Benjamin Soencksen / Board Member 2008 to Present
BENJAMIN SOENCKSEN grew up in Germany and presents the second of three generations in his family that are involved in the world of DanceSport. In 2003, his father received the second highest civil honor by the German government for his contribution to the sport, and his brother and nephew are still very actively involved as dancers, teachers and judges in Germany.
He competed for about 30 years in International Style Latin and Standard throughout the world, gaining titles as an amateur and professional dancer in mainstream and same-sex dance events. Competing all over Europe and the US, his proudest achievement late in his dance career is a 4th Place at the 10-Dance Championships of the 2002 Gay Games in Sydney. As part of his decades of experience as a dancer, he studied all styles of partnership dancing and its history. He has taught dancers at any level and is considered a teacher of teachers.
When retired from actively competing and dancing, he started judging at same-sex dance competitions in the US and Europe, including the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne and 2014 in Cleveland. In 2007, he started DAGE (Dancesport Alliance for Gender Equality), an online network of social and competitive same-sex dancers in the Tri-State area, and shortly after helped form NASSPDA (North American Same-Sex Partner Dance Association), a non-profit organization dedicated to gender-free dancing, of which he is currently the President.
As NASSPDA’s delegate to the FGG (Federation of Gay Games), he is a member of the FGG’s Sports Committee and has been for many years the FGG’s consultant for DanceSport. After initially owning his own costume business followed by many years managing dance studios in the Tri-State area (19 years at Stepping Out Studios and being instrumental in creating OUTdancing, a program specifically designed to include and welcome gender-free dancing, unique within the industry at its time), he currently is the Business & Finance Director of Dixon Place in NYC, a non-profit theater presenting works in progress and all stages of development of all genres.