Open Letter to Yang Chen, Shawn Fisher and Michael Brocks

Once and for all, let’s speak honestly about this election rather than simply dancing around the edges.

Yang:  Since you aspire to be national president, why haven’t you come to me in the past and asked if there was any Governing Council position or other national position to which you could be appointed so that you could become familiar with the GC, how it operates and the issues involved at the national level?   You will recall that when I asked you three and a half years ago to chair a national committee, you turned me down.    Why didn’t you simply ask for another assignment if that one was not of interest to you?  If you had, you could very well be on the Governing Council today, serving as part of the national team.

Shawn:  You have received repeated opportunities to help at the national level, and while we have heard many grand ideas from you, we are waiting to see some results.  Shouldn’t you be taking full advantage of your existing opportunities to prove yourself before aspiring to higher office? Bill Rose has already proven his worth at the national level.  He was probably your strongest supporter over the last few years, repeatedly attending your events in Idaho and trying to flesh out your incomplete ideas regarding team memberships for youth.  And you repaid his support by running against him for National Senior Vice President while at the same time continuing to ask him for help with your own projects on the DanceSport Council.  This has been a real disappointment.

Michael:  I know you are proud of your experience as a CPA.  But being the National Treasurer of USA Dance requires more than just accounting skills.  It requires the Treasurer to work with over 160 chapters, answering their questions and performing assignments that may not be strictly in the accounting field but that need doing.  When National Treasurer Esther Freeman asked you to help her with projects she has been working on, you turned her down.  You could be working along side her today, with USA Dance being the big winner.

There is more than enough work for all willing volunteers at the national level, yet the three of you instead chose a path of trying to remove not just one corporate officer, but three.  Your running mate, Greg Warner, said “yes” when he was approached to help us at the national level.  He rolled up his sleeves, got to work and successfully completed his projects, and as a result he is serving as our National Secretary today.

The Governing Council is always looking for individuals with a track record of successful volunteerism who want to help the organization, and assignments can be found for such individuals.  Instead, our members are now being forced to make a choice that one way or another will result in the reduction rather than the addition of dedicated volunteers at the national level.  And added to that, long serving volunteers have been treated disrespectfully by supporters of the other side, and the result of all this is that our organization is now being seen in a negative light by the outside world that is left to wonder what is going on with USA Dance.

There can truly be no winners here, as USA Dance is losing all around.  All of this was unnecessary.  All of this could have been avoided if you had come forward and expressed your desire to help us at the very beginning.   Instead, you chose to listen to detractors who seem more intent on settling scores than on moving USA Dance forward.  The outcome of all this negativity has been to pit chapter against chapter, member against member, and volunteer against volunteer, creating so much discord and unhappiness in the organization we all wish to serve.

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