Purpose and Goals
The basic purpose of each USA Dance Inc. chapter is to promote the growth of ballroom dancing as both a lifetime recreational activity and as a sport. Chapters serve as the leader and focal point of ballroom dancing in their community and strive to educate the public regarding the physical, mental and social benefits of ballroom dancing.
The basic goal is for everyone to ballroom dance. In support of that goal, chapters provide affordable opportunities for all ages to participate in ballroom dancing. They welcome beginner dancers and help them get started as ballroom dancers. Talented dancers are encouraged to become DanceSport Athletes. Chapters seek to bring the joy and benefits of ballroom dancing to as many people as possible, including students in colleges and K-12 schools.
Social Dance Program
Affordable social dance programs are the cornerstone of each Chapter’s activities. These programs include frequent social dances (usually monthly) supported by the full use of available media coverage to bring new dancers of all ages and skill levels to Chapter events. Admission charges are lower for members than for non-members. The social dance programs of Chapters usually include exhibitions by amateurs and/or professionals, and also include mixers and line dances. Singles are welcome at all Chapter dances.
Each year Chapters are encouraged to dedicate at least one monthly dance to raising funds to support their youth and college outreach programs. Some Chapters also sponsor fundraisers for charities, i.e. “Affair of the Heart” Balls for the American Heart Association, Alzheimers, Wounded Warriors and others. It provides a good opportunity to stress the mental and physical benefits of dance.
All chapters are asked to make full use of USA DANCE’s Grant Handbook. The guidelines in that Handbook will show chapters how to obtain grants and sponsors to help finance chapter activities. Special efforts should be made to obtain financial grants to support the chapter’s Performance Team and programs for youth.
Chapters usually present a one-hour group dance lesson at the beginning of each social dance. Beginners are especially welcome and chapters will help them get started as ballroom dancers. Chapters also often schedule additional beginner lesson programs on a regular basis separate from their social dances. All members are encouraged to take some formal dance lessons as well to increase their skills and confidence on the dance floor. Chapters arrange other special low-cost group dance lesson programs, workshops, and seminars as well.
Each Chapter is expected and encouraged to publish a newsletter that has value for both the social and competitive members. In addition to news items on ballroom dancing and DanceSport, newsletters usually include:
- a calendar of events regarding dancing,
- a list of local dance studios and independent dance instructors,
- a list of other dance related businesses in the local area
- a directory of places in the area to dance ballroom,
- and dance related classified ads at no cost to members when possible.
Chapters directly support USA DANCE’s national programs to increase the numbers of members–youth, adult, seniors, social, and DanceSport athletes by providing programs that appeal to each category of members.
Black Tie Affair
Chapters are encouraged to sponsor at least one elegant, formal dance event each year.
Chapters sponsor competitions if member interest warrents and encourage members with competitive aspirations to participate in USA Dance events. Chapter members are also encouraged to attend those competitive events as spectators to show support for our athletes.
Chapter Performance Teams give demonstrations of ballroom dancing at public events. Examples are: Festivals, fairs, expositions and other civic events; shopping malls; clubs; social events; schools; cotillions; nursing homes and any event or location that will attract significant numbers of people. It is suggested that the teams include both adult and youth couples.
All Chapters are asked to start and then help support ballroom dance programs in local colleges. This may include fundraising events and seeking donations by businesses and college alumnus. College DanceSport Teams participate in competitions between colleges and in USA DANCE DanceSport events. They may also give demonstrations in other colleges, high schools and at public events. Colleges that have dance programs are asked to help start similar programs in nearby colleges that do not have dance programs. Chapters should also encourage college students to attend their regular social dance events.
K-12 Youth Programs
Chapters are encouraged to develop, with the assistance of professional dance instructors, a program of free or very low-cost ballroom dance lessons for students in grades K-12. This may be accomplished by adding ballroom dance to the school curriculum, by forming extra-curricular clubs, or by conducting independent programs for youth, including home schoolers. These young dancers give dance demonstrations in local schools and civic events, and participate in DanceSport competitions.
The goals are to help our youth acquire needed social skills in ballroom dance, and to encourage the most talented to become DanceSport Athletes in support of the Olympic movement.