Welcome to the AIDSF Dance FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). This is a collaborative effort for dancing information. Hopefully it will continue to grow as people contribute thoughts and ideas. Anyone can contribute to this FAQ. The FAQ will be continually updates, with answers.


Q. I am new to the Federation and I am interested in taking part in the AIDSF events. What do I need to do to get involved?

A. The AIDSF is always looking to welcome new members. If your country is already an existing AIDSF member, please contact your state organisation to find out how you can join and get involved today.

Q. Can I join the AIDSF and take part in the events if my country is not yet a member of the Federation?

A. If your state is not yet an official AIDSF member, please contact the AIDSF President, General Secretary or National Relations Co-ordinator for further assistance in joining this remarkable organisation.

Q. Do I need the AIDSF membership to compete in the AIDSF events?

A. Every dancer wishing to participate in the AIDSF Championships as well as the Ranking Competitions is required to obtain the AIDSF license called the AIDSF ID Card. The Card is normally renewed at the start of each calendar year through a payment made to the AIDSF bank account. Current cost of the Technical Card for a Garde – A individual dancer is 5,000. Rupees a year.

At times some of the AIDSF events are run in an Open format, which means that apart from the AIDSF dancers also the dancers who are not the AIDSF members are allowed to participate. However, their results are not included in the Ranking List.

Q. What do I get when I become an AIDSF member?

As an AIDSF member each dancer receives his/her own ID Card, which is the proof of the membership.

A. All the AIDSF members can participate in any AIDSF event, including the National Championship in Dance Sport, the World Championship in Dance, Ranking Competitions, Festivals and Workshops. All the AIDSF events are open to participants of all states and are normally extremely exciting and multicultural experiences.

Q. Does my AIDSF membership expire?

A. The AIDSF membership is issued on yearly basis, so it needs to be renewed at the start of each calendar year.


Q. Where can I find information regarding AIDSF events, registration procedures, deadlines etc?

A. General information concerning the AIDSF events (calendar, events’ details, registration and accommodation booking procedures) can be found on the AIDSF website, which is regularly up-dated. The information about the World Championship can also be found on the AIDSF website,

All the official announcements are communicated by email directly to the Presidents of the state organisations who are then responsible for passing them onto their district clubs and dancers.

Q. What are the Ranking Competitions?

A. The AIDSF Ranking Competitions is a serious of the AIDSF official dance events (maximum 6 per year) held each year between October and March. Dancers participating in the Ranking Competitions receive points for their participation. The top 10 dancers in each category in each competition score points which are summarised at the end of the sporting season. The overall top two dancers from each category have got the right to qualify automatically into the National Championship.

Q. Can I take part in the World Championship if I didn’t participate in the Ranking Competitions?
A. In the AIDSF we always encourage our dancers to participate in the Ranking Competitions to enable them get experience and build up their confidence before entering the World Championship. However, if a dancer was unable to take part in the Ranking event he/she can still enter the World Championship. For more details please contact your State Organisation. It is the State Organisation which decides how the state team is picked up, so the terms and conditions in different states may vary.

Q. I’ve got my ID Card and I want to enter the AIDSF Ranking Competitions and the World Championship. What do I need to do? Can I just email the President or the General Secretary?

A. No, every dancer wishing to compete in the AIDSF events needs to obtain permission from his/her State Representative (for contact details check section Members). Every state is allowed to enter the same number of competitors but each state has got its own qualification procedures so terms and conditions in different states may vary. Before the National Championship most state organisations hold their own selection events. Having selected a team it is normally a Secretary of a State Organisation or another appointed representative who completes the registration procedures.

Q. Is there any deadline as when to enter the competitions or book accommodation?

A. Yes, each AIDSF event has got strict registration and accommodation booking procedures. It is each State Organisation Secretary’s duty to make sure that the correct procedures and deadlines are respected. If registration and booking forms and correct payments are not submitted in due time, the dancers will not be allowed to enter the event.

Q. When going to the AIDSF competitions, do I need to book accommodation via the official organiser?

A. Yes, all dancers taking part in the AIDSF events are required to book their accommodation via the organiser. When completing the booking procedures it is crucial that all the deadlines as respected. If the accommodation is not booked within the required period dancers might be refused participation in the event.


Q. If the rules applied in my State Organisation are different from the AIDSF rules, which of them do I need to follow?

A. When participating in the AIDSF events dancers, adjudicators and officials are expected to follow the AIDSF rules and regulations. It is crucial that all the dancers, teachers, coaches, adjudicators, team leaders and other members of the teams are familiar with the rules to avoid disappointment and disqualifications. The AIDSF Rules and Regulations can be found in the section Rules.

Q. What should I do if some rules are unclear to me?
A. If you do not understand some of the rules, please ask your teacher or a coach. If they are unable to help it is always useful to contact your national Technical Specialist or a Secretary of your National Organisation. He/She should either reply to your query or will pass it onto the Technical Committee Co-ordinator who will explain all the uncertainties.

Q. Can the AIDSF rules be changed?
A. The Technical Committee is constantly working to make sure the rules and regulations are fair, correct and up-to-date. That is why every two years the rules are revised and some changes and amendments are possible.

Occasionally, the Technical Committee might introduce amendments to the rules during the sporting season. If so, all the changes are immediately communicated to the Secretary of the National Organisations as well as published on the website. Please, make sure you are familiar with the current rules before entering the events.

Q. Can I give my comments or introduce amendments to the AIDSF rules?

A. Yes, the Technical Committee is always looking to hear feedback from the National Organisations. If you have got any comments, suggestions or ideas concerning the AIDSF rules please pass them onto your National Technical Specialist or your President who will then contact the AIDSF Technical Co-ordinator who will make sure that your issues are discussed in the Technical Committee Meeting.

Q. When going to the AIDSF competitions am I allowed to compete in more than one discipline?

A. Each dancer is allowed to participate in more than one discipline. Please, make sure you have permission from your State Organisation when entering the competitions.

Q. What happens if music pace or time duration of my music piece is different that stated in the AIDSF rules?

A. Please, make sure than before entering the AIDSF competitions and performing to your own music you are familiar with the rules. If your music piece is faster/slower, longer/shorter or represent different genre than required by the rules you will be disqualified.

Judgements and Results

Q. How do I know that I am being judged fair?

A. Dance, similar to gymnastics and ice skating, is a discipline where the final result depends of the adjudicators’ scores and subjective opinion. That is why in some cases the question of professional, fair and unbiased judgement may arise.

In order to reduce the risk of unprofessional and unfair judgements the AIDSF has introduced a number of procedures. All of our adjudicators have got an extensive experience in the field of dance and dance sport. They are competent and professional individuals with strong dance background, mostly as former dancers, competitors, dance teachers and/or national dance adjudicators.
In order to become an AIDSF Official Adjudicator candidates need to obtain approval from their national federation before completing the required training and passing an WDSF official exam.
We are committed to constantly developing our adjudicating panel, which is why we offer a variety of professional development opportunities, including innovative workshops and contemporary resources. We have got software which monitors adjudicators’ work during the competitions and helps to reduce the risk of unfair or biased judgements.
The adjudicators have got a strict Code of Conduct which they are required to follow and their work and attitude is being monitored and assessed on regular basis.

Q. What system is used to calculate the results?

A. The results are calculated using the Skating System.

Q. How does the Skating System work?

A. The Skating system is a method of compiling scores which has been first introduced in ballroom dancing and gradually adopted and used in other dance competitions. It consists of 11 rules. In order to understand the basics please see an example below.

Q. How to allocate positions in each dance?

A. The Skating System is based on the marks a dancer receives from a majority of judges. The first and simplest step is to ascertain what makes up a majority. A few examples should suffice, the majority of 3 is 2; the majority of 5 is 3; the majority of 7 is 4, and so on.

We now tabulate each dancer's marks in the final. The next step is to place the winner by inspecting the marks for the number of 1st places. It is important to note that in this rule we simply count the number of places, we do not add them together. A dancer’s results are 1,1,2,3,1,2,1; they have 4 1st places.

The dancer who has received the majority of 1st place marks is the winner of that dance and his/her marks have no further impact on the tabulation process. The next step is to determine who is to be placed second. This follows a similar process. In this case, however, we count the number of “2nd place and higher marks” for the remaining dancers. The next step is to determine who is to be placed third. We, similarly, count the number of “3rd place and higher marks” for each of the remaining dancers. This process is repeated until all dancers have been placed.>

Q. What is AIDSF?

A. All India Dance Sport Federation (AIDSF) is a nonpolitical non-profit organization. It is set up in 2003 with the objectives of popularizing dance sport in the country, under the initiative of a team of well experienced, professionally qualified and service oriented persons in different fields of sports development. Most of the team members have been engaged in the sports field since the past ten to twenty years and presently they have formed in to an active work team to promote Dance Sport in India. AIDSF is involved in promoting dance sport in the country by way of conducting coaching camps, holding inter-state bouts and sponsoring participation of dancers in international championships. AIDSF affiliates with IDSF, the world dance sport body for participation in world dance sport championships and enforce its rules and regulations in the country.

Q. What is DanceSport?

A.DanceSport is a competitive or exhibition style of dance and is the most physically demanding and mentally challenging form of ballroom dancing. As in any sport, the requirements of fitness, discipline and training are the keys to ultimate success, yet the learning process is fun, and the resultant skills can be used with confidence on any dance occasion.

Q. What is ballroom dancing?

A. Ballroom dancing is a form of partner dancing in which two people move in harmony with each other and with the music, usually on a crowded dance floor. The presence of other dancers provides a major challenge to the couple, and the best dancers are able to move spontaneously but synchronously through the actions of leading and following. There are many types of ballroom dances These dances can be divided into two major classifications: Standard (smooth) and Latin (rhythm) dances.

Q. What is Latin dancing?

A. Latin dancing is characterized by rhythmic movements and syncopated or percussive Latin beats. Latin dances are usually danced in place. The movements are compact and expressive. Latin dances are popular and fun party dances. Examples include salsa, cha cha cha and merengue.

Q. What is social dancing?

A.Social dancing is a form of ballroom dancing, which occurs at social dance events such as dinner dances, fund-raisers, weddings, and holiday parties. The most popular social dances are swing, waltz, foxtrot, cha cha, cha, tango and rhumba.

Q. What are the benefits of dancing?

A. Dancing is a great way to meet new friends, maintain fitness and develop body awareness. In addition, improved weight control, flexibility, heart health, and stress reduction are all benefits of ballroom dancing.

Q. How We Teach Our Students?

A. The AIDSF Studios teaching is on a scholastic basis, and degrees of dancing achieved are varied. Instruction progresses through: Student Introductory & Variety Programs, and Associate or Full Programs in Bronze, Silver, Gold, Gold Bar and Gold Star Standards. This system is called the Medallist System and is used worldwide. Courses are designed for people desiring instruction in either Social or Competition Styles. Our goal is to help you get out on the floor dancing as soon as possible.

Q. Our Instructors

A. Our instructors are carefully selected and trained to bring you the finest in dancing instruction. Working together they help you reach any dancing goal through individualized teaching utilizing the latest techniques and styles.

Q. How do I choose a teacher?

A. Choose a teacher whose is friendly, patient, and who can communicate clearly. A good teacher should recognize your learning style. Some students learn best through their sense of touch, and a good teacher will be able to show you how a step should "feel". Some learn best through visualization and physical examples. A good teacher will be able to paint a "word picture" which describes how a step should look. Also, look for a teacher who has enthusiasm for learning. For a teacher to teach well, he must continue to learn himself!

Q. What kinds of dances can I learn?

A. Examples of popular smooth dances include the foxtrot, waltz, quickstep and tango. Salsa, swing, rhumba, merengue and cha cha cha are examples of rhythm dances.

Q. Is a background in dance required?

A. No previous dance experience is necessary to be a successful ballroom dancer. Over time students develop skill and grace, improved posture and sharpened reflexes.

Q. Where do people go to dance?

A. Weddings, parties, fund-raisers, black-tie events, corporate functions, night clubs, ballrooms, dance studio social parties, cruise lines and supper clubs all provide opportunities for you to practice your fancy footwork.

Q. At what age can my child start dancing?

A. While many schools will start at age 3, we know that a child cannot really learn a specific dance-form at such an early age. We start beginners after age 4 and a half. Before that age, any Pre-Dance class offered by a general dance studio will be just as beneficial. Once a child reaches age 4 or 5 they will be ready for a real Indian dance class.

Q. Do you teach teens and adults?

A. Yes, we have beginner programs for all ages including adults at most of our locations.

Q. Do you offer dancing competitions?

A. Yes, however we allow students to choose whether to participate in competitive activities.

Q. What kinds of supplies will I need to start?

A. Proper shoes & socks with comfortable clothing. Dance-gear is optional

Q. What do you wear to class? Do you need a costume?

A. Ballroom dance class is essentially an exercise class; you should wear something comfortable that allows you to move, and the instructor to see your movements, easily. You only need a costume if you want to perform.

Q. Are the dresses really hundreds or thousands of dollars?

A. They can be, but we discourage it. Our beginner through advanced uniform is an authentic 19th century dance school uniform. It costs less than Rs.3, 000.00. Competitors wear more elaborate school dresses that can cost up to Rs.30, 000.00 but these are only for older advanced performers and competitors. We do not encourage the elaborate solo dresses that can cost thousands of dollars.

Q. Where can I buy dancewear?

A. There are stores that specialize in dancewear. Try the Yellow Pages; look at the ads in a Dance Magazine; or look at the dance related sites on Internet for information on ballroom related material.

Q. What kinds of shoes?

A. There are two kinds of shoes used in step dancing. Hard and soft. Hard-shoes make noise but are not tap shoes. They have heavy nylon heels and toes that produce sounds. Soft-shoes are more like Ballet slippers and are used for the more graceful "light-dancing" Each of these dance-forms compliment one another and can not be taught exclusively of one another. Usually, Soft-shoes are worn for the first year or so before introducing students to the expensive hard-shoes.

Q. What's with the Wigs?

A. We are not really sure. This is a very new development that has nothing to do with any sort of "Tradition". Many schools are requiring students to wear very expensive wigs. We do not allow this. Other odd trends in dancing are chemical tanning and heavy make-up. Our students are not encouraged to wear wigs.

Q. What is competition?

A.DanceSport competition is an organized event where people of all ages and levels participate in the sport of Ballroom dancing. It is usually held at a hotel near an airport so dancers from all over the country, even the world, can attend. A competition is usually a two or three-day event, running from morning until midnight, and consists of competitions, professional shows, and general dancing.

Q. Why should I dance in a competition?

A. Dancing in a competition has many benefits for the dance student. The biggest advantage is that is creates a goal for you. Students who participate in competitions tend to learn faster and dance with more technique and style than students who only focus on the social aspects of dancing. Competitions are also a great place to meet people with similar interests. Everyone at the competition, from the newest dancer to the seasoned veteran has worked hard to get there. This builds great camaraderie and confidence with everyone rooting for one another. By the end of the weekend, most people feel a sense of accomplishment and are inspired to learn more.

Q. But I don't like competition!

A. Most people who participate in a DanceSport competition are not in it to win. Our approach is to focus on your progress. You will have the opportunity to work with your teacher, to set goals and work hard. Then, when you are out on the dance floor, you will dance your personal best!

Q. What if I am just a beginner?

A. Competitions are set up to include dancers on all levels. The newcomer division is especially designed for students who have only been dancing a few months.

Q. Who do I dance with at competition?

A. Most people do not have a partner when they first start dancing. These students are able to dance with their teachers in a Pro-Am (Teacher-Student) entry. The student has the advantage of dancing with an experienced professional partner. These entries will be judged solely on the ability of the student. You may meet a student in school that you would like to practice and compete with. You may dance together in an Amateur (Student-Student) entry.

Q. What is the format of the competition?

A. Competitions are divided into two categories, Solo Routine entries and Group (freestyle) entries. Each of these is further split into age groups and skill levels. In Solo Routine events, you will dance a choreographed routine to a specific piece of music, with an entrance and an exit. You and your partner will be on the dance floor by yourselves. You will receive written critique and score from the judges. You will receive a plaque for participating in the competition. Top routines may receive other awards, depending on the competition. In Group competition, you will dance on the floor with other couples at your same level. While you will know the dance, you will not get to pick your own music. You will receive a placing (first, second, third, etc…) As with Solo routines, you will receive other awards depending on the competition.

Q. What is the cost?

A. The entry fees vary somewhat with each competition. Generally it costs $75 - $85 for a Group competition entry and $120 - $140 for a Solo routine. In addition, you will need to purchase tickets to the event.

Q. Okay, how do I participate?

A. Great! We are delighted you have decided to participate. Your teacher will tell you all the details of the particular competition coming up: dates, what you will dance, what you should wear, when to show up, etc… We know you will have a wonderful time and we are excited about how much you are going to learn! Enjoy preparing for the competition!

Q. How can I build a proper floor for dancing?

First, the reason for this question: A hard, unyielding surface like concrete is a killer. To avoid injuries, you need a resilient floor. These floors are termed "sprung floors," because the construction makes the floor springy. Our opinion is that this is a job best left to professionals.

Q. What is the difference between State Association and a recognized Academy?

A. Dancing in India is divided into two different world. On the one side the dance studios or academies that are run by professional dance teachers. This system is quite clear; pupils have courses in a studio and pay for it. On the other side are State associations are formed in each state run by amateurs. People who join such association do pay a yearly membership fee that is not too exorbitant and many of those people do a lot of work for their associations without or with little payment. Teachers in dancing associations are either professional dance teachers or licensed amateur dance trainers from any specialized organization. Normally both organizations are working hand to hand together for developing DanceSport in India.

About Ballroom Dance Music

Q. What is the difference between International Style and American Style?

A. International style is danced throughout the world and is the standard for all International competitions. There are ten International style dances which are: waltz, slowfox, tango, quickstep, Viennese waltz, rumba, cha cha, samba, jive, and paso doble. American style, which is danced primarily in the U.S., includes much of the above dances in addition to the meringue, bolero, swing, and mambo. While the styles are similar, International style is more disciplined and technical.

Q.What do you mean by Standard/Modern, and Latin? Is that similar to Smooth and Rhythm?

A. In International style ballroom dancing the ten dances are broken down into the five modern dances (also referred to the five standard dances), which are the waltz, quickstep, slowfox, tango, and the Viennese waltz. The five Latin dances are the rumba, samba, cha cha, jive, and the paso doble. In American style the dances are broken down into similar categories often referred to as Smooth instead of Standard, and Rhythm instead of Latin.

Q. What is BPM?

A.BPM stands for beats per measure. More information about the timing of our music is available in the following question.

Q. What is strict tempo?

A. Every dance feels its best at a certain speed of music. This is 'strict tempo.' Despite the word 'strict' the tempo can vary by 1 or 2 bars per minute. Here are the most common tempos for the ten dances. Slowfox: 29 - 30 Waltz: 29 - 30 Tango: 32 Cha Cha Cha: 32 Quickstep.: 50 Samba: 52 Rumba: 26 Jive: 44 Paso Doble: 60 Viennese Waltz: 60

Listen up: We did not write most of this stuff; we have just collected it from different sources. If you have additional questions or comments about these answers, send an e-mail to