By Ken Richards
On Monday, Dec. 8, at the 127th IOC Session in Monaco, the IOC unanimously approved the 40 recommendations that comprise the Olympic Agenda 2020, a strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement. Recommendation # 6 establishes closer ties between the IOC and the International World Games Association (IWGA). The two organizations shall “… closely cooperate regarding the sports program composition and their respective evaluations.
”The World Games is run under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). United States DanceSport representatives to these Games are selecting from placement at the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships. The World Games are held every four years for Olympic recognized sports that are not currently included in the Olympic Program."
The IOC-IWGA approved recommendation will affect the development of The World Games in a most positive way. Commenting on the approval of the Agenda 2020, IWGA President José Perurena described the impact on the Games and its sports: “This decision enhances tremendously the status of The World Games,” Perurena said. “Working in cooperation with the IOC is essential for us to raise the level of competition and organization of our Games. “We want to demonstrate that our sports are on the same level as the Olympic sports and we aim to deliver superb Games,” he added.
To get this message across visually at the IOC Session, the IWGA had selected a photograph of the DanceSport competition at The World Games 2013 in Cali, Colombia. USA Dance sent three DanceSport couples to Cali to represent the USA in Standard, Latin and Salsa. The competitions were held in a historic bullﬁghting arena, where 30,000 fans cheered the best of DanceSport in action.
The crucial recommendation for DanceSport and other IOC recognized sports, aspiring to a place on the Olympic Program, should be the changes to the procedure for the composition of the latter. The Agenda 2020 presents proposals for a more flexible approach by adopting an event-based rather than a sport-based approach to the composition of the Olympic program, while retaining the limit on the number of athletes participating. Another recommendation that impacts DanceSport addresses the collaboration between the IOC and other multi-sport organizations - such as the International World Games Association - in the composition of the sports program. DanceSport has been included in the program of The World Games since 1997 and enjoyed sold-out arenas to an all new audience of DanceSport fans.
The 10th edition of the World Games will be held in Wroclaw, Poland over the dates of July 20-30, 2017. While DanceSport will be on the program, participation is at the discretion of the International Federation (IF) of the respective sport. Thus the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) will designate which countries are included in these Multi-Sport Games.
A visit to the website www.theworldgames.org shows the current method of categorizing the sports into specialized disciplines such as: Ball Sports, Martial Arts, Precisior Sports, Strength Sports, Trend Sports, and our favorite, Artistic & Dance Sports. The definition given of the skills for our DanceSport family include: “a highly defined sense of rhythm, an innate aesthetic sensitivity and a lifetime of hard physical training combine in these “effortlessly” exquisite sports…”
Other sports included in the family with DanceSport include: Acrobatic / Aerobic / Tumbling / Trampoline / Rhythmic Gymnastics and Artistic Roller Skating. DanceSport is further defined as the sport that “is all about balancing the artistry of dance with the athleticism of a physically taxing sport… DanceSport calls for the athletes to use a prescribed technique together with their rhythmic interpretation. However, technical competence in itself does not automatically constitute quality in DanceSport. All athletes are challenged to demonstrate a perfect synthesis between their proper technique, artistic skills and athleticism. Physical conditioning, hard work, stern discipline, mental training and, above all, imagination are the prerequisites for athletes to achieve excellence in DanceSport.”
If you can’t make the trip to Poland in 2017 perhaps you will have chance to see the World Games hosted once again in the USA in 2021. In October, USA Dance was represented at Birmingham, Alabama’s ofﬁcial welcoming of the IWGA, as part of their city’s bid to host The World Games 2021 for the USA. Attending the ofﬁcial reception in Tuscaloosa, on behalf of USA Dance, was WDSF Licensed Adjudicator and USISTD Treasurer Kimberly Smith.
As the National Governing Body (NGB) for DanceSport in the USA, USA Dance along with numerous other NGBs were invited to attend this important visitation of the IWGA Officials as part of the site selection process. According to Max Bishop, IWGA Vice President, who spoke at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, “Birmingham, AL is deﬁnitely in the running against rival cities: Lima, Peru and Ufa, Russia, to host The World Games 2012.”
If successful, Birmingham would be the ﬁrst U.S. city to host The World Games since Santa Clara, CA hosted the inaugural games in 1981. The 2021 World Games would cost approximately $75 million with close to 100 countries sending an estimated 4,000 athletes. The economic impact to the city is estimated at nearly $256 million. Attendance at The World Games in Cali exceeded 500,000.
Vice President of DanceSport, USA Dance
Presidium Member, WDSF
Certified Licentiate Instructor, USISTD
Owner BlueBallRoom Dance Studio