Creating a USA Dance Chapter for Northern Minnesota
By Melissa Baddin
Hello, fellow dancers! This summer I began the process of starting a new USA Dance chapter for Northern Minnesota. With a growing ballroom community in Duluth and the outlying areas, it seems only fitting that we become part of an organization that could help us create more opportunities to dance, expand our outreach, and thrive.
The new chapter will sponsor social dances, promote ballroom dance in local colleges and high schools, and seek to increase the number of business establishments in Northern Minnesota that offer ballroom dancing to the public. The new chapter will also hopefully increase participation in statewide ballroom activities such as Minnesota Ballroom Blast, Star of the North, Dance Fest, and the annual Tea Dance. It is my hope that this chapter will serve all groups of wonderful dancers in Northern Minnesota, from Bemidji to Duluth.
If we can reach our goal of just twenty-five members, we can begin the process towards approval as an official chapter of USA Dance. There are many benefits to joining USA Dance, including:
- Reduced cost of admission to USA Dance monthly dances held in Northern Minnesota and elsewhere in the state (an estimated $36 value)
- A free subscription to American Dancer, a bimonthly dancing magazine ($25 value)
- Reduced cost of admission to other USA Dance programs both locally and statewide (worth up to $240!)
With membership starting at just $25 annually for a social dancer, membership is a great value for ballroom dancers.
We could definitely use extra volunteers looking to help establish this chapter. Many hands make light work, and we’d like to do as much publicity and outreach for the chapter as possible. You don’t have to join the chapter to help; anyone is welcome to volunteer! USA Dance Minnesota board members Cathy Dessert and Daniel O’Connell from the Twin Cities area have already reached out to me to pitch in, and they’ve been a tremendous help so far. With just a little more help, I’m confident we can finally make a chapter in Northern Minnesota a reality.
If you’re looking for more information or would like to volunteer to help create an official Northern Minnesota chapter of USA Dance, please email me at Melissa.Baddin@gmail.com. I’ll also have a table at Minnesota Ballroom Blast in the St. Paul Student Center on October 25th, and will be looking to talk to anyone interested in participating and can answer any questions you may have. I hope to speak to several of the college groups from Northern Minnesota in attendance and encourage them to become a part of the fantastic USA Dance community!
In the upcoming months, we’ll have a get-to-know-your-chapter dance in Duluth and hopefully another dance in Bemidji sometime in early 2015.
Stay tuned for more information, and please consider joining USA Dance, whether it is as a member of the new Northern Minnesota chapter or as a member of any of the other wonderful chapters across the country.