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Magazine » President's Report » President's Report January 1, 2012

President's Report January 1, 2012

Author:
Lydia T. Scardina, President, USA Dance (president@usadance.org)
Date Published:
January 1, 2012

I would like to report that the Governing Council had a very productive annual meeting in October, and with the New Year at hand, I thought I would take this opportunity to announce a major new initiative being undertaken by USA Dance.

NEW WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT AND ON-LINE SERVICES Since 2002, during the presidency of the late Archie Hazelwood, USA Dance was aware that its website and on-line offerings were not what they could be. Ideas were presented over the years during the subsequent presidencies of Esther Freeman and Peter Pover to improve our on-line capabilities. The difficulty always was that as an all-volunteer organization, USA Dance did not have a national volunteer ready and able to oversee this effort.

That changed in October 2010 when Senior Vice President, Bill Rose, who is skilled in website issues and serves as our resource person in assisting chapters with their website questions, agreed to chair a committee of national volunteers to evaluate the technology needs of USA Dance and recommend a way forward. After a full year of review, Bill and several members of his committee made a recommendation to the Governing Council to expand the role of Dance Notions, which operates AccessDance, to revamp the USA Dance national website and the websites of those USA Dance chapters requesting this enhanced service, as well as to serve as system administrator. AccessDance has already been providing a more limited service to USA Dance for a number of years, and therefore has gained considerable knowledge about USA Dance and its chapters, which will help insure that a transition to an expanded internet presence will be a smooth one. The Governing Council accepted this recommendation by an overwhelming vote of support.

This program launched in mid December 2011 with the new USA Dance National Website. It will be followed in quick succession with the following new services for our 180 chapters starting in January 2012:

Bronze Level – Service at this level will be available to all chapters no matter how large or small. It will include a single page listing, a listing on AccessDance, and a simple description of the chapter and its activities. No chapter website coordinator is needed to access this level of support. Chapters will see Access Dance drive its many monthly visitors looking for ballroom dance activities in their communities to nearby USA Dance chapters, providing chapters with a stream of potential new participants for chapter workshops and dances. We hope, of course, that a number of these new participants will ultimately become members of the local chapters, increasing chapter strength and vitality.

Silver Level – In addition to the services available at the Bronze level, services at the Silver level will include enhanced marketing through a multi-marketing database that will allow for the opportunity to list articles, events, images, videos and date-specific events via a calendar. The Silver level does require a chapter website coordinator to access this level of service.

Gold Level – In addition to the services provided at the Bronze and Silver levels, the Gold level will include a full feature website, consisting of multiple (unlimited) pages and advanced features. The Gold level does require a chapter website coordinator to access this service.

For those chapters with highly developed websites, an individual consultation with AccessDance will be available to see how AccessDance can assist them with the further growth and development of their site.

We hope that these three options will satisfy the requirements of the vast majority of USA Dance chapters. Over the years a number of chapters have told our national volunteers that help with website services and membership growth are more important to them than the small amount of funds they receive from National each year in the form of rebates. We have listened to our chapters, and this expanded website and chapter growth initiative at the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels is being provided via the former rebate program at no additional charge to the chapters. We will of course be evaluating this new initiative to gage its continuing success, and will make adjustments after the first year of operation as necessary.