Running for ECTA President

My name is Michael Braithwaite and I am running for the office of President of ECTA. With my years of experience as a caller and coach dealing with people, planning, coordinating and executing events and functions, as well as serving on the board of various clubs, including as President, I feel I am up to the demands of serving as President of ECTA. Also, my international networking could be helpful in holding office. 

I am from Augsburg and most square dancers know me as Mickey. 

I have been square dancing since 1980. Later I added round dancing, clogging and some excursions into traditional and contra dancing. Today my dancing is reduced to square and round dancing. 

In the mid-eighties I started calling and in 1995 I made the decision to try it full-time. Before Corona I called about 300 events a year from Basic to C2. The main focus is on 10 clubs in southern Bavaria in the Munich area. 

For 15 years I have been involved in the education and training of callers and currently run the Bavarian Caller School. 

I have been a member of ECTA since 1986 and Callerlab since 1993 and am currently the Vice Chairman of the Basic Mainstream Committee. 

My curriculum vitae shows that I am passionate about our activity. And rightly so. Our dance styles are perfect for people. Music and dance are not only fitness for body and mind, but also beneficial for the soul and our socializing can be an answer against the loneliness due to the Corona Pandemic. Through worldwide standards, we can dance with other nations according to the motto: Learn Somewhere. Be Home Everywhere. We should not squander this bonus. This applies to all dance disciplines. 

And this is where ECTA as an umbrella organization comes into play. 

An umbrella organization has various tasks: 

  • It sets standards and develops a set of values. Our Code of Ethics is the basis for our cooperation. It is crucial that the members also live it.
  • It represents the members and the activity in public. It is important that a uniform positive image of the association and the activity is transported to the public and that our activity is not damaged by individual egoism.
  • It is responsible for regional and international cooperation. For our activities it is essential to cooperate internationally e.g. with Callerlab, Roundalab, etc. as well as other umbrella organizations in Europe and especially with EAASDC. If we want to make a difference, this can only be done in cooperation and if we put individual and regional egoisms behind.
  • It is responsible for harmonizing the specific interests of the individual divisions and their cooperation. In discussions with the heads of the individual divisions, I have certainly seen opportunities to use synergies.
  • It is responsible for the further education of the members and the holding of conventions. The convention, the promotion of the regional groups and a cooperation with the caller/cuer schools could represent a comprehensive training concept.

These are not the only but probably the most important tasks of an umbrella organization. 

So what can ECTA do for me? Well, you can only get out of it what you put into it. The bigger and stronger the association is, the more it can achieve. Everyone is valuable and can contribute with their skills, whether they hold an office or not. I think it's good that we have different candidates for the offices and I'm especially happy that Piet is running and thus bringing some internationality into play. I would like to see a process set in motion that is worthy of a restart after Corona. That we all spit in our hands, roll up our sleeves and pitch in. I would like to lead and moderate this process and therefore ask for your trust and your vote. Thank you very much.