The British Dance Council moves to ban same-sex couples from ballroom dancing
The British Dance Council (BDC) is to consider a proposal to ban same-sex dance partners from ballroom dance competitions by defining a dance partnership as consisting of a man and a lady.
The Council will consider on 21 July the following proposed rule change: THAT Rule 52 be titled: Approved Competitions and Championships and that 52(a) should read: This Council recognises a partnership to be one man and one lady in all adult amateur and professional competitions and championships unless otherwise stated.
The British Dance Council is the governing body of ballroom dancing in the UK and administers the rules for all competitions held in the country.
I am really distressed that the BDC is even considering banning us. Weâ€™ve put in a huge amount of effort. To exclude us will mean that we canâ€™t dance in mainstream competitions any more. This seems so unfair, said Heather Devine who competes with Chrisi Lyons, her female dance partner of 18 months. The pair are currently the European Same-Sex Senior Womenâ€™s Champions.
She has written to Bryan Allen, the President of the British Dance Council and asked him to reject the proposed rule change.
A same-sex dancing ban would probably be illegal sex and sexual orientation discrimination under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 and the Equality Act 2010, said gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. We are concerned this proposed ban may be motivated by some judges, competitors and spectators not being comfortable with the participation of same-sex dance partners.
Heather Devine said: Contrary to claims by some supporters of the new rule, male same-sex dance duos do not have an advantage. Ballroom dancing is not like tennis or football. Power and strength are not the key to winning. Poise, musicality, expression. Timing, floor craft and presentation are the main judging criteria. This means that two men do not have an advantage over a mixed-sex couple.