The World Dance Council Ltd (WDC), is a registered limited company, the legal successor to the International Council of Ballroom Dancing, and was established at a meeting organised by Phillip J. S. Richardson on 22 September 1950 in Edinburgh. For a period from 1996 to 2006, the WDC was known as the World Dance & Dance Sport Council Ltd (WD&DSC).
The primary objective, at the time of its formation, was to provide an agreed basis for holding world championships in competitive ballroom dance. That objective has been achieved. Initially consisting of nine European countries and three others, today the WDC has become the leading authority on professional dance competitions, with members in numerous countries throughout the world. Each country is allowed one vote. As of 2006 there are 59 members. Its governing body, the Presidium, consists of a President and a number of Vice-Presidents, in 2014 seven Vice Presidents were elected.
The WDC is democratic in its operation. All major decisions are taken on the basis of one full member, one vote. The full members are (with a few exceptions) individual countries. There are some Affiliate members, such as the Ballroom Dancers Federation International. The WDC operates through a general council and two committees:
Each member country in the WDC has its own national organisation, such as the British Dance Council, which acts as a forum for the many interested parties in that country. The national bodies decide on their delegates to the WDC. The WDC also operates a WDC National Dance Council system in certain countries, which allows a multi-member system within that NDC, fostering the co-operation of major dance organisations in these countries.
These events are under WDC regulation, but organised in various countries each year.
There are also other events, which are licensed to organising countries, and are open entry.
In the regulations, the facility is also available for professional competitions in:
1. The WDC Championships are open championships. The national bodies nominate their best available couples, and only two couples are permitted from any one country (rule 3.2.1). ;additionally WDC registered competitors can take part as open entries.