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Swing Dance America – Competition Rules
Statement of Swing
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, swing-outs, 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.
The objective is to provide a competitive performance venue for the various unique styles of swing that have developed across the nation to include the Carolina Shag, Dallas Push, East Coast Swing, Hand Dancing, Hollywood Swing, Houston Whip,
Imperial Swing, Jive, Jitterbug, Lindy Hop, Rock-n-Roll, and West Coast Swing, to name a few.
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 determine a final score.
General Rules and Information
Exception: You may compete with the same partner in two different style Routine Divisions, only if there are Two Routines and Two DIFFERENT dances. For example a West Coast Swing Routine and a Hustle Routine with the same partner.
There will be a minimum of (5) judges for all competitions. In addition, SDA will have a Chief Judge and alternate judges available. A referee judge will be used for all routine divisions. All judges scores are final.
The Relative Placement System will be used to judge all competitions. All Competitors will be judged using the following criteria:
Timing – “How Your Body Connects to the Music”. Swing is a dance beginning on the downbeat. Timing extends to more finely distinctions than a single beat. It includes fractionally ahead or behind the beat, as well as matching the syncopated “swing” of the music.
Technique – “How Well You Do What You Do.” How well the Competitors execute the movements comprising their dance constitutes technique. We are looking for good footwork, balance, control, frame, and how well turns & spins are executed, and control of arms and hands.
Teamwork – How Well You Work Together.” Swing is a connected, partner dance. The demonstration of this connection and the appearance of lead/follow or action/reaction between the partners is an expected part of any competition. It is the ability to work together as a team. One partner ignoring or out-dancing the other, or jeopardizing the safety of the other (or other Competitors), indicates poor teamwork.
Content/Choreography – “What You Do.” The selection and order of movements and transitions executed during a dance comprises choreography. Good choreography demonstrates an intimate connection with the music and its phrasing, as well as variety and contrast of movements. Choreography must be tasteful and respectful to the audience.
Showmanship/Presentation – “How Well You Sell What You Do.” To create an atmosphere of excitement by inviting and generating interest in a performance is the desired effect of good presentation. While providing a good show is one aspect of presentation, a good show is not a substitute for good dancing.
In all divisions, the amount of Swing content that is required or allowed will be evaluated by each judge. A judge will mark his score sheet as follows.
Contest Categories and Qualifications
WSDC Jack & Jill Contests (WSDC Rules Apply. For more information go to www. worldsdc.com).
Competitors may dance in One Skill Level and One Age Level.
Newcomer (skill level). A dancer who has not yet earned WSDC points. Should have practical knowledge of the basic patterns.
Novice (skill level). A dancer who has earned less than 15 Novice WSDC points.
Intermediate (skill level). A dancer who has earned 15 or more Novice WSDC points and less than 30 Intermediate points.
Advance (skill level). A dancer who has earned 30 or more Intermediate WSDC points.
All Star (skill level). A dancer who has 45 Advance WSDC points in the last 3 years.
Juniors (age level). Competitor must be 10-17 years of age and have a parent or guardian’s signed consent.
Masters (age level). Competitor must be at least 50 years of age by end of event.
Chief Judge will determine format for all Jack & Jill Divisions based on number of competitors.
Strictly Swing & Strictly Hustle (Just Dance) Contests
Competitors may dance in One Skill Level and one Age Level with a different partner.
Novice (skill level). For couples who both compete at the Novice WSDC level.
Intermediate (skill level). For couples who both compete at the Intermediate WSDC level.
Advance (skill level). For couples who both compete at the Advance WSDC level.
Masters (age level). For couples who are both age 50+ by end of the event.
Champion (skill level). For couples who have a least one partner who regularly competes in Invitation/Champion WCS divisions or the Master division of USWDC. Must be at least 18 years of age.
Chief Judge will determine format for all Strictly Divisions based on number of
PLEASE BRING AN ELECTRONIC COPY OF YOUR MUSIC (mp3 format) READY AND AVAILABLE TO DELIVER TO THE APPROPRIATE CONTEST DJ PRIOR TO FLOOR TRIALS.
BRING AT LEAST TWO (2) CD’S WITH YOUR MUSIC TO THE EVENT – JUST IN CASE ONE HAS A SKIP, OR ONE GET BROKEN, ETC.
Rising Star Division: - Rising Star Tour
To compete in the 2018 Rising Star Tour (RST), each dancer must:
• Never have placed or made a qualifying final of a NASDE Classic or Showcase division (no NASDE points)
To graduate the 2018 RST:
• At the discretion of the event director(s), contestants may be as young as fifteen (15) years by the end of the event to participate. If a YASDA or Juniors division is offered during the event weekend, the minor may not compete in both contests with the same partner.
• A couple may consist of opposite- or same-sex dance partners - this is up to the discretion of each event.
• 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.
• An individual is not permitted to dance twice within the same division or in another NASDE swing routine division.
• Performance time is a minimum of two (2) minutes and maximum of three (3) minutes.
Couples may request a restart in the following cases:
Contestants may NOT request a restart in the following cases:
The purpose of Rising Star is to educate and support newer routine competitors. Rising Star routines should be designed to "push" the dancers to grow, rather than "playing it safe". However, routines should not be so far beyond the dancers' skill levels that they are struggling to authentically "own" the dance.
Beside the rules, judges' scores should take into consideration:
Judging & Judging Staff Guidelines
Placements should be reported by the event or whoever handles the event’s scoring to email@example.com no later than seven (7) days after the end of the event.
If contestants under the age of eighteen (18), but at least fifteen (15) years by the end of the event, danced in the contest, please indicate which couples included these contestants with “M” for minor.
• Single point increments, starting with one (1) point for last place. This ensures every couple's result is registered, and points increase with the size of the contest.
Example, in a contest with nine (9) couples:
9th/1, 8th/2, 7th/3, 6th/4, 5th/5, 4th/6, 3rd/7, 2nd/8, 1st/9
Event Prize Standards
The RST will conclude at the US Open Swing Dance Championships in November over Thanksgiving weekend. Points will be calculated from the 1st tour event up to, and including, the US Open. Winners will be announced and awarded during the awards ceremony at the US Open.
Contact for event registration and sponsorship: Tami Krok: firstname.lastname@example.org
This single division includes various styles of Swing including West Coast, East Coast, Lindy Hop, and Shag, Hand Dance.
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.
Swing dancing that allows choreography with flair toward lifts and other partner weight support moves.
Pro/Am Routine Spotlight Division
This division is offered for all styles of Swing including West Coast, East Coast, Lindy Hop, Hand, Shag and Hustle.
Hustle Routine Division
This division includes all recognizable forms of Hustle including: Three count, Latin, New York and Four Count.
Choreographed Hustle Routine danced in any Hustle style.
Hustle Team Challenge Division
This is a Team Division that requires Eight (8) members per team.