Organisations within the Dance World

This is a guide to some of the main organisations with the world of dancesport.


British Competitors' Dancesport Corporation

This group look after the interest of Professional competitors.  They have two seats on the British Dance Council, (BDC) , and also have a seat on the International Professional Affairs Committee, which solely deals with competitive issues around the World.

"The BCDC keeps its members up to date with World issues and important changes that are happening in the ever-changing Dancesport Industry. "


The British Dance Council
Chairman: Bryan Allen

The BDC is the umbrella organisation for Ballroom, Latin American, and Disco Freestyle dancing in the UK.  It was formed in 1929 as the Official Board of Ballroom Dancing (OBBD). The name was subsequently changed in 1985 to the British Council of Ballroom Dancing and, again in 1996, the name was changed to British Dance Council. The aim of the founders of the Council was to establish a co-ordinating organisation to enable teachers to work together on uniform lines. Today the Council is accepted as the governing body for all matters pertaining to all forms of ballroom, Latin American, and disco freestyle dancing throughout England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Channel Counties.

The Council is made up of Teaching Bodies, Professional Dancers Organisations, Amateur Organisations and Leisure Parcs who own the Winter Gardens.

One of the main functions of the Council is to formulate and administer the rules for competitive dancing. All Dance competitions in Great Britain are governed by these rules. The BDC also grant “Championship” status to many dance events each year.


The Ballroom Dancers' Federation
Chairman: Kenny Welsh

The Ballroom Dancers Federation sits on the BDC council and many of the sub-committees and is one of the organisations that look after the interest of competitors, (mainly professional).  It was formed in 1958 with the aim of promoting and protecting the Dancesport Industry.

The British Dance Council doesn't organise World and European Championships and doesn't fund (pro) competitors to go abroad to represent their country: the BDF does that.

The BDF also organises the Congress at Blackpool, as well as hold the titles (as organisers) for the oldest Championships in Great Britain, the Star Championships. The Night of 100 Stars is organised each year by the BDF as a showcase for Dancesport. The present world championships know as Classic Show Dance and South-American Show Dance, which were originally called segue–events, are the innovation of the BDF.

Chairman: Greg Smith

Like the BDF, only international - hence the “I” at the end. They organize the Congress at Blackpool on alternate years.  The organisation has been in existence since 1997.

"The objectives of the B.D.F.I. are: to promote the spirit of good fellowship
and sportsmanship and to protect and advance the interest of competitions,
demonstrators, coaches, teachers, adjudicators, scrutineers and promoters internationally; to further the goodwill and co operation between the Federation.


Dancesport Northern Ireland

The Amateur Dancesport Association for Northern Ireland.


Dance Promoters' Association
Chairman: Nigel Horrocks

These are the people who actually host the competitions in the UK. The DPA looks after their interests of promoters at meetings of the BDC. You don’t have to be a member of the DPA to run a comp, but most organisers are. EADA is always working with the DPA to try to find ways to improve the running of Dance Competitions.   The DPA hosts the Bournemouth Summer Festival every July.


Dancesport England

This organisation became the recognised member association of the WDSF in England.  It is a company limited by guarantee, formed in 2010.  It concentrates on supporting couples, Professional and Amateur,  who represent England in WDSF comps.

Dancesport Scotland (DSS)

Formerly Scottish Amateur Dancesport

Dancesport Wales

Formerly the Welsh Amateur Dance Sport Association



English Amateur Dancesport Association Ltd.
President: David Corfield

EADA is the governing body for Amateur dancesport as recognized by Sport England.  EADA is also represented at meetings of EMDP, Border & Migration Stakeholder Group; UK Sport and Sports & recreation Alliance as well.

EADA maintains national ranking charts. Each year promoters run a number of chart rated events. The results of these competitions are collated to form the charts. Although the National Ranking Events (NREs) are run under BDC rules, there are some rules that apply only to chart events, so for example the age groups for these are slightly different from the usual Sunday events.

EADA also administers the Amateur Coaching Scheme.


Exercise, Movement & Dance Partnership

This is a not for profit organisation dedicated to the development of exercise, movement and dance provision throughout England.  It is recognised by Sport England and EADA are represented at their meetings.


Formation Teachers’ Alliance
Chairman: Martin Cutler

The organisation responsible for disseminating information about formation team competitions and rules.



Inter Varsity Dancesport Association

Formed in 1962, IVDA is a student-led administrative organisation, which promotes dancing amongst UK university students. Its main concern is dancesport, but it also assists those who compete in other dance styles.

It aims to promote Ballroom and Latin American dancing within universities and encourage students to compete on open circuit: “to promote Ballroom and Latin American dancing within universities, to organise an annual Inter Varsity Dance Competition, to extend participation of university dancers in competitive dancing both on the University Circuit and the Open Circuit, and to seek to raise the standard of dancing amongst students.

The Executive Committee of the Association (which is comprised from a different University each year) hosts the annual national student dance competition, the Inter Varsity Dance Competition (IVDC), and enforces the regulations for the competition.



International World Games Association

Founded in 1981, the IWGA is a non-governmental international organisation constituted under Swiss law, which is made up of International Sports Federations.  The IWGA administers a multidisciplinary sports event which is held every 4 years, known as The World Games, which aspires to equal the importance of world championships organised by each federation individually.

The principal aim of the IWGA is to develop the popularity of the sports governed by its Member Federations, to improve their prominence through excellent sporting achievements, and to conserve all the traditional values of sport.

Since its founding meeting in Seoul, Korea, IWGA membership has increased from 12 to 32 International Sports Federations.  Over 30 sports are now represented at the event.  The WDSF has been recognised by the IWGA since 1995 and dancesport has been included from the fifth games.


Sport England

This is the Government body set up to promote all varieties of sport in this country.

Sport England is the brand name of the English Sports Council which is a distributor of Lottery funds to sport. Sport England (formerly the English Sports Council) is the governing body responsible for advising, investing in and promoting community sport in England. Its ambition is to get two million people more active in sport by 2012.

EADA is the officially recognised by Sport England as the governing body for dance in this country. So Sport England come to us to implement any new measures such as child protection measures that the Government may wish to see applied in all sports.

Sport & Recreation Alliance (formerly the CCPR - Central Council of Physical Recreation)

This is the national alliance of governing and representative bodies of sport and recreation. It was established in 1935 as the Central Council of Recreative Physical Training.  Its members covers a wide range of sports and activities but many of these face common issues and challenges. It has over 300 member organisations, which represent 150,000 clubs across the UK and some 13 million regular participants.  It is CCPR’s role to represent those organisations and to provide the definitive, independent voice for sport and recreation.

Teaching Organisations

They include:

Allied Dancing Association (ADA)

Associated Board of Dance (ABD)

British Association of Teachers of Dancing (BATD)

International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA)

Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD)

National Association of Teachers of Dancing (NATD)

Northern Counties Dance Teachers Association (NCDTA)

Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance (SDTA)

United Kingdom Alliance Ltd (UKA)

Welsh Alliance of Professional Teachers of Dancing (WAPTD)

All of the above sit on the BDC.  These are Organisations for dance teachers to improve and develop the art and technique of dancing. Most have their own qualifications for teachers, and also run their own medallist systems and competitions run using BDC rules.  If you take part in Medals, and medallist comps you are doing so under their auspices.  These Organizations also produce the technique books and syllabi that are used for restricted step competitions.

UK Sport

UK Sport works in partnership with the home country sports councils and other agencies to lead sport in the UK to world-class success.   It was set up in 1996 and is responsible for managing and distributing public investment including funds raised by the National Lottery.  It is accountable to Parliament through the Department for Culture, Media & Sport.


World Anti Doping Authority

This  is the international independent organisation created in 1999 to “promote, coordinate, and monitor the fight against doping in sport in all its forms.” 
The WDSF is recognized by the IOC, (International Olympic Committee)  and has therefore signed up to WADA’s anti doping policy.


World Dance Council Ltd.
President: Donnie Burns MBE

This is the organization that organizes the major professional Championships and World Championships and aims to promote and encourage dance.

The WDC is the world authority for Professional Dance and Dancesport incorporating the World Dancesport Committee and the World Social Dance Committee.:
"The WDC is committed to their goal of encouraging and promoting dance through its broad world membership. Furthermore, the WDC is also committed to promoting dance by taking a more commercialized approach to running the World Championship Title events. Involving sponsors in these events and attracting multi-media to share this exciting and fast growing sport, (as evidenced by movie and television hit sensations), will serve to benefit and encourage participating Professional dancers and involve others."

It has been in existence in some form since 1950; until 2006 it was known as the World Dance & Dance Sport Council Ltd (WD&DSC)


Wheelchair Dance Sport Association (UK)

The Wheelchair Dance Sport Association was established in 2006 with the aims of promoting wheelchair dancing as a sport and leisure activity across the country and raising the standard of coaching and competition in the UK and internationally at all levels. They offer  a structured approach to training, with regular training courses for those interested in becoming Instuctors of Wheelchair Dance, and training for those interested in competing.  They believe in making wheelchair dancing accessible to everyone, of all ages and abilities.



World Dance Sport Federation (was International DanceSport Federation) (was
President: Carlos Frietag

This body consists of 86 member federations across 5 continents, which are concerned with Amateur Ballroom & Latin American dancing in their respective countries.  Dancesport England is the WDSF member association in England. 

"Vision 2012” is the WDSF's aim to serve a broader constituent base. WDSF sets out to improve on its structure, to make DanceSport a truly all-encompassing brand, and to assume a new identity. The World DanceSport Federation will also include Rock n Roll and wheelchair dancesport.

It organises Grand Slam events, and Amateur World Championships in various age categories and sets rules for those comps.  "

The WDSF is recognized by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) as the International governing body for dance. It is therefore also a signatory of WADA and implements the anti doping policy.

The WDSF is also active in promoting dancesport to a wider audience. One of the initiatives has been involved in recently is the Eurovision Dance Contest which was seen in millions of homes across Europe.  It also produces the World Dancesport Magazine.

An International Amateur organisation has existed in some form since 1935 when it was known as FIDA; in 1950 it became ICBD (International Council of Ballroom Dancers); in 1958 ICAD (International Council of Amateur Dancers) and its name was changed in 1990.  In 1997 the WDSF received full recognition from the IOC.