Given the volume and incompleteness of posts on social media clarification of recent events related to the Greater New York Chapter and the Manhattan Amateur Classic (MAC) are warranted.
The USA Dance DanceSport Council, Governing Council, and/or members thereof have attempted to work with the Greater New York Chapter Board over the past year on a series of items which include resolution of a potential complaint regarding the removal of a board member, a complaint regarding financial irregularities, financial support for the MAC, and have expressed concerns while attempting to have detailed discussions regarding the financial viability of the chapter as well as the MAC resulting from continued and significant financial losses at the MAC.
All DanceSport members should be aware that USA Dance has run qualifying events for Nationals since the early 2000’s which are currently known as National Qualifying Events (NQEs). The rules governing NQEs and other competitions are set forth in USA Dance’s Rulebook and all USA Dance organizers are required to follow those rules. Occasionally USA Dance’s DanceSport Council has granted waivers for specific rules (e.g., waiving sanctioning fee, permitting for a smaller percentage of WDSF certified adjudicators where there are no WDSF competitions at the event), however, two aspects have formed the foundation of USA Dance NQEs and sanctioned competitions: 1) that all adjudicators must be licensed USA Dance and/or WDSF adjudicators; and 2) that all competitors in NQE competitive events must be USA Dance Athlete members. Adherence to these foundational rules creates equality between competitors, adjudicators and organizers. The MAC was granted an NQE sanction in accordance with these foundational rules on July 11, 2018.
The Manhattan Amateur Classic (MAC) is historically USA Dance’s largest and most expensive chapter run NQE. Over the past several years, the MAC has consistently run at a financial loss. In 2017, the Greater New York Chapter sent out an urgent request for donations and engaged in a GoFundMe campaign to save the 2018 MAC from collapse. As part of that request, the Board of the Greater New York Chapter stated it was revising its business model (later referred to as a business plan) to avoid repeating this situation. As part of the sanctioning process this business model/plan was requested in May, on June 14, and June 17. On July 7, the President of the Greater New York Chapter acknowledged there was no business model or plan in place.
On July 13, the Board of the Greater New York Chapter provided a “business model” in which it stated it desired to proceed with the MAC as a Registered Event – the business model failed to provide a financial analysis of the likely effects of this decision on the MAC and was contrary to the Board’s prior request for sanction as an NQE. The DanceSport Council sent requests to the President of the Greater New York Chapter to collaborate and/or speak with the MAC Organizing Committee and/or Chapter Board on June 28, July 7, July 11, July 20, and August 2. Neither the Board of the Greater New York Chapter, nor the MAC Organizing Committee, responded to requests to discuss the organization or financial condition of the MAC with the DanceSport Council or GC. Furthermore, the complete financial situation of the 2018 MAC is still unknown to USA Dance, and on August 20, 2018, the National Treasurer was alerted to additional expenditures by the Greater New York Chapter from mid-2017 that had gone unpaid by the chapter.
On August 12, the Board of the Greater New York Chapter sent an email demanding that USA Dance either grant the MAC special NQE status where competitors would not need to be USA Dance members and adjudicators would not need to be licensed by USA Dance, or the Board would open registration of the MAC “as an independent unlisted competition.” Thus, the options provided to the Governing Council were that the Chapter Board would either run the MAC in violation of the rules that all USA Dance NQE organizers, adjudicators and athletes follow, or would take the MAC outside of USA Dance. As stated previously this last communication precipitated the actions taken by the Governing Council.