Our mission is to “increase the quantity and the quality of ballroom dance in the United States.” We do this by organizing and supporting programs for the recreational enjoyment of ballroom dancing by people of all ages and to create affordable opportunities for the general public to participate in ballroom dancing in communities all across the country. A related mission is to educate the public regarding the physical, mental, and social benefits of engaging in a regular program of ballroom dancing.
Local USA DANCE chapters organize most of the activities. The social dancers served by these events are the vast majority of our members. Our mission includes outreach to attract beginners to ballroom dancing, and to both encourage and assist them in learning and applying this valuable lifetime social skill. This includes promoting and supporting ballroom dance programs in colleges and K-12 schools. In addition to regular social dances, special lesson programs, youth outreach, etc., USA Dance through our chapter network is the driving force behind the following nation-wide events:
National Ballroom Dance Week
NBDW is an annual week-long extravaganza of social dances, shows, exhibitions and lessons held each September. For more information, guidelines and ideas to promote NBDW in your area, visit the National Ballroom Dance Week section of our website under Social Dance or call (800)332-NBDW.
Contact the USA Dance chapter near you for details on special events they have scheduled for National Ballroom Dance Week. Visit our Find A Chapter page to locate a group in your area.
Affair of The Heart
Affair of the Heart started December 8th, 1984 – a charitable event with the American Heart Association as beneficiary highlighting the connection between the physical benefits of ballroom dance and heart health. Held between 7pm and 11pm wherever you are, the Affair of the Heart progressed across the country, time zone by time zone, making it a national event. Admission/entry is kept reasonable and black tie optional lends elegance to the occasion for many of these events. In subsequent years, USA Dance chapters continue to host Affair of the Heart special events but due to challenges in venue scheduling and coordination, they are not necessarily all held on the same day.
Wounded Warriors Appreciation Ball
A concept initiated by our Azalea Coast NC Chapter 6031 with their first event held Memorial Day weekend in 2009 as a fund raiser to allow the ballroom dance community to give back to our nations military – a way to thank them for their service and sacrifice. That first event covered two days with multiple workshops culminating in a formal black tie dinner dance with a 16 piece big band. Since then, many chapters have hosted their own Wounded Warriors Appreciation events. While they vary in character from casual social dances to more formal and extensive affairs, the end result is a winning one providing additional funding to the chosen recipient foundation or organization and dancers enjoying a fun event.
The first Special Olympics Ballroom Dance Training & Competition program was developed by the Fort Wayne Dancesport USA Dance Chapter # 2046 working with Special Olympics Indiana and Easter Seals Arc. Efforts began in 2007 with a charity event generating about $10,000. This funded dance lessons, both group and private, that trained the individuals with intellectual challenges to ballroom dance. It culminated in a first ever Special Olympics competition on July 5, 2008. The goal “To effect a quality of life change in the participants of this ballroom dance program and provide the participants who are learning a new sport “ballroom dancing” the opportunity to complete in that sport as Special Olympics Indiana Ballroom Dancers and be judged the same as other amateur ballroom dance competitors. ” Other chapters in our network are encouraged to explore similar opportunities in their own state. A guide book on how to establish a training program and/or competitive Special Olympics event is available to our chapters.
USA Dance Chapters are encouraged to dedicate at least one dance or special event to raising funds to support K12 and College outreach dance programs, dancesport or to fund other charities like “Affair of the Heart” for the American Heart Association, “Wounded Warriors Appreciation Ball” to benefit veterans, “Save Your Brain” events focused on research and support of Alzheimers or other mental health issues, “Dance For The Cure” for cancer and many others as preferred by their membership. Guidelines are available to our chapters for Affair of the Heart, Wounded Warriors Appreciation Ball, Special Olympics, Save Your Brain and to assist in other major event planning. Chapters note – there are resources available to guide you in hosting similar events. Contact our central office for details.