All India DanceSport Federation

Rules & Regulations

How Dance Sport competitions are organized

The principal Dance Sport competitions have enough entries to be danced in successive rounds. In larger competitions, such as IDSF World Ranking List Tournaments, couples are organized into heats in each round. Judges are required to select a set percentage of couples to progress to the next round. Couples must dance the required number of dances in each round (five for Standard, five for Latin American, and ten for the Ten-Dance.

The selections of all judges are aggregated and those couples receiving the highest number of "callback" selections are returned to the next round. By contrast, in the Final round where normally six to eight couples compete, each couple is given a numerical ranking from first to last. The aggregate of these rankings from each judge over each dance determines the ultimate placing. The "Skating System" of calculating placing is used by the Scrutinizers in determining the final result.

The music used in a Dance Sport competition is confidential until the competition begins (other than in formation championships), but the tempo and basic rhythm for each dance is defined and the duration of each dance is a minimum of one and a half minutes.

There are strict rules regulating and controlling the style of competition dress.

Dance Sport Technique

There are many technique books which define the all of the technical elements of the Dance Sport disciplines. Technical elements are defined for each step in a group, and it is combinations of groups that couples demonstrate in competition. Couples choose their groups "in real time" during the course of a competition, depending on the floor space available and the need to demonstrate floor craft.

Technical elements include timing, footwork, rise and fall, alignments and direction, all of which underpin the impression of the couple acting as a single cohesive unit.

Marking System

Through elimination rounds, the number of couples taking part in a Dance Sport competition is reduced to a final round, usually comprising six couples.

In prior rounds, and up to the semi-final, the judges compare the performance of the couples in each dance and select those couples whom they consider should pass into the next round because of their superior performance. Each judge's selections (also known as "callbacks") in each dance are marked on their judging cards, and at the end of the round all the marks for all judges in all dances are totaled and the specified number of couples passing to the next round are selected based on the total of their number of selection marks (the highest number of selection marks is the best!).

In the final round of each dance, the judges individually rank each couple in their considered order of merit, and mark their ranking on their judging cards. For example, in a six couple final, the judges would be ranking from 1 to 6, with number 1 being the best mark. A judge may not give two couples the same ranking.

Using a methodology known as the "Skating System" (based upon majority opinions) a ranking order is established in each separate dance. (low numbers are better, and number "1" is the best!).e.g.

Couple Number The ranking of seven judges in this dance for each couple The couple finishes
10 1 1 2 5 1 2 1 1.Place(majority of "1")
15 2 2 1 3 2 1 2 2.Place(majority of "2")
16 3 3 3 1 3 3 6 3.Place(majority of "3")

How Dance Sport competitions are organized

The aggregate of the individual dance rankings determines the overall result of the event, the winner being the couple with the lowest aggregate total, or in the case of a tie the couple winning the most number of dances.

Judging Criteria

Dance Sport has been described as the sport made for television. However because of the increased scrutiny that TV broadcasting brings, with its action replays and multiple camera views, the TV viewing public is much more focused on the role of the judges.

The TV viewing fan in all sports now questions decisions of judges/referees/umpires. Dance Sport is no exception and the IDSF has focused its attention on developing Dance Sport judging criteria which are clearer to the Dance Sport fan.

Dance Sport judges must make observations of the competing couples, and apply some criteria to that observation to form a judgment. All judgments are comparative assessments of the couples in the competition, rather than assessments against a hypothetical standard. Couples are compared on their performances in a number of areas.

  • Timing and basic rhythm : In all dances, timing and basic rhythm take precedence over the other concerns, so that if a couple repeatedly makes mistakes in this area, their comparative assessment must be downgraded.

  • Body lines : The term "body lines" relates to the couple as a unit, both during movement and in "picture steps"

  • Movement : The judge must determine whether movement is in keeping with the character of the dance being performed, and assess the rise and fall, and swing and balance of the couple. For example, a greater swing only justifies better marking if the movement is controlled and balanced.

  • Rhythmic Interpretation : The judge must assess the quality of the rhythmic interpretation of the music, so as to ascertain a couple's capacity for choreography and musical interpretation in each dance.

  • Footwork : The judge must assess the quality and control of applied footwork.

  • Floor craft : The judge must assess the ability of the couple to manoeuvre their choreography so as to avoid interruption to their own progression and that of other couples

The IDSF has committed itself to developing and seeking general acceptance of a universal Dance Sport judging methodology that upholds the principles of transparency, objectivity and accountability, including ethical principles.

Championships are held

a) in the Standard dances (Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Slow Foxtrot and Quickstep).
b) in the Latin American dances (Samba, Cha-Cha-Cha, Rumba, Paso doble and Jive)

1. Invitations are to be send to all AIDSF member associations.
2. Each invited member association has the right to nominate two couples.
3. All Competitors must be members of their respective AIDSF member associations.
4. No change of partner is allowed in the same event.
5. All competitors must be dressed in appropriate costume as specified in the IDSF Regulations.
6. Advertising on competition dress is allowed subject to IDSF Rules.
7. Doping are strictly forbidden. The IDSF Rules on anti-doping shall apply.
8. Age restriction follows IDSF competition Rules 11.

Age regulations

I. Juvenile - The eldest must be 9-11 years or younger
ii. Junior - the eldest must be 12-15 years
iii. Youth - the eldest must be 16-18 years.
iv. Adult - the eldest must be 19 years or older
v. Senior - both in the couple must be 35 years or older
vi. Grand Senior - both in the couple must be 50 years or older

Youth couples are allowed to compete in Adult competitions. In all age sections one partner of a couple can be younger according to IDSF Rules

Time allowed and Tempi

In all rounds of competitions the music played shall be a minimum of one and half minutes duration for the Waltz, Tango, Slow Foxtrot, Quickstep, Samba, Cha-Cha-Cha, Rumba and Paso doble. The time for the Viennese Waltz and Jive shall be a minimum of one minute.

The tempi for each dance shall be

Waltz 28-30 bars/min.
Tango 31-33 bars/min.
Viennese Waltz 58-60 bars/min.
Slow Foxtrot 28-30 bars/min.
Quickstep 50-52 bars/min.
Samba 50-52 bars/min.
Cha-Cha-Cha 30-32 bars/min.
Rumba 25-27 bars/min.
Paso doble 60-62 bars/min.
Jive 42-44 bars/min.

Types of music:-

In all IDSF competitions the music must have the character of the dances, for example no disco music in Latin-American dances.

Competition Dress

Check the IDSF website at for the latest dress code

1.2.Determination of Classes and Age regulations

Organizer determines classes and Age regulations.

2. Application

2.1. Organizer should send application report and specific program to AIDSF six months before the competition.
2.2 AIDSF should give the answer to applicant within two months.
2.3 Organizer should send invitations to other states four months before the competition.
2.4 Organizer must pay Rs.1,00,000 management fee to AIDSF.This is for one event at a time.


1) AIDSF reserves the right at its absolute discretion to license, refuse to license, or withdraw the license for the conduct of any prescribed event.
2) All fees involved will be decided and negotiated by the President/ Vice President in consultation with Members of the Executive Committee and representatives of the host organization.
3) The AIDSF shall not be held liable for any financial or other loss to an organizer, and/or associate,
4) An application for a new event registration or for a change of date of the event must be submitted to the Branch Board not later than 2 months prior to the proposed date of the event.
5) Applications for event registration are not valid unless the appropriate registration fee (as determined from time to time by AIDSF) is paid.
6) Where the promoter is a body corporate, an authorized officer of the organization must sign the form "for and on behalf of .......