What on earth has the ballroom world come to?!
Has it really changed? Seems there has always been competing interests from the intenational to the local level. In England I'm not sure but don't think you are allowed
to compete unless you are a member of sanctioned club. Here the local organization dictates that we are not allowed to compete in WDC events - and yet some of members judge them and they the organization turns a blind eye on the participation of some dancers. The reason these conflicts keep coming up in dancing is, I think, because most people don't have a financial interest in it, only an amusement one and hence, would rather not be bothered - they just want to dance (and I would have to admit that I fall also in that catagory).
In Australia and the world I believe, it has changed recently. Previously dancers were able to choose which events they danced no matter who the organization behind the event was.
Recently - past 6 months or so, the WDSF (formerly IDSF) made a decision to ban all of it's members who competed in WDC events.
This happened to a number of Australian couples.
The sad thing is that the ADS (Australian Dancing Society) decided to follow WDSF's lead and ban the 'banned' couples from taking part in their own national championships. There were some discussions about having a 'Closed' Australian Championship however that also apparently falls under WDSF rule and so the banned couples couldn't dance at all.
This is where the 'Freedom to Dance' movement come into being. A number of people support the belief that dancers should have the freedom and right to dance:http://www.freedomtodance.org.uk/home.htm
And the ADS took the fight further and threw Matt and Anna (as per article) out of the stadium for showing their support to their fellow competitors and showing their belief in freedom to dance.
It was really sad at the Aussies not being able to see Australia's top dancers compete. We got to talk to one of the banned couples who came down for the event and they are devastated about what is going on. They've worked so hard to get to where they are but they aren't able to dance their own national championships. And it not only affects them as competitors but also affects their livelihood as well - they make money from dancing and teaching.
That's my take on the situation, all are welcome to correct me if I'm wrong somewhere. [I'm not sure any of the above makes sense at the moment, I'm recovering from a hangover from the Aussies afterparty