One morning last June, I awoke, like Rip van Winkle, to find myself coming to a realization. Although the UCWDC has not changed much to the casual observer, its challenges, its resources, and even much of its personnel had changed significantly.
Thanks to the efforts of many people, our organization made some big internal changes in the past year. Notably, with respect to the organization’s financial stability, the financial oversight committee worked exceptionally hard to reduce internal spending by reviewing stipends, contracts, amalgamating positions and developing new guidelines and practices ensuring a bright future for the organization. Another task force focused on the review and production of organizational documentation. These people established clear objectives and carefully drafted criteria to define new policies & procedures in many departments. The outcome was clear objectives and carefully drafted criteria to help departments provide transparent communication and procedures to improve the governance of our organization.
These internal changes have allowed the organization to expand our reach and visibility which resulted in adding two new events in 2019: the China Cup International Line Dance Open (Hangzhou, China), and Let’s Dance Country Western Dance Challenge (Nivelles, Belgium). Dance entries have increased at regional events across the globe culminating at the Country Dance World Championships with the second largest Worlds competition in the UCWDC history!
Additional advancements and commitments we are pleased to pursue in 2019 are:
- A commitment to all dancers or event attendees that the UCWDC will not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color or national origin, religion, physical or mental disability, age, citizenship, family care status, gender identity, transgender status, sex, sexual preferences, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally-protected characteristic;
- A commitment to increased communication with the creation of a new monthly newsletter, enhanced website and advanced design, publication of our Bylaws and Policies & Procedures, a larger Social Media presence and more direct, faster communication with our Elected Officials and Committee Chairs;
- Partnership with third party application organizations to enhance our Associate Members experience. These include a partnership with Country Music Corner providing all our Associate Members discounted access to all the approved UCWDC Music at their fingertips;
- Partnership with FloDance Live Streaming providing continued coverage of many of our regional UCWDC events throughout the year and into 2023;
- Ongoing discussions with other world dance organizations to assist in creating a more cooperative and better global dance community;
- Coordination and advancement of scoring systems to ensure that the UCWDC Data Base is the primary source for current Associate Membership data, maintaining protection and privacy for our members;
- Enhanced Scoring and Judging feedback – Judges will provide feedback marks in 4 categories or all divisions: Costumes, Movement, Floor craft and Delivery of the Dance.
I would like to thank the 2018 executive committee, Dave Getty, Beth Emerson, Tim Perez, Mona Brandt, Kathi Bittner and Jeff Bartholomew for their efforts and valuable contribution over the year. It makes the role of President a lot more pleasant when working with such a committed team.
I welcome Kathy St. Jean to her new role as VP of Judge Certification and thank Dave Getty for his tireless service.
I would also like to acknowledge the dedication and contribution of all our committee and sub-committee chairs: Randy Jeffries, Bruno Vastel, JP Oster, Jennifer Egl, Bill Robinson, Steve Zener, Randy Shotts, Clive Eaton-Stevens, and Jeremy Bryan. Their work on behalf of our organization helped make 2018 a very successful year.
It has been and continues to be an honor to serve as the President of the United Country Western Dance Council. I look forward to another year of promoting our dance sport and providing opportunities for people all over the world to participate in an incredible network of country dance events.
UNITED COUNTRY WESTERN DANCE COUNCIL
w: www.ucwdc.org p: 403.680.0661 e: firstname.lastname@example.org