Pacific Ballroom Dance will not be attending Nationals for the first time in 15 years.

On January 25th, the Pacific Ballroom Dance Board of Directors released a statement to students and families announcing that PBD formation teams would not be attending the NDCA Nationals Competition traditionally held on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah. They wrote, “This decision was not made lightly, nor was it made without thoughtful discussion and thorough consideration of all aspects related to this year’s competition.”
The week prior to the announcement, PBD parents had the opportunity to complete a survey sharing their thoughts about attending the key event. 
 

The community was divided on the issue. One parent wrote, “I don’t think it will be the same experience the

dancers have had in the past. They are not prepared to compete and the team experience of nationals is lost.”

Another commented, “While nationals will look much different this year, it is still such an important experience for these kids. In a lot of ways I feel like they are treading water and just trying not to sink. They’re just trying to survive. Going to nationals would do what it usually does, which is give them a reason to not just tread water, but to start swimming forward as fast as they can.”

The board’s message was sympathetic. “When all six of us met as a Board of Directors,” they wrote, “we discussed in great detail the PBD Nationals Parent Survey responses, state guidelines for both Utah and Washington, the changes laid out for the competition format, the financial requirements for families, and the risks related to COVID transmission. We also discussed the great character-building benefits of attending Nationals for the past 15 years, the hard work and preparation of students and coaches already underway, as well as the shared experiences that form memories and forge friendships that last a lifetime as well as the great strain that COVID-19 has placed on youth in all areas of their lives. It was an emotional and difficult meeting. We know how difficult this determination will be for many of our students and families, and that for others, it will be a relief knowing that increased exposure to the COVID-19 virus will be avoided and the peer pressure to attend will be eased.”

The staff at PBD will work to replace the important event with other competition both virtual, and in-person, as the state opens up and COVID cases continue to decline.