Fellow Dance Masters of America Members,

It is a privilege and honor to have been elected to serve as your National President at DMA’s 130th National Convention. I will strive to do my best as I serve the membership during the next year and will endeavor to be available to all members.

Congratulations to the 2014 Member of the Year, Marlene Merritt, (chapter 8); the Zee Brown Ahern Award recipient Annette DuBose (Chapter 6), and DMA’s Chapter of the Year, Chapter 44, Southern Council of Dance Masters. Congratulations also, to the 25 and 50 year members who were recognized at the Presidents Reception “Enchanted Dream.” This year the Presidents reception was held the day before the convention opened and it proved to be a huge success. It was so nice to be able to enjoy time with our friends in DMA before having to rush off to the next event!

Save the date: 2015 Presidents Reception, Saturday June 27, 2015 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place.

Our days at the National Convention were MAGICAL to say the least. We had a “spooktacular” welcome Party,“Haunted Mansion,” witch (sic) was attended by every ghoul and goblin at DMA! Classes throughout the week were amazing and our faculty was phenomenal! The newest addition to the class list, “College Do’s and Don’ts” presented by our Education Strategy Chairman, Tom Ralabate, was a tremendous success. This class which was attended by both students and parents was the talk of the convention. We are looking forward to instituting this class at our Boston Convention! The PASC was amazing this summer. The 1000+ entries on Team Mickey and Team Minnie competed on two stages during the week, resulting in approximately 70 routines competing in the GNC! The Solo Title Scholarship competitions were elegant and the talent level superb! Look for the amazing pictures online and in the DMA publications! Open Scholarships were held in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and acro during the convention week.

Individual subject winners as well as overall winners were awarded. Throughout the week, DMA awarded over $200,000.00 in cash and workshopscholarships, along with two Broadway Dance Center Scholarships that were presented during the College auditions. We are pleased to say that five colleges had either representatives or brochures at the college forum; we are expecting to see many more in Boston!2014 Honorees The “Be Our Guest” banquet had more than 800 DMA members, dancers, families, and friends in attendance. The banquet honored Life Time Achievement Award winner, Past National President, Glenda Moss; The Dance Masters of America Annual Award was presented to the Martha Graham Company; and the Dance Masters of America President’s Award recipient was Chet Walker. We were honored to have three 50 year members, Ann Freeman Chapter 15; Shari Gysel Chapter 4; and David Smith Chapter 4; in attendance as DMA’s guests at the banquet 2014. Educational programs: Successful DMA summer events continued at the University at Buffalo with SHIP and TTS. SHIP was well attended by dancers age 13-18. The showcase was an incredible tribute to the outstanding students and choreographers! TTS was also a success, examining almost 70 candidates. We are looking forward to announcing new programs that will be added to TTS (instituted in 2016) for Post Graduates of the program. DMA is actively working to launch a second SHIP program for the near future. We are proud to say that DMA is actively continuing to research and provide our members and their students with the most current and best dance education available.

As the new dance year begins please mark your calendars with the following dates:“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Dance” 131st DMA National Convention: Boston, MA: June 28th – July 4th
Jazz Intensive Boston, MA: June 25th
Mini Project Motivate: June 25th
SHIP at University at Buffalo – Check in July 21st, Banquet & Showcase July 26th
TTS at University at Buffalo – Check in July 27th, Banquet & Showcase Aug. 1st
Exam Forums for Chapter Examiners will be held:September 27-28, 2014
Las Vegas, Nevada, October 25-26, 2014
Newark, New Jersey, January 10-11, 2015
Atlanta, Georgia

Information about all these events will be announced in the near future. Remember to join us on facebook at the Dance Masters of America page. We would like to invite all DMA members to post your chapter happenings on the page; it is a great way for all to keep apprised of Chapter and National events and results! Follow DMA @DMA organization on twitter, and don’t forget to use #dmanational, #dma, #dmachapter in your tweets! Emails announcing DMA news and information will be sent using constant contact to Chapter Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurers and Delegates throughout the year. We are again asking chapter secretaries to forward the emails to their membership.

As we continue to move forward in 2014 we will strive to serve the membership by continuing to increase communication, provide on-line registration,and to be open to all suggestions and recommendations we receive. If you or your chapter has specific needs please email me at joannezavisa@gmail.com. Once again, I would like to thank you for the confidence you have shown in me to lead this prestigious organization.

Joanne Zavisa

National President, Dance Masters of America, Inc.

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