Save the date: Dec. 4 is our holiday party, board elections

Xmas decorations in snow

Our annual Holiday Party and membership meeting will take place at our Dec. 4 dance, 7 – 9 p.m. at CSP Dance Studios, 1624 Eubank Blvd. NE. We hope you’ll join us, as we have much to celebrate.

This is also a Member Appreciation Dance, so USA Dance members get in free! (Non-members will pay the usual $10 admission fee.) If you’re not a member, join here. Members can save more than $100 a year.

“Please mark your calendars to attend the December 4th FREE members dance. It’s our annual membership meeting and we’ll be electing next year’s board,” DeAnn said. “Let’s make it festive — bring your favorite Christmas treat!”

As DeAnn noted, the Dec. 4 dance is also our membership meeting where we will elect the 2023-24 board of directors. All nine candidates are running uncontested, so the process should be quick. In addition to five holdovers, we plan to welcome four new members and say goodbye to three who are stepping down.

New candidates are John Cilke, treasurer; Gwen Sun, secretary; and Zann Jones and Jewel Paur, directors-at-large. Read more about them below.

Running for new terms are incumbents DeAnn Eaton, president; Annie Irizari, vice president; Anna Watkins, director at large for membership; and Rosie Harper and Debra Williams, directors at large.

Stepping down are Marfo Akuoku, our treasurer, and Charles and Shirley Archuleta. Charles has served as our legal adviser and Shirley as secretary. We thank them for their service to the board.

Here are brief bios of the new board candidates:

John Cilke

John Cilke. John discovered — or rediscovered — dancing in the summer of 2016, when he took a Country-Western class from the ADC’s Gary and Susan Kellogg. He was hooked by the sensation of “flying” across the floor in two-step, night club, and swing. He then made a foray into West Coast Swing. An invite to USA Dance changed everything; John discovered ballroom dancing with all of its peculiarities, challenges, and intricacies. Next time you see him at a USA dance, ask him to dance.

Zann Jones

Zann Jones. Zann, a retired engineer, discovered dancing 25 years ago with free lessons at Midnight Rodeo and Boot Scoots. It was so much fun that he kept taking lessons — and joining USA Dance introduced him to even more dances to learn.

Zann also enjoys hiking and creating art. “I originally started with welding and have expanded to include fused glass, ceramic, polymer clay and painting,” Zann said.

Jewel Paur

Jewel Paur. “I feel that, for many of us, dancing is both our passion and our sanity and I would like to give back,” Jewel said. “I have already served two terms on the board, and if you will have me, I would like to serve a third.”

Gwen Sun

Gwen Sun. Gwen is a retired doctor who earned her medical degree and a Master of Public Health degree from the UNM School of Medicine. She focused on toxicology and occupational health.

Before discovering dance, Gwen was an “over-the-top athletic jock” who juggled basketball, volleyball, and track and field through school. She later took up whitewater sports, skiing and rollerblading.

“My world transcended when I discovered the enchanting world of dance and music,” she said. Gwen is also interested in functional medicine, mushroom foraging, and gardening.

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