Dear Associate Members,

It is a great honor and pleasure for me to be your first point of contact with our Organization.  First thing first, let me introduce myself, my name is Bruno Vastel and I’m one of the event directors of the City of Light event in Paris, France. Obviously, I’m French, but I have lived in Hong Kong for the last five years.  I have been with UCWDC for the last twenty plus years, and like most of you, I started as a competitor.

I took over the Associate Membership Directorship in March 2018. My main mission is to help you in all aspects of your relations with our organization, with the support of the UCWDC executive team. On a daily basis my job consists primarily to welcome you as a new member or to assist in renewing your yearly membership, but also to support you to update your personal data information into our website and coordinate with all the other executives to make sure you receive all the information you need to have a great experience with us.

As a reminder, all contestants and Pros have to be a current member before they compete in any UCWDC Division at any UCWDC event. Also, each Team must have a distinct and separate membership for each Team “Name”. Finally, all UCWDC staff (Contest Coordinator, Judge, Scrutineer, and Scoring Director) who work at an event must be current members. In 2018, we were almost 2000 active members from twenty five countries and we were happy to welcome more than 500 of you, who joined us for the first time.

Now, you might question why you need to pay to be an Associate Member; the answer is simple. The UCWDC strives to create a fair, international dance competition circuit, and to do so we have create a set of rules and process to allows us and yourself, to track your performance at regional events, your eligibility for the UCWDC Country Dance World Championships®, and also to track your graduation to the next level. Your benefits as a member don’t stop there – as a member you will be added to our email list so that you will stay up-to-date on what happens at our directors’ meetings, rule changes, news, blogs and more! The entire council team is constantly working to create and roll out more added value services and enhance our dance circuit. Talking about new offers and services, in 2018 we secured a deal with Country Music Corner providing to all our active members a 30% discount off the annual subscription.

I know we still have a lot of work to do to improve our current processes, and as mentioned in the January article by Keith Armbruster, our President, to ensure that the UCWDC Data Base is the primary source for current Associate Membership data and to maintain the accuracy, protection and the privacy of your information; this is my main priority for 2019. About process improvement, my first news of the year, thanks for the work of our finance team, is the implementation of PayPal as a method of payment for your membership fee via the website; it will help our members from all over the worlds. Hopefully we will be able to announce more new functionalities related to your dance performance tracking in our circuit, very soon.

Couple of things I would like you to keep in mind on this start of the 2019 dance season. First, you have to be a current Associate member to be able to compete in a UCWDC competition. Then your membership is valid from the 15th January of the year till the 14th January of the following year, after the completion of the UCWDC Country Dance World Championships, the price remains the same all year long; so don’t wait to be at the event to renew your membership, it will create additional stress for you and could limit your access to some of the benefits. Finally, as we are linking more and more information systems together (Membership database, point tracking, competition results, etc.) the quality if the information become more and more critical. In order to help us, I kindly ask you to take some time to log in into your UCWDC account and make sure that your information – specifically name, date of birth, gender, email and address, is up to date.

To conclude, I would like to ensure you that I will do my utmost to answer all your questions and requests in due time all around the year, of course keep in mind that I leave in Asia ;-).

Kind Regards,

Bruno Vastel
UCWDC Associate Membership Director

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