Ballroom Dance > New USA Dance Rulebook (& new Dress Code)

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by tbrennen, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    Hi All,

    The Governing Council met a couple of weeks back and we came up with some BIG rule changes. Almost all of these changes relax rules. Go to or read on...

    Summary of Rule changes in the 2007-2008 USA Dance DanceSport Rulebook (effective Jan 1, 2007).

    The following table is only a summary of the Rule changes. You are highly encouraged to read the specific rule changes in the Rulebook. NOTE: A lot of Rules have been removed and these deletions are not shown in the Rulebook

    The MAIN RuleBook changes:
    Pretty much ALL restrictions have been removed for Athletes as far as earning money, doing demonstrations, doing benefits, winning money, etc. The only restrictions remaining are some of those regarding sponsorships and commercial agreements.
    (This will bring us in line with most of the other countries in the world and enable our athletes to better compete. We will have, for the first time, to have a set of rules that are simple, explainable, enforcable, and consistent. Please note that this only applies to USA Dance-sanctioned events and the USA Dance definition of Professional may not agree with that of other organizations.)

    Pre-Teen I & II competitors at ALL proficiency levels must dance syllabus figures only in USA Dance competitions. (This means that all competitions, USA Dance or NDCA, in the US have this same rule.)

    Change the Senior II age category from over 50 years of age to over 45 years of age.
    Change the Senior III age category from over 60 years of age to over 55 years of age.
    (The Senior II change will bring us in line with the IDSF and these changes will result in a consistent progression of 10 year increments for each Senior category - Senior I 35 & over, Senior II 45 & over, Senior III 55 & over. This will reduce the difference in ages between each age category. )

    Senior competitors may only dance two consecutive age categories.

    Dress Code changes:
    The Dress Code has changed. Most of the changes are only the formatting of the Dress Code. In most cases, the rules have been relaxed somewhat. Please see the Dress Code to see how it applies to you or to your children. There is now a classification called personal jewelry and it is not restricted. However, if you wear a piece of personal jewelry that breaks the spirit and intent of the new Dress Code, the Chairman of Judges may determine that the Dress Code has been broken.

    ******** "Table" of Rule Changes **********
    The way the Rules were is listed followed by the new Rules which start with a '>':

    > New

    # The Rules until Dec 31, 2006
    >The Rules as of January 1, 2007
    1 A Regulated Athlete is defined as a professional.
    >This definition is removed
    2 Definition of Professional (2.1.4 & )
    >A Professional is someone who calls themselves one or enters a professional event. (same as before)
    3 Elite Athlete is defined as Championship Athlete
    who places in top 25% at Nationals.
    >This definition and category of Athlete is removed.
    4 World Class Athlete
    >This definition and athlete classification is removed.
    5 World Class events at USA Dance comps (rules for this
    are throughout the rulebook)
    >This proficiency level is completely removed and
    we go back to only the Bronze/Silver/Gold Syllabus,
    Novice, and Pre-Champ/Champ levels.
    6 Regulated Athletes may not compete in mixed Proficiency events (3.8.1)
    >Professionals may not compete in mixed proficiency events. (3.8.1)
    7 Eligibility Criteria (4.2)
    Changes include:
    > Athletes must not have engaged in prohibited activities, as defined in the new Rules, in the prior 12 months. (4.2.2)

    8 Prohibited activities for Athletes - Material Gain, Commercial Agreements, Demonstrations, Competitions Prizes, Sponsorships, & Benefits
    Extensive changes
    > Regarding material gain, all restrictions have been removed for Athletes except for Commercial Agreements dealing with advertising and Sponsorships from another Dance Organization or Sponsorships from a business or other commercial enterprise.
    4.3, 4.10, 4.11, 4.12, 4.13, 4.14

    > All restrictions on demonstrations have been removed.(4.10)
    > All restrictions on competition prizes have been removed.(4.11)
    > All restrictions on benefits have been removed. (4.13)
    > All reporting requirements have been removed. (4.14)
    > All restrictions on allowable sources of income
    have been removed. (4.14.2)

    8a Professionals may not be Athletes (
    > Professionals may not compete in USA Dance events or in any event requiring USA Dance membership (
    9 Permitted activities were listed (4.4)
    >now defined only as anything not Prohibited or restricted (4.4)
    10 Rule Violations only defined for Athletes, Officials, & Organizer. (
    >Rule Violations for Trainer & Managers added to list. (
    11 Pre-Teens may dance open choreography in Novice, pre-champ, & Champ events
    >Pre-Teens may only dance Bronze, Silver, & Gold syllabus figures in all levels at all competitions. (
    12 Senior II events are defined as over-50, Senior III events are defined as over-60
    >Senior II events are defined as over-45
    Senior III events are defined as over-55 (
    13 Senior I, II, & III competitors may dance all age categories for which they are eligible.
    >Senior I, II, & III couples may only dance two
    consecutive age categoires in a given style. (

    14 Syllabus events at competitions
    >Rules are clarified. (5.2)
    15 Event reporting requirements (5.9)
    >Rules are brought up to date to account for computer tabulation of marks. List of Athlete information from event to send to National expanded to include membership #. (5.9a, 5.9b)
    16 No anti-doping requirements for officials
    >Officials are now subject to anti-doping controls (6.1.1)
    17 No Ethics code requirements for officials
    >Officials now must abide by Codes of Ethics (6.1.2)
    18 No penalties for violations by officials
    >Officials are now subject to penalties for violations. (6.1.3)
    19 Rule violations at competitions (6.2.4)
    >Additional rules and instructions for the Chair of Judges for dealing with rule violations at competitions. Simple version: warning on 1st violation, disqualification on 2nd violation. Other rules, too. See 6.2.4
    20 Judging rules clean up
    >See section 6.3 for details.
    21 Clean up rules
    >Minor modifications to rules for clean up purposes.

    Summary by Turtle Brennen
    You can blame him for mistakes above but you should really read the rule changes IN the Rulebook. If you find a mistake, please let me know and I will fix it. (no, I can't change the rules but I can fix the above summary)
  2. dancesportgirl21

    dancesportgirl21 New Member

    cool :D Has there been any indication of the NDCA following suit with the rules on amateurs earning money?
  3. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    No. USA Dance (then USABDA) instituted a new set of rules in 2000 that created the Elite Status and Certified Athlete Status which both allowed amateurs to teach for pay and, in certain cases, earn money for dancing. The NDCA followed suit about a year or two later creating a category of amateur (those who placed in the final at a particular comp in Utah) who could teach for pay. It remains to be seen when, or if, the NDCA does the same this time.

    The reality is, however, that neither USA Dance nor the NDCA has been able to enforce the rules regarding dancing for pay (teaching, shows, etc). Part of the reasoning, but not the only reason, for making this change to USA Dance rules is a recognition of this reality.

    So, we will need to wait and see what the NDCA does. Actually, I don't think many, if any at all, pros have had their business affected negatively by non-professionals teaching. In one case I know of, the local number of dancers has increased due to a non-professional teaching.

    At any rate, at this point competitors will need to be aware of the differences in definition of a Professional between the USA Dance rules and the NDCA rules and act accordingly.
  4. reb

    reb Active Member

    Great move! I am impressed that you made this happen - and there is happiness around here as you might expect!

    Has there been contact made (for example, official correspondence and request for discussion) to the NDCA so they NDCA can consider moving in-line?

    While I'm not getting my hopes up yet about wild enthusiasm and agreement between the two orgs, I ask because there was an apparent disconnect about the number of points you could accumulate - when USA Dance moved from 3 to 5 points, NDCA remained at 3 because - and in letters published on Michael Mead's dance sport comps website, the NDCA rep indicated 'one hand did not know what the other was doing' (or words to that effect).
  5. saludas

    saludas New Member

    What is up with 'rolled up sleeves" not allowed for men in Latin? Are you saying that all ment have to have either a long sleeve or a 3/4 (for instance) sleeve, that cannot look "rolled up"? The '"rolled up" look is very fashinable in all walks of life today, and many competitors have costumes with this built in....
  6. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    The NDCA has been notified about the rule changes but no discussions have been scheduled about bring the rules together. The last time any type of discussion was attempted to do this was back in around 2001 and I was involved in that. For various reasons, both organizations, at different times, refused to hold those discussions. However, I believe that the climate is now such that it might be possible to start up again.

    To my knowledge, the NDCA has never changed their competition rules to be "in-line" with those of USA Dance. The NDCA did create their World Competitor classification as an answer to the USA Dance Elite Athlete program but that is about it.

    I sincerely hope that some sort of compromise and accomodation can be made between the two organizations but it remains to be seen how much the people in the two organizations are willing to give up "their" way of doing things.
  7. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    This is not a change in the rules. The 2006-2007 Rulebook did not allow rolled up sleeves, either. The 2007-2008 Dress Code is not that different from the 2006-2007 one. Another answer is that just because something is fashionable does not necessarily mean that it should be part of the dress code.

    Also, if you read the rules, there is no requirement for long or 3/4 length sleeves in the Latin or Rhythm. A short sleeve is also OK. The final determination will depend on the Chair of Judges at that comp. Push the boundaries at your own risk.
  8. Throwaway Overshare

    Throwaway Overshare New Member

    While perhaps not the rules everyone would like to see, what is important is that we finally have a rulebook that matches the way things had in fact been working - everyone is now aware of the full range of choices for planning their dancing as hobby, career, or something of both.
  9. reb

    reb Active Member

    Thank you for taking the time to reply and all you are doing to help make this work.
  10. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    Hey, it's my job but thanks anyway. I'll keep on doing it until Dec 31st, 2006 when my term as DanceSport Delegate runs out and I retire from the position.
  11. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Turtle, a lot of us are very very very sad to see you moving on, but we are also assuming that you have recruited an excellent replacement. You've done an amazing (if under-appreciated) job over the years, and I personally thank you immensely for it. Thanks! Hugs! You're great!
  12. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    Thanks, Laura!
  13. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    That's not a new rule (since the previous round of costume rules changes, anyway).
  14. saludas

    saludas New Member

    But is is a good rule? Rules can be changed...
  15. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    IMO, it is a stupid rule.
  16. dancesportgirl21

    dancesportgirl21 New Member

    Roll up your sleeves in protest! lol!

    But really, I think it's great that USA Dance is finally recognizing that this can only help dancing as a whole. I'm just wondering how quick the NDCA will respond since they are interested in protecting their pros and pro events, even though this can only help everyone to have it out in the open.

    But tbrennen, you can't retire! Who's going to notify all of us on DF about these things so quickly??? :D
  17. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    Good question! I'll introduce you to her sometime in the next month. -Turtle
  18. IlyZislin

    IlyZislin Active Member

    Can't agree more! We'll miss you, Turtle, in your official capacity. Hope you will still be around the dancing world in non-official capacity.
  19. tbrennen

    tbrennen Member

    Hey all,

    This is just a reminder that the new USA Dance rules took effect on January 1, 2007. See the first post on this thread for an overview or go to the USA Dance website.

    If you have questions about the new rules, you can ask me or you can contact someone in the organization.
  20. Ithink

    Ithink Active Member

    So, I don't see this rule anymore but before I have a dress made I thought I'd ask: are nude colored dresses once again allowed? By nude I mean non-see-through nude lycra, fully stoned? For example, Yulia Klinchik wore one this year in the finals of MAC. I assume that she was allowed to wear it because it's no longer prohibitted? Am I right to assume that?

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