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Magazine » DanceSport » AGM 2013

AGM 2013

Ken Richards, DanceSport VP

The 2013 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the World DanceSport Federation and the Professional Division took place over the days of June 15, 16 in Shanghai, China. This is the annual meeting of all Delegates from the ninety-plus Member Bodies with the Presidium. Of course, as a Presidium Member, my meetings began two days sooner and ran one day after for a total of five days of meetings and little time for sightseeing.

It wasn't all work as we attended a tour hosted by the Chinese Federation of the China Art Museum and a dinner at one of the town's tourist hot-spots, atop the Oriental Peal Radio and TV Tower (1,535 sq ft). Unfortunately the smog was so incredibly thick, the view of the river and skyline could not be appreciated.

The meeting on the other hand was smooth sailing compared to the controversial issues of the 2012 Berlin meeting. None of the Member Bodies brought any motions to the floor and those of the Presidium were widely accepted with little opposition. This was my first year sitting at the Presidium table during an AGM and I am personally glad it was a year with agreement and further unity. The actual minutes to the meeting can be found on the WDSF website and matters such as the re-alignment of the Senior age divisions, are all being brought before the USA Dance DanceSport Council in August to develop the US reaction to the International rule changes.

The U.S. Delegates were USA Dance President, Lydia Scardina and Executive Vice-President, Bill Rose. Lydia was also nominated to serve as a "scrutineer" (a vote tabulator) to assist with any close votes and the pending election. The meeting itself has a feeling of the United Nations with rows of tables, two seats each, and a country name card. The Presidium sits at a head table and the corners have video screens projecting relevant information being discussed. Anyone that wishes to speak on a topic is identified by the Chairman of the meeting and takes his/her place in cue behind the Podium/Microphone. It is very impressive, respectful
and democratic.

The main topic for the end of the day was the election. Of course the WDSF is governed under Swiss Law and this makes for a very different election process than we may be used to in the USA, with no advance campaigning, announcements of candidates and nominations from the floor. First, the entire Presidium steps down from office and their seats at the head table as the election is turned over to a mutually agreed upon person to conduct the process. The President, Carlos Freitag, made a presentation encouraging the AGM to support a slate of candidates that he thought should move forward in the election. The former 2nd Vice-President had stepped down from office, so the President nominated Michael Eichert of Germany to that position. He ran unopposed, as did the 1st Vice-President, President, Treasurer and Sports Director. This left 8 people running for the 6 Ordinary Presidium positions. Each person was given 2 minutes to speak to the floor and then a secret ballot was held. At the end of the voting, I secured the 6th position beating the next candidate (from China) by just two votes and the candidate from Denmark. Inasmuch two new Presidium Members, one from Italy and one from Romania were added to the team that is committed to the furtherance of DanceSport.