The British Association is a Registered Friendly Society No 11 SA (5) and is represented on the British Dance Council- The Central Council of Physical Recreation - The Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing and The Stage Dance Council International.
The British Association is represented in the United Kingdom, Malta, Canada, America, Australia, South Africa, Spain, France, Italy, Holland, Germany, Belarus, Latvia, Korea and many other countries.
In 1892 the British Association Of Teachers of Dancing was founded and became the first Dancing Association to encourage the professionals of the day to organise themselves into a society to improve and develop the art of dancing, in many forms. The Association may have started a little before 1892, but November the 30th 1892, is the first recorded date that can be established beyond doubt.
There were twenty four Founder Members in 1892 and from this small beginning the Association has grown to about three and a half thousand members in 1999. In 1896 the Society became a Friendly Society and has remained the only Dancing Society to be so registered since that time.
The aims of the B.A.T.D. are clearly stated in Rule 3, to promote the art of dancing pursuant to the special authority of the 10th June 1979 given to section 7(F) of the Friendly Societies Act of 1974. Also to assist members of the Association in times of distress.
As a matter of interest, within a few years of the foundation of the B.A.T.D. the Manchester Ship Canal opened, the first motor cars appeared on the roads, with a maximum speed of fourteen miles per hour, the first flat gramophone record became available, The London Underground started, the Boar War began and 'Wireless' was all the rage.
During the past one hundred and 108 years, many changes have taken place, from early days when pen and paper were the only way of keeping records and the Head Office was then a part of a small dance studio. Today, the Association has its own premises and a modern computerised office, dealing with all the work and problems of running a modern business.
All Associations must be viable and attempt to increase their assets for the good of the membership, the B.A.T.D. is no exception, and must maintain their market share of the dancing business. Our income comes from many sources, Medal Tests, subscriptions, sales of books and badges, and examination fees. These are generated from Scotland and England and many other parts of the world, our main overseas income originates from Canada and America.
The general configuration of the Society is as follows, the President, Vice Presidents, Trustees Treasurer and Executive Council Members are all elected by the membership at conference, also elected are various other committees. The nominees for these positions are selected by the Districts of the Association. At the present time there are eight Districts or Areas in Scotland and England, eight in Canada and America, one in Malta and one in Belarus.
It is at District level that members are able to take advantage of the system and seek higher office, beginning with District positions and then, if they so desire, Executive positions. So it must be understood that District Meetings are a very important part of the function of the B.A.T.D. Propositions for change of Rules or Bye Laws also come from District recommendation.