“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

Spanish-American philosopher, poet, and humanist George Santayana once stated. Brigitt Mayer, former head of the historical committee and author/publisher of Ballroom Icons believes that the past has to be remembered and recorded actively, not only to prevent instances like this, but more importantly in the case at hand to be able to remember heritage, reflect upon it, make more informed decisions for the future and install or increase a sense of pride and belonging in members of an international system/historical society like the World Dance Council.

The first step to aid in this attempt 2011 was to set up a web-archive, online databases with chronological record of significant events influencing the ballroom dance institution and the World Dance Council and if at all possible find explanation of their causes. Together with other members of the historical committee, the group is going to continuously fill the archive with content; i.e. viewing, scanning and digitalizing documents, pictures and old film-materials as well as corresponding with a team of senior advisors regarding accuracy of content/timelines etc and then file it. Senior advisors, who have committed to the Archives Project so far, are Peter Eggleton, Bryan Allen and Anthony Hurley with many more of their contemporaries to be suggested and recruited in different locations.

In this, Dance Archives depends largely on the assistance and the generosity of individuals as well as national associations world-wide to the Dance Archive. This has the additional benefit of creating individual national histories for the country members to even be used for their own records.

The Dance Archive should become comprehensive, informative and easy to use, to attract beyond the boundaries of the ballroom dance genre, members of the media, students and scholars alike for their individual research and thus broaden recognition.

At the same time a lecture presentations was structured, which will give audiences all over the world a stroll through ballroom dance history and the development of the style using much film and picture material as well as dance couples to demonstrate when feasible.

(Authors remark: This lecture has been conducted by me in Blackpool 2012. Here the results of the effort.)

Brigitt Mayer