Letter from the Chairman of the USISTD Board of Trustees

Letter from the Chairman of the USISTD Board of Trustees
Dear Members of the USISTD,

No doubt you have been extremely surprised these past days to hear from our President Steve Hadley, that our organization has been forced into a position whereby it must change its name. So many of you, most especially the International Style members, have contacted me for my thoughts on the situation that I thought it might be a good idea for me to speak with you all indirectly to add my ‘ 2 cents worth’.First, for those members who do not know me, a little about my background with our Society and a little refresher on its structure. Currently, I am the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and I have held this position for about 10 years. The Board of Trustees is the oversight body for the Society and is comprised of five members; all matters of major consequence are sent from the National Committee to the Board for their input and acquiescence. The daily operations of the Society are directed by the National Committee comprised of seven members. There are also appointed positions for various specialties. Now to some FYI history: I was elected to the National Committee in 1979, and immediately became its’ Executive Secretary, served as President, and now as Chairman of the Board, and so I have been an officer of the Society for a total of some forty years. I am also the Senior Vice President of the National Dance Council of America and have held that position for well over twenty years, and so there is not much that has gone on with our Society that I am unaware of and, since all of these years with USISTD were totally unpaid, as are all the officers today, you will understand my devotion to the dance and to the USISTD as an organization. Thus, I can assure you that this gigantic step was not taken without enormous thought and much more than a little regret. Our President was very accurate when he described to you the series of circumstances that have lead us to the point of no return, over a period of 25 or more years, and sadly there is so very much more that he could have said, but try as we may, we were left with the choice of much higher dues or goodbye. Not much of a choice.I can assure you that, even though the recent events would perhaps be thought to be a precipitous action, every appointed person – these being the Examiners and Directors – and every elected person – the National Committee and the Board of Trustees – was apprised and consulted prior to any action being taken. The organization and the people involved that you know will remain, nothing at all will change except the name.Our President, Steve, has told you of the reasoning for the timing of the action and is willing to speak or correspond with any member who has questions or concerns. One concern that has been expressed to me several times by USISTD/ISTD (London) members is “Do I lose my ISTD credentials?” This is in fact a multi-part question. 1. The loss of credentials. If you have taken an examination your credentials are a matter of record and you retain your diplomas – no one is going to come and retrieve them from you, you did the work and paid for your examinations, these credentials belong to you. This applies to both International and American Style members. Active or inactive, you have still achieved your diploma.2. American Style members will retain their USISTD credentials and will add to it AIDA credentials at the same level.3.A. USISTD/ISTD members may choose to continue solely with their ISTD membership and would pay their dues directly to ISTD (London) and indeed their recent email solicitation gives information on that. 3.B. Members may also choose to remain solely a member of AIDA; in which case you will still retain your current USISTD credentials and will be grandfathered at your USISTD level into the renamed Association.3.C. You may choose to retain both memberships as in the past.Importantly, it should be noted that the National Dance Council of America does not accept the holder of credentials from ISTD (London), or from any organization that is located outside of the USA as a qualification to be eligible to apply for an NDCA Adjudicator’s License, or any other Officials license. Eligible applicants must be members of a USA based professional organization. The NDCA has accepted that our USISTD/AIDA organization remains exactly the same and is merely changing its name. The Council has stated that it will continue to accept AIDA and its members credentials for Adjudicator and Official Licenses, provided the professional is an active (paid up) member of AIDA. There will be no need on your part to do anything, NDCA will change their records accordingly. I have personally discussed this issue with the President of the NDCA since NDCA Licenses are an especially important part of our AIDA responsibilities.Now we move forward to what we believe will be a bright new future for our Association, new name, new thought, and new opportunities for our teaching and coaching members, our Auxiliary Members, and our Affiliate Members. We are encouraging professionals and amateurs to form more Chapters to be able to expand quality dancing and provide teaching opportunities for our members, and we look forward to instituting a ‘Chapter Challenge’. Please rest assured that we shall always maintain the high standards that USISTD has been known for because we are all still here, still doing the job, looking forward to be able to provide great service and education. 

Please feel free to contact me at jhdance@aol.com should I be able to help you in any way.

With my best regards,