National Ballroom Dance Week
NATIONAL BALLROOM DANCE WEEK ™
September 20-29, 2013
September 19-28, 2014
September 18-27, 2015
Help make it a week to remember in your community. Dancers, contact the chapter nearest you for details on events scheduled to celebrate NBDW™! See the "Find a Chapter" page for a list of Chapters by state. Click on chapter name for an option to email them directly or visit their website.
National Ballroom Dance Week™ will be here before you know it. It is never too soon to think about how your Chapter will participate in this special week long celebration of ballroom dance.
Right now you may be asking yourself, “Why should we do anything special for NBDW™?”
There are two reasons I can think of – the first is to share with others what we enjoy so much –ballroom dancing.
Secondly, this is an occasion where we cannot only celebrate, but promote dancing in general and USA Dance in particular. It is a great opportunity to increase membership and participation in dancing in your community.
We encourage chapters who have never done anything special to recognize this week by trying just one new thing. It could be a raffle, free passes to future dances, or free admission for anyone who brings a first-time guest, to mention a few. Many chapters go “all out” to celebrate with a dance every night, often with each offering a different theme. Chapters hold dances in malls, community centers, and parks - they advertise or arrange to have feature articles written in the local paper about ballroom dancing. They offer free lessons, and do demonstrations in nursing homes, schools, festivals and other public venues.
Films like "Mad Hot Ballroom" and "Shall We Dance" were extremely popular. ABC broadcast of "Dancing With The Stars" has been a huge hit sparking lots of interest in learning to dance, particularly with the 18-49 age group. Start now, use the current media attention as a springboard for promoting ballroom dancing in your community.
Integrating dance films and TV shows into the weeklong celebration is an interesting way to promote dancing in your area.
Here’s to celebration and happy dancing feet.
An annual week-long extravaganza of social dances, shows, exhibitions and lessons.
USA Dance Chapters,independent dance clubs, studios, instructors and vendors create and conduct special events for the public to foster increased awareness of ballroom dancing. NBDW™ provides an opportunity to educate the public about the physical, mental and social benefits of ballroom dancing .
The Five Working Hands of National Ballroom Dance Week™ Action:
All hands working in concert to enhance Balloom Dancing and to bring more of it to the public!
Download the "NBDW™ information on this page and share with chapter members, other dance clubs, studios, instructors, in short - everyone who may have an interest in ballroom dancing.
To find events scheduled for NBDW in your area, check our list of chapters. Many chapters provide a direct link to their own websites where events are listed or have an email contact to allow you to send an inquiry directly to them.
If there is a chapter listed but no direct contact link, call our Central Office (800-447-9047) for the name and phone number of the local chapter contact.
Plan early! The NBDW™ date for the next year is:
- Sept 19 - 28, 2014
HOW IT WORKS ...
NBDW™ is designed to have two anchor possibilities -- the two weekends that bracket the week. The first day, Friday, is used to introduce people to NBDW™ and start the rhythm of events. Then comes the first weekend anchor, possibly for comps, exhibitions, grand dances. Then into the intervening week, most studios throw open their doors for free lessons and attendance; vendors make attractive offers; municipalities and businesses provide space, malls; and other like facilities agree to exhibitions and public instructions; shows, exhibition and fun-dancing are done in senior homes, hospitals, hospices, schools, colleges, and all other places found. The ingenuity, creativity, passionate commitment, and hard work of the amateurs pull it all together and make it happen. Then comes the Grand Finale Weekend, and possibly one of the biggest dance events in the area for the year. The public has seen and experienced the fun, sociability, rhythms, wholesomeness, and enjoyment of ballroom dancing.
If your chapter isn't engaged in NBDW™ now, or conducts a minimal one, think about a dynamite week in your area where USA Dance Chapters gain community recognition and enjoy increased membership, studios will see more customers, and vendors will sell more dancing wares and services. The public will think of ballroom dancing as an wonderful way for people of all ages to enjoy meeting new friends and benefit from exercise that is great fun. The time to start is NOW. Make your calls, make your plans, talk to others to share ideas and experience. Bring imagination, dedication, hard work, and love for dancing - create a dancing explosion in your area.
The Parties of the NBDW™ Mix
The working concept of NBDW™, which has been so successful over the past years, is one of equal participation and "mutual effort." No one sector of the mix is dominant or "in charge." If any of the parties become dictatorial or overly aggressive in the activities, NBDW™ in that area will fall apart and fail in the current year and there will probably be no next. However, with some areas of historic adversity in the dance world, NBDW™ gives all the chance to truly work together on a mutual basis and beneficially build and bond.
While ALL amateurs are invited and welcome, the "engine" behind NBDW™ is the membership and chapters of USA Dance. They have advantage over other amateurs in that they are more informed in regards to the dance scene in the country. They also have the advantage in not appearing as "exploiting" the week for their own good. With the Amateur Dancers and the many fine Chapter Newsletters, concept, experience and successes are communicated and swapped between the many areas throughout the country. The amateurs have been the workers that collate, schedule and promote the NBDW™ calendar in the area. Professionals, studios, media and municipalities then play great part in spreading the scheduled word.
There are many professionals "on the circuit" without an established location. These good people are as important as the "studio-based" pros. They have given freely of their time to lead and teach in public places such as corporate facilities, libraries and other governmental facilities. Without advertising for students, their unqualified participation has led to new students from an increased pool. They might contact senior centers, restaurants, lounges, hotels, halls, high schools, colleges, etc., to offer to give free dance classes during NBDW™. Their activity during NBDW will in all probability gain many students in the future.
The studios most benefited from NBDW™ are those that hold "open house" throughout NBDW, welcoming in everyone at no-cost or near no-cost. Group lessons, parties and hospitable attitude create a favorable "floor-traffic" that introduces many new people to location, personnel and ambiance of the studio. In this way the public at large sees the studio in its very best light and as part of the excitement of the time. Make the location a "center" for information, dance exhibitions, show-cases, free group lessons.
Anyone who has worked with the media-TV, radio, newsprint or magazine-knows that it is a mercurial situation at best. Much work and contact must be done to build a relationship with any sector of the media, and then a "more important breaking item" can still knock you from coverage. The important aspect is to strive for coverage before, during and after NBDW™. The various areas of media have become more inclined to give notice to ballroom dancing, develop contacts with them early and "make it easy" for them to cover your events.
Be sure to get the Mayor and the Mayor's office on your side. Obtain dance lessons for them if possible, so he/she can dance at NBDW™. Check with libraries and other facilities for possible rooms, events and willing personnel. Obtain proclamation for NBDW from the Mayor and your Governor. Publicize it widely.
ACTION as a NBDW™ ORGANIZER GROUP
Dedication, willingness, desire to get the public involved in ballroom dancing, are all virtues that will generate a most enjoyable and successful NBDW for your and your area. The first move is to gather the people with dedication, willingness and desire. The following points are tried and true and may be profitable for your use.
- Planning-Set up a Planning Group with definite responsibilities for specific persons.
a. Calendar Center- This person must be "neutral" in area politics and be available to add individual events to the calendar on a first-come, first-served basis with the probability of numerous day and evening events on a given date in larger metropolitan areas. Emphasis should be put one two large "anchor" events, one at each end of the week. Attempting to have full attendance at these is responsibility of all in group
b. Prospectors- Area members to canvass all possible participants so that every one has a chance to place an event of some kind on the calendar. (ie. Free lessons, socials, dances, parties, demos, seminars, etc.)
c. Solicitors- The persons to work with Mayors, Governors, et al, for proclamations and or endorsements and to contact non-members, pros, etc,. with information and recruitment into participation. They also solicit vendors to participate by donating door prizes and such. They will be prominently advertised for their participation.
d. Courtesy/Information Stands or Booths- Teams of members to man information tables at events to furnish USA Dance information. Many new members join during NBDW. Make it happen!
e. Finisher- A person or persons to write proper letters of thanks or appreciation to those that gave of themselves during the event. This can be done from USA Dance in the name of the Ad Hoc committee of all involved. Remember, start planting the seeds for next year, it isn't that far away.
f. Photographer/Archivist- One or two persons to chronicle and gather info and pix as they proceed. They supply local media and the various dance newsletters and dance publications with material. Also to build for future use and planning and Chapter recruitment.
- Conducting Event-
a. Calendar Center-Continues to oversee schedules, may have to add or remove items.
b. Prospectors-Continue well into the week, attempting to add things in spontaneous manner.
c. Solicitors-Focus on having dignitaries (Mayors, Governors officials, etc.,) together with TV media at all events possible. Be sure to give gracious thanks to these people for taking time to participate.
d. Courtesy/Information People-Do their thing-hospitality, information, member recruitment.
e. Finisher-Continues gathering data for après event work.
f. Photographer/Archivist-Furnish facts and pix to any of the media that will use and build their final report.
- Finalizing-Last Committee meeting, wind-up, report, preparation for better next year.
a. Calendar Center-Builds report on effectiveness and problems of calendar
b. Prospectors-Report on most productive and successful areas for the week. New ideas.
c. Solicitors-Start building communication for next year
d. Courtesy/Information People-Huddle with chapter membership committee and give statistical report.
e. Finisher-Generates thanks for everyone involved, supplies media with a fantastic over-view.
f. Photographer/Archivist-Assemble their material to furnish finisher for their report, dance publications for their articles, build a backdrop of info for next years' publicity.
- Where to Establish Dance Places and Spaces:
There is no special place to bring the public to ballroom dancing during NBDW. Ingenious organizers have conducted ballroom dancing in shopping malls, hotel lobbies, ferry boats, libraries, government facilities, recreation halls, churches, dance studios, college facilities, high-school facilities, parking lots, at Fairs, corporate facilities, streets, jails (?), senior homes, community buildings, hospitals, every place the public is.
Call a sister USA DANCE Chapter and ask the NBDW Committee to share experience and information with you.
National Ballroom Dance Week™
Give it a Whirl!
History of National Ballroom Dance Week™
In That great, creative Big Apple of it all, a number of New Yorkers led by a dedicated dynamo of action, Mary Helen McSweeney, put together a "Ballroom Week," April 21st to the 28th. The week was to bring ALL of the dancing community together and present Ballroom Dancing at its best to the public. With Dulaine and Marceau’s fabulous show as an "anchor," these intrepid NYC members of the Greater New York Chapter of USABDA bonded with studios, pros, the city government and caused dancing everyplace in the city-from libraries to ferry boats, from studios to public and company halls. The media loved it and relished covering it. A concept had been put into place.
1990, September 14-21
The editors of the major dance publications in the United States, Doris Pease of Dancing USA, Cay Cannon of Dance Action International and Bob Meyer/Joan Adams of Amateur Dancers got together, and in consensus, agreed to publish the proposition of the whole country having a NATIONAL BALLROOM DANCE WEEK™ (NBDW™) with the Amateurs, the Pros, the Studios, the governments, vendors and other interested parties and sectors. They decided to have a full week with "anchor events" at each end of the week. Creative chapters solicited and obtained "proclamations" from Mayors, Governors and (through the efforts of then USABDA president Peter Pover) even President George Bush along with a picture of the President and Mrs. Bush dancing. Studios hosted "open-door" weeks. Thousands danced.
1991, September 13-22
NBDW™ saw a great leap forward in this year. The "week" was extended to ten days so that all localities would have two really full "anchor weekends." Frances Lundy of Huntsville AL and Doris Pease of MN were in the forefront to get Gubernatorial proclamations from nearly every state in the union. Diane Saia’s (Western MA) media coverage efforts and results were astounding; Sharon Wayne’s (Richmond VA) daylong seminars for kids, with "killer" video, was awesome; Pinky O’Neil’s (Reston VA) public TV video was shown throughout the country; Sergio Coelho (DE) generated proclamations from practically everyone living in Delaware; the public danced in rotundas, malls, ferries, studios, libraries, etc., etc. National media started to pick up on NBDW. Emphasis was on "Everyone Dance-at least a waltz or a chacha."
1992. September 11-20
Over a million people attended the Eastern State Expo in Springfield IL, the local USABDA Chapter was an active participant and promoted dancing, dancing, dancing. Janis Kenyon of IL volunteered to be the "central" for information for NBDW. A telephone number, 800-332-NBDW, funded by USABDA, was set up to take requests for information and material, hundreds of calls were handled. Frances Stein (Southern Tier NY) was responsible for a very successful fundraiser and emphasized the inclusion of Middle Schools, resulting in many young people being introduced to BRD. Richmond again conducted a very successful "Youth Seminar." Efforts were made to have a NBDW™ theme song.
1993, September 10-19
MN kicked off NBDW™ with a successful extravaganza in the World Trade Center Atrium. In MD Bobby Fries, with amateur dancers, repeated one of the most extraordinary "studios weeks" using theme tracks. This involved "dancing" movies, videos, live bands, etc., all of which highlighted a theme night-Latin, modern, whatever-with highest level of success. The various parties in NBDW™-amateurs, pros, studios, media and municipalities continued to work in concert for the over-all good of dancing during the week. Many more locations, now in the hundreds, participated in NBDW™ making it one of the most universal activities for Ballroom Dancing in America. Most active areas utilize every day in a full week of dancing as does Boston, Richmond, Minneapolis and other localities.
And 1994 and 1995 and 1996 and 1997 and on and on . . .
The flow and tempo of NBDW™ has developed through experience in many of the locations. The persons there have found successful areas of involvement-showing of "dancing" movies and videos, live bands, theme nights, exhibitions in shopping malls, presentations in businesses, libraries, streets, ferryboats, mountain tops, etc. An absolutely vital element of a successful NBDW™ is that the various parties-amateurs, pros, studios, media and municipalities-work in peer-level concert for the over-all good of dancing during the week. There cannot be a dominant force in the week’s events because if there is, self-vested interests come to the top and nullify success. If all work is performed in good-spirited mutual effort, you will find that NBDW™ can and will be the most effective method of enjoying yourself and presenting ballroom dancing to large numbers of the general public.