The Special Olympics World Championship DanceSport Graz 2021 taking place on 20 August will mark the first-ever Special Olympics DanceSport World Championship. The event, held in Austria, is the first time that Special Olympics has held a World Championship of any kind.
Athletes from thirteen nations covering three continents will compete including Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Norway, Slovakia, Ukraine and USA. Those going for World Championship gold will perform in four categories (solo, duos, couples and teams) and four disciplines (ballroom, street dance, performing arts and specialty).
Graz, Austria hosted the Special Olympics World Winter Games in 2017. Graz is the second largest city in Austria and home to Kasematten on the Schlossberg, a historical theater where the competition will take place.
DanceSport became an officially recognized Special Olympics Sport in March 2019 during the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 where it premiered as a demonstration sport. It will be featured as a medal event at the Special Olympics Winter World Games 2025. To become an “official” Special Olympics sport, DanceSport was instituted by 24 Programs in three Regions. It adopted a set of Special Olympics rules based on World DanceSport Federation rules.