Dear Dance Lovers,

We, Yang Chen and Michael Phillip, are this year’s Co-Chairs of the Organizing Committee of the Manhattan Amateur Classic (MAC), and we are pleased to invite you to join us to celebrate the MAC’s 30th anniversary, at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City, on January 18 and 19, 2020.

The two of us have been associated with the MAC from its earliest days. Michael was part of the Greater New York Chapter when it organized its first chapter competition in 1989, held in Garfield, NJ. At that time it was not yet known as the MAC. In 1990, the chapter did not host a competition, but in 1991, the Greater New York Chapter hosted the first ever Manhattan Amateur Classic, and Michael Phillip both helped to organize it and competed in it. Yang Chen competed there as a bronze dancer. Since 1991, MAC has been held continuously every year, with 2020 marking the 30th consecutive year that the Greater New York Chapter has presented the MAC. No other USA Dance competition, other than Nationals, can claim that longevity. And throughout this entire time it has been organized by members of the amateur ballroom community in the Greater New York area.

“Amateur,” you might say, is MAC’s middle name, and when it was first established, USA Dance was called USABDA, the United States Amateur Ballroom Dancers Association. The word “amateur” generally connotes someone who is not a professional and engages in an activity purely as a hobby and not for pay. Yet the roots of the word comes from the French word “amateur,” derived from the Latin word “amator,” both of which mean “lover.” In that sense, MAC and USA Dance form a community of dance lovers. It is in that spirit of love for dance that we pour our hearts and souls, and our blood, sweat, tears and toil into the annual event that is the MAC. And we do so gladly, because we are dancers, we love to dance, and we love everyone who takes part in this wonderful activity we call ballroom dancing.

Today, we seem to be driven to division and distraction, losing sight of the love of dance that unites us all -- whether we are professionals or amateurs, beginners or long-time dancers, social dancers or competitive dancers. 

Let us reject the divisiveness and remember that we are all “amateurs,” we are all “lovers” of dance. If you love dance as much as we do, whether you dance socially, compete, judge, officiate, teach, or in any other way enjoy or support the ballroom dancing community, come to the MAC. We have been a tradition and fixture in the ballroom dancing world for three decades, precisely because MAC exists as an event for dancers by dancers.

Join us for MAC 2020 and come celebrate our 30th anniversary -- for the love of dance.

With love,

Yang Chen

Michael Phillip

Co-Chairs, MAC Organizing Committee