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Magazine » May June 2012 Issue » President's Report May-June

President's Report May-June

Lydia T. Scardina, President, USA Dance


June 23, 2012 will be Olympic Day both in the United States and internationally. In 2011, 160 countries celebrated Olympic Day, and in the U.S. over 100,000 people of all ages participated in activities honoring the Olympics and the ideals of fair play, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship.

Even though DanceSport is not yet a program sport in the Olympics, it is within the Olympic family of sports, and USA Dance is a member of the U. S. Olympic Committee. This year all member organizations have been asked not only to celebrate Olympic Day, but to join in the international effort to promote fitness and well-being.

Fitness and well-being are concepts that come naturally to USA Dance members, as we know first hand the benefits that an active lifestyle through ballroom dancing and DanceSport provide. Every social dance, ballroom lesson or workshop provides opportunities for our members to get up out of their chairs and experience the sheer joy that comes from participating in ballroom dance activities. And our athletes experience this feeling of physical well being not only when they compete, but also when they are working with their coaches and in the countless hours of practice needed to progress as a competitor. These physical activities make us all stronger in body and spirit.

This year, we are requesting that our chapters help celebrate Olympic Day by using the Olympics as a theme for a regular social dance, demonstration or special event. As an example, use Olympic-themed music and have members bring in their favorite pieces of memorabilia from a past Olympic Games. If they are planning to attend the Olympic Games in London this summer, have them get up and say which sport they plan to watch. And since London will be the place where thousands of Olympians will gather this summer, this wonderful city can be made a part of the chapter's Olympic-themed event.

Olympic athletes live in communities all over the U.S., and many are more than happy to come out to a local event and say a few words about their own experience and about the value of Olympism. Interested chapters may contact me if they would like to invite an Olympian to their event. Chapters may also want to invite a DanceSport couple to perform at a chapter dance and ask them about their own dancesport goals and dreams.

Those chapters which help organize or promote ballroom dance programs in K-12 schools or in local colleges may also want teachers and students to know about Olympic Day and remind them that their ballroom dance activities tie in directly to the international Olympic goal of improving physical fitness for people of all ages.

Olympic Day does not have to be celebrated only on June 23rd, but in the several weeks leading up to or following this date.

So let's all show our support for Olympic Day 2012 by helping to promote fitness and well-being and the spirit of Olympism in our own communities.

Lydia T. Scardina
National President, USA Dance