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Magazine » November December 2012 Issue » The Magic Number

The Magic Number

Angela Prince
Date Published:
November 1, 2012

The number 50 must be a magic number for celebrations. When you turn 50, you become eligible to join AARP (that's the American Association for Retired Persons), whether you're retired or not and you celebrate when the magazine arrives.

And since you live in one of our 50 dance states, you can celebrate nonstop holidays and anniversaries -- like the recent 50th anniversary of the first James Bond movie and the first Beatle's hit "Love Me Do". And we can blow out candles with our favorite celebs on Twitter who just turned 50 – Tom Cruise, Paula Abdul, Jim Carrey, even WalMart, Target and Kmart. 1962 must have been a great year!

Since inspiration comes from odd sources... here are 50 tidbits I wanted to share in Public Eye about USA Dance... and maybe it'll become 50 reasons why you can't believe you're reading this story.

1. The Olympic Dream for dancesport is a real movement and USA Dance, the official member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, will start official training camps for athletes in the near future.

2. The 174 Chapters of USA Dance are the pulse of the organization and have a great mission as part of a 501(c)3 non-profit organization to bring the opportunity and enrichment of dance to all Americans.

3. Ballroom dancing can be a lifelong activity or sport. It's truly trans-generational (new word for all ages).

4. Ballroom dancing has proven to actually improve the mental and physical health and fitness of its participants of all ages and has proven therapeutic, even life-saving, for seniors with dementia and other age-related conditions.

5. We've had lots of prime-time stars in USA Dance – among them two junior couples who made it to the top 10 on America's Got Talent.

6. USA Dance now has a voice on the world governing body for dancesport globally when Ken Richards, DanceSport VP, was elected to the World DanceSport Federation Presidium 2012.

7. American Dancer magazine, now 6 years old, is the only all ballroom dance print magazine devoted to social and amateur ballroom dancers.

8. USA Dance has gone viral – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, but check out our YouTube channel "usadanceinc" – at last count had more than 392,000 video views.

9. The three largest USA Dance chapters are Greater New York with 600 members, MASSABDA with 469 members and Los Angeles with 407 members, from sea to shining sea.

10. The first USA Dance chapter organized was the Mid-Eastern chapter which began in 1978.

11. There are at least 100 members of USA Dance who are at least 90 years old, and they are
still dancing!

12. USA Dance awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to dancesport athletes in 2012, not counting the scholarships awarded at the chapter and National Qualifying Event levels.

13. There are more than 100 colleges and universities in the USA with ballroom/latin dance organized clubs and/or teams. Approximately 1000-1100 college dancers compete each year at the USA Dance National Collegiate DanceSport Championships.

14. The youngest dancesport competitor ever to compete at the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships was 7 years old. The oldest is just called Senior IV.

15. Many USA Dance members have been inspired to publish books and produce films on how ballroom and latin dancing changed their lives. Check out the Seagull's "Ballroom Dancing Is Not For Sissies" – and we knew that!

16. Carrie Ann Inaba, celebrity judge on ABC's TV show Dancing With The Stars, now in their 15th season, is an official USA Dance national celebrity ambassador and honorary judge of the annual USA Dance Star Quality Awards at Nationals. Check out her tweets.

17. Approximately 2/3 of the dancing pros on Dancing With The Stars are USA Dance alumni and former competitors – including Cheryl Burke, Julianne Hough, Derek Hough, Edyta Sliwinska, Alex Mazo, Ashley Del Costa, Inna Brayer, Val Chmerkovskiy, Maks Chmerkovskiy, Anna Demidova, KiKi Nyemchek, Mark Ballas, Dmitry Chaplin, Oksana Dmytrenko, Jonathan Roberts, Anna Trebunskaya, Chelsea Hightower.

18. The USA Dance National Dance Cruise, soon taking its 5th voyage, is an important fundraiser for USA Dance, as a portion of the fares are donated back to USA Dance for its future programs – helps us stay "afloat."

19. USA Dance Executive and Governing Council members are all volunteers, donating their time and services to an organization and mission they are very passionate about.

20. Chapters and board members are also all volunteers and serve their local chapters in the same way.

21. Since USA Dance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, donations to USA Dance programs are tax-deductible to the extent the laws permit…and greatly appreciated.

22. Nationals in 2012 was the largest ever national dancesport championship in USA Dance history – more than 1300 competitors.

23. Through its chapters, events and programs/efforts of the National organization, USA Dance has an outreach of nearly 250,000 and has 23,000 members who financially support the national program.

24. USA Dance was started in 1965, and soon celebrates it's 47th anniversary, turning 50 in 2015.

25. USA Dance is what you make it. Find a reason to celebrate.

Promised 50, but 25 is probably enough tidbits! After all, that's the age most of us stopped counting birthdays anyway, right? So find 50 reasons of your own to keep on dancing...for at least 50 more years!