General Dance Discussion > Glenn Weiss Responds to Resignations

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by DanceMentor, May 25, 2017.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    From Glenn Weiss, President USA of Dance, Inc
    -----------------------
    A Message To All USA Dance Members,

    Like many of you I am also saddened by the four resignations that have taken place recently. Knowing what has happened in detail, I am, however, not as surprised as you are, so let me try to explain, without malice.

    There is no doubt that we are trying to do things differently in USA Dance than what has been done in the past. In the last 10 years the membership of USA Dance has fallen from around 22000 to 11000. Common sense would tell us that it is time to take a different direction.

    We are working to build a team where everybody is focused in the same direction. However, at no time have we done anything that is not in accordance with the bylaws and the spirit of the organization. Every proposal, bylaw, and appointment that has been made, passed or defeated, has been discussed, motions presented, the vote called and ratified with a majority by the Governing Council, as required in the Bylaws.

    Not everyone may agree with the appointments and proposals or the perspective I bring to USA Dance, Inc., and that is why four of our GC members have chosen to resign. That is how democracy works. The basis of the disagreement is in the influence in the EC versus the GC. The ByLaws do not say elected or members of the EC, DSC or PDC have more weight, or that the EC must approve ideas, concepts or policies prior to the presentation to the GC. Any EC, DSC, PDC or GC member can propose policies, ByLaws, processes, etc., but all must be approved by the GC. The ByLaws are truly democratic, one vote per one person. At no time has anybody been marginalized or pushed aside. All members have had the freedom to propose, bring to motion and call for a vote. To say it has not been democratic is simply not accurate.

    For our Chapters and Social Members we want to provide better and more services, supporting them in their efforts to increase the awareness of ballroom dance, membership enrollment and raise their profile in their communities.

    When it comes to the DanceSport side of the organization it is my intention to create the best possible conditions for our couples to become successful world class competitors. This requires that in the dance related positions we identify and and appoint the most talented experts we can find from within or from outside the organization, and that is exactly what we have done and will continue to do.

    For our Professionals we must complete the process of integrating the various disciplines within the professional environment. This is an exciting new venture for USA Dance, Inc.

    We are in the process of setting up an education system that will help us create world class youth, social and competitive dancers for many years to come. This involves all aspects of modern and scientific dance education.


    We are looking everywhere for people with knowledge of these matters to help us.

    It takes time, but anything that is worth doing takes time. A lot of these goals are unchartered territory for USA Dance, and they do require a different perspective, energy and mindset.


    I feel confident that this is what the vast majority of our members want. Even if you don't agree with these goals rest assured that everything we do is done in an ethical and correct way according to our rules and regulations.

    Please send your comments to either President@usadance.org or membersvoice@usadance.org. We have appreciated and listened to your many thanks, comments and suggestions.

    Regards,
    Glenn G Weiss
    President of USA Dance, Inc.
     
    s2k and scullystwin42 like this.
  2. Mengu

    Mengu Well-Known Member

    One might ask, and how does an oligarchy work?
     
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  3. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    An elected official can resign in a Democracy.
     
    s2k likes this.
  4. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    Yes but there should be elections to fill the position not appointments
     
    Bailamosdance and Borazine like this.
  5. s2k

    s2k Well-Known Member

    Suggest a bylaw change.
     
  6. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    Yep
     
    s2k likes this.
  7. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    The drop off in membership suggests the existing elected officials were not making the needed changes, and they chose to resign. Nothing seems to be changing with regard to elections for the office of the President (and others too). What remains to be seen now is if USA Dance can grow. It has been stagnant for too long, and big changes are likely needed to change the negative trajectory.
     
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  8. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    There WAS a bylaw that asks for cvs from members, but the previous oligarchy decided that the pres could override. The only thing that strikes home from Glenn's dismissal of democratic member input is the part where he tells us that the membership declined by 50% thanks to the last 4 unopposed or appointed presidents and GC members. They were finally ousted by a 3/1 vote in 2013, only to see all of THEM resign due (at that time) from the old guard's backing of anything that might have made members more empowered.

    The resignees in 2017were all ELECTED. I guarantee they will (with the exception of Ruth, who is part of the current inner sanctum) all be replaced by appointees. Daphne's letter explains how this transfer of power made it impossible for the members who were elected and did not agree 100% with Glenn and gang to even see their discussions or votes made public.
     
  9. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I still think that the probability of Glenn transforming USA dance into something greater than it is now is very high. And I have had many discussions with him related to politics and ethical standards, and I have every reason to believe he will do good things.
     
    s2k likes this.
  10. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    The bar for improvement has been set very low due to the years of mediocre 'leadership', so it is quite possible that it can improve over what it has become. However, we are seeing some very un ethical things from the current 'appointed' 'leaders'.
     
  11. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    The drop of in membership over the last 10 years is certainly not the reason the elected officials chose to resign... it is very clear in their statements. The org was an old boys club with the old boys appointing each other (one president resigned 3 times, they all traded presidencies etc).
     
  12. s2k

    s2k Well-Known Member

    Here's where I disagree - I haven't heard ANYTHING from the new appointed DanceSport VP, and there's also been nothing from the appointed Pro division person. And there's also an appointed Smooth person, right? Nothing from there, either. Maybe their input has happened since March, but there have been no posted meeting minutes, so I can't comment.

    So who are the unethical appointees doing the unethical things?
     
  13. s2k

    s2k Well-Known Member

    How could we possibly move forward when by your words there's been no consistency to move us forward. Each revolving GC is basically fighting the fire leftover from the previous GC. When we're constantly fixing what went wrong we will never be able to stop looking in the rearview mirror to look forward and go in a direction that benefits us all.

    Right?
     
  14. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

    Do people think the decline of USA Dance membership reflects directly the participation in Ballroom dancing overall, or is it just a shift away from USA Dance itself in favor of other options, such as at dance studios, chains or independent?

    Empirically, I see an aging Ballroom dance population that isn't replaced by younger generations, and dances that are much sparser than decades ago. I do believe most dancers are in a particular scene (Ballroom or other dance types) only some 3 to 5 years before moving on, so continually replenishing the ranks is always a challenge. Naturally, professionals have a big stake in helping do this, but amateurs really need to be motivated to bother.

    OTOH, various dance instructors, in chains or independents, seem to indicate their businesses are booming. I do also know a few instructors who have left the business in the last few years, probably because they no longer can count on steady income.

    There certainly are many more events, competitions or otherwise, Ballroom or other types (WCS, Salsa, etc.), but many events are far smaller than a decade ago. And there are certainly lot more instructors and studios than decades ago, but it's not clear to me how many are financially healthy.

    So, what is the bigger picture of participation? The stability of the economy and jobs obviously plays into this.
     
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  15. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    That is the question, isn't it?
     
  16. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    I think one reason for the decline in social dance membership is the fault of 'leaders' who think that people 'need' to pay $35 per year for a quarterly puff magazine and a discount into some local dances. Recently someone asked Lydia Scardinia, a past president and very outspoken defender of the old guard and their workings, to reveal what the over $500,000 in annual social dance member dues does for social dance - no benefits other than providing insurance and 'music licensing' if the chapter has an event.
     
  17. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    "unchartered"

    I'm not invested in either side of this whole situation, but if one were inclined to look for Freudian slips it sure seems like that would be an interesting one.
     
    Mr 4 styles and Joe like this.
  18. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Well, I would certainly vote for you. When will you be running? Haha, you bring up some excellent points and I hope that people will see that we need to think about young people and the general public.

    I got involved in dancing and a time when Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire seemed to be falling in market share while independent Studios were Rising. There were a lot of young people coming into the den Studios and the market was decent at least.

    More recently it seems that dance as become more than ever a sport for the very wealthy. When the average person walks into the dance studio and finds out how expensive it would cost for them to take dance lessons, they walked out back out quickly and find another Hobby.

    But even now there are some dance studios that are doing it right and are attracting young people and have large groups of people at their Studio. There just aren't enough of these types of Studios, and a dance organization potentially would have the capacity to help grow dancing in local markets. They might serve as a model for Studios that have not figured out how to get average people into the dance studios. I hope they can find a way.

    Ballroom dancing need not be something we're only Elite professionals teach people how to dance. I see no reason why there could not be an entry level market price point where dance teachers make less than $20 per hour and students pay a much lower average fee, but the result is lots more people are dancing because it is Affordable and fun.

    Chinese ballroom dance studios might make for an interesting study.
     
  19. Caroline Skipper

    Caroline Skipper New Member

    The membership fee is the reason I never joined. I couldn't see the benefit in it. I would have to attend 6 or more dances per year for the discount to be meaningful. Since I have had no opportunity to compete at one of their events I saw no reason to become a member.
     
    s2k and Loki like this.
  20. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    I still think that a mod should not make statements, take sides, be part of a campaign.
     

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