A Serious Concern Regarding the USA Dance National Election

On this, my personal blog, I have attempted to keep posts positive as I discuss my views on USA Dance’s past and present activities and the individuals who have played a significant role in the development of our organization.  But today I want to discuss a serious issue facing USA Dance as it conducts its national election for the coming Governing Council term of office.

Specifically I want to address the issue of a group of individuals who have banded together in an effort to remove three of the four current corporate officers – the National President, National Senior Vice President and National Treasurer, and put themselves into office in their place.

This “team” is attempting what is in effect a takeover of USA Dance, and some of their supporters have gone to the USA Dance Facebook Candidates Page and alleged that the incumbents have engaged in all manner of misdeeds in an effort to discredit them.  Additionally, this “team” has used official USA Dance chapter publications and sites to endorse their candidacies without offering an equal opportunity to opposing candidates as required and as fairness and common sense would dictate.

Yes, elections can be heated affairs, and probing questions should be asked of all the candidates about their past achievements, views and goals.  But it should be remembered that the USA Dance national election is being run for the purpose of electing unpaid national volunteers, whose only goal in running for office should be to serve the membership.

The fact remains that several members of this “team” that is attempting a takeover have no national Governing Council experience, have not attended national meetings and have declined previous offers to serve on national committees, yet they aspire not just to be on the Governing Council, but to hold its highest offices.

I believe that all USA Dance members who wish to volunteer their services to the organization are worthy of respect, and that includes all individuals running for office, challengers and incumbents alike.  But if the goal of the “team” attempting to take over all the corporate positions of USA Dance is indeed to serve the membership, how much better it would have been if they had let us know of their interest in national volunteer service and volunteered for national committees when opportunities were afforded them as a way of gaining experience.

It is a good thing, from the standpoint of succession planning, when qualified and experienced individuals stand ready to take on higher level duties as positions become available on the Governing Council.  Yet the individuals on the takeover “team” apparently believe they are qualified to immediately step into the top three positions in USA Dance without having first gained the necessary experience through prior extensive and varied assignments on the Governing Council or its committees.

But there is something the members of USA Dance can do to let these individuals know that their tactics will not succeed – our members can vote for the incumbents!  The incumbents are already part of a team – a larger team that comprises the entire Governing Council and not just a small clique.

Please do not be taken in by the promises and platitudes of those who speak in generalities of being more transparent, of reviewing the bylaws and policies of USA Dance, of listening to the members, harnessing the benefits of social media and doing more surveys.   All of these things sound wonderful, but the fact is that they are already being done in the normal course of business by the national volunteers who comprise the Governing Council.

Managing USA Dance takes hard work and a great many volunteer hours.  The incumbent corporate officers have devoted years to managing USA Dance at the chapter, regional and national level, and they are prepared to continue their service to the organization.  They have the experience and are worthy of receiving the support of the members.

The national election is upon us and the ballots will be in members’ hands shortly.  Please vote to re-elect the incumbents.

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