WDC Social Dance Committee – Chairman
Mr. Ferenc Polai
A warm welcome to the Social Dance Committee of the WDC!
With great pleasure I have accepted the unanimous vote to be Social Dance Chairman at the Social Dance Committee Meeting, on May 26th 2020 with great joy. In the past three years, in which I was appointed to be the Interim Chairman of the Social Dance Sector, I was able to get to know the Social Dance Branch with all its facets, chances and problems. The Social Dance Branch is like a bunch of flowers with many difficult colors and blooms. This diversity covers the continents, the member bodies, the countries and traditions. But as we may all be different, what unites us all is our love for dancing. We want to bring dancing close to the people and give them something to enjoy, by providing an environment for all people in which they get the chance to move to music.
Running one of the biggest social dance schools in the European region for more than 40 years, social dancing is a subject very close to my heart and I believe to have the experience necessary to take the social dance worldwide to a new standard.
For me, Social Dance is the foundation of the WDC and its successful competitors.
The unfortunate current situation concerning the Covid-19 pandemic affects our branch very badly. Lock-downs for months and closings of all of our dance schools have lead many Social Dance Schools to face difficult times and even forced some of them to shut their doors forever. However, in history humanity had to overcome several crisis and we have managed to overcome them all – and we will also overcome this crisis! This crisis will show us and all of our customers how important our Social Dance Branch is for society worldwide. We are all aware of the significance that lobbyism has for a successful development of a profession. The world’s biggest economic sectors use lobbyism to ensure their success in business. We and our Social Dance Branch and schools are probably too small and insignificant to keep up with those worldwide operating groups. But are we really so small and insignificant? No, we are not! We may record a high number of lobbyists for our Social Dance branch with our dance students from every age group – from children to seniors. We only need to realize this, so that we can be stronger together. For instance, in my small home country, Austria with about 8 Million inhabitants, over 350 000 people attend a dance school at least once a week.
After we have overcome this crisis together,
we will need to position our Social Dance Branch in a new and more sustainable way. Only if we realize and communicate our strength as a community we will manage to motivate people worldwide again to come and visit us in our dance schools. I also know that there have been countries in which the Social Dance Branch was and hopefully still is strong and flourishing, but on the other hand, I am also aware of the difficulties that dance schools had to face even before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to surveys and the feedback of the member bodies it was possible for me to learn about the conditions that the Social Dance Schools are in. The survey results that have been brought to you in our Newsletters have shown that many members wish for education, to make new experiences, to be able to exchange these experiences, and to communicate with each other. Communication means to me to deliver information, collect information and to forward this information to
the final customers in our dance schools, who are students as well as teachers. Networking, exchanging ideas with teachers and schools from different regional and cultural backgrounds is our key to ensure that social dance will even grow in size and popularity.
The newly elected Social Dance Executive Board is going to work together to move forward into this direction and we will give our best to create a seamless information transition. We may deliver our thoughts and ambitions to all our members. In return, we appreciate and are thankful for your proposals and suggestions. I know that we can all dance and teach dancing in our own way and many of you have much experience. However, the question of all questions is: how do we manage to meet the needs and fulfill the wishes concerning dancing of our customers at any age. Therefore, worldwide marketing strategies need to be revised under careful consideration of unique traditions.
It will remain a challenge to persuade all national members to actively cooperate and forward the work of an international institution to those on the base who connect with social dancers every day, but I hope I can also rely on your input and help! Don’t hesitate to also contact me directly in case you have some suggestions or comments towards the WDC SDC.
But I shall not forget to thank those members who have been supporting the SDC from the very beginning by providing information about their national situation and by expressing their expectations towards the committee. It is only with your help that we can grow.
To a good cooperation and future of the WDC Social Dance!
Chairman of the WDC Social Dance Commmittee