wheelchair dance sportOctober 17 - Wheelchair dance sport has moved a significant step closer to becoming a part of the Paralympics after a new agreement was signed today.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the International Dance Sport Federation (IDSF) announced that they had signed a co-operative agreement to ensure a formal institutional relationship between the two bodies and further develop the sport.

The IPC and IDSF also said that they will work together to progress the realisation of a single international governing body for Dance Sport, which encompasses Wheelchair Dance Sport.

Wheelchair DanceSport is a partner dance competition and Dancesport where at least one dancers is in a wheelchair.

Wheelchair dancers participate in combi-style dancing with an able-bodied partner or duo dance with two wheelchairs.

Standard dances include the waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, slow foxtrot and quickstep.

Latin-American dances include the samba, cha-cha-cha, rumba, paso doble and jive.

Sir Philip Craven, the President of the IPC, said: "We look forward to working with IDSF to develop this amazing sport of Wheelchair Dance Sport.

"This partnership will help to promote the sport and the opportunities in this sport for athletes with a disability."

The IPC acts as the International Federation for nine sports, one of which is Wheelchair Dance Sport.

Over the past four years, the sport has developed significantly with regards to the number of countries and quality of athletes competing.

It is estimated that there are now more than 5,000 dancers in over 40 countries who take part in the sport.

IDSF president Carlos Freitag said: "Signing this co-operation agreement with the IPC is an important milestone in our quest to unite all forms of dance practised as sport.

"We are confident that the World Dance Sport Federation, the new governing body which is to evolve from IDSF in accordance with our Vision 2012, will provide all athletes with optimal pathways to fulfil their ambitions.

"We expect our national members to embrace Wheelchair Dance Sport in their competition structure."

The IDSF is already the recognised world governing body of the sport by the International Olympic Committee.