In 1884, the American National Association Masters of Dancing was founded in Boston, MA. and in 1894, the International Masters of Dancing held its first convention in St. Louis, MO. For several years, attempts were made to bring the organizations together.
In 1926 they held a joint convention at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City and on August 27, 1926, the combined groups became the Dancing Masters ofAmerica. In 1948, the name was changed to Dance Masters of America, Inc. chartered in Hartford. CT.
Through the dedicated efforts of Mr. Mose Christensen, then President of the American National Association Masters of Dancing, the first Teachers' Normal School was held in 1918 in New York City. Ballet was the only subject taught -with Signor Mascagno as Ballet Master. Six years later?other forms of dance were added. In 1970 the name was changed to Teachers Training School, which was held at Kent State University in Kent, OH. until 1997 when it was moved to State University of New York at Buffalo. The Teachers Training School offers an opportunity to study towards a?certificate which is awarded upon completion or three intensive one-week annual courses of study and passing examinations in the individual subjects taught by the applicant. College credits are available on an annual basis from State University of New York at Buffalo.
Except for the postponements mandated by World War II, the Teachers Training School and/or National Conventions have been in continuous operation since 1884. The first Regional Convention was held in 1953 in Los Angeles to accommodate members unable to attend the National Conventions. Regional Conventions have been discontinued, all activities since 1991 now are held at the National Conventions.
In 1934, Chapters were formed throughout the United States with a Chapter- At-Large to accommodate members who lived in areas where no local chapter was located. Members outside the North American continent also are accepted in Chapter-At-Large, and the formation of two Canadian chapters has occurred in recent years. We are an international organization with members through out the world. The organization has experienced tremendous growth, both in membership and in coverage of the dance profession.
The United States was divided into five geographical areas in 1961-with a member from each area elected to serve on the national Board of Directors as an Area Vice- President.
The first DMA Annual Award was presented in 1963 to Ernie Flatt and has since been presented annually. The first Miss Dance of America Scholarship Pageant began in 1963 and continues to provide a 'showcase' for talented young dancers. Each Chapter Miss Dance winner is eligible to compete for the national title, in a gaIa competition at the National Convention. In 1964, the first Junior Division master classes and the first Performing Arts Competitions were held at the National Convention in Washington, DC -along with the Teenage Ballroom Competitions.
Mr. Dance of America was added to the DMA competitions in 1979. In 1983 the Junior Miss Dance -Petite Miss Dance and Junior Mr. Dance competitions were initiated at the Regional Convention in St. Louis; 1983 also marked the first mini- division classes for students 7-10 years or age, along with their own Performing Arts Competition for their respective age group.
The DMA Scholarship Fund was established on November 25, 1976 with $15,000 from a passbook account of DMA. Upon receiving an additional bequest of $5,000 from the estate of member Edna R. Passapac, a Scholarship Committee was formed in October. 1977.
Scholarship monies are made available to each DMA chapter annually, to be awarded through their own chapter scholarship auditions.
A long-standing Welfare Fund title was changed to the name Friendship Fund. This fund is to assist a member on a temporary basis in an emergency situation such as a fire or serious medical need, for which financial assistance is necessary. The assistance is a most confidential arrangement.
The historian maintains and collects memorabilia of the national organization and protects the integrity of the contents. Photographs and written records date back to the origin of DMA.
The Past-President's Council was formed in 1978 -comprised or the national past presidents so that DMA may continue to benefit from their knowledge and experience after they leave office. They also serve as DMA ethics committee and are available for decisions in that area.
DMA is constantly striving to maintain the excellence in education, which is the keystone of this organization. Manual in each area of dance are available to members, as well as potential members to assist in the tests that are required for membership, and as a basis for the structure of their classes. These are being constantly scrutinized, corrected, updated and upgraded so that we may remain on top of the constantly evolving world of dance education.