IDO AGM 2023

IDO Ordinary General
Assembly Meeting 2023

Copenhagen, Denmark,

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by Trajce Petkovski

Get to know IDO Vice President: Conversation with Klaus Hoellbacher

As the Vice President for Archives, Statistics, and Data Protection Manager, he brings precision and dedication to the world of technology. However, his pursuits extend far beyond the digital world. As Chairperson of the Couple Dance Department, owner of a renowned dance school in Austria, and dancer of Ballroom and Latin dance at a young age, he immerses himself in the artistry of movement.

Yet, his pursuits don't stop there; Dr. Hoellbacher's endurance knows no bounds and as an Ironman competitor and Marathon runner, showcases a relentless commitment to pushing physical limits.
Join us as we talk about the extraordinary journey of this extraordinary individual, exploring the intersection of intellect, artistry, and athleticism.

1.Can you share a few words about yourself, what are your hobbies, passion, dance history, etc...

I began dancing at the age of 15, initially at a dancing school, which was common in Austria at the time. After a year at the dancing school, I was invited to teach beginner classes for both youth and adults, a role I fulfilled for several years. Following my "Matura" (equivalent to high school graduation), I pursued electronics studies at the Technical University of Graz while simultaneously embarking on a career in Ballroom and Latin dancing. Later, I delved into history and the German language, concurrently enrolling in the Dancing Teachers Academy. Balancing my university work—focused on the history of quantum physics—and teaching at a dancing school, I eventually decided to leave my university position and establish my own dancing school in 1999.

During this time, I also ventured into marathon running, triathlons, and Ironman competitions (3,6 km swimming, 180m km cycling, 42km running). To date, I have completed 17 Ironman races and organized an Ultra run in Graz, covering a distance of 68 km with a 3000 m elevation gain.

2. As the Vice President for Archives, what inspired you to pursue a career in this field, and what aspects of archival work do you find most rewarding?

My journey into archival work began during my university studies when I worked as a student assistant at the University archive, where I learned the fundamentals of archival management. The most captivating aspect of archival work is delving into history to uncover the origins of seemingly established concepts and events. Often, our recollections diverge from historical realities, underscoring the indispensability of archives.!

3. Can you share a particularly challenging project or situation you've encountered in your role as Vice President for Archives, and how you approached it?
One of the most daunting tasks involves organizing and cataloguing documents, ensuring they are meticulously arranged. Despite perceptions of certain documents as mundane or irrelevant, preserving them is imperative, as their significance may become evident in the future.

4. How do you see the future of archival work evolving, especially in the context of rapidly advancing technology and digital preservation challenges?
Preserving digital records presents a significant challenge in contemporary archival work. Unlike traditional paper documents, digital communication channels such as emails and messaging apps necessitate innovative preservation techniques. Balancing access to information while respecting privacy concerns poses a complex challenge.

5. As the Statistics Manager, how do you ensure the accuracy and integrity of the data collected within your department?
During the history of the IDO a lot of different statistics exist. Michael Wendt did his own one, then Andrey Kokoulin had his statistics, and other members of the presidium are doing their own statistics. So you can say very good we have a lot of them. But the real problem is, that all these statistics are on a different basis, done in different ways, in different shapes, different programs, different focus and at the end you see a statistic without the description of how this statistic was done. Okay statistics in the IDO are not on a university level, so it does not matter, but it is hard to compare different numbers if you have no clear way to make them.

6. Can you describe a bit more your role as Data Protection Manager, what is your main goal?
Several years ago, data protection became a focal point in Europe, prompting organizations to prioritize compliance. While adherence to regulations is crucial, it is essential to strike a balance between safeguarding members' information and promoting the achievements of our dancers within legal frameworks.

7. Shifting to your role as Couple Dance Department Chairperson, what sparked your interest in dance, and how does it complement your other professional responsibilities?
Good question. When I go back in my personal history my interest in dance started when I was about 14 years old. To be honest I was interested in meeting girls and the dancing school was the best way ;-). Then I realized that I was talented and could get more out of it and it was fun to dance and to be on stage. Then I figured out that I was also talented in teaching other people and in the end it was my main job over the last 50 years.
After starting my own dancing school, I was interested in bringing Hip Hop to Austria and started to work with IDO and with my background in Ballroom and Latin I helped my Senior College Ferry Polai to do the fantastic competitions in Seefeld and Nauders. From that time on I was more and more involved in the Couple Dance Discipline and at nearly every World- and European Championship as an organizer, judge, supervisor, or chairperson in our department. Some of the dancers who started in junior level when I started to judge them are now trainers, successful trainers, and teachers around the world. Their dancers are now in the first positions, and it is nice to see the next generation and to have friendships with the trainers and other judges from all over the world.

8. Can you describe your vision for the Couple Dance Department ?
It is quite hard to write something about my vision of the Couple Dance Department. Before Covid we had the vision of growing and building up disciplines like Salsa in new countries, to cooperate with South America to have competitions in Mexico and Asia. But after Covid, the possibilities changed totally in the Couple Dance Department. Organizers in South America have to work hard on their existence, other organizations are hardly working in the same field and the numbers are not growing in the way we want.
We need more people who would like to dance in our disciplines, and we need more competition not only internationally but also on a national level to motivate more dancers.

9. How do you balance your administrative duties with your passion for dance, and how does each aspect influence the other in your daily work?
It is always a question of balancing daily work in my normal business, the work for IDO and the work for our national organization. There is a work daily where I can do most routine work and then it comes to some days where I use my time only for IDO to go through some questions and problems.

10. What do you believe are the most important skills or qualities for aspiring dancers to develop?
Training, training, training. 20% is talent, 80% is training. You can be the most talented dancer, but if you do not have the power to train on a daily basis you will not succeed. I know some not-so-talented dancers who got into finals with a lot of work. At the top, you must have the talent and work hard only then you can be a world champion.

11. Lastly, how do you approach challenges or setbacks in your various roles, and what strategies do you employ to overcome them effectively?
During my life, I had many more setbacks and challenges than successful moments. If you would like to learn something in your life you have to make the setbacks as your teacher. Do not give up, go on, adapt your strategy, listen to other people, learn your lesson and get back on track.
Most of the time you are the problem and not the world around you.
Ask yourself what can I do better, and how can the others understand it better? Is the one who sits in front of me the right one to address my ideas?
Learn, read, listen!

12. Your message to IDO Community
Keep on dancing! It is the most interesting, most challenging and most fascinating sport you can do.
Find friends, national and international, and work on yourself and the best of the world.
Open your ears and eyes, and see the world around you and the lives of others.
Talk about IDO and have fun!

Thank you for your time and amazing insight into your work and you.

#IDOWorldDance #VicePresident #gettoknow

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