Ken Richards -President USA Dance Inc.

President’s Message

By Ken Richards, USA Dance President
Contributing Author

by Ken Richards, President of USA Dance

 

Hello American Dancers.  Welcome back to a new USA Dance and your American Dancer online magazine.  With the conclusion of last year’s election, members of the new team are now settling into office and working side-by-side with those who remain from the previous administration.  It is encouraging to see the synergy of everyone as they refocus the agenda to improve transparency and provide a higher level of service and value to our community.  This team is dedicated to earning your support.

I will make an assumption – if you’re reading this publication, you LOVE dancing… watching it, studying it, practicing it, thinking about it, talking about it, sharing it with friends, and of course – doing it.  If you are wobbling with your partner in the kitchen while Sinatra plays in the background, taking a Zoom lesson, or drilling on the footwork of your competitive routines – you are a dancer.  If you know terms like slow-quick-quick, connection, CBMP, the different types of rise-n-fall in the waltz or, can spin on your head – you are a dancer.  And we are glad you are here.  We are all dancers dedicated to appreciating and supporting each other during this time and into the future.  And USA Dance is the right membership organization for you. 

Now a few important words from the “It Takes A Village” department… Each issue, I will remind everyone that USA Dance is more than the sum of its parts – but oh, those parts are extensive and sometimes complicated.  Bylaws, rulebooks, policies, insurance, financial audits, and chapter reports aren’t the most fun thing – but are necessary parts of a dancing community’s foundation.  When I see the rally of support for the shared vision of what we can become, I am reminded of some of my favorite lyrics from one of my favorite Hustle tunes… sing (or get up and dance) with me as we move forward and back to the dance floor:

Ain’t no stoppin’ us now
We’re on the move (The movin’, the groovin’)
Ain’t no stoppin’ us now (The movin’, yeah, yeah)
We’ve got the groove (The groovin’, movin’, movin’, movin’, move)
Ain’t no stoppin’ us now…
McFadden & Whitehead

I am very thankful to past USA Dance President Gary Stroick for sharing his experience, knowledge and more, of the past several years in our multiple transition meetings.  I am equally pleased that all of the other outgoing officers have done the same with their new counterparts in the administration.

I am delighted with the integrated efforts of our new marketing and communications team, under the guidance of Russ Wilder.  Thank you to David Getchell and his hard working team for the huge undertaking of restarting our member-support magazine, reflected in this new online addition.  Thank you Myra Coffield for jumping into the technology behind the scenes and bringing new life to our national website (take a look).  Our Social media efforts deserve a special pat on the back; thank you to Antoinette Datoc and her co-chair, Fiorenza Todaro.

You have hopefully seen the announcements of the other volunteers that have stepped up with new ideas and the energy to get things done… Phil Sisk, Margot Garnick, Patti Panebianco, Dean Abraham, Todd Kirrane, Ronen Zinshtein and a host of committee chairs and members inside of the DanceSport Council and the Professional Dance Council.  Some of those volunteers are introduced in this issue of American Dancer, the rest will be presented in the next quarter’s issue.

I have burdened everyone with an intense meeting schedule over the past few weeks – all necessary to comply with the directives in the bylaws and to establish the infrastructure for things to come.  There are countless steps and protocols associated with each volunteer position– such as the Conflict of Interest Statement, a Confidentiality Agreement, SafeSport training, a criminal background check, a new email account and more…  Based on that, I still ask for everyone’s patience as we build the team and work the plan.

As Social Dancing venues begin to reopen across the country and competitions restart (both virtual and in-person), I encourage all to practice safety first, stay healthy, and ensure yourself a long future of dancing… Ain’t no stoppin’ us now

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