United States Dance Championships

Rules & Policies

The United States Dance Championships are conducted under the rules and regulations governing competitions recognized by the National Dance Council of America, Inc. (NDCA).

General Rules - All Divisions

THE FOLLOWING RULES SHALL ALSO APPLY:

1. No responsibility for loss or theft of articles left in the changing rooms, performance or seating areas, can be accepted by the Organizer, American Ballroom Company, Inc. or by the National Dance Council of America, Inc. and neither can they be held liable for injury sustained by persons attending this event. Everyone attending does so at his or her own risk.
 
2. All person attending this event, whether as spectators, competitors, officials or guests of the organizers, shall be bound by the National Dance Council of America, Inc. Rules and Regulations, and by participating in this event automatically become obliged to adhere to them. Additionally, the organizers reserve the right to refuse admittance into the ballroom and/or entry in a competitive event.
 
3. For event identified by the word, “Open” or “Open to the World”, Professional and Amateur overseas competitors must be registered with the WDC, WDSF or the official recognized amateur organization of their country of residence.
 
4. Those events identified as “National Championships” are restricted. Participants must meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the National Dance Council of America. Click Here to Read the Rules Governing US National Events.
 
5. In any Professional or Amateur division with fewer than three (3) couples entered, the organizers reserve the right to cancel the event. Competitors will be duly notified in advance of such cancellation.
 
6. No couple is exempt from competing in any round of a Championship event. Any couple who fails to appear at the scheduled time for the first round of any event will be disqualified from the event.
 
7. Should any point arise which is not covered in the Rules and Regulations Governing Competitions and Championships recognized by the NDCA or in this additional rules, it will be referred to the Dance Rules Committee and/or organizers, whose decision will be final.
 
8. Video taping of any event at the USDC is strictly prohibited except for the official video company as designated by the organizer.

Entry Fees & Closing Dates

An official entry form must be completed and signed by all competitors entering the United States Dance Championships and the non-championship All-American dance competitions. All entry fees must accompany each entry form when sent to the organizers. Entry forms are available in the registration section of this website. Additional entry forms may be obtained from the organizers.

THE CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES IS AUGUST 6th. All entry forms must be accompanied by the appropriate entry fees and postmarked by the closing date of August 6th. Entries postmarked within five (5) days after the official closing will be accespted. No entries will be accepted without payment in full by VISA, MASTERCARD, Certified Check, Cashiers Check or Money Order in U.S. Dollars and made payable through a U.S. Bank. All Payments made by credit card will be charged a 4% administrative fee. Please Note: PROFESSIONAL ENTRY FEES INCLUDE GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS. Included in the entry fees are two General Admission tickets to the ballroom for the session in which you are competing. Competitors who desire reserved seats should, when submitting their entries, include the order form for individual reserved admission tickets. All payments are to be made payable and mailed to:

American Ballroom Company
PO BOX 4507
Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274
Telephone: (310) 544 – 4636
Fax: (310) 544 – 1736

Cancellation & Refund Policy

1. All cancellations of entries must be made in writing to the organizers. No phone cancellations accepted.

2. Entries received before the closing date and canceled by August 6th will receive a full refund.

3. Entries received before the closing date and canceled after August 6th, but by August 13th will be charged 25% of the total entry fee for non-recoverable processing costs.

4. Entries received by the closing date and canceled after August 13th but by August 16th will be charged 50% of the total entry fee for non-recoverable processing costs.

5. There are no refunds for cancellations received after August 16th.

6. There are no refunds for cancellations of entries postmarked after the closing date of August 16th.

7. Refunds will be processed approximately 45 days following the event.

8. Late entries will be approved on a space available basis and a late fee of $30 per person shall apply.

Professional Rules

1. Entry into the U.S. Open Professional Rising Star Competition is limited to professionals who have never reached the final round of the Open British, UK, International, or US Open Championships. The result of one style does not affect the eligibility for any other Rising Star Competition. Rising Star competitors are also eligible to enter the Open Professional Championships at the USDC.
 
2. Professional dancers entering Professional and/or Pro/Am events must be registered with the NDCA. Professional overseas competitors must be registered with the WDC, WDSF or the official recognized amateur organization of their country of residence.

Properly registered Professional Competitors are eligible to dance in any closed championship of the United States Dance Championships also fulfill one of the following criteria:

1. Both members of the partnership are United States citizens, and neither member of the partnership has represented another country or competed in the closed national championship of another country in the previous 12 months. NDCA registered professionals who represent other countries in WDC World Championships may dance in the United States National Closed Professional American Style Smooth and Rhythm, due to the fact that these two events are not used to select U.S. representatives for WDC world championships.

2. One half of the partnership is a United States citizen, and neither member of the partnership has represented another country or competed in the closed national championship of another country in the previous 12 months, and the half of the partnership that is not a U.S. citizen has resided in the USA for the previous 6 months. NDCA registered professionals who represent other countries in WDC World Championships may dance in the United States National Closed Professional American Smooth and Rhythm, due to the fact that these two events are not used to select U.S. representatives for WDC world championships.

3. Both members of the partnership are non-United States citizens, but both members of the partnership have resided in the USA for the previous 6 months, and neither member of the partnership has represented another country or competed in the closed national championship of another country in the previous 12 months. NDCA registered professionals who represent other countries in WDC World Championships may dance in the United States National Closed Professional American Smooth and Rhythm, due to the fact that these two events are not used to select U.S. representatives for WDC world championships. Additionally, both members of the partnership must also fulfill one of the following criteria:

  • a.) They are holders of a United States Resident Alien Card (Green Card) or can show proof that they have been approved by the United States Government for lawful admission to the U.S.A. as a permanent resident, but have not yet received their Green Card.
  • b.) They have applied for a United States Resident Alien Card (Green Card), and have submitted photocopy proof of such application to the NDCA Ballroom Director.
  • c.) They have received Political Asylum from the United States government.
  • d.) They have applied for Political Asylum from the United States Government, and have submitted photocopy proof of such application to the NDCA Ballroom Director.

At least 50% of your routine must be recognizable Ballroom dancing. This rule will be strictly enforced.

All music must be on a Flash drive or email with the “USDC” in the subject line, and their names. Email is the preferred method Brett Mills at m4mrecords@me.com

A. INTRODUCTION

1. TITLES: Showdance titles, which are solo performance championships, may be danced in two divisions: Ballroom Showdance or Latin Showdance.

2. DANCES ALLOWED: In Ballroom Showdance Championships, the dances shall be selected from the following: Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep. In Latin Showdance Championships the dances shall be selected from the following: Cha-Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive.

B. SHOWDANCE RULES: The following rules may be used by Competition Organizers who wish to use an alternate format as noted in this rule book, rule III. D. 27.

1. Dances
In Ballroom Showdance events the dances must be selected from one up to all of the five regular Ballroom dances, and in the Latin Showdance events from one up to all of the five regular Latin-American competition dances. It is the duty of the Adjudicators to assess the Character of each style as part of their assessment. Dancers must perform the same show and choreography throughout the rehearsal and the competition.

2. Time
The time of the show must be up to a maximum of 4 minutes. The time limit must not be exceeded under any circumstances. The time limit is to include walk on and exit from the floor. Exceeding the time limit leads to direct disqualification.

3. Lifts
Three lifts are permitted for the whole performance. These can be performed anywhere in the show.

4. Music
The invitation for a Showdance Competition must advise the couples of possible sound carriers. The sound carriers for a Showdance Competition will always be: USB Audio media (Flash drive or emailed to the music director.) 

*All music must be on a Flash drive or email with the “USDC” in the subject line, and their names. Email is the preferred method Brett Mills at m4mrecords@me.com

5. The Competition
Conditions including lighting must be the same for all couples throughout the show including entrance and exit. Preceding every Showdance Competition there must be an official rehearsal, where all the couples have a reasonable time to test their show. To attend the rehearsal is an obligation for all couples and the chairman of adjudicators.

6. Props
No props are permitted during entrance, performance and exit.

7. Order of Dancing
Order of dancing shall be drawn by ballot, at which all the competitors or chosen representatives have a right to be present.

8. Time between Rounds
There is to be a minimum of 30 minutes between each round of a Showdance.

9. Marking system
The normal system of marking will be applied. (i.e. In the Final the adjudicators will place the couples in order of merit).

10. Chairman of Adjudicators
In all cases the decision of the Chairman of Adjudicators is final.

C. SHOWDANCE COMPETITIONS AT NDCA EVENTS
These Showdance rules are the only alternate form of competition permitted by the NDCA in regards to rule III. D. 28. If a Showdance competition is attached to another event, then Competition Organizers may not require the couples from the final to participate in the Showdance competition.

1. The Music for each round shall be approximately 1:15 to 1:45 seconds.
*All music must be on a Flash drive or email with the “USDC” in the subject line, and their names. Email is the preferred method Brett Mills at m4mrecords@me.com
 
2. All finalists will dance a solo to the music of their choice, (not to exceed 1:45 seconds) prior to dancing the final round.
 
3. Any type of costume is acceptable, however any costumes that reveal the buttocks or other parts of the body indiscriminately, if, in the opinion of the Rules Committee, too much flesh is exposed, a couple will be penalized and/or disqualified.
 
4. There are NO lifts allowed.
 

** Competition will be danced as follows: Group danced, solos for Finalists and then Group danced for the Final round. 

MUSIC: Flash drive or email with the “USDC” in the subject line, and their names. Email is the preferred method. Email to Brent Thomas Mills m4mrecords@me.com

TIME: The time of the music for the Cabaret must be between 3-4 minutes. The time limit must not be exceeded under any circumstances. A time limit exceeded can lead to direct disqualification. The couples will walk onto the floor with the period not to exceed fifteen seconds. At the conclusion of the actual performance, the couples may take their bows, and walk off the floor with a period not to exceed 30 seconds. For the exit the couples can use music. The time length of the exit music is strictly limited to the same 30 seconds. During entrance, performance and exit the couple must be alone on the floor.

PROPS: Only hand held props are permitted during entrance, performance and exit, ie scarfs, hats canes etc.

ORDER OF DANCING: Order of dancing shall be drawn by ballot, at which all the competitors or chosen representatives have a right to be present.

Pro/Am & Amateur Rules

1. In the “All American” One Dance Competitions, all gentlemen students will be judged separately from the lady students.

2. The U.S. National Pro/Am American Style Championship Divisions are open to all Pro/Am Canadian couples who are trained in, and dancing, an American Style Syllabus recognized by the NDCA.

3. All competitors are expected to conform to the following rules regarding age classification. Entry into the proper division is governed by the age of the amateur competitor on the date of the championships each year:

  • (a) The Minimum age requirement must be met in all divisions.
  • (b) The Maximum age requirement would be in effect through the last day of the dancer’s birth year. Example: The Amateur dancer in a Pro/Am B1 partnership (51 to 60) is eligible to remain in this classification until the day before their sixty-first (61) birthday.

4. The “All-American” Competitions are Closed Syllabus events, except for those noted as “Open Syllabus”. Participants must only use steps from approved syllabi of member organizations of the NDCA as well as the official NDCA Syllabus. An Invigilator with knowledge of these syllabi will be engaged to make sure this rule is enforced. If an infraction occurs during preliminary rounds the couple will be given a warning. If the infraction occurs in subsequent rounds or in the final, the couple will be disqualified.

5. Age Classifications in the “All-American” Competitions are determined by the age of the amateur dancer as follows: Students may dance 3 age divisions, their true age plus 2 ages below their true age. For example: B2 (61-70) may also dance B1 (51-60) & A3 (41-50)

  • Pro/Am OPEN = Any age 16 and older may enter.
  • Pro/Am or Student/Student PT = Under 9
  • Pro/Am or Student/Student PT2 = 9 -11
  • Pro/Am or Student/Student JR1 = 12-13
  • Pro/Am or Student/Student JR2 = 14-15
  • Pro/Am or Student/Student A1 = 16 – 30
  • Pro/Am or Student/Student A2 = 31 – 40
  • Pro/Am or Student/Student A3 = 41 – 50
  • Pro/Am or Student/Student B1 = 51 – 60
  • Pro/Am or Student/Student B2 = 61 – 70
  • Pro/Am or Student/Student C1 = 71 – 80
  • Pro/Am or Student/Student C2 = 81 +

6. Students may enter at any level of dance and only THREE higher in any one style of dance (American/International)in the closed single dance categories. Students may enter in completely different dance levels in the American Style between Smooth and Rhythm and in the International Style between Standard and Latin-American.

7. In the “All American” Pro/Am Competitions the Newcomers division is for beginning students with 50 hours or less of private instruction. Additionally, Newcomers are restricted to steps 1-5 of the Bronze syllabus.

8. In the Pro/Am Pre-Teen Championship division the amateur partner may not be over 12 years of age. In the Pro/Am Junior Championship division the amateur partner may not be over 17 years of age. Pro/Am Pre-Teen or Junior competitors who have previously competed as adults are not eligible to enter the Pro/Am Pre-Teen or Junior Championship divisions of this event.

9. The amateur dancer in a Pro/Am partnership who has previously won a first place medallion in four (4) or more dances in the same style in the “All-American” Single Dance Competitions, becomes ineligible to re-enter the “All-American” Competitions in that level in future years, and must advance to the next higher level in any subsequent year. Couples entering the Open Level (Open Syllabus) are exempt.

10. The amateur dancer in a Pro/Am partnership may enter both the “All-American” Dance Competition and the United States Dance Championships provided the eligibility requirements for the “All-American” Dance Competition are met as outlined in rule 9 above.

11. The Pro/Am student winner of any Closed Multidance or Rising Star Multidance event of three dances or more, in which a semifinal is held, is ineligible to compete in the same Multidance Level, Style, and Age category at that event in following years at that same event. Organizers may enforce more stringent requirements, provided it is outlined in their Rules and Regulations and included on entry forms.

 
1. MUSIC:All music must be on a Flash drive or email with the “USDC” in the subject line, and their names. Email is the preferred method Brett Mills at m4mrecords@me.com
 
2. TIME: The time of the music for the Cabaret must be between 3-4 minutes. The time limit must not be exceeded under any circumstances. A time limit exceeded can lead to direct disqualification. The couples will walk onto the floor with the period not to exceed fifteen seconds. At the conclusion of the actual performance, the couples may take their bows, and walk off the floor with a period not to exceed 30 seconds. For the exit the couples can use music. The time length of the exit music is strictly limited to the same 30 seconds. During entrance, performance and exit the couple must be alone on the floor.
 
3. PROPS: Only hand held props are permitted during entrance, performance and exit, i.e. scarfs, hats, canes etc.
 
4. ORDER OF DANCING: Order of dancing shall be drawn by ballot, at which all the competitors or chosen representatives have a right to be present.

A. INTRODUCTION

1. TITLES: Showdance titles, which are solo performance championships, may be danced in two divisions: Ballroom Showdance or Latin Showdance.

2. DANCES ALLOWED: In Ballroom Showdance Championships, the dances shall be selected from the following: Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep. In Latin Showdance Championships the dances shall be selected from the following: Cha-Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive.

B. SHOWDANCE RULES: The following rules may be used by Competition Organizers who wish to use an alternate format as noted in this rule book, rule III. D. 27.

1. Dances
In Ballroom Showdance events the dances must be selected from one up to all of the five regular Ballroom dances, and in the Latin Showdance events from one up to all of the five regular Latin-American competition dances. It is the duty of the Adjudicators to assess the Character of each style as part of their assessment. Dancers must perform the same show and choreography throughout the rehearsal and the competition.

2. Time
The time of the show must be up to a maximum of 4 minutes. The time limit must not be exceeded under any circumstances. The time limit is to include walk on and exit from the floor. Exceeding the time limit leads to direct disqualification.

3. Lifts
Three lifts are permitted for the whole performance. These can be performed anywhere in the show.

4. Music
The invitation for a Showdance Competition must advise the couples of possible sound carriers. The sound carriers for a Showdance Competition will always be: USB Audio media (Flash drive or emailed to the music director.) 

*All music must be on a Flash drive or email with the “USDC” in the subject line, and their names. Email is the preferred method Brett Mills at m4mrecords@me.com

5. The Competition
Conditions including lighting must be the same for all couples throughout the show including entrance and exit. Preceding every Showdance Competition there must be an official rehearsal, where all the couples have a reasonable time to test their show. To attend the rehearsal is an obligation for all couples and the chairman of adjudicators.

6. Props
No props are permitted during entrance, performance and exit.

7. Order of Dancing
Order of dancing shall be drawn by ballot, at which all the competitors or chosen representatives have a right to be present.

8. Time between Rounds
There is to be a minimum of 30 minutes between each round of a Showdance.

9. Marking system
The normal system of marking will be applied. (i.e. In the Final the adjudicators will place the couples in order of merit).

10. Chairman of Adjudicators
In all cases the decision of the Chairman of Adjudicators is final.

C. SHOWDANCE COMPETITIONS AT NDCA EVENTS
These Showdance rules are the only alternate form of competition permitted by the NDCA in regards to rule III. D. 28. If a Showdance competition is attached to another event, then Competition Organizers may not require the couples from the final to participate in the Showdance competition.

1. The Music for each round shall be approximately 1:15 to 1:45 seconds.
*All music must be on a Flash drive or email with the “USDC” in the subject line, and their names. Email is the preferred method Brett Mills at m4mrecords@me.com
 
2. All finalists will dance a solo to the music of their choice, (not to exceed 1:45 seconds) prior to the final round.
 
3. Any type of costume is acceptable, however any costumes that reveal the buttocks or other parts of the body indiscriminately, if, in the opinion of the Rules Committee, too much flesh is exposed, a couple will be penalized and/or disqualified.
 
4. There are NO lifts allowed. 
 

** Competition will be danced as follows: Group danced, solos for Finalists and then Group danced for the Final round. 

To qualify for all scholarship events, a student must enter a minimum of 4 (Smooth) and 5 (Rhythm, Ballroom, Latin) Pro/Am single dances per scholarship event entered. When entering a Multi Dance Event each individual dance will count as a single dance entry (i.e. an entry into the U.S. Open to the World Pro/Am Rising Star American Rhythm Competition (C/R/SW/B/MA) would count as 5 single dances). All scholarships are unisex competitions for adults. Closed scholarships are restricted to Bronze & Silver students. Please remember that the closed scholarships are restricted to closed syllabus figures (Bronze restricted to Bronze Syllabus and Silver restricted to Bronze & Silver Syllabus). Open scholarships are not restricted to any figures. In any scholarship event with fewer than three entries, the organizer reserves the right to eliminate the age and sex divisions and merge competitors into one division. The U.S. National Pro/Am Scholarship Championships are open to all Pro/Am Canadian couples who are trained in and dancing an NDCA recognized Syllabus. In The U.S. National Pro/Am Scholarship Championships a student may enter two consecutive levels (Closed Bronze and Closed Silver or Closed Silver and Closed Gold) and two age categories (a student’s true age category and one age category lower). The Open to the World Scholarship Championships may be entered in a student’s true age category and one age down. Students entering the Closed Bronze or Closed Silver US National Scholarships may enter the Open to the World Scholarship in the same style. Students MUST enter the scholarship level corresponding to the level of the majority of single

If there are less than 6 entries in a division, the organizer reserve the right to reduce the scholarship prize money by 50%.

U.S. Open to the World Pro/Am Rising Star Events are open to students who have not placed in the Final of the U.S. Open Pro/Am Multidance Scholarships in any previous USDC. If you have, you are ineligible to compete in the same Rising Star Multidance Level, Style, and Age category in any following years at USDC.
This event is open to all participants from around the world.

Age classifications, “a” through “f-(3)”, will become effective on the individual’s actual birthday. On a year where a competitor is going to move from one classification to the next they may make this change anytime during a 60 day period that begins 30 days prior to their birthday and ends 30 days following their birthday.
  • Pre-Teen I – 9th birthday or less
  • Pre-Teen II – 10th or 11th birthday
  • Junior I – 12th or 13th birthday
  • Junior II – 14th or 15th birthday
  • Youth – 16th, 17th, or 18th birthday
  • Adult: 19th birthday +
Competitors may dance “up” or “down” as follows:
  • Pre-Teen I competitors may dance up one age classification to “Pre-Teen II”.
  • Pre-Teen II competitors may dance up one age classification to “Junior I”.
  • Junior I competitors may dance up one age classification to “Junior II”.
  • Junior II competitors may dance up one age classification to “Youth”.
  • Youth competitors may dance up to the Adult classification.
The following rules apply to competitors age 18 and under:
 
1. For Youth, Junior I and Junior II partnerships, one of the individuals may be no more than two age classifications younger.
 
2. If one of the individuals in the partnership is two age classifications younger, then the younger member of the partnership must request permission in writion from the NDCA Ballroom Department and in turn receive written approval prior to being allowed to compete (example – a “Pre-Teen II” girl wishing to compete with a “Junior II” age boy). If written permission is given for the individual to dance up two age classifications, then that person may not return again to dance in the original younger age classification that they “gave up”.
 
3. Under no circumstance will a Pre-Teen I, Pre-Teen II, or a Junior competitor be allowed to compete in the Adult age classification.
 
4. A Junior II competitor may not apply for permission to dance up as an Adult until they are 15 years old, at which time they would need to apply to the Ballroom Department as noted above.
 
5. Youth competitors turning 19 years of age in the calendar year may still dance as youths until they have graduated from “High School”.
 
6. A couple’s age classification eligibility is defined as the age of the older partner for the Pre-Teen I, Pre-Teen II, Junior I, Junior II, Youth and Adult classifications, while it is defined as the age of the younger partner for the Senior classifications.
 
7. Any Amateur competitor dancing in a Pre-Teen I, Pre-Teen II, Junior I, Junior II, or Youth “open singles event” may only be partnered by another amateur competitor aged eighteen years or younger.
8. Syllabus: Amateur Pre-Teen: Couples competing in this age category may only dance Bronze, Silver and Gold figures from approved syllabi of member organizations of the NDCA as well as the official NDCA Syllabus. All infringements to the restricted syllabus will be reported to the Chairman of Judges. If an infraction occurs during preliminary rounds, the couple will be given a warning. If the infraction occurs in subsequent rounds or in the final, the couple will be disqualified. Pre-Teen couples wishing to dance outside the list of allowable figures are encouraged to dance in the student/student open syllabus divisions of the “All-American” One Dance Competitions.
 
9. The “All-American” Competitions are Closed Syllabus events, except for those noted as “Open Syllabus”. Couples may dance Bronze, Silver and Gold Syllabus figures from approved syllabi of member organizations of the NDCA as well as the official NDCA Syllabus. Couples competing in Newcomer and Bronze levels may only dance Bronze figures (for Newcomer steps 1-5 only). An Invigilator with knowledge of these syllabi will be engaged to make sure this rule is enforced. If an infraction occures during preliminary rounds, the couple will be given a warning. If the infraction occurs in subsequent rounds or in the final, the couple will be disqualified.
 
10. All U.S. Amateur dancers entering amateur events must be registered with the National Dance Council of America (NDCA). Overseas Amateurs must be registered with the WDC, WDSF or the official recognized amateur organization of their country of residence. This applies to both members of the partnership. Student/Student couples entering the “All-American” one dance events are not required to be registered.

Student/Student events are an accommodation for Pro/Am Student Dancers, and are open only to one adult Pro/Am Student Dancer partnering with another adult Pro/Am Student Dancer – both of whom must comply with the requirements as stated in the definition of a Pro/Am Student Dancer. Student/Student events are not open to amateur dancers who compete in Amateur Competitions and/or Championships at the “Open Amateur” proficiency level as defined in section X. RULES FOR AMATEUR COMPETITORS.

For the most up-to-date rules regarding dress/costuming for Pre-Teens, Juniors & Youths, please refer to the most recent NDCA Rule Book.

Telecast Release

Portions of the United States Dance Championships may be televised. Since there is no way of knowing what audience or background shots might be utilized in the final edited version, we cannot limit the cameras to the competitors only. Thus, it is considered that everyone who attends these events will, by their presence in the Swan Ballroom, have consented to the use and release of any pictures or names of those spectators who may appear on television. If any person has an objection to the possibility of being seen on television we advise you not to enter the Ballroom while television production cameras are operating.

Non U.S. Resident Competitors

American Ballroom Company is pleased to send a letter of invitation to any embassy you request. You must fill out the request form found in the registration section of this web site. You must supply full name and address of the embassy along with their fax number and the name and date of birth for each individual requesting a visa. There will be a $20.00 processing charge (paid in advance) for each letter requested. (WDC World Championship competitors are exempt from this fee.) This can be paid by VISA or MASTERCARD.