USA Dance chapter released with Sunshine Dance


COVID drastically changed the dance scene and the dancing came to a screeching halt. But that didn’t stop US Section 6010. In 2020, Chapter 6010 foresaw something big, something that no one had done before in Tallahassee.

As the restrictions began to lift, the dancing returned. We started small; limited number of people; wore face masks; prepaid online admission; contactless payment required at the door; temperature analyzes; removed the mixers; hand sanitizer at each table; and often took disinfection breaks.

Tallahassee Swing Bend is shown performing at the American Legion.  The 18-piece Tallahassee Swing Band performed for the USA Dance event in June 2021.

As more and more of our members were getting vaccinated, we were able to adjust our protocols based on CDC guidelines, local and national ordinances.

Thanks to generous grants provided by the Council for Culture and the Arts (COCA), the City of Tallahassee and Visit Tallahassee, our chapter was able to organize a one-of-a-kind event in June 2021.

Planning for the very first two-day Dance Symposium was almost complete, in April 2021. Our theme was “Maiden Voyage”.

The event took place at the Days Inn & Conference Center in Tallahassee. Kick-off started on June 18 with people coming to the registration desk to check in and get their “passport” for the weekend, a champagne toast, a boxed dinner and a social night.

Friday night was HOT, HOT, HOT. The air conditioning turned off; but participants are used to the Florida heat; and were ready to dance even without fresh air.

Terry Hague, vice president of Chapter 6010 and our “kitchen management team” supplied us with bottled water to keep us hydrated, coolers full of ice in front of large floor fans helped to cool off a bit; we weren’t going to let something like the lack of air conditioning stop us from dancing.

We opened the social dance with each board member starting with a snowball mixer to introduce ourselves to our out of town guests. Highlights of the evening were the Jack & Jill competition, which Angel Baratta, Chapter 6010 secretary and Michael Wallace took first place.

Individuals take a salsa dance class with Studio D owner Miriam Watkins on Sunday, April 18, 2021.

The next day, June 19, everyone gathered in the main ballroom for the keynote speaker, Ken Richards, National Dance President of the United States regarding “Navigating the Future” and the Spotlight speaker, Dr. Darcee Schmidt, Dance Bridge Project, on the elements. dance and our bodies.

The third Saturday in June is very important for USA Dance 6010, as Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey has proclaimed the day “USA Dance Day”.

After the two presentations, the main “excursions” started; with the breakout rooms we had three separate classes simultaneously with a fun mini-match. The vision for the event was to enable something for everyone.

Instructors, Joe Mounts and Deidra Williams of Daytona, along with instructor, Christian Grace of Houston, have taught courses ranging from Cha Cha International to Zouk.

While some were in classes, we had Lolita Brawner, District 9 Director and Chapter 6010 President and Michael Webb, Chapter 6010 Advertising and Marketing Board Member, turning the heat up on the town. dance floor because they were the first to launch the American rhythm series. of our mini-match.

Overall, it was a successful mini-game, and we look forward to more participation next year. Many thanks to our judges, Ken Richards, National President of USA Dance and Syndey Medina, former local instructor.

The husband and wife team, Robert and Monica Wiech took 1st place, Lolita Brawner and Michael Webb took 2nd place; The best lead went to Michael Webb, while I took the best follow up.

Music for Saturday Night was provided by the Tallahassee Swing Band, which consists of 18 musicians. Everyone knew they were up for a great playlist when the first song was a Cha Cha, Oye ‘Como Va, by Santana to relax and get ready to dance.

The group was HOT HOT HOT! Not to mention, still no air conditioning. It was cooler when the hotel went to buy three more floor fans for that evening. Cooler, yes, but oh so hot on the dance floor!

Even though the temperature in the room was hot; the mood and ambiance of the evening was elegant and refined. It reminded Jane White, a local ballroom dancer, of what it was like for her prom.

So the next time you think about social dancing, remember Tallahassee is the hotspot for ballroom dancing.

Rebecca Kelley-Fournier is Treasurer and Membership Coordinator USA Dance Chapter 6010.

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