What is Dancesport?
from Wikipedia, the free internet Encyclopedia:

"Dancesport denotes competitive ballroom dancing,as contrasted to social or exhibition dancing

The name was invented to help competitive ballroom dancing gain Olympic recognition

Dancesport events are sanctioned and regulated by dancesport organizations at the national and international level

Dancesport is both an art and a sport, interpreting and following music with the correct characterisation and the physical demands of competition dancing

Ballroom dances are:

Waltz, Tango, Slow Foxtrot, Vienesse Waltz, Quickstep

Latin American dances are:

Samba, Rumba, Cha Cha, Paso Doble, Jive

New Vogue dances are:

Merrilyn, Parma Waltz, Tangoette, Gypsy Tap, Barclay Blues, La Bomba, Lucille Waltz, Twilight Waltz, Tracey Leigh Waltz, Tango Terrific, Swing Waltz, Carousel, Evening 3 Step, Excelsior Schotissche, Charmaine

A basic overview of Competition dancing:
Recreational Events are for non-registered Dancers. No record of wins or points are maintained. These events are held for new dancers before they move into the Registered/Graded Events

Competitive Registered/Graded Events are for the more serious Competitive Dancer
In New Zealand we have 5 age groups:

  • Juvenile - up to and including 12 years of age
  • Junior - up to and including 15 years of age
  • Adult - 16 years old onwards
  • Youth - 16 years old up to and including 20 years old
  • Masters 1 - 35 years old and over
  • Masters 2 - 50 years old and over

Levels of Competition:

within each age group are levels (from 2021 called Grades), as couples win competitions they move up the levels

  • Level 1 - from 2021 now called C Grade
    at this level dancers dance 1 or 2 dances in competition

  • Level 2 & Level 3 - from 2021 now called B Grade
    at this level dancers dance 3 or 4 dances in competition

  • Level 4 & Level 5 - from 2021 now called A Grade
    at this level dancers dance 4 or 5 dance in competition

  • Open  (open to all dancers from all levels) - one, two three, four or five dances


Under Council Rules, Adjudicators must be qualified (by examination) as a Teacher of Dance by a recognised Professional Association. 

Judging a dancesport event is a subjective process, taking into account a number of criteria, to arrive at an overall assessment of the relative merits of the couples contesting the event.

The main criteria generally used in judging a Dancesport event are:

  • Technical Skills
  • Interpretation of the characteristics of the dance
  • Choreography and style
  • Musical Interpretation and Timing
  • Posture
  • Floor Craft
Adjudicators place their own emphasis on their individual adjudicating criteria and may include considerations other than those listed above.
Being a 'visual sport", most competitors consider good grooming and appropriate attire an essential requirement to provide a favourable initial impression.
As a particular dance of an event lasts approximately 1.5 minutes, the relative assessment of couples has to be carried out very quickly and therefore requires expertise, experience and concentration.
 New Zealand Ballroom Dance Council
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