In a pleasantly surprising announcement via social media, the National Dance Council of America (NDCA) has announced that their rules and regulations will be amended to redefine a “couple” as a “leader” and “follower” without regard to sex or gender identity. This redefinition means that same sex and non-binary dance couples will be able to compete with all opposite sex couples in all divisions and events at competitions and championship events sanctioned by the NDCA.

The NDCA is the official governing council to competitive traditional ballroom dancing and DanceSport in the USA. The organization organizes and sanctions various dance competitions and events throughout the USA for amateur and professional level competitive ballroom dance. The NDCA represents 17 member organizations with more than 20,000 dance professionals and their annual schedule includes over 140 sanctioned competitions.

The news of the regulation change has received positive reception from the DanceSport community. Many of whom praise the leadership of the NDCA and many who feel it is overdue. DanceSport is a popular event in LGBT sports competitions and for many years was the only community in which same sex and non-binary dancesport competitors could participate. However, the awareness and participation of same sex and non-binary dancing has risen in the last few years with notable appearances of same sex dancing on popular tv shows including “Strictly Come Dancing” and “World of Dance”. Additionally, the British National Dancing Championships had their first same sex couple compete just last year when dancers Michal Litke and Mariusz Rafal Stankiewicz took the floor.

The rule changes will also open the door for LGBT DanceSport competitions in the USA to be sanctioned by the NDCA which will help to promote the growth and representation for the sport and community.

By Dirk Smith