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Articles of Interest » USA Dance » Our All Stars!

Our All Stars!

Author:
Alexandra Caluen

USA Dance, at the National level or local, cannot operate without its volunteers. In all the positions serving the 22,000+ members of the organization, only one – the National membership liaison a.k.a. "Central Office" - is a paid position.

National directors devote hundreds of hours per year, and even here at the local level, your volunteers give five, ten, or twenty hours a month to plan and host events, media, and other activities.

In the Los Angeles County chapter we are blessed with some long-term volunteers whose efforts deserve recognition.

Past Presidents: these people have given many hours, much thought, and terrific commitment to make sure our members have dances and other events to attend, and to ensure that the chapter's business is attended to consistent with the requirements of the National organization: Michael Caan; Jeffrey the Barak; Harris Sperling; David Spetner; and Herb McGurk.

Our social calendar guru, and past Board member: David Pierce. Our social dance calendar has been scaled down in response to National's new guidelines, but at its height there were nearly 300 various dance events listed for any given month. Keeping up with this calendar was a lot of work, requiring a real presence "on the ground" in the social dance community. Dave's work provided a great service to all of our members and friends, as well as to the professional dancers who provide events – thank him when you see him! Dave also was instrumental in organizing the chapter's tribute to longtime Los Angeles ballroom instructor, founder of "Walk In Dance Out" Lou Schreiber.

Our ongoing K-12 Committee volunteers, dedicated to bringing ballroom dancing into the schools in a cost-effective way: Marilyn Tucker, Charles Edelsohn, Jerry Hernandez, Laura Harvell, Olivia Sanchez, Winnie Carnegie, and Joan Evans. See our K-12 page for more about this program!

Our ongoing Outreach volunteers, who have brought joy to hundreds of seniors: Jo Panitch, Marilyn Tucker, Sue Barr, Laura Harvell, Julie Billig, Kelly Richardson, and the many volunteers who have performed at Outreach events. See our Outreach page for more about this program!

Publicity and promotions: our website, Facebook group, and Constant Contact e-mail system are the products of years of development by many volunteers: Livia Squires, David Spetner, Jon Toellner, Jimmy Blair, Herb McGurk, James Woo, and Alexandra Caluen all contribute to keeping you informed.

Our Social dances take more work than pretty much everything else put together. Our chief organizer is James Woo, who all of you know as our regular DJ. A majority of your Board members are present at nearly every dance. We hope all of our members will keep in mind that we put these events on for you. We can ALWAYS use more help.

At the Front Desk, Edna Coe Bamc; Nancy Rincon; Julie Billig; and a select few others have been present at nearly every event. We truly could not function without them.

Our Showcases have featured the valuable assistance of Kent Lowell, Debbie Bloom, and Anita Froehlich as well as Jerry Hernandez, Nancy Rincon, Herb McGurk, Alexandra Caluen, James Woo, and others.

Early in 2012, a team of volunteers worked with St. Monica's school in Santa Monica for a "Dancing with Our Stars" fundraiser. Sue Barr, Laura Harvell, Marilyn Tucker, Deanna Stanton, Joseph Hidalgo, Brian Yip, Fred Guerin, Jerry Hernandez, and Alexandra Caluen all contributed as partners and coaches to help non-dancers perform for "pay per vote," raising thousands of dollars for St. Monica's music program. This program was repeated in 2013 with a new team of volunteers including Charles Edelsohn, Ken Fratto, Suryaniy Misrayim, Yasmin Zakher, Irit Barak, and Philip Caluen.

Alexandra and Phil Caluen also participated in a "Dancing with the AV Stars" fundraiser in Lancaster; and past Board member Kent Lowell performed as an experienced partner in a similar fundraiser in Torrance.

Chapter members have also been cast in numerous short films, features, and plays. As our network grows, we receive more casting notices. These activities are not, strictly speaking, "volunteering" for the Chapter; however, when our members represent ballroom dancing, they also represent USA Dance – and we appreciate it!

And of course, all of our past and present Board members, who have the discussions – and sometimes arguments! – that have resulted in our chapter growing to be the largest in the West.

Opportunities open up to those who are active in the chapter. If any of the above activities sound exciting to you, please contact any Board member using the "Contact" link on the bottom menu to find out what's happening next!

THANK YOU ALL!