In the January 24, 2014 issue of DANCE WEEK I came across a statement by the president of the National Dance Council of America to the effect that the NDCA is the “official governing council of dance and dancesport in the USA.” In my opinion, this statement is incorrect and confusing because the only organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body (NGB) for DanceSport in the U.S. is USA Dance.
USA Dance’s NGB designation is of prime importance. The Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act, an Act of Congress which was signed into law in 1978 gives the USOC sole authority to determine which organization may be designated as an NGB and which may not. Among American dance organizations, only USA Dance holds the NGB designation.
The president of the NDCA goes on to state in DANCE WEEK that the NDCA is the “leading authority of dance for Professionals, Amateurs and Pro/Am competitors”. This too is a questionable statement, given that the NDCA has no NGB status conferred upon it via federal law.
Just as USA Dance is recognized as the NGB for DanceSport in the U.S., its international federation, the World DanceSport Federation is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the International Governing Body (IGB) for DanceSport world-wide.
Both the WDSF and USA Dance are democratic organizations, giving members a voice and a vote, an important criteria which the IOC and the USOC considered in granting IGB and NGB status to these respective organizations. Other important criteria include transparent grievance and appeal procedures for all athletes, officials and organizers that meet well defined international standards as well as the national standards established in the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act.
The National Dance Council of America may well be a trade association that is in the business of protecting the interests of organizers of NDCA competitions, but only USA Dance has the right to call itself the National Governing Body for DanceSport in the U.S.