The History of Dancesport
Dancing is not just for socialisation. It has become a sporting event and is even acknowledged by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a provisional Olympic sporting event pursuant to Rule 29 of the Olympic Charter. The International Dancesport Federation (IDSF), the sport's governing body, is the sole representative body for dancesport recognised by the IOC, giving the IDSF a unique status. For the moment, the sport is not yet included in future summer Olympic games although this may change in the future.
The sport is best described as competitive ballroom dancing, which can incorporate other disciplines such as breakdancing and ballet. National events are sanctioned by the ruling body of the country, and international competitions are regulated by the World Dance Council.
This competitive event traces its roots back into the 18th and 19th century with the various styles in European countries. During this time, dancing became a "polite" competition, which involved physical training, elaborate costumes, and a few established rules. Then in the early 20th century, faster dance rhythms that originated from African, Cuban, and Western cultures merged with European styles, creating an inter-cultural pastime and sport that people love to be a part of.
The modern beginnings of this competitive activity began during the rock-and-roll era in the 70s with the popularity of shows like "Saturday Night Fever." The 80s and 90s introduced movies such as "Dirty Dancing," "Strictly Ballroom," and "Shall We Dance". Dance show competitions, particularly ABC's "Dancing with the Stars", became the catalyst of this modern sport.