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Shawn Gardner Showing students that they can become great dancers and performers with hard work and dedication.

Notice of Upcoming Elections National Governing Council Election coming up later this year.

Official Publication of USA Dance

National Chapter Conference

May-June 2013

Issue 42

On the Cover 8 Notice of Upcoming Elections

It’s time once again for USA Dance members to have the opportunity to elect governing council positions for the next three years of USA Dance leadership.

9 National Chapter Conference

Another year of training and chapter programs has come and gone, but if you missed it don’t worry because there is plenty of information to check out.

26 Shawn Gardner

After a lifetime of dancing Shawn Gardner is sharing her love with teens in the Portland area and showing them the benefits of a dancing lifestyle.

Inside the Cover Line of Dance

4 6 7

President’s Report Editorial Information & Contributors Important Announcements

Dance Floor

8 9 12 14 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32

Notice of Upcoming Election National Chapter Conference Volunteer and Chapter of the Year Summer Hotspots Book Reviews Socially Yours: Social Dance Etiquette Ryan Kenner’s 10 Photo Tips Dance Partner Wanted Shawn Gardner Top 10 Reasons to Cruise Interview with Scott Nicholson You Gotta Have Heart


On Beat


Public Eye


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NWDSC No Longer on Hiatus Competition Calendar Mid-Atlantic Championships WDSF World Championships

In Step



2013 May - June 3



What a pleasure it was to attend the annual Chapter Conference this past March, hosted by the ever-gracious volunteers of the Richmond, VA Chapter. A lot of work goes into producing this multi-day event, with major organizing duties being performed by our Vice President of Social Dance, Jean Krupa, that include developing a list of workshop topics, securing the workshop presenters, handling hotel details, and coordinating with the host chapter on the nightly social activities. Every year workshops include some important standard topics for chapter officers, such as chapter financial management and handling chapter conflicts. These were supplemented this year with additional workshops that included such topics as how to successfully build committees and volunteers, and how to run chapter elections. Other topics included a fund raising primer, marketing ballroom dancing via a chapter’s website, membership growth and retention, music selection, chapter publicity, improving the quality of chapter dances and other issues of interest to chapter officials. Such topics are presented not only by national and district officials, but also by chapter presidents and other knowledgeable individuals who are eager to share their expertise. Our Senior Vice President, Bill Rose, presented a workshop on the new membership system, and was also available throughout the weekend for individual tutorials for chapter officials who had more specific questions or issues that needed to be addressed. On Saturday night, there was a question and answer panel with all four National Corporate Officers, who answered a wide array of questions from the audience. I can attest to the lively discussion that took place. Finally, the social aspect of the Chapter Conference was never ignored, but became a major element in each evening’s program, with dance demonstrations by some of Virginia’s top dance talent, mixers and lots and lots of social dancing.

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Because this year’s Chapter Conference was held in the City of Richmond, the local chapter arranged tours of this historically significant City, and those of us who had the pleasure of going on this tour received a wealth of information on the evolution of Richmond from the time of the American Revolution through the Civil War, and the historical sites and figures that played such an important role in the development of our nation. A special thanks goes out to Richmond Chapter President, Phil Sisk for organizing these tours. USA Dance has been moving these Chapter Conferences around the country each year so that chapters from different regions of the country will find it possible to attend at least every few years if not every year. And there is enough new information and new initiatives discussed each year to make the annual Chapter Conference valuable year in and year out. Additionally, USA Dance has continued to increase the number of scholarships afforded to some of our smaller chapters or those lacking the financial resources, so that they will be able to attend in greater numbers. We encourage chapter officers who have not yet attended a Chapter Conference or may not have attended in several years, to consider attending the next conference, which will take place in Southern California in March, 2014. The Chapter Conference is a major benefit of chapter membership, and is an excellent way for chapter officers to expand their knowledge of successful chapter practices and strategies and to connect with their national officials, learning in detail about national programs, initiatives and services.

Lydia T. Scardina

National President, USA Dance


2013 May - June 5


Contributing Writers

A m e r i c a n

Jean Krupa 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.

National Officers

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: •

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.

Editorial Staff

Editor-in-chief Shawn Fisher PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Michael Mecham WRITERS Michael Mecham • Ivor Lee • Breanna Olaveson ART & PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Aimee Mecham DESIGNERS Aimee Mecham • Michael Mecham •


WRITERS Jean Krupa, Angela Prince EDITORIAL ADVISORS Lydia Scardina, Bill Rose, Stan Andrews •

Rates & Prices

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

Guest Writers


Donald Beasley Bonnie Burton Ryan Kenner Dael Kolwitz Joe Leitch Jack Reinhold Nick Shur Kimberly Stocker-Ceballos

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


AD REPRESENTATIVE Shawn Fisher 208.313.0465 email: •


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 •


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 •



Shawn Gardner Photo Courtesy of Donald Beasley & Nick Shur


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 -

Shawn Gardner Showing students that they can become great dancers and performers with hard work and dedication.

Notice of Upcoming Elections National Governing Council Election coming up later this year.

Official Publication of USA Dance

National Chapter Conference

6 Line of Dance

Cover Photo

May-June 2013

Issue 42

Announcements To all Senior-2+ Championship Standard Couples: Please be advised that the World Championships for SR-2 Standard will be held in Calvia, Spain on April 27th, 2013. This is an OPEN World Championship. Inasmuch, any age-appropriate couple that wishes to enter may do so. The entry must come through our USA Dance Office to the Organizer for verification of Membership and status. USA Dance will also fund scholarships for the top two eligible couples from the 2013 Nationals. The deadline for entries will be immediately following Nationals in Los Angeles. If you are a contender for the top two spots in the final and meet WDSF eligibility requirements: (1) at least one partner has a US Passport and (2) both partners have obtained their WDSF ID Card, please save the dates and begin planning your travel to this amazing world championship.

USA Dance Governing Council Elections Elections are coming up for the 2014 - 2016 governing council positions. See page 8 for

more information about the election procedures.

Facebook For Chapters Interested in having a presence on Facebook? Contact Efrosyni at She can help you in setting up your page. Note: Facebook is the only social media option approved for chapters. Chapter site administrators must closely monitor the site daily to remove inappropriate or unapproved postings. There should be no advertising for products and/or services for personal or commercial reasons on the USA Dance chapter Facebook page.


2013 May - June 7




USA Dance will be conducting an election this fall for the following Governing Council positions for the 2014-2016 term of office:

National President National Senior Vice President National Secretary National Treasurer Vice President for DanceSport DanceSport Delegate (four positions) Vice President for Social DancE

Election packets will be available from the USA Dance Central Office at: or by calling 800-447-9047. All completed election materials (which include any petition, resume of qualifications, photograph and written confirmation of willingness to serve) must be mailed to the National Elections Director to arrive no later than Saturday, June 29, 2013. Any petitions submitted must have 100 valid signatures of voting members, must be filled out in full and must be the original copy in order to be considered valid. Any election materials received by the National Elections Director after June 29, 2013 will not be considered and any candidates who do not submit all completed election materials by June 29, 2013 shall not have their names placed on the ballot. Mail all completed election materials to: Phil Sisk National Elections Director 9620 Evansway Lane Richmond, VA 23235

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5th National Chapter Conference By Jean Krupa

I decided to let this report on the 5th National Chapter Conference write itself with the comments made by the participants. These testimonials support the value of the conference and how important it is for you or someone from your chapter to attend.

“I wanted to let you know what a great experience I had at the National Conference in Richmond. This was my first national conference and I’m so glad I attended.” “The Deejay workshop was impressive, Maria was an excellent presenter, well prepared with lots of good info, the presentation was above and beyond my expectations. Dynamic Presentation.”

“Yes! As someone who has been to everyone of our conferences I find myself thoroughly invigorated after each one. I love the way our organization has grown and how each year the conference just gets better and better.” “Thanks SO very much for encouraging me to attend the conference and making it possible for me to get a scholarship. I got so much out of the seminars, not to mention the opportunity to talk to other USA Dance folks from all over the country about what they are doing back home. I’ve set up some mini-meetings with each of my committees to share what I learned, so hopefully we can start implementing some things and improve (our) Chapter in several ways.”

Photos Courtesy of Richmond Chapter


2013 May - June


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“This was the first time I’ve attended the national conference and I am so glad I did! I have only been a chapter board member for about a year. My goals in attending the conference were for the exposure to other chapters across the Country and get ideas based on their experience, and also to gain information on the website/marketing program…. the advice from Jim DiCecca regarding “leading” rather than managing and teamwork was very helpful. I also appreciated hearing the types of things other chapters do with dances, events, fundraisers, etc, and especially developing volunteers by using their strengths. Marta Pasquale did a great job describing her methods for recruiting and retaining members. One of the most valuable sessions for me was Ben Moseley’s Website/Marketing program. Our chapter board has been discussing the need to use our website for the past several months and I feel more confident than ever that we can easily accomplish this and gain great benefits from it for advertising our dances, gaining recognition and new members, and much more! Following that session up with Angela Prince’s Social Media discussion was an added bonus! Back to your advice [Jim DiCecca], staying concise and focused, I’ll try to summarize the rest of my experience. The venue, the food, the speakers, the dancers . . . all made it a great event. Jean Krupa does a wonderful job and it’s obvious how lucky we are to have her. Two more things I must mention – first, having the Riverside School kids perform was an incredible idea and I’m very proud that was included in the program. Lastly, Phil Sisk did a fantastic job as Emcee and Host, the DJ did a wonderful job, and the volunteers from the Richmond Chapter were all very kind and helpful. www.USAdance.ORG

“Thank you for the opportunity to meet some fellow Chapter board members from across the country. I’ve met some very nice people who I look forward to seeing again in the future.”

Survey excerpts: “Angela Prince is a wealth of valuable information and a great resource.” “Esther’s class should be mandatory”. “Great job by Jean Tauber on Grants, was able to cover a great deal of excellent information”. “Ben Moseley had great information, terrific presentation, I wish we had more time”. “Stan skillfully directed the discussion using examples - this was good!”

All I can add is a huge thank you to all the presenters for an excellent job, and to the Richmond Chapter for the goody bags with homemade cookies and other goodies for all the participants, arranging trolley tours of the city for us on Sunday and the dance exhibitions nightly and to all the USA Dance chapter members who attended this year. We had all 11 Districts represented by 30 chapters. We will be doing this again next year, March 6-9, 2014, hosted by the Los Angeles Chapter and I hope you choose to attend.

2013 May - June



Volunteer and Chapter of the Year 2012/13 The National Chapter of the Year 2012/13 is proudly presented to the

Los Angeles County Chapter # 4031

The Chapter of the Year comes from the South West District 6 - Chapter #4031 Los Angeles County Chapter, Jerry Hernandez, President.

Jean Krupa & Jerry Hernandez, President of Los Angeles County Chapter

Besides sponsoring monthly dances, Chapter #4031 is involved with such events as the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the K-12 Dancing Feet program, and they have a Senior Outreach Program. The chapter also donates funds to other USA Dance chapter events and competitions. They have an expanded National Ballroom Dance Week event “The Art of the Dance” which is showcased along with “Dancing with our Stars” to raises funds so support their K-12 programs. A new outreach program this year called “Partner Dances” has led to an increase in their membership. In addition, the Chapter recently participated in the fundraiser “Adopt a Doctor” dedicated to helping doctors in third world countries.

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The award for Volunteer of the Year for 2012/13 is proudly presented to

Chikako Massey

Greenville NC Chapter #6046

Chikako is a past president that continues to support the chapter through volunteerism. Chikako is the chapter coordinator for the dance instructors and lesson for the monthly dances in addition to coordinating the front desk volunteers. This past year she organized a two-day workshop, a first for the Greenville area.

Jean Krupa & David Steele, President of Greenville NC CHAPTER Photos Courtesy of Richmond Chapter

She was instrumental in make their Mall Ball a success, scheduling the performers and arranging a grand finale to close the show. She continues to assist the chapter with her experience and was unanimously selected by the Board for the Volunteer of the Year.


2013 May - June


Summer Hot Spots Phoenix, AZ #4033

Chapter Dance July 13

Lesson at 7:15 pm Performances, light refreshments, mixers, and dance hosts.

According to eHow the four best cities in the country for ballroom dancing are Columbus, Ohio; Baltimore, Maryland; Los Angeles, California; and Salt Lake City, Utah. Each of these cities has a lot of great ballroom opportunities to offer throughout the year. The summer is coming up and wherever your travels take you and whatever you may be doing, there is most likely a USA Dance ballroom event going on near your destination. Before heading out on your summer vacation check out the chapter website at find-a-local-chapter/ and look up a chapter near where your summer travels will take you. Here are just a few events going on around the country.

Greater Daytona, FL #6026

Dance Spree

June 14 - 16

17th Annual Florida Dance Spree - USA DANCE weekend of workshops and social ballroom dancing at historic Kenilworth Lodge, Sebring, FL

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Tacoma, WA #1023

State Senior Games

July 13

6th Annual Washington State Senior Games Dance Competition and Dance Top Teacher Award! Bronze, Silver, Gold, Open, Closed Syllabus Doors open at 11:00 am Dinner &Show, $15 - 5:15 PM East Coast Swing Dance lesson Mixers! Raffle! FUN! $10, 7 - 10 PM

Western, NC #6034

Mother’s Day Dance May 11

VFW Ballroom, Hendersonville, NC 7 pm - Free dance lesson - West Coast Taught by Eric Foote Continue dancing from 8-10:30pm

Orlando, FL #6002

Sock Hop July 19

7:30 Free Dance Lesson, General Ballroom Dancing 8 - 11 pm, Bahia Shrine Auditorium, 2300 Pembrook Drive, Orlando, 407- 831-3680. www.USAdance.ORG

2013 May - June


Boise, ID #1014

Broadway Themed Formal

May 4

7 PM – Dance Lesson – Foxtrot Taught by Lori Continue Dancing until 11:00p.m. Tonight’s dance is a formal and the theme is Broadway, so whether your finery is a Phantom of the Opera tuxedo tailsuit, or is more akin to Tony’s black jeans and Jets jacket, put it on and get ready for a magical night. Admission is $10, $5 for members and students.

Western, NC #6034

Father’s Day Dance

June 8

VFW Ballroom, Hendersonville, NC 7 PM - Free dance lesson - Bolero Taught by - Lisa Puckett Bader Continue dancing from 8-10:30 PM!

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Tulsa, OK #5023

Hawaiian Luau June 8

7:00pm lesson and general dancing at 8:00pm

COMPETITIONS TO GET YOUR FEET WET! Here are a couple competitions for the social dancers who want to take the next step. These competitions will not accrue proficiency points but will give beginner dancers a great step into the competitive dancing if that is something they are interested in. If this is on your summer to-do list, good luck!

The SouthernStar #6038

The Mid Summer Classic

Portland, OR #1006

River City Ball June 15

Local USA Dance Competition in Portland Oregon Spectator tickets are available at the door: $15 Adults, $10 Youth, Age 11 and under free. Please bring cash or checks – we cannot accept credit or debit cards. Admission includes all daytime and evening events. For More Information contact the River City Ball Organizer Sonja Tilton,

July 27

The Mid Summer Classic XIX All Amateur DanceSport Championship Competition! at the Elegant Rhapsody Ballroom 12101 North 56th Street, Tampa 40 X 60 Permanent Floating Maple Floor Early Entry Deadline: July 13, 2013 Enter by July 21 to be listed in program.


2013 May - June


BOOK REVIEW Man of Confi-Dance By: Raoul Weinstein Reviewed by Jean Krupa

Raoul takes us on a winding tale as we learn how dance has transformed him into a man of confidance and how others can learn confidence by becoming a ballroom dancer. This book is not just for men, though. I felt a little conspicuous reading it and was reassured that this book is also for women, a great gift to give to that man in your life, be it son, brother, nephew, friend, boyfriend or husband. It is filled with wonderful quotes about dance at the beginning of each chapter.Men can learn that by enriching their lives through dance they can make the women in their lives happier, raise their own self-esteem and possibly see the world. Written by a USA Dance member, past competitor, now a social dancer and seasoned dance host at sea and on land. Sharing his love of ballroom dancing, he takes us on his journey to become a man of confi-dance and make each dance an enjoyable experience for his partner of the dance. Etiquette, proper behavior, manner of speech, dress, courtesy and dance ability, floor craft, awareness of your partners abilities are all tools of the trade for the man of confi-dance. The book is interspersed with information on health benefits, social benefits and coping with some of life disappointments. 18 Dance Floor

Raoul Weinstein

The Dancing Goddesses By: Elizabeth Wayland Barber Reviewed by Michael Mecham

Delightfully educational. Barber does an excellent job capturing the imagination in these historical accounts and descriptions. I can honestly say this is one of the few “history� books I have wanted to read. This is an absolute must read for anyone who is interested in folkdance or dance history. The additional details that are added through pictures, drawings and detailed descriptions really bring the information to life. Overall it is an incredibly interesting book.

Dancing For Fun: Group Dancing For All Ages & Dancing For Fun: Intermediate Group Dancing By: Mark L. Greathouse Reviewed by Michael Mecham

The titles of these books say it all: Fun! The piano melodies and dances in these books can be done with a wide variety of skill levels and group sizes. Some of the music is complicated enough that an intermediate pianist may have some trouble, but each book includes a CD and DVD so no pianist is necessary. The dances are described well in the book, but sometimes even well-written instructions can be difficult to understand. However the included discs make the steps easy to understand and follow. There is definitely some fun and different choreography and plenty of songs to choose a few favorites.


2013 May - June


Socially yours

Social Dance Etiquette By Jean Krupa

Social dancing is one of life’s opportunities for pure fun. However, it is important to remember that dancing is a social activity which requires personal as well as physical grace. Being a considerate and thoughtful dance partner can ensure a wonderful experience. Dance courtesy is just as important as dance technique and like technique it can be learned.

Rejection stinks... When you ask someone

to dance, you want them to say “yes”. But sometimes, without even knowing it, you can do things that make people never want to dance with you again. Because the dance scene is usually friendly, partners will be forgiving if the rules you break are not too bad.

How to ask?

When asking someone to dance, make eye contact, offer your hand, and ask clearly, “May I have this dance?”, “May I have this Waltz / Rumba / Foxtrot/ etc.”, “Would you like to dance?” or simply “Shall we dance?” In the past it was tradition that men asked women to dance but, this custom has since changed. Today, women should feel equally comfortable asking a partner for a dance.

What to say... When someone asks you

to dance, your response should be, “Yes, Thank you, I’d love to.” In a social dance environment, it is customary to say “yes” when asked to dance. In order for dancing to be a cheerful activity, it is important that social dancers be supportive and kind to each other at all skill levels.

Being Declined…

The first thing to do if one is turned down for a dance is to take the excuse at face value. A typical social dance can be two to three hours long, and some do not have the stamina 20 Dance Floor

of non-stop dancing. Everyone has to take a break once in a while, and that means possibly turning down one or two people each time one takes a break. Do not get discouraged if you are turned down once or twice. However, since social dancers are generally nice and polite, being repeatedly declined can be a signal. In that case, it is a good idea to examine one’s dancing, social interactions and personal hygiene to see if anything is wrong.

On the other hand... Dancers seek

those who say ‘’yes’’. Being turned down for a dance is never fun. If you decline dances, or if you look stern, or hard to please, your chances of being asked to dance will be reduced.

You Dance Divinely!

During the dance, be sure to be aware of your partner. Smile and make eye contact, but don’t stare. It is fun to dance with a partner who is gracious and appreciative.

At the end of the dance... When the

dance has finished and before parting, ALWAYS say ‘THANK YOU’ to your partner and begin to escort them off the floor. The proper answer to “Thank you!” on the dance floor is: “Thank you!” The point is that “thanks” is not due to a favor, but to politeness.

If you enjoyed the dance, let your partner know. Compliment your partner on her/his dancing. Be generous, even if he/she is not the greatest of dancers. Be specific about it if you can: “I really enjoyed that double turn. You led/followed that beautifully!” If you enjoyed it so much that you would like to have another dance with him/her again, this is a good time to mention it: “This Waltz went really great! I’d like to try a Cha-Cha with you later.”

Leaving the floor... When a song comes to an end tradition requires the gentleman take the lady back to her seat at the end of the dance. While this custom is linked to the tradition of gentlemen


asking ladies for a dance, it is still a nice touch. Avoid stopping to chat immediately after exiting the dance floor in order to prevent blocking the floor.


Be personable, smile, and make eye contact with your partner. Try to project a warm and positive image on the dance floor, even if that is not your personal style. Many of us lead hectic lives; having a difficult and tiring day, however, is not an acceptable excuse for depressing or unpleasant behavior on the dance floor. Once one asks or accepts a dance, it is important to be outwardly positive, even if you are not particularly feeling very upbeat.


In a social dance situation it is appropriate to dance with a variety of people. Some people prefer certain dance partners, but this should not prevent them from accepting an offer to dance from a new person. If the same person asks you to dance repeatedly, for several dances in a row, it is acceptable to tell that person, “thank you, but I’d like to meet and dance with some other people for a while. I’ll be happy to dance with you again later in the evening.”

Parting thoughts…

Today’s beginners will be the good dancers of tomorrow, so be nice and dance with them. Do not decline a dance unless you absolutely have to. Having declined a dance, you cannot dance the same song with someone else. Smile, be warm, be personable and most of all be nice. Be determined not to let small things spoil your evening of dancing. To make friends while dancing, you would be surprised how far a smile and hello can go. And lastly, men, be a gentleman and escort the lady back to her seat… See you on the dance floor.

2013 May - June


Ryan Kenner’s for shooting 10 tips great dance photos 1.

Find out the limitations of your camera. Does your camera have modes like Av, Tv, P, M modes? What about a Sports mode? The best modes to use for ballroom dance events are usually Tv and Sports modes. 2. Take some time to learn about the relationship between ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed and how they affect the final picture. a. Increasing the ISO lets in more light but adds grain to the image. b. Decreasing the Aperture lets in more light but softens the image. c. Decreasing the Shutter Speed lets in more light but can lead to blurry images. 3. To avoid most motion blur, try setting your camera to “Sports” mode or to “Tv (Shutter Priority)” with a shutter speed of at least 1/125. 4. To get a brighter image, try setting your ISO to the highest possible setting (1600, 3200, etc...). However, you should be aware that at high ISO’s the image may become grainy and blacks may start to look reddish. 5. If your images look oddly colored there could be a few reasons: a. Underexposed images will look dark and yellow. Try increasing the ISO or reducing your shutter speed. 22 Dance Floor

b. Most ballrooms are filled with yellowish lighting. Try setting your white balance to Tungsten. c. Some competitions use colored gels (blue, red, yellow) on their lights. Try setting up a custom white balance by taking a picture of a white or gray object in the room. Refer to your camera manual for instructions on how to set your custom white balance. 6. Using a flash can help to brighten the subject in an image. Try an off-camera flash instead of the built in flash for better results. Built in flashes typically are not powerful enough and the light may bounce off your lens creating an undesirable shadow. 7. Try setting your flash to a low power and using it as a fill light instead of as the primary light source. 8. In general, try composing your images as if you were shooting a marathon. Fill the frame with your subject leaving a little space above and below for cropping to different print sizes. 9. For artistic shots, try using the rule of thirds to position your subject and then shoot the shot both wide and zoomed in. 10. Try to avoid cropping images where the frame cuts through the limbs of your subject. If you do crop your subject tightly, try to crop the image at mid-thigh and mid-bicep.



2013 May - June


Dance Partner WANTED Many of you would like to find a dance practice partner. While you may be aware of the benefits, the ‘how-to’ of finding one may have eluded you. Here are some tips to consider. Before you begin your search, be the partner you also expect to find.

• Ask yourself: am I an appealing candidate for a

dance partnership?

• Like any other relationship, a dance partnership requires care, consideration, time, and effort. Be sure you’re willing to make the personal investment necessary to make it a success.

for you, and that they are healthy and fit. Their schedule, financial situation, and lifestyle should coincide with yours enough to facilitate your dance goals.

• Find a similarly motivated partner. Do you

want a dance partner for social dancing and dance demos, or are you interested in finding a partner to compete with? Do you have a specific dance style, such as American smooth, that you want to focus on?

• The advantage of a dance partnership is having • Communicate and be upfront about what you someone to take classes and practice with, or to go out dancing with. However, dance partnerships may complicate other parts of your life. The interaction of dance partnerships with your personal and romantic life is something to consider.

• If you continue to improve your dance

skills with daily practice and training, you will be in demand. Attend group classes and dances regularly.

Understand your motivation and what you’re looking for.

• It’s important to decide what you’re looking for in a partner before you start the process. Realistic priorities might be a partner of suitable height

24 Dance Floor

are seeking in a dance partnership. Be realistic since it will be a challenge, if not downright impossible, to find the perfect dance partner.

• A good dance partner has similar dance

skills, goals for improvement, practices often, and has a personality mature enough to communicate diplomatically.

• A good partner should take their dancing

seriously, but it should still be obvious that they are enjoying themselves.

Starting the search for a partner.

• Get the word out to dance friends and

instructors that you are looking for a partner.

Bonnie Burton

• Check with your instructor to see if they have a recommendation.

• If you want to meet a dance partner, then go

to places where the dancers are. Be proactive in asking prospective partners if they are interested in practicing with you.

• A safe initial approach may be to invite them to join you at one of your private lessons or ask them to be your partner for the duration of a particular group class. Once the dance chemistry has been established, schedule some times to practice.

• When you find someone you like as a partner,

perhaps suggest you work together for a short-term event such as a showcase at your dance studio, or the next local competition, instead of worrying about a permanent partner right away.

• When you ask to share a specific dance event

and nothing beyond that, this removes pressure from the other person about it being a long term arrangement. This also gives you both the freedom to go another direction if it does not work out.

• Initially, a regular practice partner may be

helpful for your dancing and prepare you for a competition partner when one comes along.

• You may not find an all-in-one dance partner. Instead, you may find one for practicing, one for lessons, and another for social dance occasions.

• It’s important to decide how frequently to

get together to practice or take lessons, and the duration of the practice sessions.

• Attitude matters - the way to attain the most

joy and success is to always work with the idea of helping each other.

• Always treat each other with respect and have

patience for errors. Try not to let frustration interfere with the quality of the partnership. Working with a partner when you find them. Let your coach or dance instructor resolve any differences about how a move should be performed. Set dance goals. Once you find a partner, discuss goals and expectations and agree how to Be the partner you expect your partner to be. share the cost of private lessons if you choose to By Bonnie Burton do that.


2013 May - June


“I love dance, I love choreography and I love children. I am genuinely honored and inspired by the youth I teach. I am in this for life.�

Photos Courtesy of Donald Beasley, Nick Shur

26 Dance Floor

Shawn Gardner:

Coach, Choreographer, Competitor By Donald Beasley, Nick Shur

Portland-area youth dance group “Teen PDX” garnered National attention recently with a first-place finish at the PDX Ballroom Classic held January 12 in Portland, Oregon. The team, coached by long-time dancer, instructor and choreographer Shawn Gardner, is hoping to showcase its talent on “Dancing with the Stars” if, that is, the stars align correctly. After applying a few months back, Teen PDX is still waiting to see if they will make an appearance on the hit show. “These kids are amazing, and so is the routine,” said Gardner who earned two National Titles in International Standard in 2007. “What is most important to me is that all of my students gain a love of dance, and that they grow as individuals from this experience,” she said. Gardner has been passionate about dance since the age of 10, studying Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop and Musical Theater with several teachers. She credits Tualatin’s (Oregon) Tresa Cooper and Diana LoVerso of Portland for sparking her interest. Gardner’s Ballroom career began in 2005 studying under Sunnie Page at The Ballroom Dance Company in Tigard, Oregon. Page was instrumental in guiding Shawn to her two National Titles. Gardner continues to compete in amateur Standard in the open levels while performing and directing multiple stage productions and dance shows. Yet, she remembers herself as a young dancer, and draws on that to inspire children who show up at her classes timid and unsure. “As a teacher, my main goal is to instill confidence in my students, www.USAdance.ORG

showing them that they can become great dancers and performers with hard work and dedication,” Gardner said. “It is always important to have fun, and to assess what motivates each individual student. Dance provides an outlet for creativity, but can also instill important life skills such as discipline and teamwork. The dance team has recently been named TEEN PDX which stands for Teen Partner Dance X-perience. The committee thought the name was catchy and a great choice as it explains the purpose of the dance and conveys the pride of the Portland area. As a non-profit organization, Teen PDX offers scholarships to students in need. Those wishing to become members of the Teen PDX performing Company as well as students wishing to take a Teen’s Dance class will not be turned away for financial reasons. The continuity of Teen PDX has allowed opportunities for experienced members to mentor new team members and to become assistant coaches. It has also proven a great way to increase confidence and self-esteem into teenager’s lives. “Teens can be shy and go through feelings of non-acceptance” Gardner says, “It’s so rewarding empowering teens to help each other grow”. Teen PDX is also pumped up to perform at USA Portland Chapter’s River City Ball competition in June, 2013. “This is just the beginning; the tip of the iceberg,” Gardner said. “I love dance, I love choreography and I love children. I am genuinely honored and inspired by the youth I teach. I am in this for life.” 2013 May - June


Top10Reasons to go on the USA Dance Cruise to Bermuda

By Jean Krupa


You’ll Get to Visit Bayonne NJ! Well, it’s fun to say Bayonne, anyway.


You’ll Love The Pink Sand! Just about any beach you visit on the south shore will have the famous beautiful pink sand in abundance.


You’ll Love Our Ship! Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas has numerous venues for us to hold our dance workshops in addition to the 2,400 sq. ft. ice rink that will be transformed several times during our cruise into a magnificent Ballroom complete with wood floor!


You’ll Love Our Food! The world-class food and decor in the main dining rooms makes the perfect choice! From heavenly appetizers and entrées to delectable desserts, this is fine dining that everyone can enjoy.!


You’ll Love Our excursions! Glass bottom boats, Segway tours, swim with the dolphins, snorkel or go on a scenic city tour of the island


You’ll Love Our Nightly Theme Dances! Two Formal nights, maybe a Toga Party, Luau, or Anything Goes, we’ll have a plan and a theme.


You’ll Love Our Workshops! Featuring more than 60 workshops, American and International styles, all levels, this cruise is bound to be one of our most popular.

28 Dance Floor


You’ll Love Your New Friends! It’s always a plus getting to meet and dance with dancers from across the USA.


You’ll Love Our Instructors! Dan and Silke have been instructors on our four previous dance cruises and are consistently ranked by our dancers as ‘excellent’ on our surveys. We are excited to announce that Damian Pataluna and Irina Morozova will be joining us as instructors. They are the 2012 Amateur USA Dance National 9-Dance Champions. We think you’ll love the teaching and dance styles of this energetic and dynamic team of instructors.

And the Number 1 reason to go on the USA Dance Bermuda Cruise...


You’ll Love Bermuda! Spending nearly 3 days at Kings Wharf in Bermuda allows you plenty of time to explore and take in the many sights and excursions on this gem of the Atlantic. With its incomparable weather, pink sand beaches, breadth of historic sites and warm, friendly people, voted the “Best Island in the Caribbean/Atlantic”. Don’t forget, space in limited, so book online with Travel Themes and Dreams www., our official dance cruise provider or call 1 (866) 391-2680.

USA DANCE heads to beautiful Bermuda! Aboard Royal Caribbean International




Departing Bayonne, NJ, Sept. 29 - Oct. 6, 2013

ermuda, ‘the jewel of the Atlantic’ with its incomparable weather, pink sand beaches, breadth of historic sites and warm, friendly people, is the exciting destination for the Fifth USA Dance National Dance Cruise, September 29 - October 6, 2013 on Royal Caribbean International’s beautiful Explorer of the Seas. Leaving from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ, the cruise will feature seven days of fun, food, friendship and more than 60 hours of dancing—including a full schedule of ballroom, latin and club-style dance classes—with America’s top professional instructors. The cruise will also include our popular Dance Host program.

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.


2013 May - June


Interview with

Scott Nicholson The following interview took place on January 30, 2013. Scott Nicholson is 16 year old dancer from Portland, Oregon, who has been dancing for five years and competing in ballroom dancing for the last three years. He is a sophomore in high school and took time for this interview even though he was in the middle of finals. Included among Scott’s dancing accomplishments is 4 first place finishes in national competitions with a prior partner. His current partner is Maxine Taylor from Seattle, Washington. Since October of 2012 Maxine and Scott received 12 first place wins and 2 second place finishes in three dance competitions. Upcoming Portland, Oregon dance competitions that Scott and Maxine plan to participate in include River City Ball in June and Columbia Star Ball in May.

What is your practice routine? Usually I

practice with my partner two to three times a week and I practice by myself four to five hours a week.

How do you develop flexibility and balance?

I am working on flexibility now. I have always had pretty good balance but I have to work on flexibility a lot.

Do you have a cardiovascular exercise? I do

track (at high school) which helps and I run almost every night with a friend. Well not every night lately because I have been busy with finals and because it’s Oregon and it rains. I run as much as I can.

How do you do in track? Pretty good. I got a varsity letter last year (as a freshman).

What is your favorite non-dance activity or hobby? I like hunting and track. With hunting have you been successful? I got an elk and a deer last year.

How do you compare dancing to other sports? You can’t. It just doesn’t work. You are

running a marathon and keeping everything perfect because it matters how you look.

Are there any foods you avoid or focus on before a competition? I try not to eat sugars

and stuff because of my acne. I’ll try to get carbs and eat a little better before a competition so I feel better while dancing.

Scott Nicholson & Maxine Taylor

30 Dance Floor

What do you think about while performing on the dance floor? I try to think about smiling

sometimes. But other times it is just dancing, I am not thinking about anything but dancing.

She always is nice and patient. She lets me work at the things until I get them.

What are your goals with dancing? To get

What is your favorite part about dancing? I like being good at something and working hard and getting the results out of it.

really good national titles and go to compete at Blackpool next year. I am not expecting to place really well because of the caliber of the dancers there, but it should be a good experience.

What challenges do you face? Re-learning

a bunch of stuff either because you were taught it wrong or you figured it out yourself, but the way you figured it out was wrong. That’s really hard to get those habits to change.

What is the biggest sacrifice you made for dancing? Right now all my weekends and free

time. My partner is in Seattle so I spend all my weekends there and my free time practicing and doing homework.

Is there anything you can share about your values or work ethic? Just practicing to the

point of what you want to get out of it. If you want a lot, do a lot. If you don’t, don’t. Always practice how you want it to be, not going there and half doing it.

Which dancers inspire you? Role models?

I look at some videos online but don’t know the names of the dancers. Just watching really good high level dancers. At the Grand Ball (Richmond, BC) the champion standard was really something to watch.

Working together can be stressful. Anything you would like to share about your partner relationship? It’s really good,

she’s really nice. She (Maxine) is a lot better than me. She never does anything to show it though.


Do you feel partners could dance without having feelings for one another? Yeah. From

what I’ve seen and experienced it doesn’t really work out when you have dating (romantic) feelings. It also doesn’t work out if you have no feelings or don’t like the person. Extremes don’t work.

What has dance taught you? It’s taught me how to be patient a lot, especially with myself, also to think more and it makes you more aware. What is the hardest thing about dance?

I don’t know really. When you are not getting something and you know what you are supposed to do but you are just trying it and it is not working it can be very hard mentally to get around. Sometimes you have to take a break and other times you have to keep doing it and doing it and doing it until you get it right.

What is the greatest piece of advice you received as a dancer? I don’t know (about)

advice but when someone, a really good coach or someone you really like says that you did a good job, that really motivates you and helps to keep you going. No epiphanies or anything like that.

What advice could you give those kids just getting started dancing? To have fun because

you have to like it before you can be good at it. And then after that just lots of work and know that it’s going to take work to get good. It isn’t just going to happen. By Joe Leitch 2013 May - June


You Gotta Have Heart! By Kimberly Stocker-Ceballos

In March, the Sarasota White Sands Chapter held the “You Gotta Have Heart” Gala to raise money for the purchase of an AED (defibrillator). “Ballroom dancing can be a strenuous activity. Being able to respond to our members and guests in case of emergency is a priority,” said Janis Merluzzo, Chapter President. Preparation began in January when thirteen members and friends of the Chapter were certified in CPR, First Aid and the use of an AED through the local American Red Cross. The next step was to provide the funds for the Chapter to purchase the defibrillator, which was accomplished through the sold-out Gala at the Sarasota Chelsea Center. Gala highlights included a delicious catered dinner, dancing to live music provided by Daniel Fugazzotto, silent auction items from dance lessons and restaurant certificates to theatre tickets and spa days. The much anticipated attraction of the evening was the fourteen professional dance instructors featured in Taxi Dancing with the Pros, where guests could purchase a dance with a pro. To top off the evening, solo exhibitions were performed by the Chapter’s Pro-Am and competitive athlete dancers.

Photo Courtesy of Kimberly Stocker-Ceballos

32 Dance Floor

The Sarasota White Sands Chapter also holds Chapter dances weekly, sponsors professional ballroom dance instruction in local schools and the Boys and Girls Clubs, has five competitive USA Dance couples including two who have 9 titles between them. On hand were four former Chapter Presidents in support of this good cause.


Advertise with A M E R I C A N









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



Chapter of the Year Reaching Out and Creating Smiles

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!”

Crowning Champions

Sail Me Away The USA Dance National Dance Cruise traveled t oAlaska for some exciting adventures and unexpected events

2012 Nationals Recap The Nationals Competition in Baltimore was the largest in its 32-year history. There were many unique aspects to this year’s competition. If you weren’t able to be there, be sure to read all about it.

National Ballroom Dance Week

New USA Dance Ambassadors

Studios, professionals, and volunteers teamed up to create a succesful week-long celebration.

USA Dance has created a new program where members have more opportunities to share the passion and benefits of ballroom dancing with more people than ever. Official Publication of USA Dance

May - June 2012

USA Dance members swept the competition in Cali, Columbia, at a recent international competition that was held in preparation for next year’s World Games.

WDSF World DanceSport Games

Official Publication of USA Dance

Holiday Hot Spots Issue 36

SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS & four top fashion designers sponsor 10 USA Dance DanceSport couples at Nationals

The World DanceSport Games unite the different forms and styles of dance in a multi-disciplinary event.

Official Publication of USA Dance

National Ballroom Dance Week 2012

Crowning National Champions and World Team

On the Runway

Preaparing for a World Stage

November - December 2012

Dance Chapter Holds Special Olympics Competition Issue 39

September-October 2012

Official Publication of USA Dance

Official Publication of USA Dance

Issue 38

Senior II & III World Championships

July-August 2012

USA dance 2011 national dancesport championships Issue 37

May - June 2011

Issue 30

For advertising information email American Dancer ad 2_Layout 1 1/30/13 12:53 PM Page 1


2013 May - June



PUBLIC EYE Angela Prince

LIVE FROM L.A.! Dancing With The Stars Celebrity Judge Bruno Tonioli Was Honorary Judge for the 2013 Star Quality Awards The USA Dance 2013 National DanceSport Championships in Los Angeles proved to a packed crowd at LA Live to live up to all its promotions. Particularly exciting was the participation of ABC-TV’s celebrity judge Bruno Tonioli, who served as Honorary Judge at the 4th annual USA Dance 2013 Star Quality Awards. Sponsored by USA Dance National Sponsor the Ernest Borel Swiss watch company, the Star Quality

34 On Beat

Awards were presented to 11 “star quality” championship-level finalist couples, ranging from Pre-Teen to Senior I, at Nationals. Assisting Bruno with the award presentations were Ernest Borel representatives Pietro Meloni and Thomas Huggler. Due to American Dancer press time, more details about Nationals (and lots of great photos) will appear in the July-August issue of American Dancer magazine.


2013 May - June



For the first time, the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships in Los Angeles were “live-streamed” so that our members and dance friends throughout the country - and the world - could see this great 33rd annual dancesport competition in action. And for FREE! Our thanks to Mike Carter of Paradigm DigitalDVD of Los Angeles, who helped USA Dance create an amazing promotional video that highlighted and entertained viewers until showtime. And thanks to Mike and Ben Moseley of Access Dance who did their technical magic that brought Nationals to our homes…and phones. All of the Nationals evening sessions (about five hours each night) were video’d by Paradigm DigitalDVD live using several cameras for great action shots and close-ups. All of the sessions were truly 36 On Beat

dynamic and entertaining, often featuring the semi-final rounds leading to finals. On Friday and Saturday evenings, Honorary Judge Bruno Tonioli from ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, along with Pietro Meloni and Thomas Huggler from Ernest Borel, presented the 2013 Star Quality Awards to 11 Championship division couples. So how did this all work? Viewers only had to visit the USA Dance website homepage where they clicked through to our new livestream channel. And, if they couldn’t watch Nationals “live” in realtime, all of the three evening sessions were available as re-runs immediately following their airing 24/7…for the rest of April.

Announcing Brand New Ernest Borel Fundraising Incentive Program for USA Dance Members

At the USA Dance 2013 Manhattan Amateur Classic in January, Ernest Borel announced a new funding program to support USA Dance. Although details will be officially announced at Nationals, Ernest Borel will donate to USA Dance 20% of the retail cost of any of its watches sold to a USA Dance member (with active membership status) during 2013. Essentially, if a watch retails for $500, the donation would be $100; and if the watch retails for $10,000, the donation would be $2,000. Needless to say, USA Dance is extremely pleased with this generous funding program and encourages members who would be buying a watch during the year, to consider the offerings of our sponsor Ernest Borel. Members can view the watch collections online at and either write to the company via its website “contact us� section or write to USA Business Development Manager Thomas Huggler at Throughout the year, the support of Ernest Borel brings important funding to many USA Dance initiatives, including the support of the upcoming athlete training camp at the USOC training center in Lake Placid, NY, scholarships for athletes, support to National Qualifying Events, advertising in American Dancer magazine and other programs. Advertising by Ernest Borel showcases USA Dance DanceSport couples in competition. Photographs of dancers at Nationals and NQEs in Charlotte, Chicago, Manhattan and Culver City, CA, are candidates for the next Ernest Borel ad series and two couples will be invited to become Ernest Borel ambassadors as well. Last year, photos of two MAC couples were selected and also showcased the work of photographer Ryan Kenner.


Our Condolences to the Family of Carrie Ann Inaba USA Dance Celebrity Ambassador Carrie Ann Inaba, judge on Dancing With The Stars, was unable to attend Nationals due to the passing of her father and her needed return to her Hawaii homeland. Carrie Ann and her family are in our thoughts and prayers during this time of loss and healing. We are most grateful to her for all of her special caring and continued dedication to the mission of USA Dance and our dancers.

2013 May - June


NWDSC no longer on Hiatus By Dael Kolwitz

In the January-February issue of American Dancer, there was an article stating that after five years, Michele Boyer and Daryl Schmidt announced their retirement as Northwest Dancesport Championships (NWDSC) organizers. Recently, the USA Dance Portland Chapter stepped forward and will host this annual national qualifying event October 12th & 13th. Sanctions were approved by USA Dance earlier in February, and the competition will be held at the Ainsworth Event Center (formerly known as the Scottish Rite Center) in downtown Portland, Oregon. “Portland is excited to revive this competition,” said Sonja Tilton, Vice-President of the Portland Chapter. “We are giving it a new venue, and new opportunity to be a destination competition that is fun not only for competitors, but for spectators as well.” Portland is an up and coming hot spot for ballroom dancing, and the Portland Chapter was more than eager to taking the NWDSC on its shoulders. In addition to their two local competitions, PDX Ballroom Classic (January) and the River City Ball (June), Portland’s social ballroom community is growing as new studios open and more venues offer weekly social dances. For these reasons, the chapter is optimistic in the continued growth of the sport, and to becoming next hub for dancers throughout the Western United States and beyond. 38 DanceSport

Photo Courtesy of Dael Kolwitz

Election of Officers conducted: President, Mark Richman Vice-President, Sonja Tilton Treasurer, Pam Leitch Secretary, Terry Nicholson Signors for Bank Account approved, Mark Richman, Sonja Tilton, and Pam Leitch. Other Positions (appointed): Membership Chair, Dael Publicity Chair, Nick Shur

Committee: Dael Kolwitz, Joe Leitch (appointed at-large representative)

Social Chair, Open Fundraising Chair, Douglas Daniels Youth/College Chair, Mark Richman Dancesport Chair, Sonja Tilton Other Board Members: Ruby Tang and Candy Nicholson

CO M PE T I T I O N S C ALE N D AR 2 0 1 3 June 8 & 9, 2013

*September 7, 2013

Hackensack, NJ

Stanley, KS

Summer Sizzler - NQE

June 15, 2013 River City Ball Portland, OR

June 28 - 30, 2013

Gumbo DanceSport Championships NQE Baton Rouge, LA

*July 27, 2013

Southern Star Mid-Summer Classic Tampa, FL

August 10-11, 2013

Heartland Classic - NQE Indianapolis, IN

Kansas City Dance Classic

September 28, 2013

New England DanceSport Championships - NQE Danvers, MA

October 4 - 6, 2013

Carolina Fall Classic - NQE

Charlotte, NC

October 12 - 13, 2013

Northwest DanceSport Championships - NQE Portland, OR

November 1 - 3, 2013

Chicago DanceSport Challenge - NQE Chicago, IL

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

look for future event updates at

collegiate events on Facebook sign onto Facebook, click on “Groups,” and type in “USA Dance Competitions” www.USAdance.ORG

2013 May - June



Championships By Jack Reinhold

February 16, 8am, North Bethesda: It was the kickoff of the 5th Mid-Atlantic Championships - the last National Qualifying Event before the Nationals. And it was not a quiet kickoff. Twenty-six couples lined up for Adult Bronze Rhythm. The judges took the floor, the MC called the first round and less than an hour later, the Mid-Atlantic Championships handed out the first scholarship checks of the weekend. These were the first of the eighty-two checks we would send home with the winners. The Mid-Atlantic Championships take scholarships seriously. Having given away over $8,000 in years past, we sought to outdo our own stellar record. We had a banner year, with scholarships totaling over $10,000. The Mid-Eastern Chapter made a commitment to award scholarships for the first three places in all events with quarter finals. We also gave generous scholarships for championship events. We had plenty of room for spectators with our 11,000 square foot ballroom and an 80x40 foot dance floor. We needed it. Where else could we put all our dancers lining up to compete? Rounds started on Saturday with 45 couples competing in Adult Standard Bronze and Silver, followed by quarter final events for other age categories and levels. The daytime session concluded with Novice and Pre-Championship Standard events. Twenty couples competed in in Novice Standard, 12 in Senior II pre-champ Standard, and 36 couples in Adult Pre-champ Standard. The quality of the dancing matched the quantity. It was a tough day for the judging panel. 40 DanceSport

Dancers from North Carolina, New York, New Jersey and of course Washington DC and Baltimore made a strong showing at the event. But much of the energy (and cheering) came from the support the competition receives from college students—as nearby as The University of Maryland, George Washington University, Georgetown and as far afield as Massachusetts, Delaware and North Carolina. Their vitality grows as the day goes on, fueled by the cookies and brownies a sponsor always sends over mid-afternoon. We ran our International Ballroom and Latin Championships during the Saturday evening session. The Adult Standard Championship kicked off with 16 couples and after a hard fought event. Yuriy Nartov & Yuliya Blagova took first place. Rhythm and Smooth Championships were represented by an impressive field. The Latin Championship provided a dynamic end to a spirited day, with Pavel Stepanchuk & Anastasiya Danilova walking off with the first place ribbons. With the event scheduled to end at 5 o’clock, Sunday was a busy day. We had many rounds in our Smooth and Latin categories, but our deck captain, John Hall, kept a cool head. It’s a good thing he did, he soon had to tend to a crowd of pre-teen, junior and youth latin competitors. Washington DC is developing many junior and youth dancers. Adding in dancers from New Jersey and New York, these final Latin events are a highlight of the competition. The competition concluded with the Youth Latin Championship, won by Vladislav Kvartin & Ekateryna Tkachenko. What a great end to a memorable weekend! We’d like to thank all our competitors for coming, and we hope to see you again.

Photos Courtesy of David Cunningham


2013 May - June




C hampionships By Breanna Olaveson Every year, the best dancers from around the world qualify for World Championships and gather to compete at the top level. World Championships are both a place to perform and a place to learn— competitors perform their best dances and are also able to see what athletes from around the world are doing. USA Dance members frequently qualify for World Championships and represent the United States on the world stage, and this year was no different. USA Dance members competed in the Senior III Standard World Championships, the Senior I 10-Dance, and the Junior II Latin World Championships, all of which were successful events competitors said they would love to dance in again.

Photos Courtesty of Lonny Tsang

42 DanceSport

Senior III Standard The Senior III Standard World Championships were held Feb. 1 - 3, 2013, in Antwerp, Belgium. USA Dance members Lonny and Susie Tsang, Irina and Feingold, Lilly and Winston Chow and Hans and Ans Stork represented the United States. World Championships always draw large crowds, and this event was no different. The Senior III Standard brought 232 couples to compete this year. “It was the largest number of entries so far at a Senior III World Championship,” Hans Stork said. This competition was the third of its kind; the first Senior III World Championship was held in 2011.

of the dance is very high—it’s difficult to separate within the top 100 who was much better than the other.” The dancers were great, but the way the competition was run enhanced the experience. “It’s all these things together—the size, the energy, the quality of music,” Hans said. “The entire time I never heard them play the same song twice. They play a different song every time, in every heat, and there are dozens of heats. It’s an impressive event.”

Hans and Ans Stork weren’t feeling well in the days prior to the competition, but they competed all the same. “When you’ve made all the plans, you go anyway and see what comes out of it,” Hans said. “We were impressed with the quality of the dancing. It seems to go up from year to year.” The energy at World Championships is invigorating, and Hans said that added to the experience. “We find the audience and other dancers very energizing,” he said. “The atmosphere is very lively. It’s energizing to be amidst other competitors who have similar backgrounds. The competitive level


From left to right: Irina Feingold, Vincent Feingold, Ans Stork, Hans Stork, Lilly Chow, Winston Chow, Susie Tsang, Lonny Tsang

2013 May - June


orld W C hampionships WDSF

Senior I 10-Dance The Senior I 10-Dance World Championships were also held in Antwerp, Belgium, on the very same weekend. The 10-Dance brought 42 couples to compete, including USA Dance members Balazs and Csilla Kocsi. Balazs and Csilla have been competing nationally for many years and have won the Senior I 10-Dance national championship for two years in a row. This year, they qualified for World Championships by taking first place at the 2012 USA Dance National Championships in Baltimore. “Competitions are great,” Balazs said. “I love to see friends and dance with friends. Especially in the senior division, we have a lot of fun with each other.” Like the Senior III competition, the Senior I 10-Dance brought more competitors at the World level than the national championships. “There are large rounds,” Balazs said. “It’s very interesting to see and pick out people in the events in a crowd.”

Photo Courtesty of Balazs & Csilla Kocsi

44 DanceSport

Balazs said competing in the 10-Dance is challenging because of the switch between Standard and Latin styles, but that he and Csilla took that into account in their practicing.

“We started doing rounds,” Balazs said. “Each practice you try to focus on one or two dances where you’re working on more detailed things. You can never do all 10 dances in a single practice, so we just alternate.”

Junior II Latin The Junior II Latin World Championships were held the next week on Feb. 9, 2013. Dancers gathered in Bassano del Grappa, Italy, to compete against some of the best young talent in the world. USA Dance members Mike Monokandilos and his partner, Cara Yun Loo, represented the United States as they competed against 61 other couples from around the world. “I felt like we did well and danced our best,” Monokandilos said. “I hope to go back to this competition next year.” Monokandilos said he enjoyed competing in the World Championships because there were so many people there who brought a great energy to the competition. “It was a great environment to dance in,” he said. “With the other dancers and the spectators, it was a really fun place to dance.” www.USAdance.ORG

Photo By Carson Zullinger , Nationals 2012 Mike Monokandilos and Cara Yun Loo

2013 May - June





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46 InStep

BOOKS Read and Dance. Dance and Read. MN dance instructor Charlene Torkelson weaves an interesting story with a twist in her Dancemaster mystery series. Order your copies at or [1]

DanceMart DanceMart continues to serve members of USA Dance as a free space to advertise and sell personal costumes, shoes, etc., or search for a partner. To be included in DanceMart, please limit your classified ads to 50 words or less. You must include your membership number and name to ensure compliance with the free space for members only. Classified ads will run in American dancer for two issues. If you wish to run it longer, you must resend the ad. To place or renew an ad, Please send it to:

Official USA Dance National Sponsor

Ernest Borel Swiss Made since 1856

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76 Littleton Road, Rt 110, USA – Chelmsford, MA 01824-2625 Tel: +1 877 566 1824   Fax: +1 855 566 1824

Photo By Carson Zullinger

USA Dance National DanceSport Championships

Baltimore, md March 28 - 30, 2014

American Dancer May/June 2013 Issue  

Offical Publication of USA Dance

American Dancer May/June 2013 Issue  

Offical Publication of USA Dance