Gary Spencer is founder and president of EAB Press, Ltd., publisher of the International Dance Directory (I.D.D.), the original and undisputed bible covering the world of ballroom dancing today. The publication was honored in 2006 by the Minnesota Publishers Association (MMPA) as the recipient of its Bronze Award for Best Directory in the Over 30,000 Publishing Excellence Category. “It all began in 1994,” states the energetic, creative founder, whose profession as an internationally respected commercial photographer, provided him with an exceptional eye for form, grace and beauty in motion. “I attended a PBS Television taping of a professional ballroom dancing competition, as a special guest of the event organizers. That’s all it took. I became hooked on Ballroom Dancing as an artful sport.” Not one to be merely a spectator, Spencer immediately recognized how his skill in photography could capture the essence of this sport. That very year he introduced the beautiful and elegant coffee table book, “Championship Ballroom Dancing,” featuring his incredibly moving black and white photos of professional dancers, truly a one-of-a-kind collector’s edition. Flushed with the outpouring of positive feedback as a result of this first publishing effort, Spencer spotted another gap in the ballroom dance industry. While the sport enjoyed phenomenal success and participation across the U.S., there was no cohesive way that dancers in one area of the country could learn about others, who shared their passion for ballroom dancing. In 1996, through EAB Press, he launched the North American Dance Directory. Always the visionary, Spencer anticipated the importance of the worldwide web, and in 1999, he developed Dance Directory.com. Now dancers could immediately access competition information and score results across the U.S. with a click of the mouse. That same year, he also created and introduced a recognition program, now titled the Dancers Choice Awards. Spencer is a tireless promoter for the industry of ballroom dancing. “There is nothing quite like this sport for inter-generational activity. It is a healthy, social, vital, creative sport that transcends all demographic barriers.” He especially wants to introduce this sport more comprehensively to the youth market. “Once a young person has mastered the basics, he or she then becomes exposed to the finest and most advanced dance professionals the world over. It can even become a career choice, as those who master the sport can advance from amateur to professional,” enthuses this ardent supporter. “It’s a win-win situation all the way,” he finishes emphatically. So, what’s next for the globe-trotting publisher of the award-winning International Dance Directory (I.D.D.)? “After introducing Dance Sport Superbowl.com in 2001, (since renamed the World Pro-Am Dance Sport Series), I thought I had just about covered the dance industry,” he chuckles. “But then it was 2005, and I saw that we needed to update our editorial presentation of ballroom dancing, so I have launched “Dancing Today.” This is the 11th publishing year for EAB Press. “It’s been one eventful time,” deadpans Spencer. He built I.D.D. into the directory of choice the world over. If ideas whose time have come ruled the first years, the next decade promises to be even bigger and better for the ballroom dance industry, if Gary Spencer has anything to say about it.