During the 2007 IDSF Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the Presidium informed the delegates about the plans to restructure the world governing body for DanceSport. Exactly 50 years had passed since the IDSF predecessor organisation, the International Council of Amateur Dancers, was founded at the Wiesbaden home of German Champion Otto Teipel.
On the occasion of this anniversary, the IOC Honorary President for Life, HE Juan Antonio Samaranch, delivered the most appropriate address in Barcelona.
“The IDSF is an organisation which has reached its maturity. This requires changes. Criteria need to be updated and the challenges imposed by an increasing media society must be accepted,” Samaranch, who had accepted an appointment as the IDSF Ambassador at Large, told the delegates in attendance.
Since then IDSF worked incessantly on laying the groundwork to a comprehensive restructure, one capable of doing away with the factionalism in DanceSport – and one which allows to establish the new organisation as the cohesive force between the stakeholders in all sporting activities involving dance.
Important milestones have been reached. In December 2007, IDSF has entered into an agreement with the International Professional DanceSport Council (IPDSC). It provides for IDSF and IPDSC to coordinate dates and other matters pertaining to DanceSport competitions, and to work cooperatively in developing, implementing and enforcing competition, disciplinary and other rules.
IDSF President Carlos Freitag and Sir Philip Craven, the President of the International Paralympic Committee, have signed a formal cooperation agreement on 14 October 2008. Under the terms of this agreement, the two bodies pledge to jointly develop and promote Wheelchair DanceSport, and to work towards establishing a single international governing body for DanceSport.
On 7 December 2008, the United Country Western Dance Council (UCWDC) joined IDSF as an Associate Member. The presidents of both organisations affixed their signatures to a contract which has IDSF recognise the UCWDC as the sole worldwide representative of Country Western Dance and Line Dance. UCWDC, on the other hand, pledges to support the fundamental principles and essential values of Olympism.
Based on these agreements and on longstanding alliances with other organisations – the World Rock ‘n’ Roll Confederation and the International Dance Organisation are IDSF Associate Members for several years already – DanceSport starts to redefine itself as an all-encompassing brand.
It will take much more time and effort before the new governing body finally emerges: other alliances need to be forged; democratic and federalist structures need to be developed; above all, paradigms need to be shifted and perspectives changed.
Gradually, over the years to come, IDSF evolves into a new organisation: the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF). The democratic and federalist structure of WDSF allows for the governance of the all-encompassing DanceSport. The WDSF statutes extend on the alliances and agreements between IDSF and the
- World Rock ‘n’ Roll Confederation (WRRC)
- International Dance Organisation (IDO)
- International Professional DanceSport Council (IPDSC)
- International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
- United Country Western Dance Council (UCWDC
The statutes are drafted to embrace all other organisations which regulate and promote DanceSport, and which concur with the objectives of the WDSF.
WDSF is established as the cohesive force between all stakeholders in sporting activities which involve dance. Through its statutes, WDSF sets out to:
- Govern DanceSport per established best practice standards and through proven procedures of IDSF, WRRC, IDO, IPDSC, IPC and others;
- Improve DanceSport through synergies resulting from the combined knowledge base and expertise of IDSF, WRRC, IDO, IPDSC, IPC and others;
- Promote DanceSport on the strength of a greater constituency, of a broader combined appeal, and of benefits arising from economy of scale;
- Generate goodwill for DanceSport within the Olympic and Paralympic Movement;
- Enhance the status of DanceSport in international sports.