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Junior Athlete Committee Announcement

June 2, 2017

I am so pleased to announce the members of our Junior Athlete Committee! Our committee is made up of coaches and parents from across the country who all have a genuine interest in making our junior dancesport experience the best possible. Our members are:

Our Coaches: Dean Abraham (Florida) - Dean has taught junior dancers and top competitors for many years starting back in England. He recently started a major K12 program in Florida within the education system. Ryan Lewis (Texas) – Ryan – has run a Youth, Junior, Juvenile Program for the past 10 years. Nina Estrina (Pennsylvania) – Nina is the owner of a studio who works with over 200 competitive junior athletes. Irina Trebunskaya (California) – Irina is a well-respected adjudicator/coach who has a long history working with kids through her entire dance teaching career. Nancy Vallee (Louisiana) – Nancy is the organizer of Whistle Stop, a non-profit children's advocacy organization with two ballroom dance programs.

Our Parents: Olga Gendlina (Florida) – Olga’s son and daughter started ballroom dancing when they were 8 and 10 years old and currently compete as a Youth couple in American Smooth and International Standard. Debra Stamper (Massachusetts) – Debra’s son started as a youth competitor and has continued into the adult category. Sunny Cho (California) - mother of 4 boys of all different levels (ages 10 to 17) who have been competing for the last 8 years.

So what exactly will we be working on? Here are a few of the topics we plan to address:

  • How do we improve our organization to make it both Junior and Senior friendly?
  • What can we do to bring more kids into ballroom?
  • What can we do to make DanceSport more affordable/accessible for kids and their families?
  • How can we make costuming requirements clear, concise, and consistently monitored?
  • What can we do to help parents navigate the world of DanceSport?
  • What can we do to help our professional division create an age-appropriate, consistent approach to syllabus and proficiency development?

I cannot tell you how excited I am to be working with these wonderful volunteers! I look forward to reporting our progress throughout the year.


Carole Barber
DanceSport Secretary
Junior Athlete Advocate

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