The World Dance Council Ltd
), is a registered limited company, and the legal successor to the International Council of Ballroom Dancing
, and was established at a meeting organised by P.J.S Richardson on 22 September 1950 in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...
. For a period from 1996 to 2006, the WDC was known as the World Dance & Dance Sport Council Ltd
The primary objective, at the time of its formation, was to provide an agreed basis for holding world championships in competitive ballroom dance
Ballroom dance refers to a set of partner dances, which are enjoyed both socially and competitively around the world. Because of its performance and entertainment aspects, ballroom dance is also widely enjoyed on stage, film, and television....
. That objective has been achieved. Initially consisting of nine European countries and three others, today the WDC has become the leading authority on professional dance competitions, with members in numerous countries throughout the world. Each country is allowed one vote. there are 59 members. Its governing body, the Presidium, consists of a President and five Vice-Presidents.
WDC includes the Dancesport
Dancesport denotes competitive ballroom dancing, as contrasted to social or exhibition dancing. It is wheelchair dancesport where at least one of the dancers is in a wheelchair....
Committee, the Social Dance
Social dance is a major category or classification of danceforms or dance styles, where sociability and socializing are the primary focuses of the dancing...
Committee and the Amateur League.
Mode of operation
The WDC is democratic in its operation. All major decisions are taken on the basis of one full member, one vote. The full members are (with a few exceptions) individual countries. There are some Affiliate members, such as the Ballroom Dancers Federation International. The WDC operates through a general council and two committees:
- The World Dance Sport Committee regulates professional dancesport.
- The World Social Dance Committee "deals with all matters of the dance profession that relate to the activities of Dance Schools and Dance Teachers". It does not regulate social dance directly: that is the business of individual organisers, the dance teacher organisations, such as the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing
The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing is a leading dance teaching and examination board based in London, England and operating internationally. Established on 25 July 1904 as the Imperial Society of Dance Teachers, it changed to its current name in 1925 and is now a registered educational...
, and the chains of dance teaching schools in the United States (such as the Arthur Murray
Arthur Murray was a dance instructor and businessman, whose name is most often associated with the dance studio chain that bears his name....
- On advice from its Coaches Commission, the WDC started the Amateur League in 2007. This regulates and designates the World and continental Amateur championships, and runs a rating system for amateur dancers.
Each member country in the WDC has its own national organisation, such as the British Dance Council
The British Dance Council was formed in 1929 as the Official Board of Ballroom Dancing . The name was subsequently changed in 1985 to the British Council of Ballroom Dancing and in 1996, the name was changed to British Dance Council...
, which acts as a forum for the many interested parties in that country. The national bodies decide on their delegates to the WDC.
Overlap with the IDSF
The WDC is not, however, the only international organization in the field. After a long campaign, the International DanceSport Federation
The World DanceSport Federation , formerly the International DanceSport Federation , is the international governing body of dancesport and Wheelchair DanceSport, as recognised by the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee .Originally founded in 1957 as the...
(IDSF) was recognized by the International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...
as the sole representative body for dancesport, on September 5, 1997. At that point, many dance organisations changed their titles to incorporate the word sport
. The IDSF is a separate organisation from the WDC, covering some of the same territory, with many of the same members. The especial features of the IDSF are: 1. Its origin and majority membership lies in continental Europe. 2. Its Olympic recognition gives it, potentially, a unique status. However, dancesport has not been included as an official event at the Olympics since its recognition, and there are many who doubt that it ever will. 3. The IDSF is primarily an organisation for amateur dancers, whereas the WDC is primarily for professional dancers.
The IDSF has issued the following:
- "WDC Amateur League Open Amateur World Championships. The 2009 WDC Amateur League Open Amateur World Championships scheduled to be held at Disneyland Paris, France on December 4–6, 2009, is not granted by IDSF and is not registered by the IDSF Member for France, Comite National de Danse Sportive (CNDS). Accordingly the IDSF Presidium may take action against any athlete, adjudicator or other official, person or body associated with IDSF or an IDSF Member, who participates in this competition in any way, without any further notice to any of them."
The WDC Chairman of the Amateur League, Sammy Stopford
Sammy Stopford is a professional ballroom dancer and teacher, and winner of the Professional International Latin American Dance Championship in 1993....
, has protested vigorously at a proposal of the Italian Dance Sport Federation to limit the freedom of choice for younger dancers.
This is a clear indication of a conflict between the two organisations over which of them is entitled to authorize amateur competitions at world level, and of underlying philosophies about freedom of choice for individual partnerships in ballroom dance.
These events are under WDC regulation, but organised in various countries each year.
- World Championship – Professional Ballroom
- World Championship – Professional Latin
- World Championship – Profesional 10-Dance
- European Championship – Professional 10-Dance
- European Championship – Professional Latin
There are also other events, which are licenced to organising countries, and are open entry.
- WDC Amateur League Open Amateur World Championships & Disney Professional Cups.
- Kremlin World Cup Latin
- World Masters Latin
- WDC World Cup. In 2009, this event in Shenzen, China had over 2000 participants.
In the regulations, the facility is also available for professional competitions in:
- Classic Show Dance
- South American Show Dance
WDC competition rules
WDC Competition rules differ in various ways from the traditional rules of the English ballroom dancing world as developed by the OBBD (Official Board of Ballroom Dancing, now the Ballroom Dancing Council).
1. The WDC Championships are not open entry championships
. The national bodies nominate their best available couples, and only two couples are permitted from any one country (rule 3.2.1). This is a fundamental difference from the English tradition; the main English titles have always been open entry, and still are. The upside of the WDC rule is that organisers can package the event into a predictably brief time-table. This may be important for television coverage, and perhaps for other reasons. The downside is that many outstanding dancers from the stronger countries may never get the chance to participate.
2. At Professional World and Continental championships, only one adjudicator from any one country will be permitted
(rule 5.2.6). This means that some of the world's most experienced adjudicators will not be judging, and other adjudicators will be on the floor instead. This avoids nationalistic bias in the panel, but might have some unintended effects.
- P.J.S. Richardson MBE
MBE can stand for:* Mail Boxes Etc.* Management by exception* Master of Bioethics* Master of Bioscience Enterprise* Master of Business Engineering* Master of Business Economics* Mean Biased Error...
- Alex Moore (ICBD)
- Bill Irvine MBE (ICBD)
- Leonard Morgan (ICBD)
- Robin Short (WD&DSC)
- Karl Breuer (WD&DSC)
- Donnie Burns
Donnie Burns MBE was born in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland in 1961. He is a Scottish professional ballroom dancer, specialising in Latin dance....
Lists of World Championship winners
- World Ballroom Dance Champions
- World Latin Dance Champions
- World 10 Dance Champions