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Welcome and Comment from our CEO Neil Harrison

CEO Neil Harrison

Thank you for joining the BDSA, we are delighted to welcome all of our members and look forward to working together as one DanceSport community going forwards.


Are we replacing another organisation? What will we do that isn’t already being done?

 

I am going to use this opportunity to answer some of these questions.

 

We are not here to replace any organisation. We are here to offer you, our members, a completely new experience and to focus on the things that we believe have, until recently, been overlooked or are still being overlooked. 

 

For too long the dance world has been divided, and therefore our first aim is to unite the industry that we all love. To this end, we are a fully inclusive organisation. Whether you’re a Ballroom and Latin American dancer, a Wheelchair Duo, a New Vogue competitor or just do it for the social aspect, there is a space for you in the BDSA community. Membership is open to all, and our list of memberships range from parent and guardian, to professional and amateur, to music persons, scrutineers, promoters and photographers. We will always endeavour to support you in any way we can, the BDSA are here to help.

 

We actively encourage all parents and guardians to join the BDSA, and plan to create a parent/guardian committee, to be the voice for the parents. We believe that this will allow open discussions between parents and professionals about the direction in which the industry should move in and allow parents/guardians to raise concerns and share ideas. If this is something you would be interested in getting involved with, please email the BDSA team on: info@bdsassociation.com

 

We are creating a pathway that connects grassroot competitors to the elite. For years the medallist circuit has been cut off from the open circuit, and we want to ensure that those who want to move from one circuit to the other have all the resources and support to be able to do this.

 

We recognise that with membership comes responsibility, and that the safety of children, vulnerable adults, and every other dancer in this community must always be the priority. To support this responsibility, we have a number of safeguarding policies in place that are available to you as a free resource, you can find them on our website here. We have also have launched a safeguarding campaign, and have a specific safeguarding and whistleblowing hotline, if you call 0800 170 0555 you will be able to talk to one of our safeguarding team in confidence.  For too long people have been scared to speak up in fear of what could happen to their dance career, we want to change this.

 

A further safeguarding step that has not been seen in all organisations in the past is that all our teachers, judges, official photographers and helpers are subject to Data Barring Service checks. We understand that similar to a driving test, this is only as good as the day it was issued, but it’s a start in ensuring that the dance community is safe. Afterall, nobody would drive without a driving licence so why should anybody be allowed to teach, judge, or interact with children and vulnerable adults without a DBS? The answer is simple, they shouldn’t. Of course, some may argue that its intrusive. I know it is, I have one, and I am neither a teacher or a judge, however it is a necessary first step in creating a safe environment. And you have to consider, if our “Strictly” members are happy to have one, why would anybody not want one?  

 

Thank you for your support. We truly believe that with your help we can make the dance industry a better, safer and stronger place for everyone. If you have any comments, concerns, queries, or suggestions on content you want to hear from us, please feel free to contact us. Your input is truly valued at the BDSA.

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