DanceSport lives through one of its sweetest moments ever in Denmark. Top-ranked couples in Latin and Standard, World Champions in Standard and Ten Dance, bronze medallists in Latin ... What makes the difference, what causes Denmark to keep up with the far bigger powerhouses in DanceSport? With countries like Russia, Germany and Italy?
For one, it is the Danish commitment to foster sporting excellence in general. Sports are omnipresent in society. Their practice is highly encouraged in schools. And it is not all football: a broad range of sports - badminton, handball, gymnastics and, yes, DanceSport - are being taught to pupils from the youngest ages.
After school, it is a network of associations and clubs - most of them volunteer-run organisations - that takes over and provides lifelong opportunities to carry on in one's sport of choice. 2.5 million, that is nearly half of Denmark's adult population, practise their sport in one of the 14,000 associations and clubs.
The umbrella organisations - the Danish Olympic Committee and the Sports Confederation - receive substantial government funding and are able to establish their policies and programmes for the support of elite-level sports with considerable autonomy. If talents and prospects for good results are detected - even in some of the non-Olympic sports - TEAM DANMARK is able to call on the resources to enhance them even further.
The current generation of champions and medallists in Danish DanceSport certainly benefitted from such systematic support throughout their careers. But by now, they have also contributed greatly to making 2011 "ET FLOT SPORTSAR" ... A good year in sports for TEAM DANMARK.