BassWestUSA - January/February, 2010, Page 37

Until that time, he had been one of the fiercest compet- itors, but his results had slipped due to his hectic sched- ule. “Ray (Scott) and my wife had always told me there would be a day when that would happen,” he remem- bered. “Until that point, I had lived and breathed t o u r n a - ments, but to compete requires a different focus. I’d always felt that your goal must be to win, and in order to do that you have to have several options on the water; I didn’t have time to devote to it, so I made the decision to go strictly with the show.” While he would miss the tournaments, and the people around them, Dance was soon busy enough growing his empire that he wouldn’t have time to think about tourna- ments at all. “Before long, we were syndi- cated to 50 networks, then 90, before we

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started airing on TNN (The Nashville Network),” he said. “They were making a push in the outdoors, had NASCAR, and bull rid- ing, so it was a natural fit.” It was around that time that he acquired another sponsor that helped push his show up another level. “Wal Mart became a partner, and for the next 15 years, we did really well together,” he said. “It was a great ride, we worked well together, and the show has grown as a result of it.”

» Save The laST dance

Dance is quick to point out that he has lived his life to the best of his abilities. “It’s the only life I know,” he said. “I could have been something else, but this life has done everything for me and my family that I could have ever wanted.” “I’ve been blessed to work with a lot of people who are very good at what they do,” he said. “These people make me look good, and that is really hard to do, especially without much rec- ognition. It’s been a great ride, and I’ve been fortunate to make a living doing what I do, and at the same time give back to the people and industry that I love, I hope the good Lord let’s me do this forever, and a little bit more..” His career has always been about competing and perform- ing at the highest level, we have been blessed to partake in the special moments will continue to be things we have learned from and been entertained by. His goals have always been to inspire, educate and entertain, and he has done all of those. That’s why he is a Hall of Famer, a founder, a teacher, performer and television host; he is, Bill Dance, the man in the University of Tennessee cap – Legend of the Sport. BW

Photo by Bill Da

nce Outdoors

January/February 2010