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BDSA Membership and Participation in Competition organised by the BDSA

It has come to the attention of the Board of the BDSA, that representatives or agents of the British Dance Council are seeking to dissuade members of the Dance Sport Community from taking up membership of the BDSA and are asserting that they should not participate in competition organised by the BDSA under threat that they will be excluded from participation in competition organised by the BDC or under the aegis of its rules.

This intimidatory practice is illegal, as has been established in the recent decision of The European Court of Justice in Case C124/21 P International Skating Union -v- Commission, in which the Court confirmed that the rules of the International Skating Union, which empower it to subject international skating competitions to its ‘approval’ and to impose severe penalties on athletes who take part in unauthorised competitions, are unlawful, because they are not subject to any guarantee ensuring that they are transparent, objective, non-discriminatory and proportionate. They give the ISU a clear advantage over its competitors and have unfavourable effects for athletes as well as consumers and broadcast audiences.

This decision of the most senior Court in Europe is of binding effect on the UK and more particularly upon the British Dance Council.

The BDSA alerted the British Dance Council to the illegality of it actions and it has responded in the following terms through its Solicitors:

1. Dance competitors and professionals are at liberty to participate in BDSA events.

2. It is clear that some of the BDC rules ought to be amended in light of the ruling to which you have referred. The BDC is therefore prepared to review and make changes to its rules as they currently stand, and is prepared in the interim to agree not to enforce certain aspects of its rules until those changes have been made. The rules which the BDC intends not to recognise and/or enforce in the intervening period are as follows:

“2. Interpretation of these rules

(f) The Council is responsible for all competition, non-theatrical (stage) dancing that takes place in Great Britain. This rulebook does not cover freestyle or forms of competition dancing other than Ballroom, Latin and Classical Sequence dancing.

(g) The Council grants all championships that take place in Great Britain in Ballroom, Latin and Classical Sequence dancing. The Council grants a licence to the organiser/promoter of a championship on condition that the licensee has read and understood the rules and conditions laid down by the Council and has agreed to abide by these rules.

57. Unrecognised Events, Medal Tests and Examinations:

(a)    A qualified teacher who participates in any capacity at a championship not recognised by the Council, in a competition run under Rules other than those laid down by the Council or organised by an organisation which is not recognised by the Council, or in medal tests or examinations conducted by organisations not represented on the Council, shall be subject to disciplinary action.

59. Overseas Adjudicators and Dancers in Great Britain

(c)    Organizers of World and/or European competitions or championships held in Great Britain, which are granted by and held under the rules of other organizations, or the rules of the British Dance Council, must apply to the Council for approval to conduct the event.”

4.    BDC will also inform its members that the rules will not be enforced in the intervening period pending a detailed review of all the rules and changes being made, and to make that position public.


Any individual or club or dance school wishing to join the BDSA or to participate in any competition organised by it, is at liberty to do so, and should not be influenced or deterred by any individual seeking to impose restriction or hindrance on or on behalf of the BDC or any other organisation claiming control of Dance Sport in the UK. 


If anyone experiences or witnesses such illegal conduct you are asked to contact the Board of the BDSA which will take action to protect your rights.

Download a copy of this press release here...

BDSA Membership and Participation in Competition organised by the BDSA 18012024
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