Historically, a system of segregation existed between black and white Dance Associations in South Africa. It is estimated that in those dark days of apartheid there were approximately 10 times the amount of black participants dancing in the townships around the country than there were white dancers in the exclusively white Associations.

In the townships, unlike in the white cities, facilities were inadequate, good lessons were expensive and quality training was not available to the majority of dancers. The imbalances which were then legislated resulted in white couples winning national events and this in turn resulted in very little international exposure township dancers and their clubs.

In 1992 the formulation of the first unified body of dance in South Africa, bringing together four major role players, namely, two formerly white Associations, South African Dance Teachers Association (SADTA) and Republic Dance Teachers Association (RDTA) and two formerly black Associations, Africa Dance Academy (ADA) and Southern African Confederation of Dance (SACODA). The mediator of this Unity was chaired by Mr. Bill Irvine MBE from England who was invited by the North West Government during the 1994 Rumba in the Jungle.

The completion of that Unity Talks saw the birth of the first Professional Body of Dance called the South African National Council of Ballroom Dancing (SANCBD) with its first President being Mrs. Jessie Liddell of SADTA. The SANCBD became the national controlling body of all professional teachers and dancers, regardless of their continued private affiliations, governed through one constitution and promoting dance through common syllabi.

Parallel to the formation of the Professional Body, was the formation of the Amateur Federation which included the then Transvaal Amateur Dancers Association (TADA), Natal Amateur Dancers Association (NADA) and Cape Amateur Dancers Association (CADA). These three bodies saw the birth of the Federation of DanceSport South Africa (FEDANSA) which ultimately became the national controlling body of all Amateur Dancers in South Africa.

Again in 1995, and following on the international model of WD&DSC and IDSF, the SANCBD and FEDANSA met with the aim of establishing the National Joint Committee. This joint body was successfully established and governed through the National Joint Agreement. Part of its responsibilities was the organization of the South African National Championships, which accommodated all the country’s professional and amateur dancers for the determination of the national champions.

In 1996, Rama Margarine became interested in sponsoring Dance in South Africa. In achieving same, Unilever which is the holding company of RAMA margarine persuaded FEDANSA and SANCBD to take the National Joint Committee further, through its registration with CIPRO (Today CIPC). The company registration was in view of allowing both the SANCBD and FEDANSA to fairly and equally benefit from the Sponsorship.

The two bodies started their engagement regarding the formation of a company in 1997 and the processes of company registration received the blessings from both associations. Finally, a Section 21 Company was conclusively registered in September 1998 with the name DanceSport South Africa (DSSA). This company became the Joint Company between FEDANSA and SANCBD with equal shares and representation. The Directors who served in the Company also did so in their representative capacity of their respective bodies.

The business of the company brought about glamour, excitement, hope and stability to dancing in South Africa, with the company offering the best programmes of dance all around the country. It only took a turn when the Directors who served in the company refused to relinquish the positions following the national elections of the new office bearers of the SANCBD and FEDANSA respectively. Given the above, some Directors felt it befitting to take DanceSport South Africa (As Section 21 Company) to court as they upheld the resolute that define the company Directors as representatives of the SANCBD and FEDANSA respectively. The North Gauteng High Court made a ruling that members of DSSA are FEDANSA and SANCBD with equal shares and representation.

Regrettably, in 2004 FEDANSA also claimed a dispute against the SANCBD and eventually resigned from the National Joint Committee and DSSA. The company remained dormant for a while and with threads of liquidation. In 2006 the SANCBD (Then SAD&DSC) had a special meeting at Emperors Palace, during the visit by the President of the World Dance Council, Mr Donnie Burns MBE. At that meeting, a special resolution was passed to dissolve SAD&DSC and move ALL its business into DSSA (Non Profit Company). Through the remaining Directors, a special resolution was also passed to remove Directors of FEDANSA from the Registrar of Companies.

With all those unfortunate transformation and development taking place, the name South African National Council of Ballroom Dancing (SANCBD) was then revised in line with the World Dance & DanceSport Council (WD&DSC) to be called the South African Dance & Dance Sport Council (SAD&DSC). Today, what was then called DanceSport South Africa (DSSA) is called the South African Dance Foundation (SADF), having taken all the business of SAD&DSC.

The South African Dance Foundation is a full member of World Dance Council, World Dance Council Amateur League and Council of International Dance CID-UNESCO. The Foundation accept and recognizes all styles of Dance in South Africa and is fully representative of both the Amateur and Professional Dancers in the Republic.

In its recognition of all styles of dance, the South African Dance Foundation has the different Dance Faculties, which are managed by their respective Committees as follows: -

  • Competitive Dance Faculty (Ballroom, Latin, Team Match, Show, Formation,...)

  • Social Dance Faculty (Social Ballroom/Latin, Argentine Tango, Line Dance, Salsa,...)

  • Disco/Freestyle Dance Faculty (Hip-Hop, Rock & Roll, Pantsula, Street Dance,...)

  • South African Traditional Dance Faculty (Zulu, Setswana, Ndebele, Xhosa,...)

  • Theatre Dance Faculty (Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, Jazz, Show,...)

  • Disabled/Wheelchair Dance Faculty (Combo, Duo, Cripple, Deaf, Blind,...)