IDTA Annual Congress 2009

By IDTA President: Colin Donaldson.

The Board of Directors and I are delighted to invite members to attend the Association’s Annual Congress at the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre. The refurbishment of the venue is now complete and the new Ramada Plaza Hotel, which links directly to the Convention Centre, is open.

The Congress Arrangements Committees hope that they have found the right balance for everyone attending based on your requests and recommendations and we have a full programme of lectures and workshops for members, which we hope you will find both interesting and full of ideas for your school. The programme and a booking form for all the events at Congress are enclosed with this issue of Dance International.

Congress starts at 9.00 am on Saturday 4 July with the IDTA Inventive Dance Competitions in Classical, Modern and Latin Sequence. The competitions start at 10.00 am and run throughout the day ending at approx 5.00 pm. We look forward to the competitions, which will be run by the IDTA Sequence Branch Committee. Application forms for members wishing to take part in the competitions are available from Carol or Liz at Head Office. The closing date for competition entries is 19 June.

The IDTA is delighted to announce that three new trophies will be presented, for the first time, in memory of Mrs Nancy Clarke (former President, Director and Examiner of the IDTA). In addition to the new Nancy Clarke Trophies, the IDTA is increasing the prize money for the winning dances in the Classical Sequence, Modern Sequence and Latin sections. First prize will be £200 plus £50 expenses for the winning couple. Each of the remaining finalists will also receive £50 expenses per couple. Entry forms for the competition will be available from IDTA Head Office in April 2009.

Helen Blackburn and Steven Shaw will MC the Evening Sequence Dance from 8.00 -11.00 pm and I look forward to welcoming the winners of the day’s competitions to demonstrate and lead off their winning dances, plus Richard Still & Morgan Hemphill will be attending to demonstrate during the evening.

Sunday 5 July is the first of two days of Ballroom Branch lectures in the Floral Hall, with Fringe Talks in the Lakeside Suite. The list of lectures and lecturers is long and varied and we have invited IDTA Examiners, members and professionals to Congress. We aim to find a balance of work for you and work for your school that is both informative and entertaining and assist members with their continuing professional development. Lectures start at 10.00 am on Sunday and run through to 5.00 pm in the Ballroom. Fringe lectures start at 10.30 am in the Lakeside Suite and end at 3.45 pm.

At Sunday’s Theatre Branch workshops we look forward to welcoming national and international dancers and choreographers to the floor in the new Waterfront Suite. This year the Association will be using the new conference suite in the Convention Centre for the Theatre Branch lectures. The programme has been updated to provide both teachers and performers with information on the IDTA syllabi and opportunities to perform in the workshops. Please read carefully the ticket booking form enclosed, if you have any questions please contact Carol at Head Office.

On Sunday evening the IDTA would like to invite IDTA members attending the Congress to the IDTA Showcase Gala in the Southport Theatre, featuring pupils and students from IDTA Theatre schools around the country and by special invitation, the top amateur ballroom and Latin couples in the UK.

The IDTA Showcase Gala is a biennial charity performance, previously presented at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket. Proceeds from the Showcase Gala will be presented to the selected charity, CLIC Sargent (80%) and the IDTA Benevolent Fund (20%). CLIC Sargent cares for children and young people with cancer and their families – in hospital and in the community . Tickets for the Showcase Gala evening performance will be available from IDTA Head Office from 1 May 2009.

Lectures continue in the Ballroom on Monday 6 July starting at 10.00 am and running through until 3.30 pm.

It is my great pleasure to invite you to attend the Annual Dinner & Dance on the evening of Monday 6 July. This is always a very special occasion with the opportunity to meet old and new friends. With dancing to Todd Miller with the Joe Loss Orchestra & Singing Stars, plus a Latin demonstration by Zoran Plohl & Tatsiana Lahvinovich (Croatia) and a Ballroom demonstration by Paulo Bosco & Silvia Pitton (Italy) and a Street Dance demonstration by Sadie Flower’s “SuFuze”.

The final morning of Congress is the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 7 July in the Floral Hall ballroom of the Convention Centre. Doors open at 9.00 am for registration and the meeting starts promptly at 10.00 am. Please ensure you arrive in plenty of time as no one may enter the hall once the AGM has started at 10.00 am sharp. Chairing the AGM will be my last duty as President of the IDTA before I hand over to our President-Elect, Richard Hopkins. I hope that you can attend to take part in the election of the Board of Directors and the Theatre Council and take an active part in the running of the IDTA. I look forward to welcoming you all to the Annual Congress. If you have any questions please contact Carol or Liz at IDTA Head Office.