In October 2018, the NW Dance Board of Directors elected its new slate of officers.
President – John Sample
Vice President – Cheryl Davidson
Treasurer – David “Koz” Kositsky
Secretary – Pam Tufts
Members of the Board include Bev Sanders (Past President), Karen Ludwig, Harold Federow, Andree Hurley, Mary Lou Harris, Larry Sinnott, Linda Hickey, and Cathy Clemons. Gayle McKool is our Dancing for the Ages coordinator, ad hoc Board member and Compliance Officer. Marlene Bengeult is an ad hoc Board member and Seabeck Camp coordinator.
Staff members include accountant Luann Ferguson, dance sage Don Morgan, office manager Tiffy Daud and dance manager Dean Paton.
In addition to those listed above, an army of volunteers contribute many hours to NW Dance every week. If you have been thinking about making a greater contribution to NW Dance, now would be a great time to do it. This productive and hard-working organization has lots of irons in the fire. Join the fun! If you would like more information on current volunteer opportunities or would like to serve on the board, email us at the link below.
In the last year, NW Dance has:
• Hosted a sold out New Year’s Eve Dance.
• Partnered with Broadway Waltz to bring you new dance opportunities.
• Supported the Mercer Island Arts Council.
• Actively balanced the lead-follow ratio in our classes.
• Added new dance styles (if you haven’t joined us lately, it may be time to come back!) and new dance instructors.
• Hosted the largest Seabeck dance camp ever!
• Developed a Code of Ethics for Board members and staff.
• Continued our Dancing for the Ages program which takes volunteer dancers into retirement facilities to dance with the residents.
• Stepped up our fundraising, which now includes free parking in the Ballard Health Club lot south of Leif Erikson Hall.
• Increased our instructors pay to a competitive rate.
• Had unprecedented attendance at our class parties ($5 for non-students!).
Anyone is welcome to attend board meetings. If you are interested in helping shape the direction of Northwest Dance Network, we hope you will join us.
Please check the calendar for the next meeting date. Meetings are typically on the third Monday of each month (barring necessary rescheduling) from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm in the public meeting room at the Lake City Library, 12501 28th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125.
If you want more information or have questions about the board’s activities, please contact us. Here are links to our Bylaws, our Code of Ethics, and our Statement of Behaviors expected at all Northwest Dance events.
John Sample, President
John has been dancing with Northwest Dance Network and the rest of the Seattle dance community for about 12 years. His dance passions include Swing and Waltz. He brings to the board nearly thirty-five years of business expertise as CEO and CFO of several computer related companies. John has also been a Registered Representative with National Association of Securities Dealers, a flight attendant with UAL and is an US Air Force veteran.
Beverly Sanders Past President
Bev has been a board director since June 2011. She started dancing in 1998, as a lindy hopper. Since that time Bev has enjoyed learning a number of other dances and has built a community of friends around dance. She brings to the board over 20 years of professional experience in volunteer and board management, group development and outreach, grant writing, strategic planning, and consensus building.
Cheryl Davidson, Vice President
Cheryl joined the board in December 2012. Her interest in dance has been lifelong, beginning by teaching herself basic swing by watching American Bandstand. In college and later years she took lessons in modern, jazz, and various other dance forms, but more recently she has became more dedicated to partner dancing. “Moving my body through space with music while connected to my partner releases endorphins of joy, an experience of positive addiction,” says Cheryl, who is expanding her dance repertoire by learning zydeco and balboa. Retired from a profession in criminal justice, Cheryl continues to be active in social justice issues.
David (Koz) Kositsky, Treasurer
A board director since June 2011, Koz found that the dance community in Seattle is very special and wanted to get involved to give back to it. Returning to dance after many years’ absence, Koz and a friend started taking lessons with several instructors at Northwest Dance Network: Dean Paton, Susan Balshor, Guy Caridi, Nancy Fry, and Sean Donovan. They inspired him to become a more accomplished dancer. When he’s not dancing, you can find Koz cooking at the grill. He loves to cook and used to own and operate a café and restaurant. Anymore, he indulges his cooking urges by offering, at auction, elaborate internationally-themed grilled dinners for non-profits around Seattle. He hopes to continue to make new friends on the dance floor and have fun learning more dance steps and techniques.
Pamela Tufts, Secretary
Pam retired last year from the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship in the UW Foster School of Business. She is now 1) re-learning Spanish, 2) taking piano lessons, 3) dancing (of course!), 4) and volunteering for PSARA on the environmental and social justice committees.
At the UW, Pam helped create and managed the Environmental Innovation Challenge, a region-wide cleantech competition in which interdisciplinary student teams define an environmental problem, develop a potential solution, and produce both a prototype and a business summary that demonstrates market opportunity.
Prior to that, Pam worked in the UW Retail Management & External Program and has owned and operated retail stores in the Seattle area. She has worked with boards in the non-profit sector including as Development Director for Gilda’s Club Seattle, and Executive Director of Northwest Soccer Camps. She has served as a board member for the Environmental Education Association of Washington (E3); Salish Sea Cooperative Finance, and the Girl Scouts of America. And, she has worked with volunteers in all groups, including PTA’s, Capitol Hill Youth Soccer, etc.
Mary Lou Harris
In 1999 my daughter referred me to Living Traditions Dance. She and her husband were taking classes and she told me she thought I would also enjoy taking classes there. I asked her a few times, “What was the name of that place where you take dance lessons?” On April 19, 1999 I went to a LT practice session at Sonny Newman’s Dance Hall. From there I consumed the crowded classes at the Swedish Club taking a minimum of 2 per session and – at one point – 8 classes at a time! It was an amazing opportunity that gave me much that I needed and enjoyed. Eventually, I learned to lead. Walter Dill invited me to be on the transitional Board. He told the others he invited, “Mary Lou is intelligent, articulate and dedicated.” I left the Board after 4 years due to a medical situation. Since that time I served for 9 years on the Condo Board where I live. I have taken classes from many dance teachers and have participated in a wide variety of dances, workshops and other events. Northwest Dance Network has always felt like my “home base.” I want this organization to thrive!
I am excited to join the NW Dance Board. I have been involved with the Northwest Dance community for the past six years. I started with ballroom dancing then became more active in other forms of social dance especially through the Dancing ’til Dusk summer dance series. I have really enjoyed expanding my dancing skills through NW Dance and through other dance opportunities. I will bring the experiences I’ve gained doing legal work on other non-profit boards and through my work as an attorney to serve as best I can the needs of the Northwest Dance community so it can continue to thrive.
Karen appreciates the opportunity to support the dance community by serving on the board for Northwest Dance Network since January 2013. Formerly, she was Dance Chair for the Seattle Singles Mountaineers (2005 – 2010) and won the Mountaineer Volunteer of the Year Award in 2006. Karen has been dancing in a broad range of styles since age five, including ballet, tap, jazz, modern improvisational dance, swing, lindy hop, hustle, and Latin dance. She performed for three years with USA Dance-Seattle and was in shows that toured around Washington state: “A Chance to Dance” and “Take The Floor And Dance.” She choreographed and performed dances for Dare to Dance at The Broadway Performance Hall in 2013 and 2014. Karen holds degrees in Broadcasting / Visual Design and Psychology, and she also has experience in dance photography and videography.
Andree moved to the northwest from San Luis Obispo in 1980 and loves all it offers, including dance! Aside from early Ballet lessons, she took up Swing and Lindy-hop when living in Port Townsend and enjoyed helping with the classes. After returning to Seattle seven years ago, she bought a lesson package from Arthur Murray, but then was introduced to Zydeco and wound her way through lessons with Mary Lee Sykes, Sean Donovan, and Ari Levitt, finding her way to the Northwest Dance Network. She also has a background as instructor trainer in kayaking, is a ski instructor, has a bachelor’s degree from the Jackson School of International Studies and is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Bain.
Linda Hickey, Class Coordinator
As a newcomer from the east coast, and with a natural interest in the arts, Linda was immediately drawn to the thriving social dance scene she found here in Seattle. She gladly accepted the opportunity to volunteer as Class Coordinator, enabling her to work closely with the heart of Northwest Dance Network, or more specifically, this organization’s core instructors. Together they strive to offer thoughtful and creative classes and workshops.
Linda has close to 25 years of volunteer/board experience in both the private and public sectors, serving as a Vice President of Fundraising and Special Events. As a volunteer, she also managed and turned around a financially and socially suffering tennis venue. Her professional experience includes working for financial institutions, managing a not for profit community center and teaching as a Business Management adjunct.
Linda has many interests. She loves to cook and finds every opportunity to feed others. She plays the piano and particularly loves the challenges of ragtime with its syncopated rhythm. She and her spouse Dan have been married for 34 years. They have two children, a son and a daughter, both who reside in the Southeast.
Larry has served as a director since September 2010. He is a registered architect with the small firm Sage Architectural Alliance. Dancing socially since 2006, Larry has particular interest in waltz and swing. He is also a community activist on the SR 520 Bridge Rebuild, on Sound Transit’s lightrail station location at Roosevelt, and on on the Coal-free Washington campaign.
Marlene Bengeult, Ad Hoc Member
Marlene Bengeult joined the board in 2015. She has enjoyed volunteering with the organization for many years—loving to participate in all aspects, especially helping to find ways to support the growth of the organization and to help it thrive. In 2011, during a self-expression and leadership program, she created Dancing for the Ages, one of our outreach projects. Marlene started taking dance classes with Living Traditions, the precursor to Northwest Dance, after meeting dance instructors Walter and Nancyanna Dill at a holiday party in the early 1990s. She has been enjoying dance ever since. She says, “I love finding that perfect dance where it’s just me and my partner and the music and the dance! Joy!”
Gayle McKool, Ad Hoc Member
A transplant to the Pacific Northwest from Texas, Gayle McKool has been social dancing for over a decade. She enjoys many forms of partner dance, particularly East Coast swing, Cajun, zydeco, and waltz. Introduced to the Carolina shag in the last few years, she is very excited to help Charles Dyer bring this fun dance to the Northwest Dance community.
Read our Bylaws.
Code of Ethics
Read our Code of Ethics.
Statement of Behaviors
Read our Statement of Behaviors expected at all Northwest Dance events.