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The History of NHDA

The National Hand Dance Association (NHDA), a non-profit 501(c)(3) membership organization, was founded 1994 and incorporated in 1996 in Washington DC .  There were 18 original members.

The formal introduction of the Association occurred on Sunday, December 18, 1994 with the culmination of the “Third Annual Hand Dance Competition”, held at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC.  Emma J. O’Neal, former Promotions Director for WMMJ-FM (Majic 102.3) was the founder and original organizer of The National Hand Dance Association.

The Mission of NHDA is to “promote, educate and preserve” the art form known as DC Hand Dance.

NHDA and the organization’s members, chapters and affiliates promote Hand Dance through hand dance instruction, competitions, public education programs and social functions.

From 1996 the National Hand Dance Association has been lead by three Presidents, Earl Pope (1994 – 2005), Cassandra Newsome (2005 – 2008) and Beverly Lindsay-Johnson (2008 to present).

The Youth and Young Adult Affairs Division is NHDA’s most recent addition to the organization, which promotes the introduction Hand Dance education, instruction, competition among today’s youth.  NHDA also supports efforts in providing venues for dancing and social interaction and networking among area youths.