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A Call for Change: Safeguarding the Future of Dance

In recent times, the Ballroom dancing community in the UK has been shaken by a deeply distressing scandal involving a prominent professional dancer and teacher facing severe charges related to sexual acts with a child. This unfortunate incident has not only cast a shadow on an individual but has also prompted a critical examination of the governance within British dancing, overseen for 95 years by the British Dance Council (BDC), an institution comprised entirely of dancers.

The revelations surrounding this scandal have unveiled a disconcerting reality — complaints were previously brought to the attention of the BDC board concerning safeguarding issues involving children. Unfortunately, these concerns were summarily dismissed and left unaddressed until the shockwaves of the recent scandal forced a reckoning.

Compounding matters is the emergence of a new player in the dance regulatory landscape: the British Dance Sport Association (BDSA). In stark contrast to the BDC, the BDSA features a core leadership team with backgrounds in law, politics, finance, and other fields unrelated to dance. Notably, their first order of business was to establish a robust safeguarding team, providing a platform for dancers nationwide to voice their grievances. The overwhelming response, flooded with serious complaints, serves as a stark testament to an enduring issue that has festered within the dance community, unattended for far too long.

Let us dance towards a future where every step is guided by care, every movement nurtured with love, and where the protection of our young dancers becomes the choreography of responsibility we all share.

The conspicuous lack of action raises pertinent questions about the efficacy of the existing regulating body, the BDC. Whether the failure lies in the absence of proper channels for reporting or a lack of effective communication about existing mechanisms, or worse yet, an outright dismissal of concerns, the responsibility lies squarely with the BDC to confront and rectify these failures.

Above all, the paramount concern is for the children. Acknowledging the cliche, they undeniably represent the future. The unsettling truth is that the self-serving objectives of those in power have, until now, seemingly overlooked the imperative of nurturing, guiding, and developing future generations of dancers.

Enter the BDSA, with its explicit commitment to addressing safeguarding issues, particularly those involving children. It symbolizes a new era, akin to a vigilant sheriff arriving in town, ready to purge the dance community of the vermin and filth that have compromised its safety.

This movement, we hope, marks the beginning of a renewed, nurturing, and encouraging future for dance in the UK. It is a call for change, a demand for accountability, and a pledge to safeguard the very essence of dance for generations to come.

Safer DanceSport This is a groundbreaking initiative for British dancing, and an unprecedented resource for dancers. This pioneering move sets a vital precedent, providing a confidential space for those who may have faced challenges during their dancing journey. By sharing this hotline, we empower every dancer to find their voice, fostering a culture of support, empathy, and accountability within the dance community. Let's stand together and ensure every experience in the world of dance is one of respect and safety.

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