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Dancing Down Broadway Members of the Greater New York chapter participated in the annual New York City Dance Parade.

Figure it Out! Michelle Yiu and Kinsley Lin, members of the San Francisco chapter of USA Dance were chosen to compete on Nickelodeon’s gameshow “Figure it Out!”

Official Publication of USA Dance

Senior II & III World Championships

July-August 2012

Issue 37




76 Littleton Road, Rt 110, USA – Chelmsford, MA 01824-2625 Tel: +1 877 566 1824 Fax: +1 855 566 1824 Steven Varshavsky & Caroline Nunberg Manhattan Amateur Classic/Jan 2012 - Photo By: Ryan Kenner Photography

On the Cover 10 Dancing Down Broadway

Members of the Greater NY Chapter of USA Dance participated for the sixth time in the annual New York City Dance Parade.

26 Figure it Out!

USA Dance members were given an opportunity to showcase their dancing talent on Nickelodeon TV for millions of viewers and won some incredible prizes in the process.


Photo Courtesy Of Maria Tam

32 Senior II Latin & Senior III Standard World Championships

Nine couples representing the United States traveled to Mallorca, Spain to compete at the WDSF World Championships with the best dancers on the planet.

Inside the Cover Line of Dance

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28 29 30 32 34 36 38 39 40 42

President’s Report Editorial Information & Contributors Important Announcements

Dance Floor

10 12 14 16 18 20

Dancing Down Broadway Cruisin’ in the Caribbean A Night at the Oscars National Ballroom Dance Week Olympic Day in Orlando Making a Difference

On Beat

22 26

USA DANCE in the Public Eye Figure it Out!


National Champions and World Team National Sponsor: Ernest Borel Star Quality Awards Senior II Latin WDSF World Championship Senior III Standard WDSF World Championship Competition Calendars New England DanceSport Championships Changes in the WDSF Cabaret and Formation Championships Gem State Classic

In Step

44 46

National Collegiate DanceSport Championships AD Marketplace and DanceMart

2012 July - August 3



FINAL THOUGHTS ON BERLIN Much has been written about the June, 2012 WDSF annual General Assembly Meeting in Berlin, and most of you have probably seen the USA Dance press release issued earlier on the outcome of this meeting. But I would like to add my thoughts on what this means for USA Dance and its position in the dance world. Despite my columns in the past regarding the benefits to DanceSport in being part of the Olympic movement and my encouragement to our chapters to celebrate our connection to Olympism via Olympic Day, there are still some who continue to question the value of our Olympic affiliation and the designation of competitive ballroom dancing as a sport. If nothing else, the WDSF’s lifting of athlete suspensions at the Berlin meeting has demonstrated concretely the benefits which USA Dance derives from its relationship with the USOC. The USOC takes very seriously its responsibility to protect the rights of athletes to practice their sport without undue restrictions. This right is provided to athletes and officials under the Olympic Charter, USOC Bylaws and the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act passed by Congress and signed into law by the President of the United States. Because the USOC recognizes USA Dance as the National Governing Body for DanceSport in the U.S., the above provisions and protections apply to USA Dance members. Those outside the Olympic movement do not get this same level of protection. Consequently, when I requested a letter from the USOC General Counsel’s Office to take to Berlin outlining the protections for athletes in this country, the USOC took my request seriously and provided USA Dance with a strong and clear letter against the banning of athletes within the U.S. merely because they choose to participate outside the competitions of their International Governing Body, which for DanceSport is the WDSF.

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This letter had a strong impact on the WDSF Presidium and the Delegates of the other national federations. When added to a similar letter received from the National Olympic Committee of Denmark as well as information received from the International Olympic Committee, the combined effect was to provide clear and incontrovertible reasons to the Presidium to revise their policy regarding athlete suspensions and to allow for the reinstatement of all athletes and officials who had been suspended. Having a strong, principled organization like the USOC in one’s corner and being part of a global athletic movement that has within it both artistic and non artistic sports that are known and respected around the world, is a great benefit to USA Dance and all its members. USA Dance has sent its thanks to the USOC General Counsel’s Office for their great assistance to our members, and we look forward to developing an even closer relationship with the USOC in the future. And now that the distractions caused by the suspension of athletes and officials are behind us, the WDSF and its national federations, including USA Dance, have emerged stronger and more committed to work in unison toward the further growth and development of DanceSport as a healthful recreational activity, an art and a sport.

Lydia T. Scardina

National President, USA Dance


2012 July - August 5


Contributing Writers

A m e r i c a n

Jean Krupa

National Officers

Jean Krupa currently serves as the Social Vice President for USA Dance. She served as Region VI Vice President in 1999. She was a founding member of the Greater Daytona Chapter in 1990.

PRESIDENT Lydia Scardina, 415.469.9815 e-mail: SENIOR VP Bill Rose, 949.842.8284 e-mail: SECRETARY Stan Andrews, 217.454.8879 e-mail: TREASURER Esther Freeman, 541.779.6787 e-mail: DANCESPORT VP Ken Richards, 302.290.2583 e-mail: SOCIAL VP Jean Krupa, 386.761.1625 e-mail: •

Editorial Staff

Editor-in-chief Shawn Fisher PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Michael Mecham WRITERS Michael Mecham • Jean Stoddard ART & PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Aimee Mecham DESIGNERS Aimee Mecham • Michael Mecham

Angela Prince Angela Prince is the National Public Relations Director for USA Dance, responsible for all integrated PR programs, organization publicity and communications, national media relations, social media relations and brand development. She is also the editorial advisor for American Dancer magazine and other publications.


WRITERS Jean Krupa EDITORIAL ADVISOR Angela Prince, USA Dance Director of Public Relations •

Rates & Prices

American Dancer is published bimonthly as a service for members and is included in membership annual dues. •


Individual Non-Member $25 Canadian Air Delivery $32 Overseas Air Delivery $36 Library Subscription $9 •

Guest Writers


Donna Arehart

AD REPRESENTATIVE Angela Prince 704.507.2699 e-mail: •

Beryle I. Baker


Nicole Barron

American Dancer welcomes submissions of letters, articles and photos. All submissions are considered the property of American Dancer. Submission does not guarantee publication. Articles and letters may also be edited for length and content without notice to the author. Photos and other materials are not returned. Submissions may be sent to •

John Davis Martha Estevez

Letters to the editor

Please include your name, city and state. Names will appear in full unless specified otherwise. •

Chapter News

Please include chapter name and number, contact information and any photos with caption information that you might have. •


Must be high resolution, print quality digital photos. 600 dpi. Send to editorial office: e-mail: or mail to: American Dancer magazine PO Box 462 Rexburg, ID 83440-0462 •



Dancing Down Broadway Members of the Greater New York chapter participated in the annual New York City dance parade.

Figure it Out! Michelle Yiu and Kinsley Lin, members of the San Francisco chapter of USA Dance were chosen to compete on Nickelodeon’s gameshow “Figure it Out!”


If you need information concerning membership or missed issues, contact: Mary at USA Dance Central Office 800.447.9047 • Fax: 239.573.0946 E-mail: Check our Web Site -

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July-August 2012

Greater NY Chapter members participate in the sixth annual New York City Dance Parade in May 2012.

Photo by David Kung

Official Publication of USA Dance

Senior II & III World Championships

Cover Photo

Issue 37

Background AD Staff

Announcements New Resources on the Website USA Dance has many resources available online in the document library section of the website. Here are a few of the resources available: 1. A proof of liability insurance certificate for the new policy period July13, 2012-July 13, 2013 is available for download from the Insurance folder 2. A promotional tri-fold brochure under the Promotion and Publicity folder titled “About USA Dance” 3. A dance etiquette that outlines proper dance etiquette for those who are unfamiliar with or new to social dances. All these resources and more are available to all USA Dance members.

Time to Begin Planning Fall Elections Chapters hold election of their full nine-member board every two years.  Those chapters with last elections held Fall 2010 need to review guidelines, set up their election committee, and begin planning.  Any USA Dance member in good standing is eligible to be nominated to, run for, and serve on the chapter’s board or as an officer. Every member is also eligible to vote in elections.  No board member or officer, however, can use their position on the board for personal gain. See the Board Management folder in the document library for more information about the election process and a timeline to help guide you.  Elections should be held in the fall with the new term beginning January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2014.


2012 July - August 7


Chapter Press Releases When preparing press releases to local media about your chapter’s events, include the following about us statementat the end of the press release. Be sure to identify yourself as USA Dance Chapter #0000 in all promotional materials as well. ABOUT USA DANCE.  USA DANCE Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization, is the National Governing Body for DanceSport in the United States and with 174 local chapters, represents both social and competitive dancers throughout the USA.  USA Dance is the United States multi-sports member organization of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the World DanceSport Federation.  Website:

Landmark Decision at the 2012 WDSF Annual General Meeting USA Dance, member organization of the World DanceSport Federation for the United States, is pleased to announce that the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) at its 2012 Annual General Meeting in Berlin, Germany, in a landmark decision, has removed all suspensions affecting DanceSport athletes and officials participating outside of sanctioned-WDSF competitions, and will reinstate immediately all previously suspended athletes to active member status.

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23rd ANNUAL NEW YEAR’S WEEKEND EVENT Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel, Norfolk, Virginia FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012 – MONDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2012


All Levels & Styles


Performances & Social Dancing


Photography, Shoes & Dancewear

Photo by: Carson Zullinger, Photographer

Stay Tuned for Exciting Changes & Details Website:


2012 July - August 9

Dancing Down Broadway with Greater NY Chapter of USA Dance

By Nicole Barron

The Greater New York Chapter was found dancing down Broadway and the streets of New York City on May 19. Members participated in the sixth annual New York Dance Parade which featured almost 6,000 dancers from 144 different dance organizations. In addition to ballroom dancing, the parade also featured dancers of roller disco, Bollywood, flamenco, hip-hop, ballet, and many more. The Greater New York Chapter has been participating in the Dance Parade since its first year in 2007. Each year since then has grown to attract more dancers and more spectators. Daniel Libatique, who participated in his second Dance Parade this year, said, “It’s a great chance to socialize with ballroom friends, show New Yorkers what ballroom is all about, and to see the best of what the New York dance scene has to offer outside of the ballroom world.” In addition to the Greater New York Chapter, members of local collegiate competitive dance teams also came to join in on the dancing fun. The Ballroom and Latin Dance Team at NYU has been participating in the Dance Parade for the Greater New York Chapter for the past few years. Kathleen Sun, a first time participant in Dance Parade and a member of the Ballroom Team at NYU, said,

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“It was so much fun dancing in our sea of purple shirts that proudly said USA Dance - The Best of NYC Ballroom, especially since I am a Newcomer/ Bronze level [dancer on] the NYU team. I love all types of dance and I was very happy to represent the ballroom [for] NYC!” In the last stretch of the parade, participants were asked to perform in front of a grandstand to show everyone their style of dance. The Greater New York Chapter danced a Cha Cha that drew cheers and applause from the crowd. The parade ended at Tompkins Square Park in the East Village where participants and spectators congregated at DanceFest. DanceFest featured numerous performances, workshops, and socials that were free to the public in order to promote and celebrate dance. “Dance Parade has been a wonderful way for the Greater New York Chapter to showcase ballroom to the people of New York City,” said Yang Chen, president of the Greater New York Chapter. “We are pleased and excited each year to be a part of it, and this year, we couldn’t have asked for a prettier spring day to dance down the streets of New York. We hope to be able to continue representing ballroom at the Dance Parade in years to come!”

Photo by David Kung

“Dance Parade has been a wonderful way for the Greater New York Chapter to showcase ballroom to the people of New York City. We are pleased and excited each year to be a part of it.”


2012 July - August 11


in the Caribbean By Michael Mecham

“Part of the former Netherlands Antilles, Aruba is an island of contrast, with an arid interior dotted with cactus and windswept divi-divi tress and a coast of secluded coves and sandy beaches.” It’s summer time, but winter will be here

before you know it. Don’t let the cold whether slow you down, instead, join us on an alluring southern Caribbean cruise. The Fourth USA Dance National Dance Cruise features an outstanding mixture of dance and exotic ports of call. The cruise will include a full program of ballroom, Latin and club-style dance classes, giving all you USA Dance members a great opportunity to learn, improve your technique and share your passion for dancing—as well as exciting shows, gala theme nights and an onboard casino—with your fellow dancers. You’ll first visit a private island getaway, Princess Cays, where a beautiful white sandy beach, snorkeling, skin diving, food and fun await. Following a couple of days at sea—with plenty of dance classes—Aruba is the next stop. Part of the former Netherlands Antilles, Aruba is an

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island of contrast, with an arid interior dotted with cactus and windswept divi-divi tress and a coast of secluded coves and sandy beaches. Finally, the ship stops at beautiful and colorful Curacao, another former Dutch colony with dramatic contrasts. Located 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela, Curacao boasts a landscape that is dramatic, stark and volcanic; yet the capital of Willemstad—in contrast—seems like a cozy Dutch haven with its famous neat and colorful row houses. If you’ve never experienced a USA Dance National Dance cruise, this is your chance.

Come join us this December for your second chance cruise with USA Dance!


oin USA Dance members, family and friends for our Fourth National Dance Cruise, December 1-8, 2012, aboard the beautiful Caribbean Princess. Leaving from Ft. Lauderdale and visiting exotic destinations such as Curacao and Aruba, you’ll enjoy a wide variety of dance classes with America’s top professional instructors as well as nearly non-stop activities on board. Cabins are limited, so make your reservations NOW! *Based on double occupancy. Cruise taxes and insurance not included.

Travel Themes and Dreams is a licensed and bonded Florida Seller of Travel (#ST-37225)

Book now by calling 866-391-2680 or go online to

USA Dance, Inc., a 501c3 non profit organization, is the national governing body for DanceSport in the United States and representative organization for social dancers across America. Cruise organizer is USA Dance Social VP Jean Krupa.


2012 July - August 13

A Night at the Oscars By Donna Arehart

The glamour and excitement of the Academy Awards served as a shining example for the Charlottesville, VA USA Dance Chapter #6044 at their February 25th social dance “A Night at the Oscars”. Dancers were encouraged to wear Hollywood inspired attire by dressing as their favorite movie stars or characters. Upon entering the building, dancers were ushered down the red carpet to have their picture taken by the paparazzi. A simple curtain reflecting USA Dance logos served as the official backdrop. Golden Oscar statuettes (imitations, of course) were handed to each “star” to enhance their photo experience. Professional photographer Erin Mastrantonio did a fabulous job of capturing the fun and frivolity of the evening. Pictures and video were later posted to the chapter’s website and Facebook page for easy access. Prizes were awarded for the best dressed male and female. There were many original and clever costumes ranging from Laurel and Hardy, Charlie

Chaplin and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The Playlist was carefully assembled to include danceable movie tunes from across the decades since the first Oscars had been awarded in 1929. Dancers delighted in learning a Viennese Waltz mixer that is danced in a circle and changes partners every eight bars of music. A display of famous movie dance scenes played in the background, and game show trivia contests rounded out the evening. This was our first attempt at incorporating audiovisual media into our social dances, and it was extremely well received. Although theme dances require additional preplanning and work, they are well worth the effort. Our dance community, which includes the University of Virginia Ballroom Dance Club, was very receptive to this idea, which greatly contributed to the electric mood throughout the evening. In fact, it was so successful, that our next dance will be themed again, featuring the Roaring Twenties! Photos By Erin Mastrantonio

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“There were many original and clever costumes ranging from Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.�


2012 July - August 15

national ballroo dance week For more information about the history of National Ballroom Dance Week and for ideas to start or grow your chapter’s celebrations visit national-ballroom-dance-week/

Be sure to post your ideas and events on our Facebook page! usadanceinc

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t’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, the grass is green, and the days are longer; it must be time to grab your dancing shoes and gear up for this year’s National Ballroom Dance Week. NBDW is a huge event for parts of the country, but it wasn’t always that way. NBDW began in 1989 when some dancers living in New York City decided to put together a “Ballroom Week”. Their efforts caused dancing to take place all over the city as they worked with studios, professional dancers, and local government officials. These humble beginnings led to the incredible nation-wide event that NBDW has become. For chapters and areas where the idea of a huge dancing extravaganza seems completely overwhelming, remember to start small. One night of free lessons and dancing can help spread the joy of dancing to a few people. Then next year, those people will come back and bring their friends, and some more people will experience the joy. In a few short years, the idea of NBDW won’t be an overwhelming responsibility, but instead a tool to increase membership, gain community support, and spread the incredible joy of ballroom dance to hundreds or even thousands of people. NBDW only comes once a year, so be sure not to miss this year’s event September 21-30. By Michael Mecham


NBDW began in 1989 when some dancers living in New York City decided to put together a “Ballroom Week”. www.USAdance.ORG

2012 July - August 17

In Orlando – Honoring DanceSport Athletes, Fitness, Olympic Ideals! By John Davis, President, Orlando FL Chapter #6002

The Orlando Fashion Square Mall was filled with shoppers on Saturday afternoon, June 23. Suddenly, they heard the sound of Olympic music coming from the Center Court stage and saw dancers lined up in parade formation, led by the Orlando USA Dance Chapter banner and the U.S. Olympic Team banner.

Thirty Orlando Chapter DanceSport Athletes, all ages and levels, led the grand entrance parade to the stage, and the model “competition” began. Seven competition heats alternated with 11 awesome showcase performances, ending with a fun interactive Merengue number with athletes and audience all dancing together.

Hundreds of mall-goers and area dancers lined the Mall’s two levels and watched as Orlando FL Chapter #6002 held demonstration DanceSport competition heats and showcase performances to celebrate Olympic Day; to honor all athletes, including DanceSport competitors; to promote fitness and well-being; and to show the public the excitement, grace, and joy of ballroom dancing.

Participants included: Olympian Jim Millns, Judge Darlene Siciliano, Registrar Sarah Thompson, DJ’s Bobby & Judi Chapman, Emcee John Davis, Videographer Gisela Smith, Stager Nilsa Salerno, and Dancers: Benny Maquiera & Carol Burkett, Sebastian Quinones & Natalia Sanabria, Primo Garcia & Amanda Aker, Ricky & Michelle Drummond, Alex Portabales & Irina Gavrilovich, Tom Huber & Carla Hoskins, Desi Brophy & Nadine Ferri, Sam & Kimberly Hamilton, Aaron Fenwick & Aimee Allen, Raan Hisleher & Shelli Browning, and the Dance It Youth Team: Angelle Baez, Jamie Zabaia, Flavia Estrada, Xavier Quinones, Randy Rivera, Kevin Rivera, Chris Rivera, Javier Rivera, Shalimar Leon, and Natalia Sanabria.

Proclamations from Orlando Mayor Dyer and Orange County Mayor Jacobs were read, proclaiming June 23 as “Olympic Day” and explaining that USA Dance Inc. is the national Governing Body for DanceSport in the U.S. Olympian Jim Millns, 1976 Bronze Medalist in Ice Dancing and the event’s special guest, provided inspiring commentary on the Olympic ideals of Fair Play, Perseverance, Respect, and Sportsmanship. 18 Dance Floor

Everyone is looking forward to showing the public the excitement of DanceSport again next year: Olympic Day 2013!

Photos By Judi Chapman


2012 July - August 19

Atlanta Chapter 6093:

Making a Difference By Beryle I. Baker

The Metro Atlanta USA Dance chapter (6093), the newest of two dynamic and fast-growing USA Dance chapters in Atlanta, is sweeping the community with several innovative techniques and initiatives designed to make a difference in promoting USA Dance mission of improving the quality and quantity of ballroom dancing in America. These new techniques and initiatives include three steps: membership expansion, community involvement, and youth talent development.

Step I

Membership expansion. The new “stimulate the economy” technique is designed to increase and sustain membership, which is the core strength of any chapter. When a dancer attends 10 monthly dances, the chapter will pay the dancer’s USA Dance membership dues for one year.

Step II

Community involvement. This special technique fosters the development of informal community based partnerships which in turn provides powerful connections and extensions. For example, at a recent USA Dance monthly dance, Chapter 6093 shared the host ballroom with another dance organization which sponsored a workshop featuring Blackpool competitor and finalist, Anna Mikhed. This was an extraordinary win-win event whereby some chapter members attended the workshop and in turn, non-USA Dance workshop participants attended the chapter’s monthly dance party.

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Step III

Youth talent development. This technique recognizes that one of the most powerful dance connections is its embrace of the future dancers. This provides organizational balance. By recognizing that youth are our future, Chapter 6039 recently showcased and provided competition travel scholarships for two youth exhibitionists. The dancers’ smiles confirmed that we made a wise investment. (See the attached photographs.) Chapter President Mark Garber sums it up: “To make a difference, we must incorporate in our activities the USA Dance mission which is created to advance ballroom dancing, community involvement, and youth talent development.”

“These new techniques and initiatives include three steps: membership expansion, community involvement, and youth talent development.�

Photo courtesy of Beryle I. Baker


2012 July - August 21


PUBLIC EYE Angela Prince

USA Dance New Ad Campaign Brings Awareness ‘To The World’

USA Dance launched its new advertising campaign “to the world” in DanceBeat magazine in early June – which was not only a celebration of our dancesport athletes who represent us abroad at the World DanceSport Federation world championships and games, but a strong statement of the strength and position of our democratic organization, that represents both social dancers and competitors throughout the country. The newest WDSF World Championship division in which our athletes competed this year was Senior III Standard in Mallorca, Spain, and it was their truly glorious photograph, supplied to us by the athletes themselves, that became symbolic of what USA Dance and dancesport is all about.

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The main photo of our Senior III standard competitors in proud ceremonial procession around the WDSF ballroom floor, proudly holding our American flag, was simply a grand moment.

The ad headline reads “proudly representing all USA DanceSport athletes and social dancers in pursuit of excellence, unity and positive change.” And the main photo of our Senior III standard competitors in proud ceremonial procession around the WDSF ballroom floor, proudly holding our American flag, was simply a grand moment. The ad also features one of our Junior II Ten-Dance couples -- a powerful statement for USA Dance that the sport and recreation of ballroom dancing has a place for both the young and adults of all ages. The new USA Dance print ad appeared prior to the World DanceSport Federation’s Annual General Meeting in Berlin, June 19-20, where a landmark decision was made by the WDSF to eliminate the athlete suspension policy it had adopted. This collective effort to gain WDSF support for this important and pivotal change resulted primarily from the efforts of USA Dance and eight additional member countries. We are proud to announce that our DanceSport Vice President Ken Richards was elected from the floor at this meeting to serve on the WDSF Presidium – a position of great honor and influence in the future of global dancesport. (See AD interview with Ken Richards in this issue.) www.USADANCE.ORG

“Proudly representing all USA DanceSport athletes and social dancers in pursuit of excellence, unity and positive change.”

2012 July - August 23

FOR SALE FOR A GOOD CAUSE Last Year, Swarovski and USA Dance began a special brand alliance and in collaboration with four ballroom fashion designers, created 20 spectacular costumes for 10 of our championship level dancesport couples. The costumes debuted at The 2011 National DanceSport Championships in Baltimore, and many were showcased abroad at the WDSF World Championships and other prominent events and competitions in America. Participating Designer Sponsors: Deirdre of London Designs To Shine Dore Designs Elle Dance Studio

The sale of these brilliant Swarovski Elements adorned costumes continue this year to raise money for USA Dance athlete training programs and scholarships. Swarovski has agreed to donate back to USA Dance one-half of the sales proceeds to this program for 2012.

Many of the Swarovski-Designer costumes are for sale and are being shown at the designer’s booths at the various dance competitions throughout the U.S. If you are interested in any of these one-of-a-kind ballgowns and latin costume for standard or latin, we can connect you with the designers who can first send you photos. But if you have the Nationals 2011 issue of American Dancer magazine, you’ll see these beautiful designs in action. Nearly every couple wearing one of the sponsored costumes, either placed first or second in their championships divisions. Catch the energy and please support USA Dance athletes! 24 On Beat

Photos courtesy of Angela Prince

FOR OUR CHAPTERS WHO ARE IN THE PUBLIC EYE, OR WOULD JUST LIKE A LITTLE MORE LIMELIGHT. With lots of events coming up, here are just a few publicity tips I’d like to share with our chapters to help better promote your activities, increase participation and get the public recognition you deserve.

TIP 1.

YOU’RE EITHER A HEADLINE, A STORY OR FORGOTTEN. Remember at the beginning of every school year, you had to write “what I did for summer vacation.” Remember all the boring ones you had to listen to (of course, not yours)? That’s not how your press releases and articles for American Dancer Magazine or any media need to read. Your job is to be a Headline Maker. Think like a celebrity and beyond the sometimes boring facts of what happened. What really made a difference about your event? What were the real special highlights? What was exciting, different and truly memorable? And what were people talking about the next day? If it was no different than any other event, you really don’t have a story. Find the real human angle or at least some wow factor. Think what you can do that no one else has ever done or simply tap into what’s popular or of interest. And always find ways you can change people’s lives through dance…forever.

Media Who’s Who List, perhaps in an Excel format. Never send emails alerts or press releases addressed to “whom it may concern” or “the editor.” Everyone has a name, most have a title, and you really need to know them personally. Take time to get an actual copy of every print publication in your area. Google your local television and radio stations and visit their websites – then look for the News, Features, Social, Arts & Entertainment, Sports, Business and City Desk Editors. Add lifestyle and social magazines editors. And, then don’t forget about internet sites and bloggers writing about things to do in your area. Always know who’s writing what topics. . .and especially who loves dance.

Now that you have a Great Media List (updated monthly), one caution for now – don’t inundate your media with invitations, announcements or phone calls about ordinary things. For example, just having a dance isn’t big news, but having a star performer or inviting your local senior center may be. Celebrating National Ballroom Dance Week and Olympic Day Celebrations are definitely big news – so consider inviting them to attend. It’s THINK ENGAGING YOUR LOCAL MEDIA. Every invitation, press release, or announcement you all about engagement! send out needs to reach the right people or it may get trashed. In media, it’s who you know that makes If you have any questions, always email me at a difference. First, start by creating an accurate

TIP 2.


2012 July - August 25

By Michael Mecham

“Giving kids a TV platform to showcase their quirky personal talents is core to the fun of Figure it Out,” said Marjorie Cohn, Nickelodeon’s President of Development and Original Programming. “Combine this with slime and a panel of fiercely competitive Nick stars and you have a game that is uniquely Nickelodeon.” Every Figure It Out episode features a panel of four stars trying to guess the unique talent or accomplishment of the contestants by asking yes or no questions. For every round the panel fails to figure it out, the contestant wins a prize. If, after three rounds, the panel can’t figure out the kid’s unique skill, the contestant takes home the grand prize. Each game culminates in the reveal of the talent with an instudio demo. Two members of USA Dance were able to compete on the “Figure it Out” game show, and on July 18, it was aired to the world. Michelle Yiu and Kinsley Lin have been dancing together for almost two years. These members of the San Francisco chapter have really shone in the competitive arena. They placed second in Junior I Championship Latin and third in Junior I Championship Ten Dance competition at the 2012 National DanceSport Championships. Their placement at the national competition is what gave them the opportunity to apply to be on the show. The panel of judges failed to guess what Michelle and Kinsley’s unique talent was, so the two dancers ended up winning a kayak, a backpack, a Mobo Cruiser, and a trip to Atlantis Paradise Island. They were also able to demonstrate a cha cha routine at the end of the show. For Michelle, the whole experience was a dream come true: 26 On Beat

“One of my dreams has been to be on TV. I was lucky to be given a chance to achieve my dream on May 2, 2012. The day started out like any other day, wake up, brush my teeth, eat breakfast, and go to school. At lunchtime, my mom took me out of school early. She told me that she received an email from the public relations director of USA Dance, Angela Prince, stating that my partner, Kinsley Lin, and I might get a chance to be on TV! I made a video of my partner and I dancing and posted it on YouTube so the casting producers could decide who they wanted on the game show. “The next day my mom received a call from the casting producer, saying that we got picked to go to Los Angeles to shoot for Figure It Out. That Saturday we went down to the Paramount Studios and shot our episode for Figure it Out. In our episode, the four panelists were Ariana Grande, Jennette McCurdy, Noah Crawford, and Ciara Bravo. It was amazing to meet actual stars from Nickelodeon,” stated Michelle Yiu This chance to be on TV was a huge opportunity for Michelle and Kinsley, but also for USA Dance and ballroom dancing in general. Nickelodeon reaches more than 214 million households worldwide. Increasing the popularity and exposure of ballroom dancing is the main goal of USA Dance, and that’s exactly what this show provided. Michelle and Kinsley learned a lot from this experience and while they were a little nervous for their first TV appearance, they look forward to hopefully getting another chance to be on TV and sharing their dancing talents with others.

Photos courtesy of Maria Tam


2012 July - August 27

Top Finalists - USA Dance 2012 National DanceSport Championships Senior II Championship Ten Dance (SCRPJWTVFQ) 1) Paul Giuliano & Louise Giuliano - NY 2) Sean Shiauh Wei Lin & Vivian Lin - NY 3) Michael Otero & Diane Darling – MA

Senior II Championship Nine Dance (WTFVCRSBM) ) 1) Daniel Fugazzotto & Janis Merluzzo - FL 2) Roger Greenawalt & Amy Greenawalt - IN 3) Bill L. Underwood & Patti A. Underwood – PA

Senior III Championship Latin (SCRPJ) 1) Richard Chiang & Iris Chiang - CA 2) Robert A. Blank & Martha Estevez - CT 3) John E. Linn & Kathy S. Linn - TN

Senior III Championship Standard (WTVFQ) 1) Hans Stork & Ans Stork - AZ 2) Lonny K.W. Tsang & Susan Tsang - IL 3) Terry Yeh & Glendy Yeh - CA

World Team: Senior III Standard Hans Stork & Ans Stork

Photos By AD Staff

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Lonny K.W. Tsang & Susan Tsang

Senior III Championship Ten Dance (WTVFQSCRPJ) 1) Paul Giuliano & Louise Giuliano - NY 2) John E. Linn & Kathy S. Linn - TN 3) Robert A. Blank & Martha Estevez - CT

Senior III Championship Rhythm (CRSBM) 1) Daniel Fugazzotto & Janis Merluzzo - FL 2) Roger Greenawalt & Amy Greenawalt - IN 3) Bill L. Underwood & Patti A. Underwood - PA

Senior III Championship Smooth (WTFV) 1) Roger Greenawalt & Amy Greenawalt - IN 2) Peter Greenslade & Sue Eldred – AZ 3) Anthony Conger & Judith Dygdon - IL

Senior III Championship Nine Dance (WTFVCRSBM) 1) Roger Greenawalt & Amy Greenawalt - IN 2) Daniel Fugazzotto & Janis Merluzzo - FL 3) Bill L. Underwood & Patti A. Underwood - PA

Senior II Latin Robert A. Blank & Martha Estevez

Photo courtesy of Robert Blank

From American Dancer: In the May-June issue of American Dancer Magazine, we made an unintentional omission of several championship division results in our coverage of the USA Dance 2012 National DanceSport Championships, particularly in the senior divisions. As a result, a number of the USA Dance athletes have not received the recognition due to them for their achievements. This is very regretable and we offer our sincere apologies to all the athletes affected.

USA Dance 2012 Sponsor ERNEST BOREL: From Watch Quality Awards to Star Quality Awards Ernest BOREL, the proud sponsor of the USA Dance 2012 National DanceSport Championships, was deeply honored to join USA Dance as the brand alliance partner for the 3rd annual Star Quality Awards, which were presented by ABC-TV’s highly popular celebrity judge of “Dancing with the Stars” Carrie Ann Inaba, who is Honorary Judge of the annual Star Quality Awards and Ambassador for USA Dance. Since 1856, Ernest BOREL has received numerous global awards for the exceptional quality, beauty and precision of its watches.

Today, the brand is widely known throughout the world by the lovers of quality watches, especially in the United States thanks to the famous Cocktail model which was successfully introduced on American soil in the 1950s.

ERNEST BOREL. A Swiss brand built through excellence and romanticism. In 1866, Jules Borel and Paul Courvoisier, the founders of the company, had already won a first prize in a product competition held by the Neuchatel Observatory, the highest authority of timing products in Switzerland. Ten years later in 1876, Ernest BOREL received the prestigious Certificate of Award in Philadelphia distinguishing its high quality watches. This important achievement in America history was the first of many to come. Two years later, in 1978, Ernest BOREL was awarded in Paris, France, the first-ever gold medal bestowed in the Swiss watch industry.

Since this glorious achievement era, Ernest BOREL has been further awarded for the precision of its chronometers. www.USAdance.ORG

Run by precision and excellence in watch-making, Ernest BOREL ranks today amongst the largest producers of officially certified chronometers COSC®, deemed the best brands in the world. In April 2012, Ernest BOREL conveyed elegance, romanticism and excellence by presenting the USA Dance Quality Star Awards alongside Honorary Judge Carrie Ann Inaba to the most talented ballroom and latin dancers from America. The common values shared by the Ernest Borel brand and this USA Dance award are the ones upon which the company has built its legacy of excellence through the decades. Each watch manufactured in the Ernest BOREL workshop is the result of more than 155 years of traditions and perfection in watch-making that allowed Ernest BOREL to win numerous prizes and awards since 1856. As in both watch-making and dancing, precision, movement, timing, passion and harmony separate the virtuosity from the common. Today, Ernest BOREL rewards the best dancers as well as their outstanding performances through the Star Quality Award, as a tribute to its own history… For more information: / 2012 July - August 29

Star Quality Awards

Junior II Ten Dance #259 Mike Monokandilos & Cara Yun Loo

Youth Ten Dance #165 Kevin Morales & Elina Khotinskaya

Thomas Huggler, Carrie Ann Inaba, Pietro Meloni, Ken Richards (Left to right, not including couple)

Pietro Meloni, Carrie Ann Inaba, Thomas Huggler, Ken Richards Adult Latin #591 Pasha Pashkov & Daniella Karagach

Senior I Standard #104 David Wright & Liva Wright

Thomas Huggler, Carrie Ann Inaba, Pietro Meloni, Ken Richards

Thomas Huggler, Carrie Ann Inaba, Pietro Meloni, Ken Richards 30 DanceSport

The USA Dance Star Quality Awards were first launched with great success at the 2008 USA Dance Nationals in Baltimore. The 2012 Star Quality Awards were were sponsored by the Ernest Borel Swiss watchmaker. The awards are outside of the traditional judging that occurs at Nationals. The awards were presented by Carrie Ann Inaba, honorary celebrity judge, and Ernest Borel representatives Thomas Huggler and Pietro Meloni. Following the final round of each division, the awards were presented to the one couple that exhibited “star performance� qualities. Photos By Carson Zullinger

Pre-Teen II Gold Standard #569 Tyler Li & Anjelica Lowe

Junior II Standard #136 Patryk Ploszaj & Anna Kaczmarski

Pietro Meloni, Carrie Ann Inaba, Thomas Huggler, Ken Richards

Youth Latin #648 Landon Anderson & Jenna Johnson

Thomas Huggler, Pietro Meloni, Carrie Ann Inaba, Ken Richards

Adult Standard #728 Sergey Dementyev & Toma Snieskaite

Thomas Huggler, Carrie Ann Inaba, Pietro Meloni, Ken Richards


Thomas Huggler, Carrie Ann Inaba, Pietro Meloni, Ken Richards 2012 July - August 31

Perspective: Competing for the

USA at the WDSF World Senior II Latin

Robert Blank & Martha Estevez Photo courtesy of Robert Blank

SENIOR II LATIN By Martha Estevez

At the 2012 USA Dancesport Nationals when Bob and I were finalists in Senior 2 and 3 Latin (we placed 2nd in Senior 3 Latin, and 3rd in Senior 3 10-Dance), we realized that we had made the World Team and would be representing the USA at the World Championships in Mallorca Spain. We were beyond thrilled. We quickly made preparations for the Worlds event that was barely three weeks away. After what seemed to be an endless trip from JFK, we finally arrived in Mallorca on Thursday, 4/26 in the late afternoon. Tired, hungry and exhausted, we managed to grab quick showers and headed off to find a good meal. We did not have to walk too far to find a restaurant with outside seating overlooking the beach that served fabulous seafood. The Hotel Delfin Mar was well located, 32 DanceSport

within walking distance to a bus stop, taxis, cafes, and restaurants to fit everyone’s budget. As jet lag settled in, it was time for us to settle in, relax, and take a short nap. Friday morning, we decided to be tourists and visit the city of Palma. We found a bus route that took us directly there for a few Euros and spent a few hours enjoying the sights and shopping. This included listening to a pleasant public outdoor orchestra band performance and Gelato! Hmmm... Spanish favors included. Saturday morning we headed to the competition venue to get the feel of the floor. Surprisingly enough, it appeared to be thick plywood but felt awesome. It was inspiring to be among top international dancers. Competitors were preparing

for standard so we could not stay on the floor for long. We registered for one more Latin event on Monday. Might as well, we thought, after traveling this far! We returned later that evening to pick up our number, and they were kind enough to let us get on the floor to join the Latin warm up for the Rising Star Latin event. The registration was set up in time slots by events only. This was to avoid an overwhelming amount of competitors registering all at the same time. It was efficient and expedient. The vibe in the ballroom was very up and serious, we enjoyed the short run-through in preparation for Sunday’s event and left energized and “pumped up”. Sunday morning found us getting ready for our Latin event as we usually do, double checking costumes, making sure everything was in order before heading out the door to find a taxi to the venue. When we arrived, the dressing areas were already full, but we managed to find a spot. FYI, dressing rooms were all unisex, despite the signs that two of the rooms were designated masculine and feminine. Ahhhh... When in Rome... We would feel the ballroom filling with energy and intensity; multi tongues were spoken as we passed the competitors and spectators. You could feel the intensity, anxiousness and excitement of the competitors. Despite the language difference, we all made an effort to acknowledge each other with a nod or simple smile. The competitors were friendly, and happy to take a photo for you or exchange e-mails to keep in contact. It was interesting to hear how other dancers handle their lessons and practice schedule. Our Latin event was split into 8 heats; there were 84 couples! There was no deck captain, each competitor was responsible being on the floor at the appointed times on their own. The heats were all clearly posted well in advance with group details. In between the heats, there was enough time to for us to refocus for the next dance and watch our fellow competitors. We were very impressed by the quality www.USAdance.ORG

of the Senior 2 dancers. They were well-prepared and good performers. We respected and admired their dancing technique. One of the highlights for us was the parade of flags. We were overwhelmed with emotion and felt proud to walk behind our USA flag among the dancers of other Nations. It was a wonderful way to pay respect to each participating country. We thought, ‘This is what the Olympics must feel like!’ Monday we returned to the ballroom for our Senior 2 Latin Open event. It was a little less hectic, but the energy level was still high. We were very impressed on how well the Mallorca Challenge ran: smoothly and on time. We sought out the organizer and complimented him, knowing he never had a moment’s rest. He still managed a warm smile and a handshake; thankful he had a hard working staff. All the staffers were knowledgeable, consistently polite, and eager to please, always with a willingness to help even after working four grueling days of competition. We left the city of Santa Ponça happy, with a memorable experience, a new perspective, and very much inspired, looking forward to our coaching lessons upon our return. What better way to spend a competition than in beautiful Mallorca? No downsides for this one, in my humble opinion.

Editor’s Note of Clarification:

Two couples officially represented USA Dance at the WDSF Open World Senior-2 Latin Championships. They were Richard & Iris Chiang, the first place couple at the 2012 USA Dance Nationals. They placed 61st out of 84 in the Worlds. The second couple was Robert Blank & Martha Estevez. They were nominated to the World Team after the 2nd and 3rd place couples notified USA Dance of their inability to represent. Robert and Martha placed 72nd out of 84 in the Worlds. The WDSF does not run a World Championship in Senior-3 Ten Dance or Latin at this time, as was noted in the program of the USA Dance Nationals.

2012 July - August 33

orld W C hampionships WDSF

SENIOR III STANDARD The first objective of USA Dance, according to their website, is “Educating the general public on how ballroom dancing, as a sport or activity, can greatly enhance the physical and mental wellbeing and health of its participants, regardless of age, ability or interest level.� It is easy to see the physical prowess and enhanced health of a young competitor moving around the floor in a near blur of movement. What is even more impressive is to see similar movements displayed during the senior categories of competition. While more seasoned in years, the senior competitors work just as hard as their younger contemporaries despite some potential challenges that sometimes accompany a maturing life. Lonny Tsang is just one of many examples of these dedicated competitors. For almost 15 years, Lonny and Susie Tsang have been dancing together. At the 2010 USA Dance National DanceSport Championships Lonny sustained a knee injury that made dancing impossible for over a year. Last August, he and his wife started working together again and at the 2012 USA Dance National DanceSport Championships they received second place in the Senior III Championship Standard competition. This was just the next step in their dancing career, and it was soon followed by their sixth world championship appearance with several other couples representing the United States. 34 DanceSport

Seven couples from the United States traveled to Mallorca, Spain to compete at the Senior III Standard World Championships. All of the couples that attended from the United States had competed at world championships before. While the United States does not often have a large number of couples represented at the world championships, they are always competitive with couples from other countries. This is largely due to the amount of effort and time that these couples put into their dancing. Whether a dancer is just stepping into their first social class or is building on a lifetime of passion, these seven couples represent the epitome of ballroom dancing. Seven couples represented USA Dance out of 184 at the WDSF Open World Senior-3 Standard Championships. They were Lonny and Susie Tsang, who placed 17. The second couple was Hans and Ans Sotrk, who placed 27. The third couple was Glen Okazaki and Anne Ho, who placed 29. The fourth couple was Terry and Glendy Yeh, who placed 43. The fifth couple was Vince and Irina Feingold, who placed 66. The sixth couple was Winston and Lilly Chow, who placed 76. And the final couple was Takeshi Kawaratani and Annie Chan, who placed 101. By Michael Mecham

Photos by Amedeo Villari

USA Dance Senior III Standard competitors proudly carry the American flag at the WDSF World Championships

Glendy Yeh was selected by the organizer to read the English oath in front of all athletes: “In the name of all athletes I promise that we shall take part in this WDSF World DanceSport Championship respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of the athletes.�


2012 July - August 35

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New England Championships Chicago Challenge 011 Phoenix Southwest Regional DanceSport Chicago, IL Boston, MA Culver City, CA Challenge Nov 2 - 4, 2012 Sept 28AZ - 30, 2012 February 1-2, 2013 Phoenix, Carolina Fall Classic Oct 5 - 7, 2012

NCDC Columbus, OH Nov 24-25, 2012

Northwest Championships Seattle, WA Oct 27 - 28, 2012

Manhatten Amatuer Classic New York, NY January 2013

Greensboro, NC February 19, 2011

36 DanceSport

Mid-Atlantic Championships Bethesda, MD Feb 16-17, 2013

For More Information visit

COM PE T I T I O N S CALE N D AR 2 0 1 2 September 22, 2012

January 2013

September 28-30, 2012

January 19, 2013

Quest for the Best* Seattle, WA

Manhatten Amateur Classic (MAC)-NQE New York, NY

New England DanceSport Championships - NQE Boston, MA

Royal Palm Winter Frolic DanceSport Extravaganza Coconut Creek, FL

October 5-7, 2012

February 1-2, 2013

Carolina Fall Classic-NQE Greensboro, NC

Southwest DanceSport Championships-NQE Culver City, CA

Oct 27-28, 2012

February 16-17, 2013

Northwest DanceSport Championships-NQE Seattle, WA

Mid-Atlantic Championships-NQE Bethesda, MD

November 2-4, 2012

Chicago DanceSport Challenge-NQE Chicago, IL

Events listed with the * do not accrue proficiency points Competitions noted as “NQE” are National Qualifying Events for the 2013 National DanceSport Championships.

look for future event updates at competition-calendar/ www.USAdance.ORG

look for future collegiate event updates on FaceBook sign onto FaceBook, click on “Groups,” and type in “USA Dance Competitions”

2012 July - August 37

“Come for the competition, stay for the weekend!”

New England

DanceSport Championships September 28-30, 2012 Doubletree by Hilton Boston North 50 Ferncroft Road Danvers, Massachusetts 01923

“We are proud and honored to organize The New England DanceSport Championships NQE,” said James DiCecca, President of MASSabda USA Dance Chapter 3002. “This is a longtime dream come true for our Chapter and a shining moment for our supportive and deserving dance community.” This new National Qualifying Event is the first competition the Chapter has hosted in over a decade. The competition is the anchor for an entire weekend celebrating National Ballroom Dance Week. In true MASSabda style, there will be “Something for Everyone!” The organizers are making an extra effort to get everyone involved. In addition to the 2 day competition, competitors and social dancers will enjoy workshops followed by a social dance and Jack n’ Jill Fun Event. After a full day of competition on Saturday, everyone will enjoy Gala Dinner/Dance featuring the Open Championship Final Events. All tickets are attractively priced to provide affordable opportunities for everyone to dance and spectate, as well as encourage the public to attend.

The main purpose behind hosting this event is to serve our membership and make ballroom dance more accessible to people in the community. With the second largest chapter in the country, there is already a strong ballroom presence in the area. With so many dancers in the region, Jane hopes a local qualifying event will provide more athletes the opportunity to attend the national championships. “Come for the competition, stay for the weekend,” says Jane Rexroad. “New England is spectacular in the Fall!” In addition to the incredible New England Fall palette and what is certain to be an exciting competition, there are many historical and seaside attractions for competitors and spectators to enjoy. The venue is the Doubletree by Hilton Boston North. The hotel offers the traditional amenities including free parking, is easily accessible from all directions and features an indoor waterpark. The 2012 New England DanceSport Championships NQE has all the elements for a weekend to remember. By Michael Mecham Photo Courtesy Of Jane Rexford

38 DanceSport

Landmark Decision by the WDSF An Interview With Ken Richards, USA Dance DanceSport Vice President

The WDSF had a restriction on athletes participating in non-WDSF events or recognized events. Could you explain that briefly? Some restrictions regarding fair play, judging certifications, sportsmanlike conduct, and antidoping regulations have been set in place. These regulations were required by the International Olympic Committee in order to move to the next step in the goal of DanceSport becoming an Olympic event. The IOC required some revisions to the World DanceSport Federation statutes, so all the members voted to approve the process. A new code of ethics was developed along with a list of events as either being sanctioned or banned. In 2011 the issue became more personal as the first US athletes were suspended for dancing at a non-sanctioned event. In response to this situation I tried to change the rule. I formed an alliance with other countries that were facing similar problems. These countries worked together to change the code of ethics and lobby support from other countries. These changes were then presented to the Presidium (governing counsel of the WDSF) at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). When the changes to the rule were presented, there were two and a half hours of discussion against it. Peter Maxwell from the England Association was instrumental in generating cooperation and creating a cohesive presentation. It was important to know who supported and who opposed the motion, so all the attendees were encouraged to give input even if their English was not very good. This created


an atmosphere where people jumped in who were normally very quiet at the meetings. The tides turned after this. The Presidium spoke with several countries and made an offer. They agreed to drop the suspension of dancers who compete at non-sanctioned events and reinstate those dancers who had already been suspended. They also agreed to work together in an effort to create regulations that would better protect the sport and the athletes. In response, the members present agreed to support WDSF events. Another result of the agreement was that parties who violate the established regulations must submit a request for reinstatement to the member body that includes an admission of guilt for what they did wrong.

During the AGM your name was put forward by Germany to be on the Presidium, and you were successfully elected to that body. What does this mean for the USA and yourself? Summary by AD: There was an empty seat and the floor was open to nominate candidates to fill the position. Germany nominated Ken Richards and another member from France was nominated. Each nominee was given 5 minutes to make a presentation. Ken used his time to restate how he felt things should be handled in the organization. Ken was elected to the position by a vote of 78 to 55. The election is for a one-year term. Next year Ken will be able to run for re-election. This is a great opportunity for the US to be better represented and to really get a unique message heard.

2012 July - August 39

U.S. Amateur Cabaret and Formation Championships ‘What are you doing?! Oh great. We’re dead.’ Those were the thoughts screaming through my mind as the point man of our formation decided to start turning after the four count instead of after the eight count. We had practiced for months. We had gone over the entrance at least a hundred times. Now here we were messing it up. Any other day, not a big deal, but we were competing at the US Amateur Cabaret and Formation Championships; this was the worst time to make a mistake.

Justin Hendrickson & Joy Price

The USA Dance sponsored competition, which was held at Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum, Utah, included two days of competition. The formation and cabaret events were held the first day, and the second day of competition consisted of the individual events. The competition was a major success as teams and competitors came from all over the region to compete. The high school gymnasium was filled with nervous competitors, anxious coaches, and excited family members. The competition kept everyone entertained. “I thought she was going to die.” “He never got tired. He must be like Superman or something.” “That was incredible.” Nephi Mitchell and Megan Wiblin’s cabaret performance inspired these comments. The couple won the competition, and the title of US Amateur Cabaret Champions. While Nephi and Megan were very impressive to watch, the other competitors certainly brought their “A” game. The other performances ranged from love stories to war zones, and it was clear that each couple had worked long hours preparing for the competition, especially those dancers with complicated lifts and timing. After a rocky start (that apparently looked a bit like a ripple effect from the audience), we were able to pull things together in the formation competition. The other teams’ routines were well executed and very polished, but somehow we came out on top. Representing Idaho Ballroom Academy and dancing under the direction of Ray Backlund, we pumped it up as we danced a J-Lo routine well enough to be named US Amateur Formation Champions. We won this time, but it is clear from the other amazing teams that if we want to hold on to our title, next year we’re going have to work even harder. And remember By Michael Mecham how to count. 40 DanceSport

Nephi Mitchell & Megan Wiblins

IBA Adult Team Photos Courtesy of IBA www.USAdance.ORG

2012 July - August 41

“Gem State Classic is an exciting annual event for young ballroom dancers. The event really focuses on making the competitive realm very approachable for new competitors."

The Gem State Classic “This is a very unique competition. I don’t think there is anything really like it any other part of the country.” This assessment of the Gem State Classic by USA Dance vice president Bill Rose was spot on. The Gem State Classic, held annually in Idaho is definitely unique.

Bollywood routine. They wowed the audience and the judges with an incredible routine set to Indianthemed music in brightly colored costumes. All of the formation teams were very impressive, and some of the younger teams were simply adorable, but the cabaret couples were also amazing.

The 2012 Gem State Classic was also host to the 2012 National USA Dance Youth Cabaret and Formation Showdance Championships. Nearly 800 dancers attended this year’s event, and one of the unique aspects about this competition, is that the majority of the dancers had never competed before.

Routines littered with complicated lifts and perfectly synchronized movements drew the audience into a story of love, loss, or whimsical fancy. Out of the ten couples that participated in the cabaret event, Glenn Belnap and Madeleine Gould were crowned the 2012 National Youth Cabaret Champions for their performance.

The main mission of the Gem State Classic is for all participants to have a positive experience. With an organized staff, energetic emcees, and an easy atmosphere, it’s clear to see why so many first-time competitors in the area start here. “It’s something I would really like to see more of,” Bill Rose said. Throughout the weekend of intense but friendly competition winners, and even national champions were crowned. The honor of National USA Dance Youth Formation Showdance champions was awarded to Idaho Ballroom Academy for their

Every year the competition just gets bigger and better. According to the event organizer Janie Fisher, “Gem State Classic is an exciting annual event for young ballroom dancers.” The event really focuses on making the competitive realm very approachable for new competitors. Next year’s competition will be held in March. For anyone looking for a great competition and lots of fun, this is a competition that shouldn’t be passed up.

Look for updates at By Michael Mecham

42 DanceSport

Photos By Bill Rose www.USAdance.ORG

2012 July - August 43

National Collegiate DanceSport Championships By Michael Mecham

“We’re here to dance. It would be great to walk away with a first place, or even a second, but we just love being here.”

The music fades out and he smiles. He does a quick bow with his partner, and then hurries off the dance floor. He is handed a water bottle and gets a few quick gulps before he heads of to prepare for his next event, with his next partner. He finds her waiting for him at the check-in area. He reports his number then quickly hurries to front of the line. Just as his breathing is finally under control his event is called, and he walks onto the dance floor with his third partner of the day in his fifth event. He smiles. The music begins. And he’s off once more. “We’re here to dance. It would be great to walk away with a first place, or even a second, but we just love being here.” That was the general consensus among some of the University of Michigan students at last year’s NCC competition, but it was not a sentiment shared by everyone at the competition. Some of the students on the Utah Valley University formation team said, “We’re here to win. We have practiced a lot, and I think we’re probably the best team here.” USA Dance will once again be sponsoring the NCC in Columbus, Ohio this November. Whether it is the love of dance, the love of winning, or a combination of both, the National Collegiate DanceSport Championships is the place to be. November 17-18, 2012 will see the return of some of the best collegiate ballroom dancers in the country. Couples don’t only compete for their individual titles, but also for the honor of being named the nation’s best collegiate ballroom dance program. With hundreds of competitors and dancers from every range and level of competency, there is something for everyone. Whether a competitor is trying ballroom competition for the first time, or wanting to prove he or she is the best in the country, this is the perfect competition. Information will be updated soon at

44 InStep

Photo by AD staff


2012 July - August 45

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46 InStep

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2012 July - August 47

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USA Dance National DanceSport Championships


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NATIONALS Crowning Champions

American Dancer July-August 2012  

Bimonthly national publication of USA Dance

American Dancer July-August 2012  

Bimonthly national publication of USA Dance