COMPETITION RULES

General Competition Requirements

General Eligibility:  Each competition is open to all competitors in good standing who:

  1. hold a full weekend ticket and pay all associated registrations fees;
  2. register by the official entry deadlines(s) as outlined in the weekend schedule;
  3. pay the require entry fee(s) and complete any required entry forms, including signed waivers;
  4. meet all other specific entry requirements as outlined in these rules.

Contest Requirements:

  1. Entries: All contest must have a minimum of five (5) entires to be a valid contest.
  2. Judges: There will be a minimum of five Judges for all competitions.
  3. Scoring System: Contests are scored by computer and relative placement. Contestants will be judged in the

preliminaries and/or semi-finals as an individual and as a couple in any finals.

Waiver Forms:

Each contestant must sign the appropriate waiver form.  No contestant will be permitted to compete without a signed waiver form.  All contestant under the age of eighteen must have a parent or guardian sign any required forms.

Role/Gender Requirements:

The Chicago Classic is open to persons of any gender dancing either lead or follow, as they prefer, and we encourage you to register in whichever role you would like to when dancing in any non-NASDE contest.

Appropriate Behavior and Dress Code:

It is the desire of the Organizer to encourage expressive and exciting dance performances without sacrificing quality of dancing and good taste. To encourage this balance, any action that the judges believe would make them uncomfortable in a social dance setting (such as wearing inappropriate attire or showing disrespect toward one’s partner, other dancers, or the event) is prohibited.  Competitors should check with the Organizer or Chief Judge in advance if they have questions regarding the acceptability of their routine/competition attire.

Responsibilities of Competitors

  1. Planning Ahead: Competitors should check the weekend schedule in advance in order to arrive in time to meet registration deadlines. They should bring appropriate competition attire. They should also plan ahead so as to be on time for all meetings and competitions. Competitors are responsible for checking at the event for any changes to previously announced schedules, which are always subject to change.
  1. Knowing the Rules: All competitors should read these rules carefully prior to attending the contestant meeting for their competition. Competitors are responsible for adhering to these rules whether they have read them or not. Questions about the rules should be asked at the contestant meeting, or addressed in advance to the Organizer or the Chief Judge.
  1. Being Prepared to Compete: Competitors should be present in the ballroom at least 15 minutes prior to the start of their competition. Any change in partnership for the couple’s competitions may require an additional entry fee as well as a new entry form and waiver.
  1. Demonstrating Good Sporting Conduct: Competitors must demonstrate good sporting conduct at all times, both on and off the competition floor. Competitors may not speak to judges regarding their placements or scores until after the awards have been given. It is bad sportsmanship to badger or argue with judges about placements and scores. Competitors must also refrain from any behavior that the judges deem inappropriate. Failure to adhere to this code of behavior may result in disqualification.

Petitions for Reclassification

It is the Organizer’s goal to encourage all competitors to assign themselves to a fair and appropriate classification using the honor system. In the event that competitors feel uncomfortable with their assigned classification, they may petition for reclassification on their entry form by providing a brief, written explanation of the reason(s) for their request. Competitors must submit such petitions at the contest registration desk prior to the earliest registration deadline for the competition(s) in question. Petitions for reclassification will be reviewed by the Organizer, in consultation with the Chief Judge, and contestants will be notified as quickly as possible of the outcome. The Organizer reserves the right to reclassify any contestant for any reason.

Changes to These Rules

The Organizer will make every effort to conduct all competitions in accordance with these rules. However, the Organizer reserves the right to make any changes in schedule/format deemed necessary for any competition.

Definitions:

Points:  means points listed in the World Swing Dance Council Competitors Registry.

NASDE:  means the National Association of Swing Dance Events.

Swing Content: The NASDE Statement of Swing** is a guide to assist the judges in determining swing content.

Swing is an American Rhythm Dance based on a foundation of 6-beat and 8-beat patterns that incorporate a wide variety of rhythms built on 2-beat single, delayed, double, triple, and blank rhythm units. The 6-beat patterns include, but are not limited to, passes, underarm turns, push- breaks, open-to-closed, and closed-to-open position patterns. The 8-beat patterns include, but are not limited to, whips, swingouts, Lindy circles, and Shag pivots. Although they are not part of the foundation of the dance as stated above, 2- beat and 4-beat extension rhythm breaks may be incorporated to extend a pattern, to phrase the music, and/or to accent breaks.

** This statement will be used only to identify the presence of Swing content in a performance. It is not intended to be a

full definition of Swing, or to be used to evaluate the quality of the performance. Each Judge will evaluate the presence

of Swing content, which will be one of the criteria that determines a final score **

Division Rules

Jack and Jill Division

The Jack & Jill competitions are designed to highlight social dance skills in spontaneous swing dancing

and the ability to dance well with a variety of partners. A bit of “luck of the draw” comes into play as well.

Format:

Competitors enter as individuals, are randomly assigned partners, and dance to music selected in advance by the Competition DJ. Depending on the number of entries, preliminary and semi-final rounds may be held and will be danced in a heated format. Each division must have at least 5 leaders and 5 followers. There is no maximum number of competitors.

Judging Criteria:

Timing:  Timing points are determined by the ability of the dancer to dance on the down beat of the music and to include syncopations that are also on the beats of the music.

Technique:  “How Well You Do What You Do”: We are looking for good footwork, balance, control, frame and line and how well turns & spins are executed.  Well controlled arms and hands.

Teamwork:  The ability of the partners to work together as a team. One person should not be obviously “out dancing” the other.  TEAMWORK with action-reaction is essential in good dancing.

Content:  “What You Do”: the content is the CHOREOGRAPHY, planned or spontaneous, and musical interpretation through physical movement.  Showing variety and contrast will enhance your dance performance.

Showmanship:  “How Well You Sell What You Do”: showmanship/presentation is the ability of the dancers to keep the audience’s attention for the entire length of the performance.

General:

Each competitor may enter only one skill level Jack & Jill competition (Newcomer, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, All-Star, Champions).  Competitors at least 50 years of age may also enter the Masters Division.  Competitors must be at least thireteen (13) years of age.

Division Qualifications:

Our qualifications for entries promote fairness and competitor enjoyment by grouping dancers of similar ability in the same division. Our rules are based on the World Swing Dance Council recommendations. It is the Organizer’s goal to encourage all competitors to assign themselves to the appropriate classification using the honor system. If you are not comfortable dancing in the division where these qualifications place you and would like to dance up or down, please petition (see“Petitions”). All reasonable petitions will be approved.

Novice:  Competitors must stay in Novice until they have earned at least 15 points in Novice.

Intermediate: Competitors must have earned at least 15 points in Novice; and less than 30 points in Intermediate.

Advanced: Competitors must have earned at least 30 points or more in Intermediate.

All Star: Competitors must have earned at least 45 points in Advanced within 3 years prior to this event.

Champions: Competitors who have placed 1st-5th in a Champions or Invitational J&J or Strictly Swing held at

qualifying NASDE event must dance in this division.

Masters: For competitors who are at least 50 years old by the end of the event. Competitors may also dance in a skill level Jack & Jill (Novice, Intermediate, Advanced or Champions)

Strictly Swing Division:

Swing dancing that encourages lead and follow partner dancing at its best. Although swing includes amalgamations and patterns that are familiar to many dancers, the essence of lead and follow must be maintained in and out of these patterns. Strictly Swing division is not meant for long and extended pre-choreographed phrases. Choreography “on the fly” is the objective. Drops, leans, circular movements and other partner weight support moves are allowed as long as both partners keep at least one foot on the floor.

General:

The maximum number of entries in each division is at the event’s discretion. There is no minimum number of entries. Guidelines for expected swing content are 90% in Strictly Swing. It is at the judge’s discretion to determine that the swing content requirement has been met.

Specific:

  1. Contestants must be least fourteen (13) years or older by the end of the event to participate.
  2. Length of performance is at the promoter’s discretion.
  3. Costumes are not allowed. However, matching or complementary outfits are acceptable.
  4. This division will be danced in heats for preliminaries and semi-finals (if needed).
  5. Couples must maintain physical contact except for spins, turns, short break-a-ways, and recoveries.
  6. Pre-choreographed routines are not allowed.
  7. Dancers must maintain their own physical contact with the floor during partner weight support moves.

Division Qualifications:

It is the Organizer’s goal to encourage all competitors to assign themselves to a fair and appropriate classification using the honor system. If you do not feel comfortable dancing within these qualifications, please petition (see “Petitions”)

Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, All Star:  For these divisions a couple must enter the highest level either

partner qualifies for based on the WSDC points they have earned and the WSDC level criteria for Jack & Jill.

Champion: At least one partner must have placed 5th or higher at a NASDE tour event in a Champions,

Invitational or Professional level Jack & Jill or Strictly Swing contest within the previous 5 years.

Masters (50+): Both partners must be 50 years of age or older. Because this is an age requirement rather than a

skill level requirement you may also enter another Strictly Swing contest at the appropriate skill level if you wish.

Pro-Am Strictly Swing Division

General:

  1. Students enter with their teacher. This division is designed to highlight social dancing skills at a performance level with

an emphasis on lead/follow technique.

  1. For this contest, amateurs are defined as anyone who does not teach dancing on a regular, ongoing basis or earn a

significant amount of income teaching or performing. A professional is defined as someone who earns a significant

amount of income teaching or performing dance. Anyone who has previously competed in open or professional level

competition must be considered a Pro for this purpose.

  1. Only the student is evaluated. Different skill levels and 1 age-defined divisions are offered for both Leader and Follower

roles. Each skill level and role is a separate contest.

  1. Each professional shall have no more than 5 entries in each Division offered.
  1. It is the Organizer’s goal to encourage Pro/Am competitions as a learning tool for the students, and requires that a prior

Student/Teacher relationship exists between the competitors.

Specific:

  1. Length of performance is at the promoter’s discretion. Music will be chosen by the Organizer.
    2. Costumes are not allowed. However, matching or complementary outfits are acceptable.
  2. This division will be danced in heats.
  3. Couples must maintain physical contact except for spins, turns, short break-a-ways, and recoveries.
  4. Pre-choreographed routines are not allowed, no choreographed entrances or exits.
  5. Dancers must maintain their own physical contact with the floor during partner weight support moves.

Division Qualifications:

It is the Organizer’s goal to encourage all competitors to assign themselves to a fair and appropriate classification using the honor system. If you do not feel comfortable dancing within these qualifications, please petition (see “Petitions.”)

Novice: This division is for students with less than 3 years total dance experience and limited previous competition success. Students are expected to perform solid basics. Limited variations are allowed but not required. No leans, drops, or breakaways are allowed. All material should be recognizable as familiar, common “leadable” social patterns.

Intermediate/Advanced: This division is for students with significant prior competition and or dance experience. Students are expected to perform clean basics with variations and musicality. Judges will consider musical interpretation, showmanship and creativity.

ProAm Spotlight Routine:

This single division is offered for all styles of Swing: West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Hustle, Shag and Hand Dance or any other style of popular swing dance. Students enter with their teacher and perform a choreographed routine to music they choose.  Routine must be at least 2 minutes long and no longer than 3 minutes.  Limited to the first 15 entries received.

General:

Couples dance in a solo format. Both the teacher and student’s performance is considered by the judges. Dance order will be chosen at random and posted prior to the division start time.

NASDE Divisions:

NASDE Rules: NASDE rules apply to the Classic & Showcase Divisions only

NASDE Sportsmanship Expectations:

Sportsmanship is a fundamental aspect of our competition. Competing for the NASDE prize fund is privilege, not a right. The event director may flag a competitor’s behavior as un-sportsman like. Said behavior will be reviewed by the NASDE board at the next schedule NASDE Board meeting. Redress for violations can include but are not limited to deduction of points, dropping in level in the over all standing, or removal of competitor from the NASDE list.

Classic Division:

Swing dancing that allows choreography with an “on the ground” approach to the dance. Drops, leans, circular movements and other partner weight support moves are allowed as long as both partners keep at least one foot on the floor. NASDE rules apply. If any Event rule conflicts with published NASDE rules, the NASDE rules take precedence.

General:

  1. Contestants must be 18 years or older by the end of the event to participate.
  2. Competitors will be one Male Leader and one Female Follower.
  3. The maximum number of entries in each division is at the Event’s discretion. The minimum number of entries is 3 couples.

If fewer than ten couples enter a division, NASDE points will still be awarded.

  1. Guidelines for expected swing content are: at 80% in Classic. It is at the judges’ discretion to determine that the swing

content requirement has been met.

  1. An individual is not permitted to dance twice within the same division.

Specific:

  1. Performance time is a minimum of 2 minutes and maximum of 3 minutes. The clock begins when the performance

starts as determined by the chief judge.

  1. Competitors select their own music.
  2. Costumes are allowed and encouraged.
  3. Time and judging starts at first movement of performance with or without music.
  4. Separate entrances are permitted but the couple must physically join together within 32 beats of music.
  5. Couples must maintain physical contact except for spins, turns, short break-a-ways, and recoveries.
  6. Break-away in Classic Division to be no more than 8 beats effective January 1, 2009.
  7. Dancers must maintain their own physical contact with the floor during partner weight support moves.
  8. At most five partner weight support moves are permitted.

Showcase Division:

Swing dancing that allows choreography with flair toward lifts and other partner weight support moves. NASDE rules apply.  If any Event rule conflicts with published NASDE rules, the NASDE rules take precedence.

General:

  1. Contestants must be 18 years or older by the end of the event to participate.
  2. Competitors will be one Male Leader and one Female Follower.
  3. The maximum number of entries in each division is at the Event’s discretion. The minimum number of entries is 3 couples.

If fewer than ten couples enter a division, NASDE points will still be awarded.

  1. Guidelines for expected swing content are: at 60% in Showcase. It is at the judges’ discretion to determine that the

swing content requirement has been met.

  1. An individual is not permitted to dance twice within the same division.

Specific:

  1. Performance time is a minimum of 2 minutes and maximum of 3 minutes. The clock begins when the performance

starts as determined by the Chief Judge.

  1. Competitors select their own music.
  2. Costumes are allowed and encouraged.
  3. Time and judging starts at first movement of performance with or without music.
  4. Separate entrances are permitted.
  5. Break-a-ways and side-by-side patterns are permitted.
  6. At least three partner weight support moves are required with the partner at knee level or above.
  7. At least one partner weight support move is required with the partner above the waist.
  8. There are no lift maximums.

Rising Star

Dance Eligibility

In order to compete in the 2018 Rising Star Tour (RST), each dancer must:

  • Be eighteen (15) years or older by the end of any qualifying event during the tour year. Only dancers 18 years an older will receive Tour Points.
  • Never have placed or made a qualifying final of a NASDE Classic or Showcase division.
  • Never have placed or made qualifying finals of the NASDE Tour Jack & Jill or Strictly Swing (does not include the Adv/All Star J&J tour).
  • Never have won the RST top point award in previous years.*
  • Never have placed top three (3) in the US Open RS division.*

To graduate the 2018 RST, each dancer must:

  • Win the RST top point award for 2018.
  • (or) Place top three (3) in the 2018 US Open RS division.​
  • (or) Choose to dance in the NASDE Tour in the hopes of acquiring NASDE points.

​​*Individuals may petition the RST committee no less than seven (7) days prior to the event at which they wish to compete with a different (eligible) partner by emailing petition@risingstartour.com.

Contest Rules

General:

  • ​A couple consists of one leader and one follower.​ A couple may be other than a male leader and female follower.
  • Contestants may be as young as fifteen (15) years by the end of the event to participate.
  • The maximum number of entries in each division is at the Event’s discretion. Minimum number of entries = three (3). If there are less than three (3) couples, the event shall offer the competitors the opportunity to perform an exhibition, with judges’ feedback.
  • Expected swing content of any style is 70%. It is at the judges’ discretion to determine that the swing content has been met.

Specific:

  • Performance time is a minimum of two (2) minutes and maximum of three (3) minutes.
  • Competitors select their own music.
  • Costumes are required.
  • No props.
  • Time and judging starts at first movement of performance with or without music.
  • Separate entrances are permitted, but must come together within thirty-two (32) beats of the music intro.
  • Break-a-ways and side-by-side patterns are permitted, no longer than eight (8) beats.
  • Lifts are optional but not required.
  • Maximum five (5) partner weight support moves with at least one foot on the ground.

Restart Guidelines:
Couples may request a restart in the following cases:

  • The DJ plays the wrong music for your routine.
  • The sound system fails.
  • Shoe breaks, costume malfunction, or loss of a vital piece of clothing.
  • Lights go out in the ballroom during the performance.

Contestants may NOT request a restart in the following cases:

  • Dissatisfied with their dance order.
  • Dissatisfied with their performance.
  • Dissatisfied with their partner.
  • Dissatisfied with their music.
  • Failure to remember part of the routine.
  • If a contestant is injured during their performance. This is for safety concerns.

If a couple completes their routine, but believes they should be allowed to restart due to special circumstances, they MUST make their request to the CJ prior to leaving the competition floor.

  • If the CJ approves the request, the couple may elect to perform their routine again with the previous performance scores voided.
  • If the CJ denies the request, the performance that was completed will count towards scoring the contest.

If a couple has not completed their routine, but believes they should be allowed to restart due to special circumstances, they MUST make their request to the CJ prior to leaving the competition floor.

  • If the CJ approves the request, the couple may restart their routine with the previous performance scores voided.
  • If the CJ denies the request, the couple will be scratched from the contest.

The Chief Judge (CJ) may call a restart without the request of the couple if the CJ believes it is fair and in the best interest of the contestants and their fellow competitors. In this case, the couple will be allowed to restart after the next couple in dance order or at the discretion of the CJ.

  • The couple may decline the option to restart if they are satisfied with their completed routine.
  • If they did not complete their routine, and opt out of the restart, the couple will be scratched from the contest