British Dance Council


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Apr 1 2019

World Dance Day
29th April

World Dance Day, also known as International Dance Day, is celebrated on 29th April every year.  The  day was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Committee of the UNESCO International Theatre Institute.  The date was chosen to commemorate the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, who was born in 1727, a French dancer and Ballet master and a great reformer of read more... here

Apr 1 2019


For anyone wishing to take up dance lessons the Teachers' Committee of the British  Dance Council would like to recommend that you ensure that your dance teacher is  professionally qualified with an awarding body that is  recognized by the Council.... to read more click here....

Jul 20 2018

BDC Privacy notice:

You will find the BDC Privacy Notice on our homepage of this website which is updated from time to time.

Jul 12 2018


Click here to download

There is currently a lot of confusion with regard to the necessity for children to be licensed for dancing competitions or for dance school events.  Below are the current requirements with regard to licensing but there is a lot of inconsistency, everything depending on the local County Council that the child comes under.    

Current regulations:

A child requires a licence in the following situations:

  • Any performance for which a charge is made, whether for admission or otherwise.
  • Performances on premises licensed to sell alcohol, for example in a hotel, a pub or a theatre.
  • Any live broadcast performance, for example a television or radio broadcast or a performance streamed on the internet.
  • Any performance recorded (by whatever means) with a view to being used in a broadcast or in a film intended for public exhibition.  For example: a live stage performance recorded for a cinema screening, a feature film, a video or sound recording of a performance on a website.  This does not extend to user generated content, for example where young people or a family record themselves and share it on a website or on social media.

It should be noted that:

  • A performance licence may be required whether or not the child is paid.
  • Amateur groups, musical performances, student productions or films are not exempt from the requirements.
  • Licensing requirements apply only to children under the upper limit of compulsory school age i.e. as a general rule up to the last Friday in June in the school year in which they have their 16th birthday.

There are exemptions from the above requirements but these exemptions only apply where no payment is made to the child in respect of the performance other than expenses.  They are:

  • The ‘four day rule’:  A licence is not required if a child has not performed on more than 3 days in the previous 6 months.  Once a child has performed on 4 days in a 6-month period (in any performance, regardless of whether a licence was in place on any of those days, or the child was taking part in a performance arranged under a body of persons approval, then a licence is required for any further performances unless one o the other exemptions referred to below applies.
  • Where a performance is given under arrangements made by a school i.e. an educational institution that provides primary and/or secondary education.
  • Where a performance is given under arrangements made by a Body of Persons Approval (BOPA) .

It is a legal requirement to seek a licence when one is required and any person who causes or procures any child to do anything in contravention of the licensing requirement commits an offence and may be subject to a fine, imprisonment or both.

Where a child is resident in Great Britain and the performance is to take place in Great Britain an application for a licence must be submitted to the child’s home local authority.  Local authorities are responsible for the administration of licences.  This sits alongside their overall responsibility for safeguarding children.

The person responsible for organizing, producing or running the activity, or for the production of the performance in which the child is to take part, should be the person who applies, in writing, for the licence where one is required.  This means a third party, who is not responsible or accountable for the arrangements of a performance or activity, cannot sign the application or be the holder of the licence.

The responsible person must submit a licence application to the relevant local authority allowing sufficient time for the local authority to consider and process it.  Responsible person should consider the risks to children and the arrangements needed to mitigate them at the start of planning for any performance or activity.

For information a ‘body of persons approval’ (BOPA) can be issued to appropriate bodies who can then obtain a ‘blanket’ licence for children attending a specific number of their events or for a specified period of time.  Individual licences are not required if a BOPA licence is held.

The BDC is currently working on establishing that dance school events and competitions should not be classed in the same category as ‘performances’ and should not have to comply with the same licensing regulations as theatrical performances or similar.   All dance schools and competitions organizers should,  however, have all the  appropriate child protection policies in place.

Oct 3 2016

In Association with the Ballroom Dancers' Federation

The BDC and BDF invite all dance enthusiasts to:


The BDF travel fund for PROFESSIONAL COMPETITORS was set up to help with the couple's expenses when they represent Great Britain at the World or European Championships when nominated by the British Dance Council.   Each year the British Dance Council may nominate its top two couples to the WDC World and European Ballroom, Latin American, Ten Dance, Ballroom Show Dance and Latin American Showdance.

During the twenty years since the fund was set up the BDF and its supporters have contributed in excess of £36000 towards travel costs.

Today the BDF Executive Committee continue to give their time and expertise voluntarily to organise many events including the Night of 100 Stars, The Star Ball, The Star Championships amongst others to raise funds to continue to support the travel fund.

The BDF pay upto 50% of the travel expenses for those competitors who are members of the BDF for at least six months prior to the date of travel.

The BDC and BDF are looking for support to boost this fund and would be grateful for your support to this British Dance Council’s initiative inviting you to become a sponsor of the Travel Fund. Any amount however small is valuable to this cause and all contributions would be gratefully accepted by both the British Dance Council and the Ballroom Dancers' Federation

Sponsors may be individuals, companies or associations, in fact anyone that has an interest in dance. If you would like to sponsor professional competitors representing Great Britain and wish your name to be included on the British Dance Council website once you have made your donation to the Ballroom Dancer's Federation's travel fund please email your first name and surname to Snieguole Wood, Treasurer BDF for inclusion on the BDC list.  email:

Sponsorship Donations to be sent direct to the BDF

Download full sponsorship details including how to make your donation.!!! Click here

With a big thank you to the Sponsors so far:

P. Anderson

Bryan Allen

Blackpool Entertainment Company  Ltd.

Dance News 

Michael Conway 




Jul 12 2016

To: All Dancers

The British Dance Council wishes to assure dancers that until such time as changes are made to the relationship between the UK government and the EU at some future date the situation regarding EU citizens living dancing or working in the UK remains exactly the same.    


Download file click here

Jun 6 2016

Peggy Spencer MBE, Honorary Member of the British Dance Council and President of the ISTD.

Peggy Spencer was awarded the first and only British Dance Council "Lifetime Achievement Award" in 2004 for her contribution to dance.

Peggy started dancing in 1945 and has was involved non-stop ever since.  With her late husband, Frank, she made the Penge Ballroom renowned with its fabulous Penge Formation Team, known throughout the world of dance.  She appeared with her teams on “Come Dancing” for 40 years and travelled the world teaching, adjudicating and promoting British Ballroom and Latin dancing.

She received an MBE, 8 Carl-Alan Awards and many other accolades for her work and dedication.  Her contributions to the British Dance Council meetings and her work on Committees going back years is immeasurable.  She believed that dancing is a social asset and a joy for everyone.

She is one of a small band of specially selected people who have appeared on "This is Your Life” and received the famous Red Book.

Peggy Spencer MBE was a true pioneer! 

To download this item Click Here

Apr 8 2016


On the 29th of April, as every year since 1982, the official Dance Day will be celebrated all over the world by millions of dancers. It is an initiative of the International Dance Council CID, UNESCO. 

We have prepared the following guidelines as a checklist for persons active in the wider field of dance: teachers, choreographers, group leaders, journalists, researchers, associations, suppliers, organizations etc.

Click here to down load FULL DETAILS

Dec 2 2014

From 1st January 2015 
All Scrutineers must register annually if they do not hold an annual adjudicator licence.

A new British Dance Council rule book will be issued from 1st January 2015 valid until 31st December 2017.

New rule 59.b) All Scrutineers must hold an annual scrutineer's licence (anyone qualified to scrutineer holding a current BDC adjudicator's licence is exempt).

Therefore, if you are intending to scrutineer in 2015 and do not hold an adjudicator licence you must register as a scrutineer.

Jul 11 2014


Proposal for BDC Rule Change
Firstly, I refer you to the BDC Rule Book where it is recorded item 11) on page 2.

"the British Dance Council has adopted a policy of equity which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of gender, marital status, race, colour, disability, sexuality, religion or political opinion"

This is a clear and open statement of where the BDC stands on these issues.

Secondly, to reassure the couples who dance in competitions and championships held under BDC Rules, the BDC will not, as is being claimed be banning same sex couples from competitions they have hitherto been entering.

Competitions and championships held under BDC Rules allow for same sex competitions and there are very many of these throughout the year.

The rules also allow for competitions that are called “Open” competitions in which same sex and mixed sex couples can compete.

It is clear that mixed sex couples cannot compete in same sex competitions.  Same sex and mixed sex couples can and do take part in the other events.

Media coverage of a proposed introduction of an additional sector for competitions for mixed sex couples only has produced a great deal of protest seemingly based upon the incorrect to assertion that this would result in all same sex couples being be banned from all BDC competitions.  If the proposal was passed it would mean that same sex couples would be excluded only from this new proposed section, but not from any other section.   Clearly this would result in the same situation where mixed sex couples are excluded from same sex competitions.

As any decision regarding any changes to BDC Rules is a matter for the appropriate meeting and because of the incessant demands for interviews and comment I issue this statement.

Yours sincerely,

BRYAN ALLEN     Clickhere to download statement

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