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International Choreographed Ballroom Dance Association Records

Identifier: D046


The International Choreographed Ballroom Dance Association was started as the National Round Dance Board of Review in 1976-1977, became the Universal Round Dance Council in 1977, and changed to its current name in late 2007. The collection primarily consists of official newsletters and convention syllabi from 1979-2012, plus organizing correspondence from 1976-1979, official convention recordings from 2004-2005, and some ephemera.


  • Majority of material found within 1976-2012


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Biographical / Historical

The International Choreographed Ballroom Dance Association was started in response to events at the August, 1976 National Square Dance Convention in Anaheim, CA. The originally proposed name was “National Round Dance Board of Governors,” which was later modified to the National Round Dance Board of Review; on July 27, 1977 the Universal Round Dance Council was created, the existing Board was selected as the leadership, and on July 28th the Board voted to change its name to become the Board of Directors of the Universal Round Dance Council (URDC). The group absorbed the National Carousel Clubs organization in 1999. In 2007 the bylaws were amended by a membership vote and the URDC officially became the International Choreographed Ballroom Dance Association (ICBDA).

The original formal proposal for what became the ICBDA was sent from Frank and Iris Gilbert under the auspices of their National Carousels Round Dancing Clubs, Inc., asking selected dance leaders to create a governing body capable of sponsoring conventions dedicated to advanced-level round dancing, supporting round dancing activities in general, and standardizing the teaching of dance figures across the United States. The new organization was proposed to start in December of 1976 as the National Round Dance Board of Governors; by May of 1977 the organization was operating as the National Round Dance Board of Review.

The first National Round Dance Festival was held from July 28-30,1977 in Kansas City, MO. It was organized and sponsored by the National Carousel Clubs and the Gilberts, with support from the National Round Dance Board of Review. On July 27, 1977 a vote was taken by convention attendees to found a new organization, called the Universal Round Dance Council, or URDC, to support round dance events in the future, particularly an ongoing series of national conventions. Other goals were to improve communication, improve the quality of dance instruction and choreography, and to generally promote the well-being of round dancing as an activity. Membership would be open to both dancers and teachers, at any level of experience. The National Round Dance Board of Review was selected to serve as the Board of Directors, with an executive committee; Roy Stier was elected as chairman. On July 28, 1977, the National Round Dance Board of Review met and officially changed their name to the Board of Directors of the Universal Round Dance Council. Articles of incorporation and the enactment of bylaw documents were discussed starting at this time, but took until the next convention to be finalized and voted into place at the first official meeting of the Universal Round Dance Council in July of 1978.

As its primary purpose, in 1977 the URDC immediately took over the National Carousel Clubs' role in planning the convention, which was renamed the National Round Dance Convention for 1978. The first four conventions were held in Kansas City, MO; since then the location has changed yearly. The sites with numerous visits are Winston-Salem, NC; San Antonio, TX; San Jose, CA; and Joplin, MO. Denver, CO and Grand Rapids, MI have each hosted the convention more than once. The convention name was changed again in 1985 when the 9th Annual Convention was held in Canada and it became the International Round Dance Convention. Starting in 2008 the International Choreographed Ballroom Dance Association renamed the conventions as the “ICBDA Annual Convention.” The numbering sequence has remained consistent despite the name changes.

The Universal Round Dance Council’s second primary activities were publishing a newsletter and a technical manual. The first semi-monthly newsletter was released in September of 1977, edited by Roy Stier as Executive Chairman. Sue Riley and her husband Bob took over the editorship beginning with the July, 1981 issue, and she remained editor until 2007. In February of 1982 the newsletter became titled, “As the World Goes Round.” Publication of the newsletter was semi-monthly until September of 2004, when it became quarterly. In September of 2007 the publication’s name became Dancer’s Gazette, and with the first 2008 issue went to a purely digital format.

The URDC’s goal of promoting quality instruction and choreography was supported with publication in June, 1978 of the URDC Encyclopedia and Reference Manual. It was continually expanded, revised, updated, and reprinted by the Technical Advisory Board (Technical Advisory Committee starting in October 1987), led by Frank and Iris Gilbert until mid-1985.

Over the years the URDC and ICBDA have pursued improved relations with other dance organizations, notably Roundalab, and also joined the ARTS coalition. In 1998-1999 they absorbed the National Carousel Clubs and in 2000 donated a large amount of associated material to the Lloyd Shaw Foundation Archives.


4.25 Linear Feet (5 containers)

Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of correspondence and publications from the Universal Round Dance Council, including the organization's newsletter publication (As the World Goes Round, later renamed Dancer's Gazette) and convention syllabi from 1977 through August of 2012, plus official convention video recordings from 2004-2006. Correspondence documents date from 1976 through 1979. The collection includes one minidisk sound recording with dance cue sheet, a pair of original URDC pin badges, ephemera from various conventions, a newspaper clipping, and two CDs with digitized copies of the newsletter and syllabi. Correspondence includes foundational documents for both the National Round Dance Board of Review and the Universal Round Dance Council, particularly discussions about purpose, inter-organizational relations, convention planning, draft bylaws, and financial reports; significant contributors include Frank Gilbert. Physical newsletters date September 1977 through September 2007, continued and backdated on CD January 1978-August 2012, plus September 1977; significant inclusions are organizational and bylaw updates, convention notices, letters, membership announcements, choreography advice, community announcements, advertisements, and obituaries. The majority are unmailed copies produced by Sue Riley. Physical convention syllabi are present for conventions dated 1977-2007, continued and backdated on CD 1977-2012; each includes presenter biographies and photos, dance cue sheets, choreography, schedules, vendor lists, and workshop details. Ephemera primarily consists of convention programs, plus the advertising flyer for 1977 and an attendance count for 1978. Official convention videos for 2004-2006 are present in VHS and DVD format, including performances and all teaching seminars as well as a historical presentation by Chris and Terri Cantrell on the convention's 30th anniversary.


The collection is arranged in six series: 1. Official Correspondence, 1976-1979. 2. Newsletters, 1977-2012. 3. Convention Syllabi and Ephemera, 1977-2012. 4. Convention Recordings, 2004-2006. 5. Music with Choreography. 6. Universal Round Dance Council Membership Pins.;

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the International Choreographed Ballroom Dance Association, September 2012.

Related Materials

Related materials pertaining to the National Carousel Clubs and the Universal Round Dance Council may be found in the following collection in this repository: Lloyd Shaw Foundation Dance Collection.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

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