ConnectsU was created and founded in 2015 by Sean Flanagan, President and CEO United States Tournament of Dance, President CRU Dance and current President of the Association of Dance Competitions and Conventions.
As a leader in the dance competition industry, Sean has leveraged over 30 years of dance production experience to provide dancers with opportunities far beyond the competitive stage. Production credits have included national television broadcasts, halftime performances, live stage shows and more. Sean has utilized his network of dancers from around the US to produce major performances for the nationally televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (NBC), the Hollywood Christmas Parade (CW Network/Hallmark Channel) and CW’s “The Big Stage.” In 2019, his signature company, United States Tournament of Dance (USTD), received the sanction from the United States Dancesport Competition Federation to assemble the very first US Hip Hop Team to compete at the IDO World Championships in Bremerhaven, Germany. USTD also holds the sanction for Team USA Acrobatics with plans to bring a team to Russia in 2022.
Providing performance opportunities to amateur dancers has remained a top priority for Sean, however, inspiring them to use their craft to further their education and forge a career path is at the core of his programs. As a parent of a student athlete who utilized her passion for sport to obtain a scholarship and admission to a DII college program, Sean was inspired to develop a platform that could do the same for young dancers everywhere.
In 2015 Sean took what he had learned from his experience with college athletic recruiting and applied it to dance in a way that would allow potential candidates to be scouted by judges at live events and referred to a variety of recruiting partners in higher education and industry. The platform which he named, ConnectsU, provided dancers with an opportunity to submit a dancer profile through an online system that would instantly connect them to program partners seeking talented young dancers. Since its inception, the ConnectsU platform has helped thousands of dancers secure scholarships, conditional acceptance awards and opportunities in the dance industry.
In December of 2019, Sean made the decision to take ConnectsU to the next level by re-investing in more savvy and efficient software development. The new system would allow dancers to maintain a portfolio and include a variety of search filters for recruiters, performance video review/rating system and the ability for users to upload up to 20 performance videos. Furthermore, the decision was made to move ConnectsU to a complete online system, inviting top artists, choreographers and industry professionals from all genre’s to help; educate, motivate and potentially connect the most talented dancers to opportunities in higher education and industry.
In partnership with DanceBUG, Sean was able to bring the new ConnectsU vision to life. As one of the top rated dance video production companies and leaders in registration, tabulation and scheduling software development, the team at DanceBUG committed to begin construction on the new platform.
In just under 15 months, our software development team completed the project and delivered up one of the most innovative and resourceful platforms to ever hit the industry! Dancers, artists and recruiters from around the globe are now connecting like never before and we are already working on development expansions that will take ConnectsU far into the future……