Worlds 2020 is now part of our history, but what a memorable experience we had last week at what may be our final event at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.
I’d like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who attended and enjoyed the 2020 Country Dance World Championships. Along with the entire UCWDC, I sincerely appreciate your decision to join us in Nashville at a time of year that affords us so many other opportunities. Thanks also to everyone who joined us live via the internet with Flodance. Now, I’d like to personally thank the staff, attendees, and numerous volunteers who worked so hard to make the event successful:
First, thank you to all the competitors who worked so hard all year to come to Nashville and perform so well. You turned out in record numbers! In terms of dance entries, this was the biggest Worlds contest we’ve had this decade. And thank you everyone who attended Worlds and didn’t compete. We enjoyed seeing you participating in our workshops, social dancing until far too late at night, attending the New Year’s Eve dinner and supporting the hundreds of contestants by watching from the stands and cheering them on.
Thank you Dave Getty and your entire contest staff for working tirelessly with minimal crew this year. It takes a small army to run an event this big and you all did a fabulous job. Thank you deejays David Muzii, Mona Broussard, JP Potter, Jack Smith Dean Garrish and Jill Babinec for artfully providing the foundation for what we do. Thank you emcees Steve Zener, Ronnie DeBenedetta, Rob Glover and Jennifer Jeffries for keeping everything light as you guided us through a huge program of contests and shows.
Thank you to Pam Butler and your registration crew for being so pleasant and helpful to everyone that attended. You’re our first point of contact and you’re just so good at what you do.
Thanks Billy and Becky Hammock and staff for running our ballroom and handling the distribution of hundreds of awards with veteran precision.
Thank you Tim Perez for coordinating all of the staff hotel arrangements and for coordinating our “Showcase of Champions” on Saturday night. Awesome job. Thanks also to Steven Bennett for handling the decorations this year. Great job on NYE too.
Thank you Mike Shoemake and Beth Emerson and your crew for taking care of the entire staff up in our hospitality suite all week…plus the long, long hours you put in ahead of time. I know you didn’t sleep.
Thank you Bill Robinson and your crew for organizing all of the workshops. Thanks also to everyone who taught couples and line dance workshops for us this week. Many folks come to Worlds just to soak up the knowledge you have to give, and you all did a great job.
Thank you Jennifer Egl for doing such a great job with marketing and communication all year. You were a pleasure to work with.
Thank you Melissa Culbertson and LuAnn Pemberton for running our volunteer program again this year. I never worry that you’ll have this part of the event tied down and running smoothly.
Thank you Mark Vilensky for all you do to make the technical and logistics part of Worlds work. We all appreciate you so much; we couldn’t even think of doing Worlds without you.
Thank you Keith Armbruster for creating yet another beautiful program for us this year. And visually speaking, thank you to Brad Whelan and John Senften and crews for your tireless work providing photos and video for us this year.
Thank you Todd Longsworth and Jamie Hoyt for all the extra work you did that nobody saw. So sorry to make you install a dance floor mid-week (at least the roof didn’t leak this year). You both are amazing.
Thank you Phil Dorrall for arranging for our set-up and tear-down labor. It’s so nice to have one less thing to do.
And of course thank you Nancy Cooley. You organized our New Year’s Eve party, organized our swing staff and kept me sane and moving all week long. You’re priceless.
I have no doubt I’ve missed thanking someone who deserves recognition; for that I sincerely apologize. We couldn’t produce this event without the support of so, so many people. You’re all great at what you do, and with your continued support Worlds is in good hands. And on that note, I’d like to send wishes for continued success to our incoming director Mr. Tony Lee. Tony will take over for me from this point on and guide Worlds into the future.
Please plan to join us again next year in San Antonio. Next year’s dates are December 27, 2020 through January 3, 2021. Check our website often for details. It’s not too early to start planning for Worlds 2021.
All the best everyone….Randy Shotts