The Honorable Rosalyn R. Dance, House of Delegates Representative for the 63rd District, will be the Commencement speaker at Richard Bland College on Friday, May 13, 2011, starting at 6:00 p.m., in Statesman Hall (gymnasium) located on the campus.
Delegate Rosalyn R. Dance is a resident of Petersburg, Virginia. She received her Associate Degree in nursing with honors from John Tyler Community College in 1975. She later received her Bachelor’s Degree in nursing as ranking graduate from Virginia State University in 1986, and her Master’s Degree in public administration from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1994. Delegate Dance has been named a Distinguished Alumni of each of her alma maters.
While commencing a career in public service, Delegate Dance worked at the Southside Virginia Training Center (SVTC) for 34 years. During the early years of her employment with SVTC, she worked as a Psychiatric Nurse’s Aide. She subsequently rose to the position of Interim Facility Director and retired holding the position of Assistant Director of Residential Services.
In 1992, Delegate Dance was elected as Mayor of Petersburg, Virginia, and she retained that office for 12 years. During her tenure, she demonstrated her strong commitment to public education. Delegate Dance worked with the City Council members to fully fund the Petersburg school budget, initiated the citywide “Petersburg: A City of Readers Program,” and helped reduce Petersburg’s incarcerated youth population. In addition, she played an instrumental role in securing Virginia’s first Governor’s School for Arts and Technology, the Appomattox Regional Governors School, which opened in Petersburg in September 1999.
In April 2005, Delegate Dance was elected to the Virginia General Assembly where she serves as the House of Delegates Representative for the 63rd District. Delegate Dance represents three localities: Dinwiddie County, the Ettrick and Matoaca areas of Chesterfield County, and the City of Petersburg. She currently sits on three distinguished committees within the House of Delegates: Appropriations, General Laws, as well as Privileges and Elections, she also serves as Sgt. at Arms and Parliamentarian for the House Democratic Caucus.
During the 2011 Virginia General Assembly Session, Delegate Dance Chief Co-Patroned, with Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights); the Governor’s landmark Top Jobs of the 21st Century, Higher Education Legislation. The new legislation makes higher education affordable for more students, establishes additional innovative teaching practices, and increases economic development within the Commonwealth. It enables institutions throughout Virginia to meet the goal of attaining an additional 100,000 degrees over the next 15 years while focusing on STEM subject areas to incentivize companies to bring their jobs to Virginia.
In addition to fulfilling her responsibilities as a member of the Virginia General Assembly, Delegate Dance currently serves on numerous government-related boards, as well as multiple civic and/or professional organizations. She is Chairwoman of the Brown vs. the Board of Education Commission, a member of the Virginia Housing Commission, Chair of the Subcommittee of Neighborhood Transitioning and Residential Living, Co-Chair of the Virginia State University Agriculture Council Advisory Board, a member of the Virginia Bicentennial of the American War of 1812 Commission, a member of the Higher Education Commission, a member of the Local Government Policy Transition Committee, a member of the Joint Commission on Health Care, a member of the Joint Reapportionment Committee, the Redistricting Subcommittee for the Committee on Privileges and Elections, the MEI Project Approval Commission, as well as the Virginia Commission on Intergovernmental Cooperation.
Additionally, she is a member of the Board of Directors for the Petersburg Community Development Corporation, a member of the Board of Directors for the United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg, a member of the SunTrust Bank Regional Advisory Board, a member of Columbia Gas of Virginia Warmwise Advisory Committee, a member of the Central Virginia BRAC Advisory Committee, a member of the John Tyler Community College Foundation Board, and honorary regional chair of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance. Delegate Dance is a member of the Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., The Petersburg Links, Inc., and past president and member of the Petersburg Breakfast Rotary Club.
Most important, she is the wife of Nathaniel (Nat) Dance Sr., the mother of Tanya Dance Kelly and Nathaniel (Nat III) Dance III, grandmother to Devon, Jarrett, Liam, and Jaden, great grandmother to Briana and foster grandmother to Rico Robinson.