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II. DEFINITIONS
STUDENT/STUDENT & PRO/AM STUDENT DANCER EVENTS FOR PRE-TEEN, JUNIOR AND
YOUTH

i. When Pre-Teen, Junior and Youth events are offered for Student/Student and/or Pro/Am Student
Dancers the age divisions must be those that are listed in the “Rules for Amateur Competitions”
section.
ii. When Pre-Teen, Junior and Youth events are offered for Student/Student and/or Pro/Am Student
Dancers the dress and/or costuming rules must be those that are listed in the “Rules for Amateur
Competitions” section.
iii. When Pre-Teen events are offered for Student/Student and/or Pro/Am Student Dancers the
syllabus rules must be those that are listed in the “Rules for Amateur Competitions” section.
X. RULES FOR AMATEUR COMPETITORS
1. AGE CATEGORY CLASSIFICATIONS

a. Age classifications, “a” through “f-(3)”, will become effective on January 1st of the year in which the
individual’s classification age is attained, regardless of the actual birth date.
i. Pre-Teen I: 9th birthday or less
ii. Pre-Teen II: 10th or 11th birthday
iii. Junior I: 12th or 13th birthday
iv. Junior II: 14th or 15th birthday
v. Youth: 16th, 17th or 18th birthday
vi. Adult: 19th birthday or greater
(1) Senior I: 35th birthday or greater
(2) Senior II: 45th birthday or greater
(3) Senior III: 55th birthday or greater
b. Organizers may combine age classifications as follows:
i. Pre-Teen I and Pre-Teen II into a single Pre-Teen classification.
ii. Junior I and Junior II into a single Junior classification.
iii. Senior I, Senior II, and Senior III into a single Senior classification.
iv. Organizers may combine classifications not listed above by obtaining written permission from the
Ballroom Director.
c. Organizers may offer additional age category competitions, such as “Under 21”, etc.
d. Competitors may dance “up” or “down” as follows:
i. Pre-Teen I competitors may dance up one age classification to “Pre-Teen II”.
ii. Pre-Teen II competitors may dance up one age classification to “Junior I”.
(1) Pre-teen II couples who elect to dance up to junior must remain in the approved pre-teen
costumes.
iii. Junior I competitors may dance up one age classification to “Junior II”.
iv. Junior II competitors may dance up one age classification to “Youth”.
v. Youth competitors may dance up to the Adult classification.
vi. When an organizer combines age classifications (Pre-Teen I & II, Junior I & II or Senior I, II &
III) competitors may dance up or down as follows:
(1) Only Pre-Teen II age category competitors may dance up into the combined Junior age
category.
(2) Combined Juniors may dance up into the combined Youth age category.
(3) Combined Seniors may dance down into the adult age category.
e. The following rules apply to competitors age 18 and under:
i. For Youth, Junior I and Junior II partnerships, one of the individuals may be no more than two
age classifications younger.
ii. If one of the individuals in the partnership is two age classifications younger, then the younger
member of the partnership must request permission in writing 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)
(1) 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”.
iii. Under no circumstance will a Pre-Teen I, Pre-Teen II, or a Junior I competitor be allowed to
compete in the Adult age classification.
iv. 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.
v. Youth competitors turning 19 years of age in the calendar year may still dance as youths until they
have graduated from “High School”.
f. 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.
g. 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.
2. PROFICIENCY CLASSIFICATIONS
Competition proficiency categories may be offered as follows:
a. Syllabus. Restricted to “medalist” level figures (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Novice Bronze, Novice Silver,
Novice Gold, Etc).
b. Novice. Open Syllabus. It is recommended that “Novice” competitions generally be restricted to two
(2) of the allowed dances for each style.
c. Pre-Championship. Open Syllabus. It is recommended that “Pre-Championship” competitions
generally be restricted to three or four (3-4) of the allowed dances for each style.
d. Open Amateur. Open syllabus. All of the dances in each style must be done in this category in all
rounds, and in the order prescribed.
3. ELIGIBILITY DEFINITIONS
a. A competitor is eligible to dance in the “Syllabus”, “Novice” and/or “Pre-Championship” proficiency
classifications until they accumulate three proficiency points. There is no limit to the number of
proficiency points that may be accumulated in the “Open Amateur” level.
b. A competitor receives one point when they either a) place first in their current classification when a
semi-final was danced, or b) dance in the final of a higher proficiency event where a semi-final was
danced.
c. In the “Syllabus” categories proficiency points should be accumulated independently for each dance.
d. The eligibility to compete in a classification is applied to individual amateur competitors and not the
couple as an entity.
e. An amateur couple is only eligible to compete in a classification if both members of the couple are
eligible.
f. An amateur competitor’s eligibility is based on his/her accomplishments regardless of the number or
length of partnerships they have had.
g. It is the responsibility of all amateur competitors to ensure that they are eligible for the category in
which they desire to dance.
h. An amateur competitor may enter at most two consecutive proficiency classifications in any particular
style and age group at a particular competition.
i. An amateur competitor’s ineligibility begins at the conclusion of the competition in which his/her
third point was acquired. In this case the word “competition” refers to the entire event (generally a
“weekend”).
j. An amateur competitor’s proficiency level as a Pro/Am shall not be used in determining his/her
amateur proficiency level.
4. DRESS AND/OR COSTUMING – PRE-TEENS
Pre-Teens must dress as listed below.
a. Pre-Teen.
i. Boys
(1) Trousers
(a) Black or dark blue color only
(b) High waist optional
(c) Underfoot strap optional
(d) Satin stripes are not allowed.
(2) Shirts
(a) Plain white or black long sleeved collared shirt only
(b) No pleats or ribbing
(c) Sleeves to be worn at wrist length
(3) Sweaters and vests are not allowed.
(4) Tie – Black color only, may be either straight or bow
(5) Socks – Black or dark blue color only
(6) Shoes- Heel height not to exceed 1.5 inches
(7) Materials – Fabrics must be plain, ie: cotton, polyester, cotton/polyester blend, wool blend
(a) No satin or shiny fabrics
(b) No glitter, metallic thread, patterns or sequins allowed
(c) Decorations – not allowed
(8) Makeup – Not allowed
(9) Hairstyle – Long hair must be worn in a pony tail
ii. Girls
(1) Skirt with top or simple dress with attached under garment or leotard top with full skirt
(2) Skirts
(a) Plain or pleated with minimum 1 to maximum 3 half circles. One plain simple underskirt
allowed which is no larger or longer than top layer, and is the same or similar color as the
outer skirt
(b) No uneven hem lines, use of boning, frills, splits, openings, fishing line, “lettuce edging”,
etc
(c) Length of skirt must not be shorter than 3 inches above the knee cap and no longer than 1
inch below the knee cap
(3) Necklines
(a) Boat, high neck, v-neck, sweetheart, ‘peter pan’ collar, and regular collar are allowed
(4) Sleeves
(a) Long, short, elbow length, cap, puff. or sleeveless styles are allowed
(b) Cannot be replaced by trimmings, frills, or edging on the shoulder line
(c) No “finger loops” allowed
(5) Materials
(a) Fabrics MUST be only one color throughout
(b) No glitter, metallic thread, or fabric creating ‘light or pattern effects’
(c) No use of feathers, fringes, bows, belts, frills or sequins
(d) No flesh color fabric
(e) Any use of color coordinated ‘see through’ fabric must be lined from waist to shoulder;
for use on arms no lining is needed
(6) Shoes
(a) Heel height not to exceed 1.5 inches, and must be block heel style if a dance shoe
(7) Other
(a) No use of arm bands, chokers or headbands
(b) No decoration is allowed on dress or in hair
(c) No jewelry is allowed
(d) No makeup allowed
(e) Use of fake eyelashes, fake fingernails, colored or glitter hairspray is forbidden
(f) Socks: White ankle socks or flesh colored pantyhose must be worn
(g) No fishnet tights
(h) Gathering or shirring on the bodice is not allowed.
iii. For pre-teen one-dance or two-dance events, competition organizers may require that the
shirts/tops be white and the trousers/skirts be black.
iv. Drawings of approved dress/costuming for pre-teen boys and girls follow:
PRE-TEEN BOYS & GIRLS APPROVED DRESS/COSTUMING DIAGRAMS
High Waist Bow Tie Black Shirt Under Foot
Boat Neckline High Neckline #1 High Neckline #2 “V” Neckline
Sweetheart Neckline Peter Pan Collar Regular Collar Long Sleeve
Short Sleeve Elbow Length Sleeve Puff Sleeve Cap Sleeve
Sleeveless
Plain Skirt Pleated Under Skirt
5. DRESS AND/OR COSTUMING – JUNIOR, YOUTH & ADULT
a. Definition of “Syllabus Dress”.
i. Gentlemen. Standard and Smooth Divisions: Dress pants, plain shirt and tie, and optional
cummerbund or vest or black sweater or tuxedo. No tail suits. Latin and Rhythm Divisions:
Dress pants, plain or ruffled shirt, optional tie and or vest.
ii. Ladies. Standard and Smooth Divisions: Cocktail dress without excessive adornment. No ball
gowns. Latin and Rhythm Divisions: Leotards and wrap skirts or party/cocktail dresses without
excessive adornment.
b. Definition of “Open Amateur Dress”.
i. Gentlemen. Standard and Smooth Divisions: Tailsuits. Latin and Rhythm Divisions: Latin
costumes.
ii. Ladies. Standard and Smooth Divisions: Ball gowns. Latin and Rhythm Divisions: Latin
costumes.
c. For “Syllabus” competitions competitors must wear “Syllabus” Dress.
d. For “Novice” competitions competitors may wear either “Syllabus” or “Open Amateur” dress. The
competition organizer may stipulate one or the other for this category.
e. For “Pre-Championship” and “Open Amateur” competitions competitors should wear
“Championship” costumes.
f. Competition organizers may establish alternative dress and/or costume guidelines if they desire for
Juniors, Youths or Adults.
6. SYLLABUS – PRE-TEEN
Couples competing in the “Pre-Teen” category must dance restricted syllabi as noted below.
a. Pre-teen. Couples competing in this age category may only dance Bronze, Silver and Gold syllabus
figures from approved syllabi of member organizations of the NDCA as well as the official NDCA
syllabus.
i. No embellishments of standard figures. No change of levels, head rolls, foot flicks, syncopations
or delayed timings unless specified within the approved syllabus.
7. SYLLABUS – JUNIOR, YOUTH & ADULT
a. Couples competing in the “Junior”, “Youth” and “Adult” categories are not restricted in syllabi unless
competing in a “Syllabus” event, or otherwise stipulated by the organizer.
i. No embellishments of standard figures. No change of levels, head rolls, foot flicks, syncopations
or delayed timings unless specified within the approved syllabus.

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