The Chairman’s Welcome

Kenny WelshIn October 1946 an organisation was formed and called the Competitors Federation, not long afterwards it was disbanded. The Ballroom Dancers’ Federation was then formed in 1958 and the first Chairman was Mr Hugh Carter.


There was a desire to further goodwill and co-operation between the Federation and the now named British Dance Council, and others who wished to utilise the professional services of the Federation members.

The Ballroom Dancers’ Federation is a leading organisation aiming to promote and protect the Dance Sport Industry.
a) To promote the spirit of good fellowship and sportsmanship and to protect and advance the interests of professional competitors and professionals in general.
b) To further the goodwill and co-operation between those who utilise the services of its members and the governing Dance Sport bodies.

Since its inception, the Federation has been responsible for inaugurating many events that have become part of the British dance calendar. The International Congress held biennially at the British Open Championships in Blackpool, where lectures on all aspects of our profession are presented. The Night of 100 Stars, this is the showcase for our Dance Sport industry. The present world championships known as Classic Show Dance and South-American Show Dance, were originally called segue –events which was the innovation of the BDF. Twenty-five years ago, the Federation resurrected the Star Championships originally run by the now defunct Star evening newspaper in the famous Earls Court Exhibition Hall. Later the Championship was held in the Great Room of the Grosvenor House on Park Lane together with a dinner dance called the Star Ball. During this period the BDF awards where introduced and have now grown to be one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in the world today. The Ballroom Dancers’ Federation have undertaken the responsibility of organising European and World Championship events granted by the World Dance and Dance Sport Council to Great Britain, this has been achieved with the support of generous sponsors.

The funding of the Federation comes from many different areas; membership fees, functions, video commissions, patronage and sponsorship.

Delegates represent The Federation from the Executive Committee who sit on the board of directors for the British Dance Council; the Federation is very pro-active in bringing about changes; the most recent was with the World Dance and Dance Sport Council! Which was the abolition of the notorious Rule four. The other was a day of collaboration involving EADA, Festival 2000 and our own Star Professional Championships to present a spectacle of dancing from its very beginning to the pinnacle of our profession. The present Executive Committee continue to innovate, and further ideas in pursuit of high quality dancing, a legacy handed down from our illustrious past masters. As a body, the BDF have always tried to be visionary, thanks mainly to its officers, both past and present, who devote time and energy to promoting the Dance Sport Industry. The B.D.F. is still working towards improving, developing and innovating our industry.

The Federation exists to establish the qualities and standards for competitors, promoters and coaches/teachers.

We would like to thank our past and present officers for their incredible efforts for the Ballroom Dancing industry and detail below in chronological order the Chairmen, Vice Chairmen and Secretaries of our Federation…

1958 saw the first elected Chairman of the BDF, Mr. Hugh Carter who four years later in 1964 was replaced by Mr. Charles Jacobs following his sudden resignation.

In 1965 Mr. Sonny Binick was elected at the AGM and reined for 26 years and it was during this period with the help of Vice chairman Mr. Bob Burgess and Hon Secretary Mr. Walter Laird that the organisation grew to the prominence the organisation enjoys today.

In 1991 Mr. Sonny Binick was elevated to Hon President, the Vice Chairman Mr. Bob Burgess was elected as Chairman and remained there for two years after which time he was elevated to Hon Vice President along with Mr. Walter Laird.

1993 saw the election of Mr. Anthony Hurley who was to remain as Chairman until his retirement in 2001. He was originally supported by his Vice Chairman Mr. Richard Gleave  OBE, and later by his very close friend Mr Keith Burton with Mr. Norman White as Hon Secretary.  Mr. Anthony Hurley was then elevated to Hon President and shortly afterwards  Mr. Norman White our very longstanding Hon Secretary  and our very longstanding Hon Treasure Mrs. Joy Weller were  also made Hon Vice Presidents . In more recent times Mr. Richard Gleave has also been made an Hon Vice President.

2001 was the year Mr. Kenny Welsh was elected as Chairman supported by Mr. Steve Powell as Vice Chairman and Mr. David Sycamore Hon Secretary.  Mr. Graham Oswick took over from Mr. David Sycamore in 2009 with David  still an active member of the EC as assistant Secretary.

Your Executive Committee is more hardworking now than it has ever been, and is more involved with the dancing industry in many more diverse projects.

Kenny Welsh
Chairman for The Ballroom Dancers’ Federation