Hometown: Fairview, New Jersey
Current location: Powell, Ohio
- Competition Organizer
Sam’s creative juices were always working and he thought it would be a good idea to invite dancers from other states to come to Columbus, Ohio to dance and compete. At first it was like a big dance party but eventually developed into what is known today as Pro-Am (Professional-Amateur) dance competitions stretching across the United States and to other countries. In this type of competition, a dance student would compete, dancing with their dance instructor, only the student being judged. Pro-Am dance competition became extremely successful and is known worldwide. In fact, “Dancing With The Stars” is patterned after this type of competition. The competition is known to this day as the Ohio Star Ball Championships, the largest and one of the most prestigious dance competitions in the United States. It used to be broadcasted on television each year on PBS's Championship Ballroom Dancing, known later as America's Ballroom Challenge.
Sam is widely regarded as the most successful competition organizer in the world. He is a busy man, judging over 30 weeks around the U.S. However, he always has time for a quick chat or a momentary pop into the Ballroom on his off time to watch a Bronze level student compete and give helpful advice.
Sam Sodano is Chairman of the Arthur Murray International Dance Board, an adjudicator and lecturer, and a very active and dedicated coach. He joined Arthur Murray in New York as an instructor in the late 1950s and has been with Arthur Murray for over 47 years.DanceSport Series events that Sam had a major part in creating. A DanceSport Series is where students and their teachers can attend a series of affiliated dance competitions and accumulate points or wins which can be tabulated at the end of the series to see who are the winners of various categories. The more affiliated competitions that are attended and the higher the placements, the better the chance to win a category at the end of a series.
- World Pro-Am DanceSport Series - A DanceSport Series held throughout the year at selected competitions with individual, Pro-Am, and Team Match winners announced at the Ohio Star Ball in Columbus, Ohio.
- Fordney Foundation Junior and Youth DanceSport Series - A DanceSport Series held throughout the year for Juniors and Youth with sponsorship by the Fordney Foundation and in association with World Pro-Am DanceSport Series events.
- The Best of the Best DanceSport Challenge - A DanceSport Series held throughout the year at selected competitions with winners announced after a finale held at the Ohio Star Ball in Columbus Ohio.
Subsequently, Sam was presented with the BBC&C’s 5th Annual Lifetime Achievement Award by Pat Traymore. Everyone was entertained by watching a specially prepared video showing young Sam dancing, many people in the dance industry congratulating him on camera.
- North American Latin Champion
- Helped develop the style of Pro-Am, known today all around the world
- Regarded as the most successful competition organizer in the world
- Humanitarian Award Recipient
- Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
- Has been with Arthur Murray Franchise for over 47 years
- Lisa Lane
- Ohio Star Ball Championships, Organizer
- Holiday Dance Classic Championships, Co-Organizer
- Galaxy Dance Festival, Co-Organizer
- The NV Ball, Co-Organizer
- Atlanta Open, Co-Organizer
- Arnold Youth DanceSport Classic, Organizer
- Arthur Murray International Dance Board, Chairman
- 1st Vice President of the North American Dance Teachers Association (NADTA)