HOW IT ALL BEGAN
During the summer of 1986, a group of fourteen dancers met with the idea of forming a ballroom dance club. They wanted a club that would benefit all elements of ballroom dance–the studios, the ballrooms, and the social dance clubs, but mostly the dancers. Their plans included:
- Hold group class lessons to introduce new people to ballroom and to offer the more experienced dancers opportunities to learn new steps and techniques. This was to be done by offering the highest quality dance instruction at the lowest possible cost.
- Hold frequent social dances and practice parties.
- Visit ballrooms around the area as a group to introduce members to the different bands and ballrooms.
- Have a newsletter with information on where to dance and where to get private lessons.
- Hold workshops and seminars with world-class dancers and instructors, eventually having week-long dance camps.
They contacted other successful amateur ballroom clubs around the US: California, Kansas, Minnesota, and Ohio. They spent many hours on the telephone and writing letters. The thing that stood out with these clubs is that you must have excellent ballroom music to be successful. Ray Gawlak contacted professional Alan Clements about the music. Alan worked with Ray in recording the music at the correct measures per minute for the bronze dancer.
After many organizational meetings, an excellent set of by-laws was drawn up and we received our non-profit corporation status from the State of Missouri and were given our tax-free status under IRS Code 501C (7) on January 27, 1987. We also received our sales tax exemption status from the State of Missouri.