* U.S. Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing

Lori Woods-Gay
* U.S. Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing

Member Since 1961
The US Branch of the ISTD was initially formed in California in 1958 by Alex Moore, John & Jill Morton, Jim & Olive Cullip, Albert & Molly Morgan, Jack & Bemil McGregor and Margaret Michael, and in 1959 received permission from the NCDTO to organize it's first examination tour with Examiners from England. The first Imperial Ball Competition, held in 1959 in San Francisco, was won by John King and Cissy King, later of "Lawrence Welk Show" fame. In 1960, a proposal was submitted to the NCDTO to officially recognize USISTD, and a similar application was made by a group of teachers in NYC lead by Don Byrnes, Avril Burgess and Alex Desandro. These applications culminated in 1962, with the NCDTO formally recognizing the US Branch of ISTD, which was by then comprised of East Coast and West Coast Chapters, and 1963 saw the East Coast Committee organize the first Eastern Area Imperial Ball at Corso's, a latin club in New York City.

1964 saw the formation of a Mid-West Chapter and the ISTD Atlantic City competitions were born when organized by Frank Regan at the Claridge Hotel. These early events were supported by a handful of professional couples, Joe & Nancy Jenkins, Larry & Betty Silvers, Terry Gregory & Cathy Creamer, Terry & Carol Mezen, Martin & Gwen Silva, Bill & Bobbi Davies, Frank Regan & Aleta Marcy and Dennis & Fran Rogers. The Society was very active at this time, bringing to the USA such luminaries as Alex Moore, Connie Grant, Phyllis Haylor, Elizabeth Romain and Eric Hancox to train and examine teachers for their professional degrees.

Responding to an NCDTO challenge of its status as a "branch", the Constitution & By Laws of the Society were re-written by Dennis Rogers in the US and Peter Pearson in London, and a license agreement signed. In 1976 the wholly independent United States Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing was born, and its permanent status as a member of the NCDTO remained unchallenged. Another significant event in 1976, the USISTD moved its three Championships events to Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where with some exceptions, they have been held ever since.

Restructuring in 1998 resulted in the formation of one National Committee, rather than two area Chapter committees, and it is in this format that the Society operates today. The current President of the Society is Lori Woods-Gay and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees is Judi Hatton. The Society can list members in almost every state in the USA, including Hawaii.

Sincere thanks to Frank Regan for his research and published "History of the USISTD" from which the above precis was derived.