Rules & Regulations

Please note: A printable version of the Rules and Regulations can be downloaded as a PDF file. To download and print the Rules and Regulations, follow this link:

Printable Rules and Regulations


Dance Level and Age Categories

  1. Material used should be based on the N.D.C.A. syllabus only
  2. The following dance level categories pertain to the Pro-Am and Amateur American freestyle events only:
    Newcomers 1 through 5   Pre-Silver 1 through 5
    Novice Bronze    1 through 5   Int. Silver    1 through 8
    Pre-Bronze 1 through 5   Full Silver 1 through 10
    Int. Bronze 1 through 8   Int. Gold 1 through 8
    Full Bronze 1 through 10   Full Gold 1 through 10
  3. The following categories pertain to the Pro/Am and Amateur International freestyle events:
    • Pre-Bronze up through Open Gold may follow any approved syllabi that is a member of the N.D.C.A organization, such as Fred Astaire, Arthur Murray, or DVIDA.
    • Open Bronze, Open Silver, Open Gold through Advanced may use any material of their choice with the exception of lifts.
  4. Closed Championships and Closed Scholarships are restricted to Bronze and Silver students only. Students may only dance in either the Bronze or the Silver levels, but not both. Students may enter their own age and one younger in the Championship divisions and only their own true age in the Scholarship Divisions. The level entered must be the same as the highest level danced in the single dance entries. For example, if a student enters both the Full Bronze and Preliminary Silver, they may enter the Silver Level Championships or Scholarships but NOT the Bronze.
  5. The approved syllabus for Closed Championshis and Closed Scholarships is the same as #3 above.
  6. Bronze and silver students can enter their respective level of Closed Scholarship, as well as Open Scholarship.
  7. In order to compete in the Championship or Scholarship divisions, you must dance in a minimum of 5 freestyles either closed or open in the same style per Championship or Scholarship.
  8. Pro-Am and Amateur American and International Style couples may dance up to three levels of closed freestyle: Two levels in the open, and one level in the one-dance championships. The levels must be in consecutive order. For example: Int. Bronze, Full Bronze, and Pre-Silver.
  9. Newcomer level freestyles are open to those who have never competed in any type of Ballroom competition. A student may not enter this category more than once.
  10. No "continuity" actions (e.g. feet passing on the last step of each bar) is allowed in Bronze levels of the American Smooth events. Please note when using Arthur Murray syllabus that foot passing figures such as Twinkles should be modified so that feet close on the third step of each bar.
  11. Pro/Am & Student Age Divisions are as follows. Competitors may enter in up to two of the following age divisions:
    JV      Up to 8   A      16-20
    PT    9-11   A1    21-30
    Jr1 12-13   A2 31-40
    Jr2 14-15   A3 41-50
    Y 16-18   A Combined
          B1 51-60
          B2 61-70
          B Combined
          C1 71-80
          C2 81+
          C Combined
  12. American and International Style Dress Code: Costumes are permitted at any level.

Formations, Solos, and Professional Showdance

  1. Solo Exhibitions critique sheets and scores will be available to studio personnel on Sunday at the registration desk.
  2. Formations: Maximum time limited to three (3) minutes for a single dance and four (4) minutes for a medley. Timing of routine shall begin and end with the accompaniment. Teams must consist of at least four (4) couples.
  3. Maximum of TWO Solo Exhibitions per student will be accepted.
  4. No Solo Exhibition is to exceed 2½ minutes. Music will be faded out after 2½ minutes. Music must be on mp3 or CD.
  5. Two teachers dancing with one student are entered as a regular exhibition.
  6. Two amateurs dancing together can have two entries on Solo Exhibition plus the two in Pro/Am.
  7. Drops are permitted in all levels of Solo Exhibition.
  8. Lifts are permitted in all Solo categories.
  9. Professional Showdance Championship: Couples will be judged performing a solo routine of their own choice, not to exceed four minutes, including walk-on and walk-off music. Therefore, all competitors entering this event must come prepared with their own special music on mp3 or CD.

General Rules & Regulations

  1. Cancelation/Refund Policy: Absolutely NO REFUNDS at this event.  Cancellations received one month prior to the event will receive a full refund 30 days after the completion of the event. Cancellations received three weeks prior to the scheduled event will be charged a 10% processing fee. The refund will be paid 30 days after the completion of the event. Cancellations received two weeks prior to the event will be charged a 25% processing fee. The refund will be paid 30 days after the completion of the event. Cancelations received 1 week prior to the event will be charged a 50% processing fee. The refund will be paid 30 days after the completion of the event. There are no refunds or exchanges on general admission tickets.
  2. In any category with fewer than three entries, the organizer reserves the right to eliminate the age/sex divisions and merge competitors into one division.
  3. A panel of invigilators may be used for all restricted categories. These categories will be strictly supervised and competitors committing infraction will be warned once. A second infraction equals disqualification.
  4. No responsibility for loss or theft of articles left in changing rooms, ballroom, or hotel rooms can be accepted by the organizer or the N.D.C.A., nor can they be held liable for injury sustained by the persons attending the Motown Showdown Dancesport Challenge. Everyone does so at his or her own risk.
  5. Everyone attending this event, whether as spectators or as officials or as competitors or as guests of the organizer shall be bound by N.D.C.A. rules, and by participating in the Motown Showdown Dancesport Challenge automatically become obliged to adhere to them.
  6. Professionals competing in any capacity must be currently registered with the N.D.C.A. and supply the organizers with an official registration number on our entry forms. All amateur couples who are dancing must be currently registered with the U.S.A.B.D.A. and supply the organizers with an official registration number on our entry forms. Registration forms are available at 

Competitors' Conduct

  1. While on the competitors premises, competitors shall conduct themselves in a civil, sportsman like manner at all times.
  2. It is the competitor's responsibility to be in attendance in advance of the advertised time schedule for the events he is entering a minimum of thirty minutes prior.
  3. Competitors entering the Motown Showdown Dancesport Challenge event shall accept as final the individual markings of the judges and not appeal against them.
  4. No competitor shall harass or question a judge about his/her personal reasons for marking.
  5. Any competitor who removes any of the master scrutinier sheets without permission of the organizer shall be liable to disciplinary action.
  6. The Organizer of the Motown Showdown Dancesport Challenge reserves the right to reject the application of any competitor who has violated any of the above rules of conduct in any recognized N.D.C.A. event