Open Letter To The World
Since the IDSF General Meeting in Wels, Austria, I have remained silent for a long time - perhaps
too long. The development from the GOC 2006 to a pitiful pseudo–World Championship for Professionals in Madrid January
2007 cannot and should not remain without comment any longer.
Being almost 60 years, in my beloved Dance Sport, I request the right to write this letter
as an Amateur Dancer, Amateur World Champion, the first dancer to be presented with the Silver Laurel given by the President
of The Federal Republic of Germany, worked as a Professional Dancer, Trainer and then served as President of the World Dance
Council for many years.
From where does the IDSF use the right, to create a new Professional World Organisation under
their roof? - and even more at a time when both World organisations, IDSF and WDC, are still contractually joined by the General
During the past years we, the WDC, had many opportunities to integrate an international Amateur
organisation within our Council. This did not happen during my presidency and neither during the past two years has it happened
under the presidency of Mr. Donnie Burns MBE.
During the past decades I was always of the opinion that the IDSF was a respectable unified
body, which by being accepted by the IOC has a special liability to create unity and not destroy Dance Sport organisations
of this world.
How could the IDSF allow such an obvious incompetent gentleman from Torino, to present such
a pitiful show in Madrid, in the name of IDSF, which everybody should be ashamed of.
This so called World Championship will be recorded, in Dance Sport history, as the most terrible
ever held and thus completely discredit the IDSF within in the IOC.
Attempts to apply the hand brake at the last minute, to distance the World Amateur Organisation
from this awful situation with the motto, „I didn’t do it, it was the Italian”, does not relieve the IDSF
from the responsibility of this spectacular disgrace by the Amateur President from Italy, irrespective of any motive he may
have had. Quite the opposite. Such a position directly breaches and contravenes your own minutes of the IDSF AGM which clearly
state that the new body was to be formed “subject to the policies and administrative decisions of IDSF”.2
In the past there had always been differences of opinions between the two world bodies.
However the founding of the IPDSC destroyed the previous world order of Dance Sport and opened the door to such laughable
events as happened in Madrid.
Through the existence of the General Agreement one still had the possibility of talking to
each other. Everyone is aware that this was the policy of the WDC during the last decades. I believe that by the unilateral
break of the Agreement and thereby the change to the world situation of dance, that this will bring the ranks of our professionals
even closer together.
In closing this letter I can only hope, that the decision from Wels will be repealed and that
everyone in the IDSF will revert back to a policy of working together.
With Dance Sport greetings
P. S. As I cannot accept the current policy of the IDSF towards the World Dance Council,
I will not make use of my IDSF Adjudicator License.
World Dance Council
Presidential Office tel: +44
(0) 208 657 6617
Box 1038 fax: +44 (0) 208 657 6617
South Croydon CR2 0ZX e-mail: President@wdc.biz
Surrey, ENGLAND www.wdc.biz
Registered Address: 7-8 Albert Road, Silvertown,
London, E16 20W
Donnie Burns MBE
7th December 2006
PRESS RELEASE – unanimously agreed by WDC Presidium
The WDC Competitors Commission in June, free of pressure or interference, voted unanimously NOT to support the
IDSF Italian members alleged "Professional" events. In so doing, the Professional competitors have demonstrated exemplary
loyalty to the WDC and the profession, and we in turn are honour bound to protect them, and their efforts and assets, together
with our own.
The recent announcement of IDSF that an Italian non-presidium member, a person therefore NOT internationally elected
to any position of authority by the IDSF membership, but simply appointed by a core of the Presidium without recourse nor
consultation with member-federations, will be allowed to run IDSF professional World titles in Ballroom and Latin, is a direct
attack on our own couples` efforts and an attempt to devalue their titles, ergo an attack on the titles and assets of the
Whilst it could be argued that it is not strictly WDC business, the situation of an unelected radical tail waving
the IDSF dog and dragging the dance world down a disruptive road to conflict is great cause for the concern of all responsible
people who sincerely care. For a WDC Professional competitor, and even more so for a bona fide World
Professional Champion, it is most disheartening to see different professional Champions in the same category of
The World Dance Council is on record as supporting the open-market system, a position which still today in consistence
remains. The “free market” means couples rights to choose where and when they spend their money, and the freedom
of transparent information.
It is strange that, just when IDSF and WDC have finally made the historic joint decision to collaborate as equal
partners on a joint education, accreditation and eventual global licensing-system that a new step appears with the intent
of destabilizing the progress , and threatening to throw recent detente into dispute more serious than pre-existed prior to
same. Whilst the WDC acknowledges that some aundiced professionals may have played
their part in this process, the
placement of a non-presidium member of IDSF in an unelected position as decision-maker in this radical project
is viewed with concern by the and many IDSF members alike.
The WDC wishes to extend their gratitude to the many, many reasonable and responsible IDSF member federations who
have contacted us registering their opposition and offering pragmatic measures as support. We do however welcome what the
in terms of a u-turn in decades of IDSF insistence that "The distinction between amateur and professional no longer exists",
even if this appears at odds with IDSF Olympic criteria as repeated ad infinitum over the years.
Nonetheless, many competitors have contacted us asking for guidance. They have many unanswered concerns, such as:-
How are the couples chosen?
Which members select the couple to represent a (if any) nation, and on which criteria?
Which rules will be used? Decided by whom?
Which registration is acceptable?
If competing, will participants then be open to sanctions if they dance IDSF "unrecognised"-(WDC) events?
Will my professional status be affected?
What kind of World Championship can it be if nations are not at all
The WDC shares their concerns, and with the above in mind, has no option in our mutual interests to implement the
In protection of our competitors and in principles of the transparency of
information, The World Dance Council will forward a list to all registrants worldwide, all adjudicators and all
organisers of professional events, including but not restricted to World Series, of any competitors who participate in these
IPDSC alleged “professional” events. Furthermore, the names of these dancers will be removed from the ranking
of the World Series, with all monies due being forfeited, since they will no longer feature in the list. Many of
the lucrative contracts and demonstrations in Asia and beyond will also be informed as to
those names which may have participated, and will be able to book/re-schedule in accordance.
Any title-holder of WDC granted title events, e.g. World Champion, may forfeit their title and the
title will be transferred to the next placed couple who did not re-instate themselves as amateurs.
Due to the fact that these are amateur events, any couples will find that they will have to re-apply,
without guarantee of outcome, for instatement as professionals, since they will have competed as amateurs in the eyes of WDC
and its members.
Adjudicators will find also that their names will be forwarded to all registrants world-wide, all organisers, all
competitors and member-countries as having participated in events attacking the competitors` interests and assets of WDC.
The WDC will pursue a policy of non-use of those who support the downfall of our couples and our profession
for a period of years after the committing of the act, and will also give preference to those without IDSF registration, with
further preference to those who adjudicate IDU, IDSA, and WDC` s own future-possible Amateur events.
British Council rulings for example, do not permit professional competitive couples and amateur couples
to compete against each other under the current structure., nor the adjudication of such.
As an example, the official position of the British Dance Council is as follows:
“The BDC is a member of the World Dance Council. Our official position is that we do not recognise
the organisation nor the events and we strongly urge all registrants, competitors and/or adjudicators not to participate”.
The World Dance Council will use all measures, legal and political, to protect the status-quo which has stood us in such good stead throughout
the decades of history, and reserves the right to injunct, appeal to the ethics-commissions of the International Olympic Committee
and C.O.N.I., and will undoubtedly institute our own Amateur-Division immediately, together with our partners, should the
IDSF insist on following this course of monopoly and domination.
The widening of Non-IDSF amateur events to accommodate the desire of couples to compete every weekend world wide
can be easily implemented, and with utmost speed.
We at the World Dance Council urge the IDSF and their member countries to step back from this ill-timed and potentially
hazardous course and in practical pursuit of this, we make the following offer as an initiative to defuse the escalated tension:-
We offer the IDSF to join us in the administration of our newly-formed Amateur Commission as partners in the project,
and hope that IDSF will accept and reciprocate on their side re. IPDSC.
This substantial offer would send out the clear signal that agent provocateurs will not succeed to the detriment of the dance world, and
that rather negotiation diplomacy and collaboration, even eventual merging in our microcosm, will prevail. With this last
hope in mind, the WDC intended to delay implementation of the above until one day after the proposed IPDSC meetings in December
in Italy, and planned to finish with the
However unless a press-release is issued to the contrary, these measures will take effect on 13th December
2006 and will be valid and governed by English Law.
However, we sincerely wish to hold out our hands in partnership with IDSF and invite them to take the floor as
our partners in dance and co-operation. To this end we shall delay the above implementation until shortly after the December
meeting to facilitate and allow time for negotiations.
We hope and trust that common sense prevails. Should we be left with no alternative but to follow the above path,
it will be on record in the worlds of Dance Sport, Entertainment and Olympics that IDSF forced the entire world against their
wishes into this situation.