RULES FOR DANCERS
The competition is open to all DanceSport athletes, regardless of affiliation or membership status with any dance organization. A parent or guardian must sign a waiver on behalf of any athlete under the age of 18, unless they are legally emancipated.
This competition is neither sanctioned by nor affiliated with any national or international DanceSport organization, including the Collegiate DanceSport Association, the National DanceSport Council of America (NDCA), the North American Same Sex Partner Dance Association (NASSPDA), or USA Dance. If you are a member of any of these dance organizations, your results at this competition will not change your ranking or status with them in any way.
General competition rules
A couple is defined as any two people who choose to dance together in at least one event, regardless of gender.
Couples may enter the level they are qualified to dance or higher levels but never below their proficiency level. In other words, for example, a Bronze couple may dance in Bronze and Silver, but not Pre-Bronze. A Silver level couple may dance in Silver and Gold, but not Bronze.
All couples will compete in events based solely on style, proficiency level, age group, and mobility status (either both members ambulatory, or at least one member wheelchair-using.)
Ambulatory couples will dance in the style of their choice at the same proficiency levels (Pre-Bronze, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Novice, Pre-Champ, and Champ) and age categories (Pre-Teen, Junior, Youth, Adult, Senior I, Senior II, Senior III, Senior IV, and Senior V) as other DanceSport competitions. There will also be four Masters of Syllabus events, one for each style, open to couples of any proficiency level and age group.
Wheelchair-using couples will dance in the style of their choice, but because we anticipate a small number of competitors this year, will only have two proficiency levels (Syllabus and Open) and only one age category, Adult. There will also be one Lyrical event and one Theater Arts/Cabaret event, both open to wheelchair-using couples only.
Couples must always dance with one person leading and one person following.
In Pre-Teen, Junior, and Youth events, the designation of leader and follower must be maintained for all dances in that event.
In Adult and Senior events, couples do not need to maintain the same lead/follow roles throughout an event. For example, if a couple is dancing Standard Silver, they can either have the same person lead all three dances, or they can have one person lead two dances, and the other person lead one dance.
Changing lead/follow roles within individual dances is only allowed at open-level Adult and Senior events. Transitions must be brief, and at all other times during the dance it should be evident that one partner is leading and one partner is following.
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Pre-Teen/Junior/Youth Age Groups
IMPORTANT: Competitor age is NOT the same as a dancer’s actual age, because it is based solely on the dancer’s birth year, not birthday. For example, if a dancer’s 10th birthday falls on any date in 2020 they are considered to be 10 years old for ALL competitions during 2020, even before their 10th birthday. So, anyone born in 2010 is considered to be 10 years old.
The age group for a Pre-Teen, Junior, or Youth couple is determined solely by the competition age of the older partner.
Pre-Teen, Junior & Youth couples may dance in their age group and/or in any higher age group, but may NOT dance in a lower age group. They are limited to dancing in two age groups and the age groups must be consecutive.
The age groups for the competition are as follows:
Pre-Teen 1a: 7 and under (older partner born in 2013 or later)
Pre-Teen 1b: 8-9 yrs old (older partner born in 2011 or 2012)
Pre-Teen 2: 10-11 yrs old (older partner born in 2010 or 2009)
J1: 12-13 yrs old (older partner born in 2008 or 2007)
J2: 14-15 yrs old (older partner born in 2006 or 2005)
Youth: 16-18 yrs old (older partner born in 2004, 2003, or 2002)
Adult/Senior Age Groups
IMPORTANT: Competitor age is NOT the same as a dancer's actual age, because it is based solely on the dancer's birth year, not birthday. For example, if a dancer's 50th birthday falls on any date in 2020 they are considered to be 50 years old for ALL competitions during 2020, even before their 50th birthday. So, anyone born in 1970 is considered to be 50 years old.
Couples in which either partner’s competition age is 19 or above may only dance in Adult or Senior events. However, as Youth couples (age 16-18) are permitted to dance up one consecutive age level, they may also enter events in the Adult age group if they wish.
For Senior couples, the age group is determined by the competition age of the older partner, as long as the younger partner is within five years of the age limit. For example, for Senior 2, which is 45+, the older partner’s competition age must be at least 45, and the younger partner’s competition age must be at least 40.
Adults/Seniors may dance in their age group and/or in any lower Adult/Senior age group, but may NOT dance in a higher age group. They may dance in as many age groups as they wish, and the age groups do not need to be consecutive. So that a couple may dance in Senior III, Senior II and Adult.
The age groups for the competition are as follows:
Adult: 19+ yrs old (either partner born in 2001 or earlier)
Senior 1: 35+ yrs old (older partner born 1985 or earlier and younger born 1990 or earlier)
Senior 2: 45+ yrs old (older partner born 1975 or earlier and younger born 1980 or earlier)
Senior 3: 55+ yrs old (older partner born 1965 or earlier and younger born 1970 or earlier)
Senior 4: 65+ yrs old (older partner born 1955 or earlier and younger born 1960 or earlier)
Senior 5: 75+ yrs old (older partner born 1945 or earlier and younger born 1950 or earlier)
All dancers may enter the proficiency level they are qualified to dance or higher levels, but NOT below their proficiency level
In each style, an individual may dance in two proficiency levels and these should be consecutive.
Syllabus-level events will be strictly invigilated. The allowable syllabi are NDCA, DIVIDA, USA Dance, and ISTD.
All dancers should be dressed in age-appropriate and style-appropriate attire which is tasteful and covers all the areas of the body which should be covered.
After applying the first rule above, if you’re not sure if an area of the body may be left bare, for Pre-Teen and Junior dancers, the answer is always, “No.” For Youth dancers, the answer is, “As long as I’m paying for your lessons and outfits, no.” The same guidance applies when it comes to the use of flesh-toned fabrics to give the appearance of bare skin in a questionable area.
We don’t expect that Adult or Senior dancers will have any questions about whether an outfit “covers all the areas of the body which should be covered.” However, if you’re wondering if leaving an area of the body bare is age-appropriate or tasteful, we encourage you to use flesh-toned fabrics to give the appearance of bare skin, instead.
There is no universal DanceSport rulebook, but many DanceSport athletes are familiar with either the USA Dance rulebook, the NDCA rulebook, or both. Overall, the events will be judged according to general DanceSport regulations which are common to both the USA Dance and NDCA rulebooks, other than those which would clearly conflict with the general competition rules we provide above, elsewhere in this website, or the structure and intent of our competition.
For any regulations which are not common to both rulebooks, in general, we’ll err on the side of permissibility; that is, you should expect that if something is allowed by one rulebook but forbidden by the other, it will be permitted. We’re also huge fans of common sense and not sweating the small stuff.
If there are any situations in which there are directly conflicting rules, neither rulebook applies, or we’re all just scratching our heads and it affects or could affect the results of an actual event, it will be up to the Chair of Judges to make a determination and decide the best course of action.