A Word from Our Friend, Kelly Batchelor

Kelly Batchelor and her partner/husband, Alan Burns are accomplished, prolific USA Dance and WDSF competitors. 


Kelly is also the organizer of the USA Dance sanctioned National Qualifying Event, Chicago DanceSport Challenge, held annually in late October at the beautiful Hyatt Regency O’Hare and she asked me to share the following with fans of The Dancing Housewife.


Hello all!  Who’s coming to the Carolina Fall Classic and Chicago DanceSport Challenge?  I’d like to draw your attention to the list of World Dancesport Federation (WDSF) events that are happening in conjunction with each of these wonderful competitions.  WDSF events are open to couples who hold WDSF cards and fit the age criteria for the event.  Although it is probably most appropriate for a couple to dance WDSF once they reach the open proficiency levels (novice and above) any level couple may dance in them.  It becomes very attractive to dance in these events when one is limited to championship level simply because it’s a way to get to dance more and because WDSF events sometimes attract couples from around the world which can expose you to a whole new set of competitors.  Finally, there is the added fun of building your world rank from the ranking points you receive when you dance WDSF events.

It is easy and fast to get a WDSF card.  There should, in fact, still be time to get an e-card prior to Carolina Fall Classic.  To obtain your WDSF e-card go to the following webpage and fill out the application and pay the appropriate fee:


Looking forward to seeing you on the floor!!

Historically, World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) events have been reserved exclusively for international style dancers (Standard Ballroom and Latin), however, recently the organization officially recognized American Smooth and Rhythm as contestable dance styles and began granting open WDSF events in smooth and rhythm to USA Dance competition organizers earlier this year. Additionally, the organization has granted the United States of America permission to contest the first ever WDSF World Championships in Smooth! The event will be contested in conjunction with the Southeastern DanceSport Championships in Atlanta, Georgia over the weekend of January 31 to February 2, 2020. This is the result of tenacious and exhaustive efforts by several American competition organizers, USA Dance, Inc. officers and is an accomplishment of immense proportion. We owe a debt of gratitude to them and to the coaches and judges, who have spent time overseas teaching smooth and rhythm to European coaches and athletes. There’s no better way to repay that debt than by proving their efforts were not in vain than to enter every WDSF event for which we are eligible to dance.

This is all very exciting for smoothies. We’d been holding our collective breaths, hoping for Smooth World Championships in three age classes: adult, Senior 1 and Senior 2. Unfortunately, as it stands to date, the WDSF has granted permission for only one Smooth World Championship event in 2020 and it is in the Adult age classification. While this is disappointing, most especially for we senior smooth competitors, it is still progress. The good news is that ANYONE who meets the minimum requirement of 18 years old is eligible to dance in the Adult age class, so I encourage ALL of my smoothie friends, ESPECIALLY senior athletes, to plan on entering. Seriously…it’s the FIRST EVER WDSF Smooth Word Championships!  It’s an opportunity to be a part of dance history! More importantly it’s an opportunity for us to be American Style ambassadors, to prove to the world American style is worth contesting on the world stage.

If it seems like I’m asking you to be sacrificial lambs… well… I am. Trust me, I understand. The idea of participating in an Adult event is very intimidating to me too, but The Dancing Doc and I are entering just the same and I encourage you to join us. Populating WDSF events is the best way to send a strong message to the WDSF that AMERICAN STYLE DANCERS MATTER. Here are some answers to questions you may have regarding WDSF events.

  • Q: If I compete in the Senior 2 and Senior 3 age classes at a USA Dance National Qualifying Event, do I need to enter Senior 2 and Senior 3 age classes in WDSF events being contested during that NQE?
    A: NO! You do not have to compete in the same age classes because, although the USA Dance NQE events and the WDSF events are being contested during the same competition, they are completely separate from one another. The WDSF events are sanctioned by the WDSF and the NQEs are sanctioned by USA Dance. In fact, each and every WDSF being contested at a given time are considered to be separate events so you may enter as many age classes as you wish as long as you meet the minimum age requirements for each class. For example, a Senior 4 athlete enters Senior 4 and Senior 3 events at the Carolina Fall Classic. There are no Senior 4 WDSF events offered, but there are Adult, Senior 1 and Senior 3. The Senior 4 athlete may enter all three WDSF events offered in the three age classes, or any combination of those three events.
  • Q: WDSF events are classified as Open proficiency. Can my partner and I enter even though we currently dance silver and gold syllabus?
    A: YES! Syllabus level dancers may certainly enter WDSF events and are encouraged to do so! The Open classification means  Open to ANY proficiency level (Bronze Syllabus through Open Championship), IT DOES NOT mean restricted only to Open proficiency level (novice and above). In fact, it is my understanding that syllabus level dancers routinely enter WDSF Open events in Europe and their participation accounts for many events having 20 plus preliminary rounds leading to finals.
  • Q: Aren’t syllabus level couples at a disadvantage when they compete against open level dancers?
    A: Not necessarily. Certainly folks who methodically progress through the proficiency levels up to open championship may be more skilled and able to perform more difficult figures and choreography, but there are no bonus points from judges for difficulty. In other words, a bronze level couple who executes bronze choreography and figures cleanly and with great technical expertise can beat a sloppy open couple with poor execution of more difficult choreography.

I can’t over-emphasize how important it is for all American Style dancers, regardless of age or proficiency level, to dance, dance, dance WDSF. I’m not a fan of Nike (my feet are too wide among other things), but I am a fan of their tag line so I’ll appropriate it in my final plea…Just do it. Join me and The Dancing Doc in Charlotte and Chicago and how about we give those young smooth whippersnappers a run for their money in Atlanta in 2020.

#JustDoIt #SendAMessage #JustDanceWDSF

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