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Presidents' Report - Olympic Status

Many of you are probably wondering about the status of DanceSport’s chances of getting into the Olympic Games, given that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in its announcement
on July 5, 2011 did not include DanceSport on the short list of eight sports being given further consideration for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. The final decision by the IOC on which of the eight sports may be included in the 2020 Games will be made in 2013.

While this has certainly been a disappointment, it in no way implies that the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) which is recognized by the IOC as the International Governing Body for DanceSport and which includes USA Dance among its 88 member countries, is giving up the effort to have DanceSport included in the Olympic Games. If anything, the WDSF has announced that it will be redoubling its efforts, and is preparing for the next round of sport evaluations to be conducted by the IOC in 2015. In fact, Carlos Freitag, President of the WDSF, has announced that “DanceSport must continue on its Olympic quest, taking it as seriously as ever, because through it comes further improvements that will benefit our sport as well as the athletes.”

Of particular note is that DanceSport participates in the World Games, which are under the International Olympic Committee umbrella. The World Games consists of sports that are not yet in the Olympic Games. In 2013 they will be hosted by Cali, Columbia, and that will provide an opportunity for DanceSport to show to the world and to the IOC officials who will be in attendance all that it has to offer were it to become an Olympic sport. Of particular note is that the DanceSport events will be danced in an open air arena that is used at other times of the year to stage bullfights, rather apropos given that one of the standard Latin dances is the Paso Doble.

It is anticipated that as in Taipei during the 2009 World Games where DanceSport events had ticket sales second only to Rugby (now an Olympic sport), and all the finals were standing room only, DanceSport will again draw sell-out crowds.

As I have informed our members before, the next step for DanceSport is to be included in the Pan American Games, and the WDSF has been working steadily to build support in Latin America. At present there are 12 countries in North and South America whose DanceSport National Governing Bodies are recognized by the WDSF and by their National Olympic Committees: United States, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Columbia, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina. As the DanceSport programs grow and develop in Latin America, it is only a matter of time before DanceSport is included in the Pan American Games. For the U.S. that means that at such time as DanceSport enters the Pan American Games, the USOC will begin to provide some level of financial support to USA Dance.

Sports like Rugby worked many years in order to be included in the Pan American and Olympic Games. They never gave up hope of accomplishing their journey to the Olympics, and neither will DanceSport.

National President, USA Dance
Lydia T. Scardina
August 2011

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