In November 1959, dance teachers from Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi gathered at the Marion Hotel in Little Rock to attend a regional meeting of the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters. Since CNADM had no affiliated chapters, southern teachers felt the need of an association in the South. A meeting was held and the following were elected as tentative officers who were designated to explore the possibility of forming an independent association.

  • Lamon Goings (Jackson, MS) - President
  • Marjorie Duckett (Memphis, TN) - Vice President
  • Forence Ritchie (Little Rock, AR) - Secretary
  • Rose Marie Stein (Hot Springs, AR) - Treasurer

The first meeting was held in Memphis at the Peabody Hotel in February 1960. The name decided upon was Southern Association of Dance Masters. Meetings were held each October in Memphis and each February in either Jackson, MS; Little Rock, AR; or Hot Springs, AR. As the fledgling association prospered, a three-day summer session was added beginning in 1962. The location varied each year based on a vote of the members.

In 1977 SADM was incorporated, henceforth to be known as Southern Association of Dance Masters, Inc. The association achieved tax-exempt status in 1978.

From its formation with 52 charter members representing a three-state area, SADM has grown into one of the finest independent associations, with members representing fourteen states.