President Cindy Larsen
With the completion of the 2018 National Convention, both SHIP Programs and TTS, I feel the greatest since of pride being as the newly elected President of such an amazing dance education organization. If you were fortunate enough to attend the National Convention, you were able to experience the true DMA Difference that we have all been working so hard to accomplish. It was so fun seeing how much everyone noticed and appreciated the warm welcome and kindness shown to all.
After attending my first National Convention so many years ago, I knew this was an organization that I wanted to become more involved with and be part of. Never did I dream my path would take me to the Presidency. With the encouragement and support of so many wonderful people that came before me, I knew I was in good hands. Coming from South Eastern Chapter 33, we are known for our Southern Hospitality, which is what I hope to instill into our national organization. I live my life by two simple mottos; “I never allow myself to complain, unless I am willing to be part of the solution and change” and “Never underestimate the power of a SMILE”. I truly feel that both of these mottos can be applied in all phases of life and can lead to a lot more happiness for everyone involved.
I want to take this time to congratulate the following award recipients for their accomplishments, which are such a wonderful long-standing tradition of Dance Masters of America. Our Member of the year was Colleen Rhode from chapter 16, The Zee Brown Award was given to Debra Huffman from chapter 15, Chapter Of The Year, for the most growth was Chapter 15, there were 6 members receiving their 50 year pin and 32 members were awarded with their 25 year pin. At the Awards Banquet the Dance Masters of America Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Keith Clifton, who was the most gracious recipient. We also honored Evan Ruggiero with the DMA Award, who was unfortunately unable to attend. We also had a nice surprise for everyone at the start of the banquet. The group Embodiment honored us with a performance, featured on World of Dance, with our very own DMA baby Chase Bowden being part of the group. So many more awards were given which are highlighted and featured in this publication. Please take the time the view them all.
One of the heart-warming things that occurred at the National Convention was the money raised for Dancers Against Cancer. Our 2018 Miss Dance of America, Natalie Rogers and our 2018 Mr Dance of America, Sam Buchanan raised $3,000 by hosting workshops throughout their reign and all funds were donated to DAC in honor of Laura Work, who inspired both Natalie and Sam to make a difference. We also raised another $2,000 with rubber “Dancers Against Cancer” bracelets given for any donations. A HUGE thank you to Rick Lands with Dancers Against Cancer for providing us with the use of his Marley flooring for our tap and ballet intensives and for the performance stage. Not only did he provide the Marley, he also had some of his guys deliver it, lay it and pick it back up. This was enormously generous of Mr. Lands and it came at a time greatly appreciated.
This year in Anaheim we offered our first ever Tap intensive. We had tap for one day and ballet for two days. The attendance was at capacity and the enthusiasm was overwhelming. The teachers were Anissa Irving and Melinda Sullivan. They did an incredible job and this is something we will definitely offer again in the future. The faculty for our convention this year was one of the best ever. With teachers from so many different genres, experience levels and age, all with such an enthusiasm for making DMA classes a huge success. It was so nice to see students enjoying the classic traditions of dance along with some of the most current and innovative styles.
In closing I wish you all the most successful dance season with kindness and love for all of your students and faculty. My commitment is to continue moving DMA forward with total inclusiveness and a warm welcome when you see us next year in Atlanta for our 2019 National Convention. My goal is for DMA to be your first choice in educational and competitive needs. Plan to attend any or all of our upcoming events in 2019.
God Bless You All,
DMA National President