Rule Information

This is a USA Dance sanctioned competition and a National Qualifying Event for the 2015 United States National Championships. All USA Dance rules will be enforced by an onsite DanceSport Official, the Chairman of Judges and invigilators. Please make yourself familiar with these rules, especially the dress code for syllabus dancers (Bronze, Silver, Gold/Pre-Teen through Adult). Click on a topic below for additional information.

USA Dance Membership Requirements

All Competitors MUST be a currently registered DanceSport member of USA Dance. If you are not yet a member or a Social member or need to renew, please do so online at

We verify USA Dance memberships for competitors up to one week prior to the competition. If we cannot verify your number, we may contact you to ask you to bring a printout of your card to the competition. You can print out a copy via the USA Dance site above.


Dancers need not dance with the same partner for all events; however they may dance with only one partner per event.

Dancers must abide by the syllabus rules of each event they enter even if they are competing in more than one proficiency level. For instance, Gold steps are not allowed in Silver even if you are competing in both categories.

Entry into multiple age and skill levels is allowed (but see the limitations in the next section). However, this may result in shorter than normal break times between heats. They may not compete in any classification below the minimum proficiency level for which they are eligible based on their prificiency points registered with USA Dance.

Age Classifications and Proficiency Levels

Age Classifications

The following age classifications are based upon the individual's birthday, which occurs within the calendar year. This means that the ages below refer to the age you will turn any time this year, and not if you are that age at the time of the competition.

Pre-Teen I 9th or less  
Pre-Teen II 10th or 11th  
Junior I 12th or 13th  
Junior II 14th or 15th  
Youth 16th, 17th or 18th  
Adult 19th or greater  
Senior I 35th or greater One partner must have reached his or her 35th birthday or more in the calendar year and the other partner must have reached his or her 30th birthday or more in the calendar year.
Senior II 45th or greater One partner must have reached his or her 45th birthday or more in the calendar year and the other partner must have reached his or her 40th birthday or more in the calendar year.
Senior III 55th or greater One partner must have reached his or her 55th birthday or more in the calendar year and the other partner must have reached his or her 50th birthday or more in the calendar year.
Senior IV 65th or greater One partner must have reached his or her 65th birthday or more in the calendar year and the other partner must have reached his or her 60th birthday or more in the calendar year.

In Pre-Teen, Junior, Youth, and Adult events, one partner of the couple may be no more than two age classifications younger.

Eligible athletes may only compete in two consecutive age categories held at a given competition in any given style and proficiency level.

Proficiency Levels and Points

There are six general competitive classifications for each age group and style that relate to proficiency. There are two independent subsets of proficiency classifications – Syllabus and Open. Only syllabus figures may be danced in the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Syllabus levels (noted below in the highlighted part of the table):

Syllabus Levels Open Levels
Bronze Silver Gold Novice Pre-Championship Championship
→   →   →  Increasing Level of Proficiency  →   →   →

Athletes may only participate in a maximum of two proficiency levels and they must be consecutive . Since there are some complexities in this rule, competitors are encouraged to read the rulebook regarding proficiency levels.

Athletes can earn proficiency points and are subject to anti-doping controls. Both partners must be eligible for each event they enter and shall not compete in any classification below the minimum proficiency level for which they are eligible (see Rulebook, Rule 4.6). Competitors are responsible for verifying their proficiency points, so please check your accumulated proficiency points before registering.

Dances per Proficiency Level

The following table provides the dances that are danced in an entry of the given style and proficiency level

Standard Dances
Championship Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep
Pre-Championship & Gold Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Quickstep
Novice & Silver Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep
Bronze Waltz, Quickstep
Latin Dances
Championship Samba, Cha Cha, Rumba, Paso Doble Jive
Pre-Championship & Gold Samba, Cha Cha, Rumba, Jive
Novice & Silver Samba, Cha Cha, Rumba
Bronze Cha Cha, Rumba
Smooth Dances
Championship Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz
Pre-Championship & Gold Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz
Novice & Silver Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot
Bronze Waltz, Foxtrot
Rhythm Dances
Championship Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero, Mambo
Pre-Championship & Gold Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero
Novice & Silver Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing
Bronze Cha Cha, Rumba

Rules for Teacher/Student Events

Under advisement of the USA DanceSport Council and the acceptance by the USA Dance Governing Council, in an effort to provide DanceSport for all, under the guise of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Sports-For-All initiative; USA Dance has replaced the competitive category of Mixed Proficiency with the competitive category known as Teacher/Student (T/S).

During the refinement of the complete set of rules and sanctioning rights of this new category, the DanceSport Council grants sanctioning rights as a Special Project whereby organizers are permitted to establish sporting rules in keeping with the principles of USA Dance and the US Olympic Committee.

The following definitions and rules apply for Teacher Student couples in the New England DanceSport Championships:

  • Student: The Student must be a USA Dance Athlete member in good standing and may be of any age and either sex. The Student is the only partner judged.
  • Teacher: The Teacher may be of any age and either sex, regardless of the age and sex of the Student. The Teacher is not judged. The Teacher must be either a USA Dance Athlete or Professional Athlete member in good standing.
  • A Teacher may partner with multiple Students in multiple age divisions, levels and disciplines, but not the same event with more than one student, per the rules of entry and registration.
  • Eligible Events: The event eligibility rules apply only to the age, sex, and proficiency level of the Student. The Student will be judged against other Students in the same age, sex, and level categories that are also dancing with Teacher partners. Otherwise, all the eligibility rules of the New England DanceSport Championships apply to entries by T/S couples.
  • A T/S couple may not compete in other events as a non-T/S couple. However, the Student may enter other events with other amateur partners that are not dancing as a Teacher, and the NEDSC's standard rules will apply to those entries. If the Teacher Partner is an amateur DanceSport Athlete, then they have all the options available to them as any other amateur DanceSport Athlete, with their regular partner.
Click her for PDF file of this document along with USA Dance's TEACHER/ STUDENT DIVISION, INITIAL STATEMENT ON RULES0

USA Dance Rules - Updates, Full Rulebook

There have been a few significant updates to the USA Dance Rulebook summarized below.

There have been several Dress Regulation changes in the Pre-Teen, Junior, Youth and Adult Syllabus age categories. Adult Syllabus Dress Regulations are now the same as Senior Syllabus Dress Regulations. (See rules under 3.11)

Proficiency Point calculation rules have changed to allow Athletes more NQE and Nationals competition experience, before pointing out of lower proficiency levels. In addition, proficiency points are now calculated the same for all age categories (see rules – There is also a guide to calculating proficiency points posted on the USA Dance website under DanceSport. A program is currently being developed so Athletes may view their current proficiency point totals, by dance style, on-line. The program is scheduled to be up and running by mid-June. All Athletes will be notified when the program is available on-line. As a reminder, Athletes are also required to maintain their individual proficiency points for each dance style.

For more a complete description of the USA Dance Rules, please refer to the USA Dance Rule book