One of the hard parts of writing about a particular subject, in my case dancing, is the necessity to keep abreast of all the latest trends.  So naturally, when I heard the Board of Governor’s meeting of the NDCA was going to be held in Hollywood, I couldn’t resist the invitation to go and be a delegate of one of the many “highly initialed” organizations such as NDCA, NADTA, HDF, ISTDEFG, YADIDADI, etc.  Of course the mere thought of being in Hollywood, amongst all the stars, with an opportunity to be selected at random at Hollywood and Vine to dance across the floor of some future cinematic classic never crossed my mind.  Consider my disappointment when I found out that all the “premiere” dancers had already been picked and not only were they already in Toronto filming and doing all that other movie star stuff, I was going to Hollywood Florida, and not California.  Being the true professional I am, and not being able to come up with a good excuse, I went anyway.

It seems like the Fontainebleau did not offer enough perks or something to the right people, but the Diplomat now seems to be the hotel of choice.  It is presumed to be the location of the next however many ABC events, plus next year’s Board of Governor’s meeting, and who knows what else.  The venue really is big, and from what was discussed, there will be space for double the number of seats.  So if you think you couldn’t see from the back row before, wait till this year.  The meeting of the Board was actually held in one small section of the gigantic convention complex, and with the exception of the music drifting in from somewhere (hope they find out where before the events start to see who will be bothering whom the most) the accommodations could not have been nicer.

This boardroom was set up in a true egalitarian fashion, a giant square requiring a sound system, binoculars, and a supposed adherence to Robert’s Rules of Order.  Robert was the first guy to figure out that large groups were not going to get anything of consequence done anyhow, so they might as well be orderly about it.  People were free to ‘move’, ‘second’ and even speak to the definition of “Hall of Fame” or even the size of the floor as long as people remembered who was really in charge, and why they thought their previous decisions deserved much more consideration that any new ones.

Another important aspect Robert’s Rules of Order reminds us of, is the fact that ideas should be discussed and debated and not people.  Some cleverly adapted this concept.  Instead of mentioning a name, substitute their city, competition, or other identifying mark and then rant away with your selective choice of adjectives.  In other cases, since the person was not in the room, using names was considered justified since the offender did not offer the proper respect and therefore their “ideas” did not warrant further consideration by the Board as a whole.

Here is where the Board of Governors must choose to be relevant.  In matters that involve the industry as a whole, the Board seems to have abdicated to the Executive Committee.  Questions that should be asked include:

  1. How important is it for the U.S. to be involved in the world’s dance community?
  2. How important is it for Executive committee members to try to work with or be part of the world dance community?
  3. Are we only here to promote member’s interests, or dancesport as a whole?
  4. Should the NDCA sever relationships with other organizations based upon personal feelings?
  5. Are personal agendas getting in the way of the future of dancesport?
  6. Should we stop considering dance as a sport because the Olympic Committee has snubbed us?
  7. What options are open to develop dancesport more in the future?
  8. What more can each member organization do to help the NDCA achieve its goals?

Let me say personally, I feel the Executive Board has acted in a responsible manner, but that does beg the question of whether the Board of Governors is doing the same.  Reports have to be accepted, and maybe on occasion even discussed, but it seems the Board of Governors should be discussing these bigger items, instead of:

  1. Whether to use the word sanction or recognize?
  2. Should it be 60 or 62 BPM?
  3. Should we use this word or that word?

These items are now bones thrown to the dogs.  It also seems to me they are the ones that should or could be left to the Committees, and require little if any discussion or agreement.  Maybe the Board of Governors could meet first and heed the words repeated a few times by the President, “Give me guidance as to what you want us to do.”  Then the Executive Committee and other committees will have direction before they act, and can handle the details.  In the meantime it appears that much of the current dynamic within our industry is in flux, and very few actually know what is going on.

Michael Reichenbach

Published in:

Dance Week Magazine

2709 Medical Office Place

Goldsboro, NC 27534

Vol. XXVIII No. 33

August 15, 2003


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