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IN RESPONSE TO NDCA VOTE REGARDING COMPETITION RULES, AFFECTING NDCA-REGISTERED ADJUDICATORS, OFFICIALS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. July 17, 2014

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM USA DANCE:

IN RESPONSE TO NDCA VOTE REGARDING COMPETITION RULES, AFFECTING NDCA-REGISTERED ADJUDICATORS, OFFICIALS

The National Dance Council of America (NDCA), at its 2nd Semi-Annual Meeting held on July 11 and 12, 2014, has voted to change its competition rules in a way that absolutely prohibits NDCA-registered officials from participating in USA Dance events. USA Dance strongly supports the Freedom of Participation by everyone in the dance industry and dance community. We believe that the NDCA’s vote unreasonably restricts the freedom of DanceSport officials, scrutineers, adjudicators and others, and it infringes upon their fundamental rights. We therefore urge everyone who values Freedom of Participation to reject the NDCA’s action.

The NDCA’s change relates to the Rule I.G. of its competition rules, entitled NDCA & RECOGNIZED PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS - JUDGES/SCRUTINEERS. USA Dance has learned that the NDCA leadership proposed to eliminate an exception to this rule which previously allowed NDCA officials to officiate at or organize USA Dance national qualifying events (NQEs) and national championships.

USA Dance has been informed that the NDCA’s vote may have been in response to industry inquiries made by the USA Dance DanceSport Council (DSC) or to USA Dance’s new requirement to have at least 50% WDSF licensed judges at its NQEs. USA Dance is issuing this statement to clear up any misinformation or misconceptions.

Earlier this year, USA Dance’s DSC sent a letter of inquiry to United States teaching societies, asking for important information about their methods, procedures and standards for training, certifying and qualifying adjudicators for DanceSport competitions.

As the National Governing Body for DanceSport in the United States, recognized by the United States Olympic Committee, USA Dance must maintain high standards of judging for our events. In line with that purpose, the DSC reached out to the many dance organizations and teaching societies in the United States as part of an effort to learn more about industry resources and to ensure that the most qualified professionals with valid credentials and training serve as adjudicators at USA Dance competitions.

Furthermore, USA Dance is the United States member of the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), the International Olympic Committee recognized global governing body for DanceSport. WDSF has rigorous standards for licensing judges, and USA Dance has organized congresses and workshops in the last several years within the United States to expand the education and training of dance industry professionals on the latest trends, methods and standards in DanceSport adjudication. In the past year, USA Dance has held WDSF-level competitions at its NQEs, during which many WDSF-certified adjudicators from the United States were invited to judge. USA Dance also received invitations for WDSF-certified judges in the United States to judge at WDSF World Championships overseas, such as in Seoul, Moscow and Marseilles.

If the NDCA’s vote was in fact in reaction either to the DSC’s inquiry letter sent to dance organizations and teaching societies or to USA Dance’s new requirement to have at least 50% WDSF licensed judges at its NQEs, USA Dance considers the rationale behind the vote seriously flawed.

USA Dance, consistent with its mission, has taken steps to maintain and raise the level of judging in the United States. For the NDCA to change its rules to prevent NDCA officials from officiating at USA Dance events for that reason – or indeed, for any reason – defies logic and common sense. Moreover, it violates fundamental principles of freedom and liberty that members of the dance community in the United States have long enjoyed.

USA Dance now appeals to everyone in the American dance community – professionals and amateurs, event organizers and promoters, adjudicators and all other officials -- to tell the NDCA that you oppose their recent rule change prohibiting NDCA officials from officiating at or participating in USA Dance events. Join USA Dance in standing up for what is right. Support Freedom of Participation in dance.

Statement Issued on Behalf of USA Dance By: Yang Chen, President, USA Dance, Inc.

# # #

USA DANCE CONTACTS:

Ken Richards, DanceSport Vice President, USA Dance. dancesport-vp@usadance.org
Angela Prince, Public Relations Director, USA Dance. publicrelations-dir@usadance.org
Central Office, USA Dance. central-office@usadance.org

Official Statement Posted at:
www.usadance.org
Facebook: USA Dance, Inc.; USA Dance Competitions;


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