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Announcement from ABA Association Agent Phillip Shurtleff

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

I’m pleased to announce to our board and membership a list of nominees for our special election. It’s great to see our members step up and have an election where several offices have two candidates. Some of you may be wondering why we are having a special election.

In the last few years, the ABA has fallen into distress. The officers and committee members have been holding the organization together the best they knew how with a devotion to the ABA that is over and beyond what one would expect. Unfortunately, turnover and overwork has taken its toll. I wish to thank them for their hard work and dedication and they deserve a good show of appreciation.

I have been on the board since 2003, with one year off as required by the by-laws, and have watch it evolve and face issues. I have a vision of what the ABA could be and the challenges it would face. Your vote is genuinely meaningful for the future of the ABA.

Austin is now in a world of rapid technological, demographic, and cultural change. The ABA must undergo a major reformation to meet the needs of today’s and, especially, the future belly dance community. My vision is to transform the ABA into a facilitating, educational organization consistent with its IRS 501c(3) status that could serve different elements of our community. With all the changes facing the dance community, ABA is in a position to step up and take on the task of evolving but only with the right people in charge.

Whatever is in store for the ABA we will need officers with a broad reach in the community and proven ability to run such an organization. We need officers with the technical skills to make things happen such as reworking our online presence, bringing us up to date in communication technologies, having the business and organizational skills to navigate the new structure and services, and the negotiation (people) skills to work well together and with the community. We need visionary people that understand the different aspects of our community and can see the need of the individual, whether a fan, student, professional, or teacher, and the needs of the community overall. They will also have to have knowledge of our art and its history to create the educational duties to meet our IRS designation.

Keep in mind that as we venture forward, those not elected will be welcome to fill an appointed position. We will need a diverse and committed team to bring the ABA to its fullest potential. Please go to and scroll down and click on the Voting Starts button.

Thank you for voting,

Phillip Shurtleff, Association Agent for the Austin Bellydance Association.

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