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USA Dance Response to NDCA Cancelation of Membership 1-23-12

TO ALL MEMBERS OF USA DANCE:

The Executive Committee of USA Dance is disappointed that the leadership of the National Dance Council of America has not accepted our organization’s continued offers of goodwill and accord and, as of Jan. 23, 2012, has officially canceled our organization’s affiliated membership in the NDCA and no longer considers USA Dance to be its “Official Amateur Ballroom Dancers Association” in the U.S.

Although our organization has never been governed by the NDCA or its policies, our affiliated membership in the NDCA allowed USA Dance an opportunity to represent our members at its meetings with an active voice and a vote. Our presence was particularly important when decisions were made by the NDCA concerning rules and policies that directly affected amateur athlete participation at NDCA-sanctioned DanceSport events.

Our membership was part of our effort to foster strong working relationships within the industry, to offer a positive perspective for change and growth, and to achieve a greater vision of doing what’s best for dancers in America.

In the Jan. 23 letter, the NDCA stated that USA Dance activities were “in conflict with the activities of the NDCA,” citing “facilitating registration of professional dance competitors and officials, and conducting events in the United States that conflict with NDCA-sanctioned events.”

The Executive Committee of USA Dance believes this action by the NDCA against USA Dance has unnecessarily divided the American dance community, and that the NDCA Board of Governors took this action without following the requirements that are laid out in its own constitution and bylaws for the removal of a member body.

The statement by the NDCA that it was terminating the membership of USA Dance because USA Dance had allowed professional competitors and officials to become members of USA Dance also came as a surprise. Up until the end of 2010 a number of the NDCA Board of Governors, including several of their top executives were themselves members of USA Dance, and it is difficult to understand why their being members of USA Dance was not a problem for them prior to 2011, but all of a sudden became an issue over which USA Dance should have its membership suspended and then terminated only a year later. It should be noted that USA Dance has allowed professional competitors and officials to join and freely participate in the activities of USA Dance, a democratic organization, for many years, and the NDCA has never raised this as an issue of contention prior to stating this as a reason for terminating the membership of USA Dance on January 23, 2012.

The statement by the NDCA that USA Dance was conducting events in the U.S. that conflict with NDCA-sanctioned events is also surprising, in that the one event which the NDCA brought to the attention of USA Dance (namely the Adjudicators’ Congress to be held at the conclusion of the Ohio Star Ball), was in fact moved by USA Dance to another date and place where there would be no conflict with an NDCA-sanctioned event.

The Executive Committee of USA Dance believes that the reason the NDCA took action to terminate the affiliated membership of USA Dance, a long-standing ally, rests not so much with any supposed wrong-doing on the part of USA Dance but rather with the discord between executives of the NDCA and the World DanceSport Federation, primarily over business and political matters. The World DanceSport Federation (WDSF, formerly IDSF) currently represents 90 countries globally as the official member organization of the International Olympic Committee. USA Dance is the WDSF member organization for the U.S. as well as the National Governing Body for DanceSport recognized by the United States Olympic Committee. On the other hand, the NDCA affiliates with a competing world dancesport organization, the World Dance Council (WDC), a body representing fewer countries and having no Olympic affiliation.

So, what does this mean to our members? At this time we are not aware of any future impact on our chapters or DanceSport athletes resulting from the termination of USA Dance from the NDCA, and the Executive Committee of USA Dance hopes that at some future date the NDCA will re-think its actions and will seek to re-establish a positive relationship with USA Dance.

In that spirit, USA Dance will continue to serve the needs of its 20,000 plus members, social dancers, athletes and officials, and will continue to fulfill its role as the National Governing Body for DanceSport in the U.S.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please write to central-office@usadance.org and your mail will be forwarded to the appropriate Executive Committee member for a response.

Lydia T. Scardina, National President
USA Dance, Inc.

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