In June of this year I had the opportunity to travel to Shanghai to attend the Annual General Assembly of the World DanceSport Federation. I was accompanied by Bill Rose, Senior Vice President. Also in our party was Ken Richards, Vice President of DanceSport. But since Ken also serves on the Presidium of the WDSF, he was there in that capacity rather than as a voting delegate from USA Dance, as Bill and I were.
Unlike last year, when USA Dance representatives joined forces with other national federations to successfully overturn the WDSF suspension of athletes and officials for participating in competitions outside the WDSF, this year’s General Assembly was mild in comparison. In fact, the U.S., Canada and Latin American countries have been provided with increased opportunities to host WDSF competitions, which we hope to start doing in the next year. This is part of the effort to grow DanceSport throughout the Americas and place it in a stronger position to become a Pan American Sport, just one step below the Olympic Games.
Also of interest in Shanghai was the election of Presidium members, including Ken Richards, to another term. I was asked by the Presidium for the first time to serve as one of the tellers to tally the votes, and was pleased to do so. There were four of us representatives from different nations counting the ballots, plus the chair, and we counted and recounted the ballots to ensure accuracy.
The WDSF is comprised of over 90 national federations, with differing views and outlooks, and the opportunity to meet the representatives from other parts of the world, including Africa, the Americas, Asia, Oceania and Europe is always a high point of the Annual Assembly. Yet as disparate as our nations may be, we all come together in our love of DanceSport and our desire to grow the sport in all corners of the world under the WDSF umbrella. For this reason, the time and effort spent in attending WDSF meetings and supporting its programs is well worth while.