A fantastic 2018 USISTD Congress took place from May 11 to 13 at The Dancing Feeling, donated by our members Randy Deats and Kathy St. Jean, in Warwick RI. Their beautiful studio was a spacious and very adaptable space for all our purposes – lectures, teaching, examining, and meetings.
Attendees were able to take in a vast array of information, and hands-on (feet-on!) learning through six hours of lectures, given by Taliat Tarsinov (Artistry and Expression in Dance), Edward Simon (American Smooth), Esther Don (American Rhythm), Michael Choi (International Ballroom), Lori Woods-Gay and Cher Rutherford) (Theater Arts).
Attendance was up for both professionals and amateurs from our last Congress (2017). Also increasing was the number of exams given at the Congress, as an added opportunity for our members:
Professional Theory Exams:
11 Modular exams: 7 Associate and 4 Fellow
3 Full exams: 1 Associate and 2 Fellow
16 Amateur dances (all Bronze. 8 medal tests)
7 Professional Medal Tests (includes all dances in style and level. 30 dances in this case) (all Bronze)
7 15-minute coaching
2 coaching as substitutes for modular exams
9 lessons (4 Lori Gay – 3 Pro, 1 Am; 4 Ed Simon – 3 Pro, 1 Am; 1 Izabela Jaworska – 1 Pro)
At the end of the Congress, our President Steve Hadley chaired a lively annual General Meeting. Following his President’s Report and the Treasurer’s Report by Kim Smith, there was a great discussion by all of the members, with lots of really constructive suggestions for ways to improve the Society. Also in attendance were three members of the Board of Trustees: Judi Hatton, Christine Harvey and Esther Don. Judi, as one of its longest-serving officers, was able to fill in lots of valuable information on the history of the Society.
Lodging was at the Providence Airport Hilton Garden Inn, a very pleasant, reasonably priced hotel, whose service was excellent. Meals were quite good, and easy shuttles were arranged between the hotel, the venue, and the close-by airport.
The Congress Committee has now identified the location for next year’s Congress: Rhapsody Ballroom, Tampa. FL. We are looking at late March or early April, the date to be nailed down soon. By moving it from Maryland to Rhode Island to Florida, we are fulfilling our goal to make this accessible in as many locales around the country as possible. The upper Midwest is on the drawing board for 2020.
Congratulations to the Congress Committee for organizing this excellent event