* National Dance Teachers Association
Ronnie C. Gardner
In 1974, a group of dance instructors formed an association to strive to advance the Art of Ballroom Dancing, standardize the teaching materials, expose the members to progressive methods of instruction, keep members informed of new trends in the social and competitive dance fields and add integrity to the profession. They called their organization Florida Dance Teachers Association (FDTA), Florida’s "ALL BALLROOM" Association. Five meetings were held yearly; each offering four seminars, one each from the Bronze and Silver NCDTO Syllabus, and two other suitable variations, competition material or "current trend" dances, music and training. Socials, buffets and potluck dinners added opportunities for good fellowship and lighthearted fun. Led by founder, Jim Forest, together with the assistance of Larry Dean, Jerry Jarzem, Howard Marlow, Terry Henes, Pat Patterson and Mae Patterson, the Florida Dance Teachers Association, Inc. incorporated in 1976 as a non-profit corporation for the encouragement, improvement and promotion of dancing; to institute, conduct, manage and provide a forum for dance teachers to exchange information and ideas, disseminate proper materials to enhance the integrity and capabilities of dance teachers, fix qualifications of membership and to protect and promote the mutual interest of its members. The FDTA joined the Council, then known as the National Council of Dance Teachers Organizations (NCDTO). In order to expand and attract members outside of Florida, in 1985 the organization name was changed to National Dance Teachers Association of America, Inc.
Our goal is to continue to provide support, syllabus materials, and assistance to members to enhance their expertise. We offer qualification examinations for certification in different levels and styles as well as traditional Medal Tests. Our meetings provide seminar workshop presentations teaching techniques as well as variations and patterns in a variety of dance forms, both social and competitive. Our members have the tools to give their students quality lessons to provide them with a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence for a healthy, happy, physically fit future through dancing.