The Hosts - Michael and LeAnn
Michael and LeAnn Norris have been dance partners in the Carolina Shag for 17 years, winning for the first time in the Junior I Division of the National Shag Dance Championships in 1994. They are 9 time National Shag Dance Champions and 4 time Overall Champions. In 1995, they were the first junior couple to win the USA Grand National Dance Championships Junior Shag Division. They went on to win 2 titles in the Junior Shag Division, 8 titles in the Carolina Classic Division, and 7 Team Division titles at the USA Grand Nationals. Michael is also an accomplished professional "Swing" dancer, winning the US Open in 1999 with partner Ginger Pickerel and 2007 with Kellese Key. Michael and Kellese also won the 2007 Classic Division at the USA Grand Nationals along with winning the title, "Impact Couple of the Year." In 2009, Michael and LeAnn won the Shag Division at the US Open Swing Dance Championships for the 7th time and are 2-time TEAM Swing Challenge Champions. On May 30th, 2010, Michael and LeAnn started down a "new path" by becoming event directors of the 17th annual USA Grand National Dance Championships. Not only have they attended every GNDC since its inception in 1995, but they have been working behind the scenes for several years preparing for this role. They are hoping to re-energize the event with a "new look" and a "new feel" and put their "twist" on the dream of Charlie and Jackie.
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Article about taking over GNDC:
Dancers turned event directors... Who would have thought?
Iíll never forget the way I felt the first time I walked into the Renaissance Waverly Hotel (formerly known as the Stouffer Waverly Hotel) for the 1995 Grand National Dance Championships. I was 15 years old and enthusiastic yet apprehensive about the weekend I was about to experience, the people I was going to meet, and the other dance I would soon grow to love. From that weekend on, the Grand National Dance Championships forever changed our lives for the better. Charlie and Jackie I am forever grateful and thankful for the two of you taking such a big leap of faith to bring two similar dance communities together. But, if you ever told me that 16 years later, Michael and I would be the directors of such an amazing event, then I would tell you Not a chance in this life time. However, on May 30th 2010, Charlie and Jackie passed the torch and handed over their dream to Michael and I to carry on the tradition and we couldnít be more excited. Although we are closing one chapter of our lives and hanging up our dancing shoes for a while (temporarily), we are looking forward to everything this endeavor has in store for us.
This is where we need you, our dance community, to help us.
We would like to personally invite you to join us May 24th-28th, 2012 in Atlanta, GA for the most diverse dance competition in the country. For those of you that have never been to this event, you donít know what you are missing! From the Thursday night pre-party to the breathtaking Sunday Cabaret division, there is something for everyone and thatís a promise.
Michael and LeAnn
USA Grand National Dance Championships
Charlie Womble and Jackie Mcgee Website: CharileAndJackie.com