The core foundation of our global dance community has always been and always will be inclusion, equity and diversity. Discrimination or hate speech of any kind does not have a place in our organization.
Accountability, we fully accept begins with WDC and its leaders. It is our mission to not only embrace but to advance diversity and inclusion at all levels within our ballroom community, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, economic status and other diverse backgrounds.
Our history of action supports these core values, and as merely one example, we are on record as having taken to task an organizer in Europe on the occasion when they attempted to prevent a same-sex couple from competing. We insist that all are equally loved. The organizer in question since such time, is no longer part of WDC nor WDCAL and no longer part of our World Series. Couples of all genders, including same- sex couples have been welcomed and have equally performed at several WDC and WDCAL events.
On a personal note, our B.L.T. Technique systems jettisoned the previous universally accepted terms “Man” and “Lady” in favor of “Leader” and “Follower” with gender-welcoming in mind.
Appropriate actions will be taken against all those in violation of our core principles. Outside of social media. And in accordance with the WDC Articles.
With this in mind, we are immediately announcing the setting up of a disciplinary committee into recent allegations in relation to Mr. Sammy Stopford M.B.E. and remarks made in a lecture. Mr. Stopford is not an official of WDC and the congress in question was not a WDC Congress. Nonetheless in the light of our outlined core values above, we reserve full rights, once again, to treat everyone with love respect dignity and decorum and just as with anyone else, the enquiry committee will take its course.
Whilst not wishing to pre-judge any case nor conclusion, a full range of sanctions will be open to them if a guilty verdict is returned, up to and including the removal or suspension of license(s).
In the real world there is real pain and discrimination being encountered by the LGBTQ+ community and it is also noted as abhorrent by WDC that a small sample of another organizations’ core supporters appear to have hijacked this pain and deliberately edited clips for distribution, inciting anger and anguish against others at large for their own political agenda.
No further statements and no social media engagement will be entered into at this time.
When conclusions are reached, we shall of course advise.
The WDC PR Team