The newly formed Historical Committee within the Department of Education of the World Dance Council (WDC) has set forth some bold goals.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”, Spanish-American philosopher, poet, and humanist George Santayana once stated. Brigitt Mayer, head of the new historical committee and author/publisher of Ballroom Icons believes that the past has to be remembered and recorded actively, not only to prevent instances like this, but more importantly in the case at hand to be able to remember heritage, reflect upon it, make more informed decisions for the future and install or increase a sense of pride and belonging in members of an international system/historical society like the World Dance Council.
The first step of the Historical Committee to aid in this attempt is to set up a web-archive, online databases with chronological record of significant events influencing the ballroom dance institution and the World Dance Council and if at all possible find explanation of their causes. Brigitt Mayer, with the assistance of advertising and web-specialist George Pytlik will format and then propose a basic layout and structure to the educational department as soon as May 2011 in Blackpool. The group is going to continuously fill the archive with content; i.e. viewing, scanning and digitalizing documents, pictures and old film-materials as well as corresponding with a team of senior advisors regarding accuracy of content/timelines etc and then file it. Senior advisors, who have committed to the Historical Committee so far, are Peter Eggleton, Bryan Allen and Anthony Hurley with many more of their contemporaries to be suggested and recruited in different locations.
In this, the committee depends largely on the assistance and the generosity of individuals as well as national associations world-wide to create documents with records i.e. results, biographies etc, and also find and submit old materials to the Historical Committee of the Department of Education in the World Dance Council. This has the additional benefit of creating individual national histories for the country members to even be used for their own records.
The archive should become comprehensive, informative and easy to use, to attract beyond the boundaries of the ballroom dance genre members of the media, students and scholars alike for their individual research and thus broaden recognition.
At the same time a series of lecture presentations is being structured, which will give audiences all over the world a stroll through ballroom dance history and the development of the style using much film and picture material as well as dance couples to demonstrate when feasible.
Today’s World Dance Council was formed 1950 under the name International Council of Ballroom Dancing (ICBD). As an international body of dance teachers, with P.J. Richardson as chairman, and Arthur Franks as honorary secretary, this new international body assumed the responsibility of approving World Championships. Its founding members were Australia, Austria, Belgium, Ceylon, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Norway, South Africa and Switzerland. Today the responsibilities of the oldest international ballroom dance association go way beyond that first task and the Historical Committee within the Department of Education of the World Dance Council is committed to assist the Department of Education in becoming a strong, leading international entity within the vast amount of educational dance institutions worldwide.