VALE LESLIE NEWMAN O.A.M.

LPNewmanOAMLast week we lost one of the dance greats.  Mr Newman was very passionate about the CSTD and was always interested in what was happening and especially excited about where we were going.

Mr Newman stepped down as President after 34 years as President of the Dance Society he loved.

His association with the Society goes back to 1951 when he joined the Victorian Society of Dancing (one of our two founding Societies) after he and his (then) dance partner won the VS of D ballroom championship.

Shortly after he was elected to their Executive Committee as Vice President and Chairman of the Ballroom Branch. Upon the amalgamation of the two bodies as the CSTD he continued in the same roles and was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

In the early 1960’s he left the committee to pursue both his dance activities and his commercial career in management and marketing.

In 1976 he was persuaded to rejoin the Executive Committee and was elected President at a time when the Society was at a low ebb following some years of loss and falling examination entries in all states.

With the support of the committee in office at that time he set out to establish a sound financial basis for the Society and to rebuild our activities across Australia.

After some years of consolidation he together with the late Betty Tilley traveled extensively throughout Asia to introduce the CSTD examination system in the Asian Pacific Region and to establish exam centres in various countries.

In 1988 he was elected Chairman of the Australian Dancing Board and served three terms in that capacity. 1989 saw him elected Vice Chairman of the Asian Pacific Council of Dancing. In 1987 he became Australia’s Delegate to the World Dance Council.

He was responsible in 1989 for the creation of the television series “THAT’S DANCIN” which ran for three years in prime time throughout Australia on the ABC television network.

His award in 1996 of the medal of the Order of Australia recognised his contribution to dance in Australia and Internationally.

In announcing his decision to step down he said “the CSTD today is recognised throughout Australia and the Asian Pacific Region as a vibrant and respected Society with high examination standards and is poised to meet the future developments in dance with confidence. Our future lies with the young teachers and members who will take the Society forward through the twenty first century.”

We’ll miss you Les.

Should members wish to send a sympathy card, as we cannot publish addresses, please send to Head Office and we will forward the card for you.  For those who might be interested Mr Newman’s family will be holding a private cremation.