitive edge was these other talents all along. USA Dance alum Brian Fortuna, even as a kid, was a standout on the floor. It came natural: he grew up in a “dance family.” Mom Sandra Fortuna was a dance teacher and studio owner in New Jersey. So what is Brian up to these days, at age 31, after famed appearances on ABCTV’s “Dancing With The Stars” and U.K.’s “Strictly Come Dancing”? Checking the Echo Liverpool newspaper in England, we find Brian donning green Peter Pan clothing, ready to “fly” from the kitchen table on stage at the St. Helens Theatre Royal.

‘Moon couple discover new togetherness through ballroom dancing.’ Moon? That’s because the new USA Dance National Treasurer Michael Brocks and his wife Gretchen, VP of the Pittsburgh Chapter, live in Moon, PA. Their moving story ran in the Dec. 4 edition of the local paper and focused on how dancing had become a “life-changing experience” for them, and at a time when their three kids had left for college and ball games were over. The

writer highlighted the USA Dance Pittsburgh chapter and the many social benefits of dancing – bringing couples closer together, bridging age groups, sharing common goals, getting fitter and losing weight. “Unlike a lot of sporting activities, ballroom dancing is something that couples can do forever,” Michael pointed out.

Photo courtesy of Gretchen Brocks

January-February 2014


“…you must have a burning passion, unwavering devotion and enduring commitment because it’s not always fun or glamorous or easy.” “It felt like a tremendous responsibility as much as it was an incredible opportunity… to show the quality and spirit of the American dancers.” — Teresa Tison on what it takes to compete at Worlds




enough, and no one delivered it to the SA Dance Senior I Latin team competition city that night. Roger and Tefaced a little Murphy’s Law. Roger resa then graciously helped us by lending Korsiak & Teresa Tison and Irsan us their second costumes that evening. & Cami Tisnabudi -- returned home The only thing left would be to purchase from the WDSF Senior I Latin World dance shoes the mornChampionships in the SENIOR I LATIN ing of the competition. Czech Republic with On Saturday morning strong placements, Roger Korsiak & 27 out Teresa Tison (CA) of 46 of the competition, but their stories we kept calling the underscore the value Irsan Tisnabudi & 20 out Cami Tisnabudi (TX) of 46 Prague airport….Cami of true teamwork. As left for the compeIrsan explained: tition hall with the 10 am bus ride while “We had a weather delay on our flight I waited to go on the 10:30 am bus ride. leaving from Houston to Paris, so we Then the luggage finally came in time missed our connection flight to Prague. at 10:15 am. We honor Roger and Teresa We made a mistake in packing all our for willing to step up and see us as team costumes in our luggage, which didn’t mates, instead of just another competitor. arrive with us. Air France finally found it, They saw what really mattered, to reprebut it was in Prague on Friday day before sent USA the best way we could.” competition. We didn’t check constantly

“It’s great to be an American.”


American Dancer |

— Teresa Tison





his year the World Senior I Standard was held in Dresden Germany on Oct. 5th. United States was represented by two very talented dance teams David & Liva Wright and Yim Thomas & Kelly Cheng, who were all just coming off a very successful result at the International Dance Championships in England a weekend before. The competition started with 49 couples and our U.S. representatives had made top 36 without having to do the re-dance round. Second qualifying round was to call back 24 out of 36. Unfortunately David & Liva didn’t make the quarter final, short just two recalls ending their Worlds’ journey in 25th place. It was disappointing to see them not make it further, because they showed a very strong technical ability, consistency and lightness to their dancing, all of which made me think that I would expect to see them dancing at least in the semifinal round. But anything can happen in a competition where all couples are their countries’ top representatives. The other U.S. team Yim & Kelly successfully made it to the quarter-final and ended up placing 17th out of 49 couples. They showed great maturity in their dancing and showcased strength and speed. They fought for every recall into the semifinal and judges appreciated their effort. Our couples did an excellent job representing the USA.  


Editor’s Note: Reporting on behalf of eight USA Dance DanceSport athletes attending the WDSF Open International in Toronto, Canada is senior competitor Irina Feingold.

WDSF Competitions Return to North America

Open International Senior I, II & III Standard, Youth Latin in Toronto By Irina Feingold international experience, as we had met them before at the World Cups. AMERICAN DANCER: How did it feel to represent the USA in Canada at the first WDSF event in North American in a few years? FEINGOLD: Fantastic! Walking under the American flag seems to never get old with us. We felt as proud and excited as the very first time at the 2011 World Championship in Spain.


he WDSF Open International started with the grand Parade of Nations, the reading of the competitive athlete’s oath and confirmation that the WDSF would be increasing its presence in both the USA and Canada. Most of the competitors and judges were from Ontario, but also from the USA, Italy and Spain. In all, there were four couples from the USA, and one each from France, England and Germany. The competition was very strong. Pretty much all best senior Canadian couples were in attendance. Most of them had

AMERICAN DANCER: What were your impressions about the event? FEINGOLD: It was well organized. The audience was great! Competitors were helping each other. It was fantastic, like a true sport. AMERICAN DANCER: Were you ready? FEINGOLD: Yes and no. We felt well prepared, however it was challenging for us physically and mentally, especially in the finals, as the music for each dance lasted 1:45…it was a great experience and we learned our lesson. We’ve learned to stand our ground on the floor. Senior II couples in Canada dance more aggressively than USA couples.

USA couples placed as follows: Vince & Irina Feingold (NJ) Senior III Open Standard – 2nd out of 11 couples. Senior II Open Standard – 5th out of 13 couples. Thomas & Yuko Naululani Yu (MD) Senior II Open Standard – 4th out of 13 couples.

Irsan & Cami Tisnabudi (TX) Senior I Open Latin – 4th out of 7 couples. Matthew Kheyfets & Vanesa Falisova (NY) Youth Open Latin – 3rd out of 3 couples.


RENATA SHVARTS North America has kicked off their season of WDSF Open events. First one on the list was a WDSF Toronto Open Championships. This competition was held on October 12th in a beautiful Double Tree Hilton Hotel. Couples from France, Germany, England, Canada and United States took the floor and challenged each other with great dancing. USA was in good hands with some of our best senior couples who were ready to take on their competition. Senior II Standard had a 12-couple semifinal. Thomas Yu and Yuko Naululani Yu placed 4th and Vince Feingold and Irina Feingold placed 5th. Both couples had quite a few 2nd and even 1st places given to them by some judges. Vincent and Irina also placed 2nd out of 11 couples in Senior III Standard. Senior I Latin was a seven-couple final and was a very exiting competition to judge. It was the most international final of the evening with couples from Germany and England battling Americans and Canadians. Irsan Tisnabudi and Cami Tisnabudi from the USA came in 4th, and I would have to disagree with my fellow judges in their decision. I gave Irsan and Cami first and second places as I felt that they were technically superior to most of the other couples in the final. I think this competition was a great example of friendly rivalry between two neighboring countries where beautiful dancing ended up winning and I am looking forward to more WDSF Open events in North America. Renata Shvarts is a WDSFlicensed adjudicator and WDC World-Class Adjudicator and Chairman of Judges. She is the founder and co-owner of NY dance studio chain “Basic Ballroom”. Renata has enjoyed a successful career as an amateur and professional dancer, competing and placing in the finals of multiple regional, national and international championships. She serves as President of Junior Athletes DanceSport Association (JADA). She holds a Master’s Degree in Education.

January-February 2014


Lee & Barbara Malmborg Social Dance Married Couple Bremerton, WA, Kitsap Chapter



OUR STORY: Barbara: Lee and I began dancing while he was in the Navy. We danced at social events and parties while Lee was on the Squadron Staff in Scotland. We are social dancers and have enjoyed dancing with each other all these years. The rewards are all the wonderful friends we have met who share the same interests. Lee: At my first Navy Ship’s party in 1957, everyone was having a good time dancing and I was just a wallflower. The following week I signed up for

really progressed in the last one. It’s hard to teach an Old Dog (me) new tricks. What advice do you give others? Lee: I often tell men that I enjoy dancing because it is the only time I’m in charge. At least Barbara let’s me think that. Does being married have an advantage for you? Barbara: Yes, I always have a dance partner.

(and Husbands) Words of Wisdom: Keeping & Leaving It On The Dance Floor By Angela Prince


inding a dance partner, or even a dance partner for life, has its set of challenges and rewards. While some dancers love changing partners, there are just as many who prefer to hold on to what they have…and for good reasons. Three USA Dance couples from social dancers in Washington to DanceSport competitors in New York and Charlotte offer some words of wisdom about making it work.


American Dancer |

lessons in San Diego. (Lee later served 10 years as USABADA Chap- What inspires your dancing the most as a married couple? ter president in Bremerton.) Barbara: We are inspired by the toDo you ever get into “interesting tal enjoyment of ballroom dancing. discussion” when you practice or Lee: I enjoy having an activity that go out to dance? we share and can also share with Barbara: Oh, yes!!! Sometimes we our close friends. give each other what we call “family looks” when we miss a step, but we If you wrote a best-sellnever get upset and just keep on er about “Dancing With dancing. At times, I do think Lee Wives (or Husbands)” what makes up steps, but I do my best to would be the main title? follow him. Barbara: Dancing With My Husband Lee: Our discussions revolve Is Joyful around…why do we want to try Lee: Dancing With The Love Of something new when we haven’t My Life

Vince & Irina Feingold

DanceSport Married Couple Senior I, II and III International Standard Haledon, NY, Greater New York Chapter OUR STORY: Irina: I joined a college dance club in Russia and finished a two-year program to teach dancing. I danced for five years until our daughter was born and family and immigration did not leave much time and resources for dancing after that. We later started taking salsa lessons at a studio and then discovered that we could learn and compete in International ballroom senior division. Since then we have been addicted to competitive dancing. We have not danced salsa since that day.

differences in a positive way…. also seeing her in the ballgown all made up does not let me forget how gorgeous she is.

Do you ever get into “interesting discussions”? Vince: Oh, we do! My pet peeve is when she decides to do someWhat are the unique challeng- thing on her own and does not follow me. That mostly happens es, ups and downs of dancing during practices. We get fussy as a married couple? Vince: We are empty-nesters and and argue…but we have no luxuhave been married for 30 years. ry of splitting…so we are forced I have seen a lot of couples drift to work it out in a positive way. apart, particularly when kids Irina: We have similar personalleave home. Dancing re-ignited ities, so we get fired up fast, but our link. We are a team. We work we cannot stay angry for a long together on common goals… time, so we make up fast and we always have something to move on. discuss….being a married couple means that I cannot change part- Any words of wisdom for other married couples who might ner, so we have to work out our compete? Vince: Dancing competitively transforms family into a team. It gives you another dimension of connectedness. It brings husband and wife closer together. Does being married have an advantage for you on the floor? Irina: Yes. Our emotions on the dance floor are real and true. We do not have to act liking each other. What inspires your dancing the most as a married couple? Irina: It is great to share your love for dance with someone you love. During our long 21 years break from dancing, we felt something was missing. It is amazing to have this special feeling back.

Dmitriy Solomakha & Gabriela Sevillano

DanceSport Engaged Couple Adult Championship Division Charlotte, NC, Charlotte Chapter OUR STORY: Dmitiry: I started dancing when I was six years old. I danced with a girl in the Ukraine, whose parents owned the dance studio and her father was our coach. We went on to become Junior I and II National Champions for three years. Gabriela: I started ballet when I was three years old and ballroom when I was 10, but fell in love with ballroom much earlier watching PBS America’s Ballroom Challenge. I danced Have you ever considered not ballet and ballroom until I was 18. dancing competitively once you get married? What lingers in your mind about Gabriela: Absolutely not! We your first experiences dancing will continue to dance until we together? become satisfied with our dancing and our results. We are aiming for Gabriela: We are both serious high things…and build a career dancers, strictly looking for a seritogether with the person you love. ous partnership to go compete… we never imagined that it would Dmitry: I think of building a strong develop into something more. future together, both in our proDmitry: I think when we first met fessional dance career, personally and had the first day at the studio, and our dance studio. we agreed on a lot of things how we wanted to develop a partnership to If you wrote a best-seller about build a good base to grow from. Dancing With Wives (or Husbands) what would be the main title? Gabriela: One thing that we Gabriela: Leave It On The learned very quickly was that we were both hard headed, so we DanceFloor learned to smooth our rough edges and it molded us into the people we are today. We have worked through so much together dancing wise that I think it brought us even closer together. Any words of wisdom for other couples who might consider dancing as a married couple? Gabriela: Be true to yourself and to each other. Always communicate what bothers you out and inside of dancing. Always leave your disagreements on the dance floor. Always! Does being a committed couple, now engaged have an advantage for you while dancing? Dmitry: I believe there is always an advantage when a couple loves each other in and out of dancing. January-February 2014




JetSet or JetLag? Taras Savitskyy & Tatiana Seliverstova

One World Cup, Then Five World Championships in 36 Days


aras Savitskyy and Tatiana Seliverstova, from New Jersey, who were the USA Dance 2013 National Champions in both Adult and Under-21 Championship 10-Dance divisions, represented the United States, competing in Latin, Standard and 10-Dance, and have much to share with USA Dance supporters. Keep in mind that never before has a USA Dance championship couple competed at such an intense schedule against the best amateur couples in the world, starting Sept. 28 in Austria and finishing Dec. 9 in Israel. AMERICAN DANCER: What did it mean to you to represent the USA at the World Championships and World Cup? T&T: It definitely was a huge honor for us to compete in these enormous competitions. We were excited to be traveling to five different countries. AD: Did the events live up to your expectations? T&T: Exceeded our expectations. The crowds were enormous, the atmosphere was spectacular. Everyone was cheering for all of the couples, and the energy made everyone want to dance their best. AD: Were you prepared for the high level of competition in your divisions? T&T: We did our best to prepare. Of course, for us it is never enough. Every day we strive to get better. Seeing all those top 44



Sep 28

World Cup Adult Latin (Austria)

19 out of 32

Nov 2

World Championship Under 21 Latin (Spain)

22 out of 97

Nov 16

World Championship Adult 10-Dance (Austria)

22 out of 38

Nov 23

World Championship Adult Standard (Kiev)

45 out of 70

Nov 30

World Championship Adult Latin (Germany)

44 out of 87

Dec 9

World Championship Under 21 10-Dance (Israel)

22 out of 32

Helmut Roland

couples in the world really convinced us to work even harder when we get back home so the next time, we will challenge them like never before. We definitely danced our best and many people said so. AD: What were other countries’ impressions about the USA? T&T: Everyone asked “what’s it like in America, how are the competitions, are the coaches good.” Many did not know much about us, but they are very interested. AD: What was the judging panels like at these events? T&T: All of the judges dress nicely but they’re wearing uniforms. No one looked more handsome or prettier than the other. All the judges are from different countries. No one hardly knew who the judges were

American Dancer |


or even their names. It really does give you a different feeling when you compete… It really gave all the couples that “no expectation” feeling. AD: What was the most fun about the trip, on and off the floor? T&T: The most fun on the floor was the parade ceremony….all the couples from different countries had a chance to really talk to each other. Couple of times, the child holding the USA Flag did not go to the right place so we were walking and walking. We made everyone laugh. In Austria, the organizer clearly said to not use hair and tanning spray in the changing rooms because of the fire alarm. Of course, no one listened and during the final of the world 10-dance, the alarm went off and everyone, even the competitors, had to exit.

By Deanna Dikeman DanceSport Member, Columbia, MO

GOING TO KANSAS CITY! Kansas City Here We Come!

Matt Harris

“I’m going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come....” There’s a song about going to Kansas City, a song that makes you want to get up and dance a swing. On Sept. 7, 2013, in Kansas City, there was a lot more than swing dancing.


here were fox trots and waltzes and cha-chas and sambas at a new USA Dance Amateur ballroom dance competition, the Kansas City Dance Classic (KCDC). This inaugural event featured 91 competitors, forming 51 couples, who danced 566 entries in 164 different events, 17 of which required elimination rounds. Matt and Ellen Pansing, the organizers and USA Dance Dancesport members for three years, said, “We came up with the idea for KCDC after spending 22 years doing lots of ballroom dancing in the Kansas City area. We’ve met many of our closest friends through the ballroom dance community and for this we are very grateful. In the last few years we’ve discovered the world of amateur ballroom competitions sponsored by USA Dance. We

Matt Harris

really enjoy these USA Dance competitions and believe in the format and idea of them. A year ago we realized none of them are held within 500 miles of Kansas City. We decided that should change.” Matt and Ellen spent over a year talking to other USA Dance organizers, scouting a venue, signing up volunteers, and making plans. And the dancers arrived. Twentyone couples came from outside Kansas and Missouri. Dancers traveled from Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Tennessee, and one couple came all the way from Florida. Many of the out-of-state couples had competed before at USA Dance events, but for most of the local couples, this was their first competition. American and International style dance heats were offered at all USA Dance proficiency levels and in age categories of Youth through Senior IV. Additionally, some open “fun” dances were offered (salsa, hustle, night club two-step, Argentine tango, and west coast swing). Mark Tabor used his O2CM to manage the competition, including electronic scoring from judges’ marks. Competitors were able to go online with smartphones during the event to track their heats at Dan Calloway was the Chairman and kept the competition running smoothly, and on schedule.

Matt Harris

Ellen & Matt Pansing, Event Organizers

After a full day of competition heats, there was an evening social dance with music provided by a local ballroom dance instructor leading his namesake The Michael Shultz Band. Mike and Rose-Ann Lynch, from Fredericksburg, Virginia, danced three thrilling showcase performances of tango, fox trot and waltz. Mike and Rose-Ann are the current and five-time USA Dance Senior II Smooth National Champions. KCDC is currently a USA Dance “Listed” event. The Pansings hope to grow KCDC to become a USA Dance National Qualifying Event. This year’s competition will be on Sept. 6 at the same location. For 2014, they will increase the competition time to accommodate the extra dancers that are expected and add events for Pre-Teen, Junior, and Youth age groups. There will be more judges, and a large projection display for upcoming heat information.

January-February 2014


L of

egacies Dance

“What we are most passionate about becomes our legacy.” — Mike Crump By Sharon Savoy, World Champion Dancer, Biographer


hat becomes a Legend most?’ is the rhetorical question from the one of most highly successful ad campaigns of the 20th century. In the ballroom dance world, the answer to that question would undoubtedly be Sam Sodano. Born to a modest background, Sam’s original fascination with dance occurred at age eight while watching the ‘Arthur Murray Dance Party’ on a small 10-inch black and white television set in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. The small seed planted that day sprouted the single-most driving force of Sam’s life — ballroom dance. During his competitive career, Sam is credited along with two other dance compatriots, Vernon Brock and Bob Medeiros, with forever changing Latin dance. Sam’s influence is still felt in the ripples and body rolls of today’s Latin champions. However, when he hung up his dance shoes, Sam’s contributions became more extensive. His first venture into competition organizing began with a oneday event that leap- frogged into the national spotlight with the airing of ‘Championship Ballroom Dancing’ on PBS. The Ohio Star Ball instantly became a fixture on every competitor’s calendar and was televised for 28 years. Never satisfied to just repeat success, Sam strove to invent new dance forums. The Collegiate, The Best of the Best Dancesport Challenge and the World Pro-Am Dancesport series gave newfound opportunities and challenges to a multitude of dancers of all ages.


Sam was instrumental in adding Dancesport to ‘The Arnold Sport Festival’ and has supported Youth Dancesport in a myriad of ways. Seven decades later Sam’s empire includes seven of the most highly attended Dancesport competitions in the nation, led by his original ‘baby’ the Ohio Star Ball. Yet, amidst all the accolades and awards, Sam remains accessible. His bawdy sense of humor is as notable as his competition mogul success and his continued interest in even the beginner bronze student. “This is a people business” states Sam. “If you don’t like people you’re in the wrong business.” Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher is quoted, “The measure of a man is what he does with power.” From mambo king to bodacious lecturer to organizer extraordinaire, Sam’s impact on the world of Dancesport is immeasurable. Sharon Savoy recently won a 2013 Hauding Award for ‘Best Global Female Dancer,’ a People’s Choice award representing 21 countries and presented in Macau, China. In her professional career, she was a 4X Blackpool Exhibition, 3X World Exhibition, 3X Star Search and 7X U.S. Open Cabaret Champion. Her first book “Ballroom! Obsession and Passion inside the World of Competitive Dance” published in 2010. She is the commissioned writer of Sam Sodano’s upcoming biography.

American Dancer |


SAM SODANO American Dancer Magazine has chosen Sam Sodano as a true legacy of dance, whose lifelong contributions to the world of dance have gone beyond the steps and the trophies to choreographing a new journey of opportunity that has made a measurable difference in the lives of amateur dancers in America.

Albert Parker/Park West Photography

National Qualifying Events


USA Dance 2014 National DanceSport Championships


FOR 2015 (first three):

Alex Rowan, DanceSport Photograhy

Eric Snajdr & Lisa Berry Senior I Standard Championship Division 2013 Chicago DanceSport Challenge

Jun 7 - 8, 2014 NEW JERSEY DANCESPORT CLASSIC Summer Sizzler Hackensack, NJ Jun 27 - 29, 2014 GUMBO DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS Baton Rouge, LA Aug 1 - 3, 2014 DERBY CITY DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS Louisville, KY For more information visit:




FOR REGISTRATION & SPECTATOR INFORMATION: Renaissance Harborplace Hotel Baltimore, MD March 28 – 30, 2014 USA Dance, as the National Governing Body for DanceSport in the United States, is the USA member organization of the World DanceSport Federation and the United States Olympic Committee. PHOTO CREDIT: Alex Rowan/DanceSport Photography

Brian Luhman & Alexis Koda (IN) Adult Novice & Pre-Championship Standard



AMERICAN DANCER Magazine January-February 2014  
AMERICAN DANCER Magazine January-February 2014