Competition rules

Spanish Academy of Country & Western and Line-Dance.

Rules for 2005-2006.

This are very similar to international rules, but they are a little bit more relaxed specially talking about variations and dressing costumes. For any clarification please contact us at our e-mail address. These rules are based on the CWDC/Masters in Line rules, because it is our intention that our competitors can particate in CWDC/Masters competitions. MIL rules will be used in the Line-Dance Olympiad in Mallorca 2006.

 ABCLDE COMPETITION RULES 2005-2006

Divisional Information

The competition year begins on the 1st of January and ends on 31st of December.  Your age on 1st January determines which division you will dance in for the competition year.  If, through a relevant birthday, you are eligible to move into an older age division, you may move up an age category during the year, however this is not compulsory.  Moving between divisions is allowed although once you have moved into a higher-level division, you cannot move down to a lower division, the exception to this is if you have moved up an age category – it would be acceptable, for example, for a Division 2 Junior dancer to move into Division 3 Teenage.  For all finals, the division in which you last qualified will be the division in which you must dance. Dancers will only have to move into a higher-level division in the following competition year if they have won three or more competitions*, or a CWDC Europeans/World Dance Masters/UCWDC title during the dance year (see Recommendations and Promotional Rules for further information) (*this only applies if there are three or more competitors in the division).  Dancers cannot enter more than one line dance division at an event.        

Line Dance Age Categories & Divisions

Junior: Age 0-13
Junior Teen: Age 0-17
Teen: Age 14-17
Crystal: Age 30+
Silver: Age 45+
Gold: Age 60+

Open: Age 16+

Recommendations and Promotional Rules for Competitors:

Newcomer

This Division is offered in all categories:

This division is recommended for beginner dancers or dancers who have never competed before.  Dancers may compete in this division a maximum of FIVE Times, they then must move to Division 4 Novice or one of the relevant age divisions.  If a Newcomer competitor wins three or more competitions or a CWDC Europeans/World Dance Masters/UCWDC title during the competition year, he/she must move into the next highest, relevant division for the following competition year.  Variations are not permitted in this division.  The official step sheet must be strictly adhered to.

Division 4 Novice

This Division is offered in the following categories:

Junior: Age 0-13 Junior Teen: Age 0-17; Open: Age 16+; Silver: Age 45+

This division is recommended for dancers who have been line dancing for over 1 year, or who have some previous dance experience. Emphasis in this division is on correct vanilla footwork and technique.  Minimal variations are allowed in this division, however dancers may not execute any turn/spin of more than 180 degrees on one foot.  If a Division 4 Novice competitor wins three or more competitions or a CWDC Europeans/World Dance Masters/UCWDC title during the competition year, he/she must move into the next highest, relevant division for the following competition year.

Division 3 Intermediate

This Division is offered in the following categories:

Junior: Age 0-13; Teenage: Age 14-17; Open: Age 16+

This division is recommended for dancers who have been line dancing for 2-3 years, or who have three or more years of other dance training.  Dance teachers who are new to competition are recommended to begin in this division.  If a Division 3 Intermediate competitor wins three or more competitions or a CWDC Europeans/World Dance Masters/UCWDC title during the competition year, he/she must move into the next highest, relevant division for the following competition year.

Crystal/Silver/Gold

These divisions are offered to dancers who fall into the relevant age categories, as outlined above.  Dancers, who fall into these age categories, can alternatively choose to dance in the Open age divisions.  Crystal/Silver/Gold are recommended for dancers who have been line dancing for 2-3 years, or who have three or more years of other dance training.  If a Crystal competitor wins three or more competitions or a CWDC Europeans/World Dance Masters/UCWDC title overall title during the competition year, he/she must move into Division 2 Crystal Advanced for the following competition year.

Division 2 Advanced:

This Division is offered in the following categories:

Junior: Age 0-13; Teenage: Age 14-17; Open: Age 16+; Crystal: Age 30+

These divisions are recommended for experienced and accomplished dancers who have been line dancing for over 3 years, or who have an extensive dance background. 

Event Directors may offer some or all of the above Divisions. Please check with the Event Director which Divisions they have on offer at their Event before you compete.

Line Dance Rules Summary  

·         Male and Female competitors will dance in separate/combined heats.

·         Dancers may choose to dance one or any combination of dances offered in the division. However, dancers will need to dance all specified dances to qualify for a placing.  At least one dance in each line dance division will be danced to country music.

·         Dancers will be counted in.

·         V & V Rule - Vanilla & Variation: Dancers must dance the first TWO walls as vanilla. You may use your hands, arms, head and upper body, but you cannot change any of the steps, they must be performed exactly as the official step description issued.  You will be penalised if the official step sheet is not strictly adhered to. From the the third wall, you may introduce variations. Variations must flow in the same direction of movement as the Vanilla.

Exceptions to the V&V Rule as follows:

Newcomer: Variations are not permitted at all in this division.  Newcomer dancers must dance the dance exactly as written – no variations are allowed. 

Division 4 Novice: The V&V rule applies in this division – however only minimal variations are allowed. Excessive variations for this division will be penalised.

 All vanilla patterns must be performed exactly as written on the official step descriptions. Dancers must keep to the basic footwork and direction of the dance. No additional turns or variations may be added. Hand/arm work and body styling/movement is allowed. Competitors will be disqualified if they include their own version of the dance during the vanillas.

 ·         If a dancer leaves the floor for any reason, he/she will be disqualified from that dance; under the rules of the scoring system, this means they would be ineligible for an overall placement.

 Duos Ages + Rules Summary

 Junior Teen: Age 0 to 17; Open: Age 16+       

* If the two dancers competing together fall into different age groups, they must dance in the division of the oldest dancer.

 ·         Duos are two individuals, males, females or mixed, dancing in any non-joined pattern.

 ·         Hands or bodies may briefly touch but dancers cannot join to execute any movement.

 ·         A set piece of music will be pre-released to which Duos should choreograph their own routine.

 ·         Several Duos will compete on the floor at the same time; therefore dance floor etiquette must be followed.

 ·         Dancers should start dancing when they choose; they will not be counted in.

 ·         No competitor may dance in more than one Duo Team at an event.

 Quads Ages + Rules Summary

 Open age division

  * This combination of 4 dancers can be of any age, or any mix of ages.

·         Quads are four individuals, males, females or mixed, dancing in any non-joined pattern.

·         Hands or bodies may briefly touch but dancers cannot join to execute any movement.

·         A set piece of music will be pre-released to which all Quads should choreograph their own routine.

·         Several Quads will compete on the floor at the same time; therefore dance floor etiquette must be followed.

·         Dancers should start dancing when they choose; they will not be counted in.

·        No competitor may dance in more than one Quad Line Dance Team at an event.

Team Ages + Rules Summary

Junior: Age 0 to 13; Teen: Age 14 to 17; Open: Age 16+

* If two or more dancers in a team fall into different age groups, then the team must dance in the division of the oldest dancers. One team member from an older age group is allowed to dance in a younger team category.  You may not dance in more than one team in the same category at a competition, however you may compete once in a standard team and once in team cabaret. You may not compete in both a junior team and an adult Team.

·         Teams must consist of at least SIX members for each routine and involves individual dancers dancing any combination of dances.  They may touch and join to create a formation, or initiate a turn or movement. Teams may include sequences from a line dance, partner dance or from couples dance styles.  Lifts, drops and weight bearing moves are not permitted in Standard Teams, but are allowed in Cabaret Teams.

·         Music for Teams: 

* Standard Teams: Music must be a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 minutes in length. Time starts with the first notes of the music and ends with the last notes.  Any introduction or exit music MUST be included in the time allowance.  Exceeding the time limits will result in a lower final placement.  At least 50% of the music used for standard teams must be country (i.e. appeared in the country charts, or performed by a recognised country artist or group).

* Cabaret Teams: Music must be a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 10 minutes in length.  Time starts with the first notes of the music and ends with the last notes.  Any introduction or exit music MUST be included in the time allowance.  Exceeding the time limits will result in a lower final placement.  Any style of music is allowed in the cabaret division.

·         TEAM MUSIC must be clearly labelled with the team name and number and given to the DJ at least half an hour before they are scheduled to compete, or as directed. A back up copy must be available if required. Delays of a teams’ performance due to music unavailability may result in the team being disqualified. 

·        The order in which teams dance will be selected by the Event Director in a random and impartial fashion.

·        Acted themes, pantomime, singing or comedy performances of any kind are allowed in the Cabaret section but NOT in standard teams.

·        Team Cabaret: Teams may use any dance style or combination of dance styles appropriately presented with a theme and may use any music.  Props are allowed. Cabaret/themed costumes are allowed. Audio/verbal sounds are allowed.  Acrobatic moves are permitted, and therefore a disclaimer must be signed by the Team Captain/Organiser.

Couples Age Categories & Divisions

Junior:  Age 0 to 15; Adult: Age 16+

* Couples aged 16 and over must consist of one Male and one Female. Couples aged 15 and under may be any two dancers (males, females or mixed). If the two dancers competing together fall into different Age Groups, then they must dance in the division of the oldest dancer. 

Divisions on offer are as follows:

Junior: Age 0 to 15

Dancers will score well for showing most of the popular and basic western dance positions and moves. Routines should have a combination of moves, incorporating basic patterns. Dancers should have a good standard of technique, including lead & follow and show personality and enjoyment of the dance. Dancers should have correct western dancewear, including some use of costume.

Division 4 Junior: Age 0 - 15

This is a beginner division for our Junior Dancers.  Dancers will score well for showing the basic western dance positions/moves. Dancers should have a fair standard of technique including lead & follow. Dancers should show personality and enjoyment of the dance.

Division 4: Age 16+

Dancers will score well for showing the basic western dance positions/moves. Dancers should have a fair standard of technique including lead & follow. Dancers should show personality and enjoyment of the dance.

Division 3: Age 16+

Dancers will score well for showing most of the popular western dance positions & moves. Routines should have a combination of moves, incorporating basic patterns. Dancers should have a good standard of technique including lead & follow. Dancers should show personality & enjoyment of the dance.

Division 2:  Age 16+

Dancers will score well for showing a good range of western dance positions and moves, showing a fair level of difficulty. Dancers should make up a large amount of the routine with combinations of moves, eliminating a large number of basic patterns, using unique moves and combinations. Dancers should show some Interpretation of the dance theme and music including phrasing obvious musical breaks. You should have a high standard of technique including lead & follow. Dancers should show artistic interpretation, personality, enthusiasm and enjoyment of the dance. Couples should have coordinated appearance including some use of costume.

Division 1:  Age 16 +

Dancers will score well for showing an extensive range of western dance positions and moves. Showing a high level of difficulty. Making up the majority of the routine with combinations of moves, eliminating almost all basic patterns. Using unique moves & combinations. Interpret the dance theme and music including phrasing. Having an excellent standard of technique including lead & follow. Matching movements to different areas of the floor. Showing artistic interpretation, personality, enthusiasm & enjoyment of the dance. Having coordinated appearance including some use of costume.  Dancers must have won at least 10 Couples Championships before being eligible to compete in this division.  (Please note: you will be required to provide proof of Championship wins, and should check with the Event Director beforehand).

Couples Rules Summary

·         No competitor may dance in more than one Couples pairing at an event.

·         Aerial Moves:  Aerial Moves are not permitted in any couples division. Our definition of an Aerial Move is as follows: An Aerial Move is where one dancer brings both feet off the floor AND a) one foot is above another dancer’s shoulder level OR b) both feet are above another dancer’s waist level. If Aerials are used where they are forbidden then, you will not be recalled to the next heat or placed in a final.

·         Lifts:  Lifts are not permitted in any couples division.  Our definition of Lifts is as follows: A Lift is where both feet of one dancer are off the floor AND weight is being supported by another dancer.  If Lifts are used where they are forbidden then, you will not be recalled to the next heat or placed in a final. 

·         Dancers should start dancing when they are ready, they will not be counted in.  Emphasis will be on Lead and Follow Technique and movement, however Shine (apart dancing), pantomime type movements and extended rhythm breaks or syncopations are allowed as follows: 16 counts in Cha-Cha and all Swing dances, 12 Counts in Waltz and 8 counts in all other styles. 

·         Dance Floor Etiquette for Couples Dancers is as follows:

Couples Stationary Dances: (East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Cha-Cha etc) Dancers must not interfere with the dance space of other competitors.      

Couples Progressive Dances: (2 Step, Waltz, Polka, etc.)

                   Slower moving Couples must move towards the Centre of the Floor to allow faster moving Couples to pass. Stationary or Spotlight patterns should be done towards the centre of the floor away from the Fast and Slow lanes.

 Partner Ages & Rules Summary

 Junior:  Age 0 to 15; Adult: Age 16+

 * Partners aged 16 and over must be one Male and One Female. Partners aged 15 and under and Duo Partners may be any two dancers (males, females or mixed).  If the two dancers competing together fall into different Age Groups, then they must dance in the division of the oldest dancer. 

 * Dancers will score well for performing the Vanilla Sequences as per the written step description. Dancers should show a good level of interpretation with many Variation Sequences containing different moves/styling; have a good standard of technique; show showmanship & styling relevant to the dance/music; have co-ordinated western dress; demonstrate the ability to dance as a pair and complement each other. 

·         Partner Dance consists of two dancers dancing with joined hands/arms.

·         No individual competitor may dance with more than one partner, or in more than one Partner Division at an event.

·         The V & V rule applies: Dancers must dance the First TWO walls as Vanilla with styling. This means you can use your hands, arms, head and upper body to compliment the dance, but you may not change any of the steps, they must be performed exactly as the official step description issued. From the Third sequence you may introduce Variations.

·         Dancers will be counted in.

·        Dance floor etiquette for Partner Dancers as follows - overtaking is allowed, slower moving pairs must move towards the centre of the floor to allow faster moving pairs to pass. Stationary/Spotlight patterns should be done towards the centre of the floor.

Costumes – All Divisions

General

 Male: You must wear a shirt or shirt & waistcoat, trousers or jeans. You must wear a cowboy hat when the dance is to country music (i.e. appeared in the country charts, or performed by a recognised country artist or group), however, for non-country music; the cowboy hat is optional - please see individual step sheet for classification. If the cowboy hat is dropped during the course of the dance, and not retrieved at the earliest opportunity, you will be penalised.       

 Female: You must wear a) dress or b) shirt, top, leotard or blouse and trousers, skirt or jeans. You must wear dance pants with skirts and dresses. Flesh coloured dance tights must be worn. A cowboy hat is optional.  

 For both male and female: Any type of themed costume or formal dress is not allowed.  No form of name or advertising should be displayed on any part of the costume.

Costume Restrictions

Advanced Dancers and higher: All costumes must have a visible yoke.  The yoke must be visible from 2 metres. The yoke is defined as follows:  

* A visible pattern on the costume, which travels from one side of the costume to the other.

Strapless tops are not allowed. 

 *                 Footwear  

For all dances done to country music (i.e. appeared in the country charts, or performed by a recognised country artist or group), competitors must wear western style bootsWestern style boots must have a minimum 1"/2.5cm heel and a minimum 6"/15cm shaft. The heel is measured with the boot standing on the floor. The shaft is measured from the top of the heel, to the top of the boot. Pull-up loops are not included in the measurement.

For dances done to non-country music, Latin shoes may be worn.  Primary, Junior, Junior Teen and all Male dancers must not wear Latin shoes with more than 1.5”/3.75 cm heel.  All other dancers must not wear shoes with more than a 2.5” /6.25cm heel.

Shorter ankle boots or lace up shoes may be worn in the Gold Division.

Wearing trainers, lace-up boots or western boots outside the measurements outlined above is not permitted.

Costumes & Footwear for Newcomer Division

The Dress Rules are relaxed for this division. Dancers are not required to have a yoke on their costume. Cowboy hats are optional for all dancers. Any suitable footwear may be worn, however no trainers or high heels are allowed.

* Team Cabaret is exempt from costume regulations, although any costume, which is a cause of embarrassment to judges/spectators, will be penalised.

* All Divisions – costumes and footwear.  If you are unsure of the legality of any aspect of your costume or footwear, please check with the judges before you compete.

General Rules – All Divisions

·         Gum Chewing is not allowed.

·         Audio/Verbal sound/Singing is not allowed (except in Team Cabaret).  Lip-synching is allowed.

·       Talking - Competitors must not talk to other competitors, judges or the audience while dancing on the floor in competition. You risk not being recalled to the next heat or placed in a final.

·         Acrobatic moves are not allowed at any point during the dance (this also includes the introduction and ‘end poses’).  These moves are defined as follows:

1.      Any move where both legs are above waist height of the competitor
2.      Any move where the competitor’s weight is on one or both hands
3.      Any move where a competitor sits or lies on the floor

Kicks are allowed, however kicks must not interfere with, or endanger, any other dancer on the floor. (Please note: Team Cabaret is exempt from Acrobatic Rules restrictions)

·         All dancers must obey dance floor etiquette.  If you are executing a move and by doing so cause interference with another competitor, you will not be recalled to the next heat or placed in a final. The offended competitor will not be affected.  This also means that variations should flow in the direction of the dance.

·         Props are not permitted (except in Team Cabaret).

·         Vulgar, suggestive or crude movements are not allowed.  Movements beyond the point of flirtation, humour or comedy, will result in the dancer not being recalled to the next heat or placed in a final. 

General Information

Competition Ethics: Competitors MUST NOT question or consult the Judges about the competition during the event. They may consult the Judges after the Awards and Presentations, but only with regard to their own performance.

Competitors’ Meeting: It is each competitor’s responsibility to attend the Competitors Meeting.  For teams, at least one team member should attend.

Competitors’ Responsibilities: It is the competitor’s responsibility to ensure they are fully up-to-date with the rules relating to their division. This includes official line dance step descriptions and costume regulations. Competitors should make themselves aware of competitors’ registration and meetings. All competitors must be in the competitor’s area 5 minutes before they are required to dance. Each competitor’s number will be called twice and if the competitor is not on the floor ready to dance they may be disqualified from the dance.

All teams must be ready to perform at the assigned time; delays may result in a lower placement.

All competitors are expected to behave in a professional and proper manner. Anyone acting in an unethical or unprofessional way may be disqualified from the event.  If competitors do not abide by the published rules they will be disqualified. Improper behaviour, competition enquiries, protests or disputes must immediately be brought to the attention of the Event Director. All decisions of the Event Director, Contest Co-ordinator, Judges and Scrutineers are final.

Judges: A minimum of 3 judges is required at an event; five or seven judges are preferred, although any ODD number of judges may be used. In exceptional circumstances, a non- licensed judge may be used on application to the ABCLDE; however the majority of the panel MUST be licensed judges.  During the competition, judges/officials privy to competition scoring or results must not, under any circumstances or by any means, convey such information to the public or to a competitor. Judges & officials are not restricted from socialising at an event except whilst judging or carrying out official duties.

Judges Meetings: The reason for calling a judges’ meeting and the result will only be conveyed to the dancers involved if necessary.  If the Head Judge feels that a statement is required, then it will be made in general terms only and for the benefit/guidance of all competitors.

Junior/Teenage Competitors:  Competitors aged under 18 must be accompanied by an adult who is held accountable for their conduct at all times. It is the adult’s responsibility to convey all the information, step descriptions, dress rules, etc., to the dancer in their care.          

Preliminary Heats Preliminary heats are used to eliminate dancers in order to get to a final.  Scores from prelims will only be used to decide final placings if scores from the finals themselves are tied. There may be occasions when another heat is required because of a tie resulting from the judges’ marks.

LINE DANCE: The scores of all dances will be added together and the overall highest scoring dancers will move forward to the next heat/final. Heats will be held in all divisions with eight or more dancers. A percentage of the dancers in each heat will be recalled to dance again in the next heat until a maximum of seven competitors remain.

TEAMS: Preliminary heats must be held in all competitions with eight or more competitors in a division. A percentage of the teams will be recalled to dance again in the next heat until a maximum of seven teams remain.

Scoring Analysis: A scoring analysis of your performance is available. Request this from the registration staff or Scrutineer.  In the event of there being excessive numbers of requests for scores, they will be posted out after the competition.

Scrutineers: All Scrutineers must be recognized by the ABCLDE. Events are not sanctioned unless they are scrutinised by Licensed Adjudicators

Step Descriptions: The Event Director must issue a step description for each line dance offered at the Event. The dances will not include any tags or options. The competitors are required to dance to this sheet only and must request the step descriptions from the Event Director. A step description from any other source is Not Valid for the purposes of the competition.

By competing at any ABCLDE sanctioned event, you are agreeing to the following statement: ” We agree to hold the organizers of this event and their agents harmless for all suits, claims or demands of every kind and character arising out of and in conjunction with this event. We hereby authorize the reproduction, sale, copyright, exhibition, broadcast and/or distribution of any event videotape without limitation. We understand the physical risks of entering dance competitions and social dancing and assume full responsibility for any injury or personal damages resulting from the event.”

* Please note - these rules are subject to change at the discretion of the ABCLDE Board of Directors

We acknowledge the original copyright to the CWDC/Masters in Line Rules © CWDC/MIL. Modifications are made only to the national ABCLDE events, not sanctioned to any international organization, except if mentioned.