EASILY one of the oldest sports that has gained worldwide popularity is dancesport, which denotes competitive ballroom dancing. In the case of wheelchair dancesport, at least one of the dancers is in a wheelchair.

The first unofficial world championship took place in 1909, and the first formation team was presented in 1932 by Olive Ripman at the Astoria Ballroom, London. Dancesport was first broadcast on TV in 1960.

The term dancesport applies to the International Style, as well as American Style of competitive ballroom. It includes the following categories: International Standard, International Latin, American Smooth, and American Rhythm.

These categories apply to both individual couples and formation dance.

Dancesport is a team sport that features a male and a female dancer dancing as a couple or two or more couples (team).

The World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), formerly the International DanceSport Federation (IDSF), is the international governing body of dancesport which was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on September 5, 1997 after a long campaign.

Dancesport versus social or exhibition dancing - As contrasted to social or exhibition dancing, the couple or the team (group of couples) competitors in dancesport are required to exert technique together with floor craft and artistic interpretation to produce a highly disciplined dance performance. It is necessary that the dancesport competitors sustain their high intensity during the competition. In simple social dancing, you execute it without any much requirements in terms of intensity.

It is on this basis that competitors are to be judged to determine the winners in competitions, subject to detailed World Dance Council (WDC) rules for international competitions. Social dancer or exhibition dancer might have clear idea on what to do in a certain dance event, but in dancesport competition, the competitors have no clues what music would be used.

The music for competitions is kept confidential until the event. The music always follows a strict tempoand, for a couples competition, it will have a duration of no less than 90 seconds, and no more than two minutes.

Danceport today - DanceSport has broadened its scope to include sections such as the Standard section, the Latin American section, the Ten Dance section and the Rock 'n' Roll section. IDSF World DanceSport Championships are held in each of the four sections mentioned above:

Standard Championships are contested in Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Slow Foxtrot and the Quickstep. Latin American Championships are contested in the Samba, Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Paso Doble and the Jive.

Ten-Dance Championships are contested in all ten dances of the Standard section and Latin American section.

Rock n Roll Championships are contested in three separate style of Rock n Roll, Boogie Woogie and Lindy Hop; these Championships are conducted under the rules and regulations of the World Rock'n'Roll Confederation (WRRC).

DanceSport Championships in the standard and Latin American sections are conducted both for couple and for formation teams. DanceSport Championship are conducted for couples only.

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