Kansas City Dance Classic is a USA Dance Registered Event.  The USA Dance Rulebook will be used as a guideline but deviations may be made.
2016 DanceSport Rulebook

Teacher/Student Event Rules

  • Student: The Student may be of any age and either sex. The Student is the only partner judged.
  • Teacher: The Teacher may be of any age and either sex, regardless of the age and sex of the Student. The Teacher is not judged.
  • A Teacher may partner with multiple Students in multiple age divisions and levels, but not the same event with more than one student.
  • The Student will be judged against other Students in the same age, sex, and level categories that are also dancing with Teacher partners.
  • A T/S couple may not compete in other events as a non-T/S couple. However the Student may enter other events with other Amateur partners that are not dancing as a Teacher. If the Teacher partner is an Amateur, then they have all the options available to them as any other Amateur with their regular Amateur partner.

Amateur (Student/Student) Event Rules


A couple can compete in the Newcomer category only if neither member has ever danced in a ballroom competition (pro-am or am-am).  They may dance any of the steps of the Bronze syllabus level as listed in Section 8 of the USA DanceSport Rulebook. Newcomers may choose to dance both the Newcomer events and the Bronze events.

Competitors can dance in two proficiency levels and two age groups in the syllabus dances and are encouraged to do so.  The Adult age (19-34) category competitor is not allowed to dance in two age groups, only in Adult.  The “Fun” dance events combine all ages and proficiency levels into one event.  All competitor couples can dance in them and we encourage you to sign up for them.

Dancers need not dance with the same partner for all events; however they may dance with only one partner per event.  Dancers may compete in as many events as they are eligible to enter, but must abide by the rules of each event.  For instance, Gold steps are not allowed in Silver or Bronze events.  On the other hand it is fine to do Bronze steps in a Silver or Gold event.  Entry into multiple age and skill levels may result in shorter than normal break times between heats.

Dancers may not compete in any classification below the minimum proficiency level for which they are eligible. The current USA DanceSport Rulebook sets the guidelines for this competition.

Age Categories and Dances

Youth 16, 17 or 18
Adult 19 or greater
Senior I 35 or greater One partner must have reached his or her 35th birthday or more in the calendar year and the other partner must have reached his or her 30th birthday or more in the calendar year.
Senior II 45 or greater One partner must have reached his or her 45th birthday or more in the calendar year and the other partner must have reached his or her 40th birthday or more in the calendar year.
Senior III 55 or greater One partner must have reached his or her 55th birthday or more in the calendar year and the other partner must have reached his or her 50th birthday or more in the calendar year.
Senior IV 65 or greater One partner must have reached his or her 65th birthday or more in the calendar year and the other partner must have reached his or her 60th birthday or more in the calendar year.

Eligible athletes may only compete in two consecutive age categories held at a given competition in any given style and proficiency level. Prior written approval of a parent or legal guardian is required for all athletes under the age of 18.

Dances for each level (All age categories)
Proficiency Level Standard Latin Smooth Rhythm
Newcomer W,Q C,R W,T,F C,R,Sw
Bronze WQ,T,F CR,Sa,J WF,T CR,Sw,B
  • Codes: B=Bolero, C=Cha Cha, F=Foxtrot, J=Jive, M=Mambo, P=Paso Doble, Q=Quickstep, R=Rumba, Sa=Samba, Sw=East Coast Swing, T=Tango, V=Viennese Waltz, W=Waltz
  • At the Bronze and higher proficiency levels, multi-dance groups are shown first, commas separate individual dances.

Kansas City Dance Classic added more dances at the Newcomer, Bronze and Silver level than are normally danced at that respective level in USA Dance competitions.  For example Newcomer Smooth dancers have a chance to dance Waltz, Tango and Foxtrot, not just Waltz as is the norm.

Kansas City Dance Classic will also hold some “Fun Dances” where there is not a breakout by age group or skill level.  Everyone competes together in the same event and dances on the floor together.  There are no defined “syllabus” steps in these dances.  When you go to the Kansas City Dance Classic Registration Page you’ll see these dances listed under Age Group “Open” and Skill Level “Open”.  The “Fun Dances” currently consist of West Coast Swing, Night Club 2-Step, Salsa, Hustle and Argentine Tango.  More may be added.

General Format and Entry Divisions

Events consist of one, two, three, four or five dances in succession without leaving the dance floor.   The best combined score for all dances in each event will determine places in that event.  The scoring system used is the skating system.  For all multi-dance events, couples must dance each dance in the event.  Events may be separated into two or more heats at the discretion of the Chairman of Judges. Depending upon the number of couples entered, some age groups may dance at the same time as others, even though each group is being judged as a separate event.  The competition chairperson reserves the right to combine or cancel events for which there are an insufficient number of entries.

The on-deck system will be used for all events.  Competitors must be in the ballroom and ready to dance 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time for the event in which they are competing.  They must report to the Deck Captain two heats prior to their event.  Any competitor who does not take the floor by the time the music begins will be disqualified from that event.

The competition is organized into Syllabus and Open events. Syllabus events are offered in the following proficiency levels:

  • Newcomer (may dance all Bronze steps),
  • Bronze,
  • Silver, and
  • Gold.

Open events are offered in proficiency levels of

  • Novice,
  • Pre-Championship, and
  • Championship.

Syllabus Events are restricted to the approved syllabus of the DanceSport Council, located in the Appendix of the current USA Dance Rulebook.  Click Here to download the USA Dance Rulebook.  Competitors must limit their figures to those of the approved syllabus and ability classifications.  The Invigilator will report any violations in restricted syllabus events to the Chairman of Judges.  The couple involved will be given a verbal warning if the violation occurs in a round prior to the final round or reduced to last place in that dance in a final round.

As a general rule, athletes may participate in a maximum of two proficiency levels and they must be consecutive.


Ribbons will be presented to the top six couples in each event.  Awards ceremonies will be held following final heats throughout the competition.