The WDC 70 years of History

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In the beginning a group of highly motivated people came together to develop and promote, to the best of their ability , a future of dancing worldwide that would put together an agreed basis for running world championships in competitive dancing.

This new association was introduced in September 1950 in Glasgow and called the I.C.B.D. ( International council of Ballroom dancing). Its founding members were Australia, Austria, Belgium, Ceylon, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Norway, South Africa and Switzerland with Mr P.J.S. Richardson MBE appointed as its first president. Mr Richardson served as its president for 13 years and was followed by Mr Alex Moore 1964 – 79 ( 15 years). During this time there became a noticeable point of separation between the professional competitors and the Amateur competitors and another organisation the ICAD ( International councillor Amateur dancers) came into

In June 1965, shortly after the election of Mr Moore, a young and ambitious Detlef Hegemann was elected ICAD President. He was to bring great vision and relentless drive to the organisation for many years to come. Just four months after his election, Hegemann signed a landmark agreement with the International Council of Ballroom Dancing (ICBD), led by Alex
Moore at the time.

The “Bremen Agreement” of 3rd October 1965 established that ICAD was henceforth to grant and control international championships for amateurs – and that ICBD was to do the same for professionals. The Joint Committee set up through the agreement drafted the terms for co-operation between the two bodies, which then allowed ICAD Adjudicators to officiate
at international competitions, although only in a 3:4 minority.

When Mr Moore ended his presidency of the ICBD, he was followed by Mr Bill Irvine MBE 1980 – 82 ( 2 years ) and Mr Leonard Morgan 1982 – 93 ( 11 years). In 1990 the ICAD changed its title to the IDSF ( International dancesport federation ).

Following Mr Morgan was Mr Robin Short 1993 – 99 (6 years). During his time in office the title of the ICBD was changed, in 96, to THE WORLD DANCE & DANCESPORT COUNCIL.

After Mr Short came Mr Karl Breuer 1996 – 2005 and then Mr Donnie Burns MBE from 2005 to present. In 2006 the title changed once again from WD&DSC to the WORLD DANCE COUNCIL and It was around this time that relations between the IDSF and the WDC became somewhat strained forcing an end to the agreement that had lasted over 50 years. It is my
understanding that the acceptance of the IDSF into the IOC ( International Olympic committee) stating that only IDSF members would be allowed to dance in the olympics was the catalyst that brought things quickly to an end. It was understood they would be regarded as sports performers and
not artistes and this was not in line with the principles and ethics of the WDC and the agreement came to it’s conclusion.

IN 2007 a new organisation was formed to protect the values and principles of the amateur competitors the WDCAL (World dance council Amateur league). The growth and respect for both the WDC and WDCAL is without any hesitation worldwide and growing year on year providing the finest World, European and National championships for all ages and abilities in
competitive dancing. President Mr Donnie Burns MBE has now been unanimously re-elected into the history books as it’s longest reigning president in the now 70 year history of the World dance council.

ICBD 1950 – WDC 2020 70 fabulous years protecting the interests of dancers of all ages around the world . Long may it continue.

Alan Clarke BEM , Honorary member WDC


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