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What is Dancesport?

Dancesport is synonymous with competitive ballroom dancing. All Dancesport competitions are regulated and sanctioned by organizations at the national and international level. The two national organizations are The National Dance Council of America (NDCA) and USADance. All Dancesport competitors, professional and amateur, must be registered with the organization that has sanctioned the competition they are participating in. 

Dancesport competitions include events that group competitors by stylelevel, age, and division.

Competitive dancing styles include:

  • International Latin

    • Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive​

  • International Standard/Ballroom

    • Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Quickstep​

  • American Smooth

    • Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot​, Viennese Waltz, Peabody

  • American Rhythm

    • Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero, Mambo

  • American Nightclub

    • Hustle, West Coast Swing, Nightclub 2-Step, Merengue, Bachata, Salsa​​​, Samba, Arg. Tango

  • Showdance

    • One cohesive choreography danced to a pre-selected song.

Levels of experience include: 

  • Newcomer (1st Competition)

  • Pre-Bronze, Intermediate Bronze, Full Bronze, Open Bronze

  • Pre-Silver, Intermediate Silver, Full Silver, Open Silver

  • Pre-Gold, Intermediate Gold, Full Gold, Open Gold, Open Advanced

*Each Dancesport competition has slight variations to the above levels*

Common age categories include: 

  • Teddybear (under 7)

  • PreTeen (7-12)

  • Junior (12-15)

  • Youth (16-18)

  • A1 & A2 (18-35)

  • B1 & B2  (36-51)

  • C1 & C2 (52-71)

  • D1 & D2 (72+)

*Each Dancesport competition has variations to the age categories above.*

Division categories include: 

  • Professional/Amateur (Pro/Am)

    • This is the division where the amateur student dancer competes with a professional dancer. The amateur student dancer receives a score for their execution of the dance steps performed with the professional. The professional is typically the amateur student's teacher and coach. The couple must follow all the rules regarding choreography put in place by the sanctioning body. 

    • Competing in the Pro/Am division offers amateur student dancers many opportunities to win championship titles, trophies, or/and scholarships vouchers or cash. The amateur dancer may also qualify for a Top Student award for dancing multiple styles and entering many events.

    • There are many circuits dedicated to rewarding the Pro/Am dancer with titles and cash prizes.  

  • Amateur/Amateur (Am/Am)

    • This is a board title for the division that includes world champion amateur couples competing at the Open level and adult or preteen amateur couples competing in syllabus (Bronze, Silver, Gold).

    • Amateur couples compete for titles and do not receive cash prizes.

  • Mixed Amateur 

    • This is a new division allowing for an amateur student to partner and compete with their amateur teacher.

    • There are no cash prizes in this division; however, the student amateur may receive a medal, title, or vouchers for single dances and multi-dances.

  • Solo Star

    • A new division for solo amateur dancers or an amateur without a partner. This division applies primarily to Teddybear, PreTeen, Junior, and Youth; however some competitions are offering this division for adults.

  • Collegiate 

    • A division for college age amateur dancers. Most collegiate competitions are held exclusively for college students, separate from any other age or division. Collegiate competitions are not required to be sanctioned. 

  • Professional

    • Confined to professional Dancesport athletes. 


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