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Welcome to American Dancer


Welcome to American Dancer, the official online magazine for USA Dance, Inc.

2023 is gone.  I don’t know where it went and how it went so quickly.  But we went through all 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, and 8760 hours of it.  Certainly, we accomplished a lot, right?  Go ahead and start listing your achievements…I will wait. 

Wow!  That’s great!  You must be so happy.  Yes, I said Happy – as in elated, joyful, ecstatic…

You’ve listed your achievements, and you aren’t really happy?  Why not? 

Recently I was talking with my friend, who was catching me up on all that was going on.  She was traveling, attending weddings, playing with the grandchildren, finishing a few projects, and starting some new projects.  Then she said that she missed dancing.  It had been a year for her…and this fabulous lady knows how to dance.  She said, she missed her “Happy Place”. 

I have heard this a lot lately:  We just don’t have time.  Or…He just doesn’t enjoy it anymore.  Or…This or that hurts.  Or…It is too far away.  Or…It is too expensive.  Or…We are tired at the end of the day.  The list and excuses go on.

Dancing is exhilarating! Photo by Renee Malinowski.

As dancers, one of our happiest places is on the dance floor.  The music starts and our feet feel like they are about to take off without us.  We smile and start looking around to see where the floor is and who we can grab to share the moment.  Dancing is our high, our exercise, our pain killer, our pass time, and our emotional release.  It is our chance to dress up, compete, socialize, laugh, perform, and challenge ourselves.  It’s fun! 

Those who are not dancers will never understand the joy of being invited for a song, getting into a frame, learning new steps, leading a partner into a new pattern, following steps you never learned, spinning around the floor, and laughing at the finish of the adventure.  They don’t understand, so they don’t think you are missing anything.  Well, you are!

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”  It is true!  And I am giving everyone an interesting challenge as you step into the next 365 days:  Be a little selfish!  It is time to find and take back your Happy Place.  Do you love and miss dancing?  Make a New Year’s resolution to return to the dance floor.  Start by just showing up.  Walk through the studio door and put your shoes on.  If your partner won’t go, go without them. 

Want more?  Take a group class.  Sign up for a few lessons.  There are a lot of good teachers.

Is your area lacking in social dance opportunities?  Find a place – church, school, hall, etc. – and host your own event.

Did you have a disagreement with the local studio?  Stop it…Bury the hatchet.  That studio needs dancers, and you need to dance. 

Are you a social dancer who always wanted to try competition?  Don’t wait.  Go to a local competition and watch…not just the Professionals, catch a good Bronze competition.  You will quickly realize that you can do it too. 

No partner?  You don’t need one for most social dances.  Or, start with Pro-Am and ask around.  You might be surprised.

Are you a competitor who needs a change?  Change your choreography, consider moving up a level, or take up an additional style.  Talk to your teacher about your competition future.  Go to a camp.  Pull your dresses and tail suits out of the closet and try them on.  Plan your first competition for 2024.  Better yet, sign up to compete at Nationals or overseas.

It’s your Happy Place.  You deserve it.  Don’t let another 8760 hours go by without putting on your dance shoes.

It’s 2024 and the dance floor is calling.  BE HAPPY! 

Rose-Ann Lynch

Managing Editor, American Dancer



American Dancer continues to report, write, and take pictures, but we can’t do it alone.  If you are good with the pen and/or camera, please consider contributing articles and/or photos.  Anyone who is a member of USA Dance is welcome to be a full-time, occasional, or one-time contributor to this publication.  Here’s what we are looking for: 

  • Social news, stories, and photos about USA Dance chapters, events, and individuals 
  • USA Dance Competition news, events, stories, and photos
  • WDSF Competition news, events, stories, and photos
  • USA Dance administrative information 
  • Dance and Dance Organization tips
  • Ideas – Maybe you don’t like to write but have a good USA Dance story; let us know. 
  • USA Dance Opinion/Editorial Pieces


American Dancer retains the right to edit any accepted submissions.  As a picture is worth 1,000 words; don’t forget to include dance photos with your written piece.  We also take stand-alone photos with short descriptions.  (Note:  To be published, all photos must identify those pictured and include photo credits)

We hope you enjoy reading about USA Dance and the Dancing World!