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Magazine

Magazine » May June 2012 Issue » New USA Dance Ambassador Program

New USA Dance Ambassador Program

Author:
Angela Prince
Date Published:
May 1, 2012

The New Celebrity Ambassador Program

Being a good ambassador for ballroom dancing, dancesport and for USA Dance has always been on our members' agendas. Through our local chapter and dancesport activities, we share our passion with friends and family – attending dances and classes, creating new initiatives, supporting our communities, helping individuals…and at the end of the day, communicating just how much dancing has changed our lives forever.

So, we really can't call the USA Dance Ambassador Program brand new. It's always been what we do. But, we're defining it so it can be better understood and grow.

A few highlights of our new USA Dance Ambassadors at work:
Carrie Ann Inaba, celebrated celebrity judge on ABC-TV's Dancing With The Stars now for 14 seasons, has participated as Honorary Judge at the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships for three of the past four years. She judges and presents the USA Dance Star Quality Awards, that were actually created in 2008 with her involvement in mind.

At that time, we talked about calling it the X-Factor Awards (ironically, a prime-time tv show of that name evolved), but we chose the Star Quality name as a way of recognizing dancesport couples for performing and "exuding" that special star quality talent not measured by traditional judging criteria on the competition floor.

The recent 2012 Nationals was the 3rd successful Star Quality Award presentation, and Carrie Ann was there to bestow the honors and, at the same time, became USA Dance's first official National Celebrity Ambassador, because she wanted to do more continually for our organization – helping us grow, expand our opportunities and reach out to all of our communities.

The New DanceSport Ambassador Program

For the past seven years, USA Dance has handled many of the auditions, casting calls and performance bookings for many of our dancesport couples – from pre-teen to seniors. After all, we know how and it's good PR for everyone! And every time dancers participated in a public venue or on television, they became DanceSport Ambassadors – for themselves and their families, their coaches, studios and chapters, their schools…and for their very proud organization USA Dance.

Since the tv dance shows took off in popularity, requests for new dancers have only grown. We have handled at least a hundred auditions and placed our dancers on Dancing With The Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, America's Got Talent, MTV Made, prime time talk shows, major network morning shows…even recently on Nickelodeon TV. And when our couples have been discovered on their own, we have also been there to support them, providing guidance and knowledge about their new "entertainment" platform. After all, showbiz can be challenging.

For our athletes, the DanceSport Ambassador Program has grown to include performances at dance and talent shows, fundraisers, dance competitions and other entertainment venues. Sometimes we receive calls for a specific couple, other times it's for a couple of a certain age, ranking, dance style or location. The new DanceSport Ambassador Program has often resulted in scholarship funding for the couple as well as for USA Dance programs. Other times, it simply brought the dancers into the "limelight" and that led to other opportunities.

As of April, the new DanceSport Ambassador Program kicked off, and we are pleased to announce that we have numerous engagements booked for couples in 2012.

"This positive program in the Jefferson Parish Public School System, is so important for the kids... It teaches kids etiquette and social qualities, self-confidence, self-esteem, mutual respect, and teamwork. More importantly, this program gets kids to exercise while learning a skill and they are having fun. To have Anna and Patryk perform and to be a part of this 6th Annual Dance Challenge event with kids was an experience these kids will always remember. Anna and Patryk were a pleasure to work with and more importantly they connected with the kids." Jay Ceravolo, Event Organizer
Representing Jefferson Parish Public School System
Martin Marino Dance Challenge 2012


The first official event was for the 6th Annual Jefferson Parish Public School System's Martin Marino Dance Challenge, involving Anna Kaczmarski and Patryk Ploszaj, our current Junior I 10-Dance National Champions. Over 300 fifth graders from 26 schools participated and competed in this year's event. They danced Salsa, Waltz, Swing, Tango, and the Merengue. Anna and Patryk danced several evening exhibitions at the Pontchartrain Center, in Kenner, LA for a crowd of more than 4500 family, friends, and local dance groups.

In addition to performing, our Ambassadors are often asked to do local tv interviews or demos, meet-greets with fans or even teach classes – all great opportunities to talk about their love of dancing, competing and USA Dance.

Call us for your next performers! We encourage our Chapters and National Qualifying Events to support our new DanceSport Ambassador Scholarship Program. It helps our athletes and it helps the new DanceSport Training Camp Program recently announced.

Want to be a DanceSport Ambassador? If you'd like to be considered for any television or dance events, please send one email to publicrelations-dir@usadance.org (Angela Prince) explaining why you'd make a great Ambassador for USA Dance. Include three important items – (1) your current dance couple bio (word file), (2) 2-4 photos (high res jpegs) and (3) YouTube links to your best 1 - 3 performances. Again, send as one email only.