As the 2011 summer events come to an end, our memories are complete with sun-filled, exciting days of Workshop classes, Intensives, Scholarship opportunities and thrilling competitions. The 2011 National Convention rivaled some of the past conventions as one of the largest with record breaking workshop attendance–including the very first “MiniWorkshop”which offered classes to our very young dancers. These precious little dancers will be included in future plans. Prior to the national convention, the Ballet Intensive and the inaugural Jazz Intensive got underway with a terrific turnout and outstanding faculty. “Fun in the Sun”, the overall theme of the convention focused on membership growth within each of the chapters. All chapters were presented with suggestions that hopefully will attract interested educators that will become DMA members. In meetings with the Membership Committee, productive and creative ideas were developed in an effort to enhance significant growth within our Chapters. During the convention, delegates and Board members participated in a number of positive discussions that will greatly aid in the unification of goals and objectives for all members of DMA.
The convention opened with the President’s Reception themed, “You Are My Sunshine”, beautifully decorated with sunflowers and ribbons. Each person attending the reception was given a pack of sunflower seeds with a special note— “Plant a seed of happiness…and grow a smile!” I was most pleased to see those smiles flourishing throughout the convention. I hope they will grow throughout the year in all our chapters and hope these smiles will return next year at the national convention in abundance. Noreen Rhode was named the 2011 DMA Member of the Year and Ann Freeman was the recipient of the Zee Brown Ahern Award. Congratulations to two very deserving members! The 25 year members were recognized and given their pin. In addition a special 50 year member presentation was given.
As in years past, the showcase of talent was exceptional and exciting. The Solo title Scholarship Competition, Performing Arts Competition, Open Scholarship Auditions and the Dance Masters of America Champion of Champions were truly exceptional. The Performing Arts competition was exploding with over 1000 entries! Thanks to the PAC Chairperson and committee for keeping the schedule on time. Over $200,000.00 in Cash and Scholarship money was awarded by DMA to its members and students. Congratulations to all the winners!
The 127th Annual Awards Banquet “Let the Sun Shine” began with a beautiful liturgical performance of the “The Lord’s Prayer” performed by students of Chapter 6 and choreographed by National Past President Jill Chase. Immediately following, the banquet attendees were privileged to be entertained by “Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance”. Such a spectacular performance highlighting many of DMA’s own, we are all so proud of their accomplishments! Awardees,David Parsons (DMA Award) and Joe Tremaine (DMA Presidents Award) were presented proclamations for their widespread achievements in Dance. Fifty-year members were also recognized and presented their pins and plaques.
Additional Highlights of the summer included Teachers Training Program and Student Honors Intensive Program in Buffalo, NY at the State University of NewYork. These highly successful educational programs featured truly outstanding faculty and classes. Let us all continue to promote these wonderful programs to our membership. TTS is being touted as DMA’s Best Kept Secret! Let’s not keep it a secret, let’s share this most wonderful program to all our friends.
Best Wishes to all for a prosperous new dance year and hope your summer plans include the 128th DMA National Convention at the newly renovated Anaheim Marriott Convention Center in Anaheim, California.
Phyllis R. Guy
DMA National President