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Supporting the Organizations that Support Them

Mohawk Valley Shares Membership Success

By Kathy Contino-Turner
Contributing Author
Photos Courtesy of Mohawk Valley Chapter

Editor’s Note:  The post-pandemic years have been very hard on the ballroom dance industry.  COVID-19 has affected all competition dance federations around the world, and equally hit USA Dance’s Social and Competitive divisions.

This year’s upcoming Nationals mark a definite regrowth and bounce back for USA Dance’s competition side; we are anticipating a good showing, with over 30 couples in some events.  Yet, the Social Dance Chapters still show significant number decreases, compared to those ten years ago.

It was surprising to recently hear, that New York’s Mohawk Valley Chapter #3066 announced a doubled membership in the last two years.  For this reason, American Dancer asked the chapter to share its successes and practices, so other dancers and chapters might also benefit.  Please share this story with your chapter leadership, dance friends, and local dance studios.  It’s time to bring our dancers back to the ballroom.  Thank you, Kathy Contino-Turner and Mohawk Valley Chapter #3066.  Keep up the great work!!!

USA Dance Mohawk Valley Chapter #3066 in Central New York started in 2013 and our membership has more than doubled in the last two years. We are fortunate to have a wonderful and accessible dance venue — the Utica Maennerchor Hall in Marcy, New York — with a terrific dance floor.

We changed our music, using a playlist compiled by one of our board members from Spotify. It includes newer music, along with old standards. We hold three free dances each year for our members, noting that they might pay $35 to be a member of USA Dance, but they will save $30 in the year with the free dances. Attendees can also pick up a “dance card” that gets stamped each time they attend a dance. Once they have 4 stamps, the 5th dance is free.

We host three special events with decorations and special music.  We just held a Mardi Gras Party (lead photo)!  In June we are all going to Kellberman’s for a Dirty Dancing theme, and of course, Halloween is fun for our chapter.

College and High school students with valid student ID come for free and many of our members love to see “the younger crowd”. We offer a group lesson at the start of each dance, asking local dance professionals to teach. Our more experienced dancers act as dance hosts. We welcome line dancers and have a section of the floor just for them.

The Mohawk Valley’s two social dance clubs have been supportive of our chapter, and they understand that USA Dance is a feeder for their clubs. We hold membership events, encouraging dancers to join on the spot with paper applications. We encourage our dancers to become members of the local social dance organizations, attend local dances in other communities, and become members of the club that hosts our dances each month.

Our Facebook page is an asset, reaching thousands each week. We position our page as a resource for local dancing opportunities and information.

People come to our events because they have fun. We also believe in supporting the organizations that support us and we give back to the area by donating to local causes. Our members are active and visible, promoting USA Dance throughout the region.

We hold dances on the 4th Saturday of every month at the Utica Maennerchor Hall, 5535 Flanagan Road in Marcy, New York. We invite all members of USA Dance to join us and encourage you to follow our progress on our FB site.

USA Dance Mohawk Valley Chapter #3066 is dedicated to the promotion of all types of dance and welcomes everyone to their dances on the 4th Saturday of every month.

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