Competitions Rules


General Competition Requirements

  1. Entries: All contests must have a minimum of three (3) entries to be valid contests.

  1. Judges: SwingTime will follow all guidelines set by WSDC pertaining to judges.

  1. Scoring System: Finalized scoring inputs shall be computerized by a professional scorer.

Contest Requirements:

Waiver Forms:

Each contestant must sign the appropriate waiver form. No contestant will be permitted to compete without a signed waiver form. All contestants under the age of eighteen must have a parent or guardian sign any required forms.

Role/Gender Requirements:

SwingTime is open to persons of any gender dancing either lead or follow, as they prefer, and we encourage you to register in whichever role you would like to when dancing in any contest.

Appropriate Behavior and Dress Code: It is the desire of the Organizer to encourage expressive and exciting dance performances without sacrificing the quality of dancing and good taste. To encourage this balance, any action that the judges believe would make them uncomfortable in a social dance setting (such as wearing inappropriate attire or showing disrespect toward one!s partner, other dancers, or the event) is prohibited. Competitors should check with the Organizer or Chief Judge in advance if they have questions regarding the acceptability of their routine/competition attire.

Responsibilities of Competitors

  1. Planning Ahead: Competitors should check the weekend schedule in advance in order to arrive in time to meet registration deadlines. They should bring appropriate competition attire. They should also plan ahead so as to be on time for all meetings and competitions. Competitors are responsible for checking at the event for any changes to previously-announced schedules, which are always subject to change.

  1. Knowing the Rules: All competitors should read these rules carefully prior to their competition. Competitors are responsible for adhering to these rules whether they have read them or not. Questions about the rules should be addressed in advance to the Chief Judge.

  1. Being Prepared to Compete: Competitors should be present in the ballroom at least 15 minutes prior to the start of their competition. Competitors are responsible for their bib numbers. Any cancellation by a competitor or couple after the registration deadline will result in the loss of the entry fee.

    1. Demonstrating Good Sporting Conduct: Competitors must demonstrate good sporting

conduct at all times, both on and off the competition floor. Competitors may not speak to judges regarding their placements or scores until after the awards have been given.


Points: Jack & Jill points are listed in the World Swing Dance Council Competitors Registry.

Rising Star: Amateur Routine Choreography Division

Swing Content: The NASDE Statement of Swing** is a guide to assist the judges in determining swing content. Swing is an American Rhythm Dance based on a foundation of

6-beat and 8-beat patterns that incorporate a wide variety of rhythms built on 2-beat single, delayed, double, triple, and blank rhythm units.

The 6-beat patterns include but are not limited to, passes, underarm turns, push-breaks, open-to-closed, and closed-to-open position patterns. The 8-beat patterns include, but are not limited to, whips, swingouts, Lindy circles, and Shag pivots. Although they are not part of the foundation of the dance as stated above, 2- beat and 4-beat extension rhythm breaks may be incorporated to extend a pattern, phrase the music, and/or accent breaks.

  • This statement will be used only to identify the presence of Swing content in performance. It is not intended to be a full definition of Swing or to be used to evaluate the quality of the performance. Each Judge will evaluate the presence of Swing content, which will be one of the criteria that determines a final score

Division Rules:

Jack and Jill Divisions:

The Jack & Jill competitions are designed to highlight social dance skills in spontaneous swing dancing and the ability to dance well with a variety of partners. A bit of “luck of the draw” comes into play as well.


Competitors enter as individuals, are randomly assigned partners, and dance to music selected by the Competition DJ. Depending on the number of entries, preliminary and semi-final rounds may be held and will be danced in a heated format. Each division must have at least 5 leaders and 5 followers. There is no maximum number of competitors.

Judging Criteria:

Timing: Timing points are determined by the ability of the dancer to dance on the downbeat of the music and to include syncopations that are also on the beats of the music.

Technique: “How Well You Do What You Do”: We are looking for good footwork, balance, control, frame, and how well turns & spins are executed. Well-controlled arms & hands. Teamwork: The ability of the partners to work together as a team. One person should not be obviously “out dancing” the other. TEAMWORK with action-reaction is essential in good dancing.

Content: “What You Do”: the content is the CHOREOGRAPHY, planned or spontaneous, and musical interpretation through physical movement. Showing variety and contrast will enhance your dance performance.

Showmanship: “How Well You Sell What You Do”: showmanship/presentation is the ability of the dancers to keep the audience’s attention for the entire length of the performance.


A competitor may enter two different skill levels for the J&J competition in different roles (leader and follower) under the rules put forth by the WSDC.

Division Qualifications:

Our qualifications for entries promote fairness and competitor enjoyment by grouping dancers of similar abilities in the same division. Our rules are based on the World Swing Dance Council recommendations, please refer to the WSDC Registry Rules document to determine which level(s) you qualify for:

Newcomer: You’re allowed to dance in Newcomer as long as you don’t have any Newcomer points in that specific role and don’t dance in Intermediate (or higher) as your primary role or have any Intermediate (or higher) points.

Masters: For competitors who are at least 50 years old at the beginning of the event.

Competitors may also dance in up to 2 skill levels in other Jack & Jill divisions per WSDC rules.

Strictly Swing Divisions:

Swing dancing encourages lead and follow partner dancing at its best. Although swing includes amalgamations and patterns that are familiar to many dancers, the essence of lead and follow must be maintained in and out of these patterns. Strictly Swing division is not meant for long and extended pre-choreographed phrases. Choreography “on the fly” is the objective. Drops leans, circular movements, and other partner weight support moves are allowed as long as both partners keep at least one foot on the floor. The champions division is the exemption from this rule.

General: The maximum number of entries in each division is at the event!s discretion. There is no minimum number of entries. Guidelines for expected swing content are 75% in Strictly Swing. It is at the judge!s discretion to determine that the swing content requirement has been met. Specific:

  1. Length of performance is at the promoter!s discretion.

  1. Costumes are not allowed. However, matching or complementary outfits are acceptable.

  1. This division will be danced in a heated format, with All-Star & Champions as exceptions.

  1. Couples must maintain physical contact except for spins, turns, and short break-a-ways.

  1. Pre-choreographed routines are not allowed.

  1. Dancers must maintain their own physical contact with the floor during weight support moves.

Division Qualifications:

Novice, Int/Adv, All-Star, Champions: For these divisions, a couple must enter the highest level either partner qualifies for based on the WSDC points they have earned.

Champion: At least one partner must have placed 5th or higher at a WSDC event in a Champions, Invitational, or Pro level Jack & Jill or Strictly Swing contest within the past 5 years. 

Masters: Both partners must be 50 years of age or older. Because this is an age requirement rather than a skill level requirement you may also enter another Strictly Swing contest at the appropriate skill level.

*Masters Choice. All Level may compete. Masters choose anyone to compete with.

Rising Star Spotlight Routine: This single division is offered for all styles of Swing: West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Hustle, Shag, and Hand Dance, or any other style of popular swing dance. Dancers enter and perform a choreographed routine to the music they choose. The routine must be at least 2 minutes long and no longer than 3 minutes. Limited to the first 15 entries received.

General: Couples dance in a solo format. The dance orders will be chosen at random and posted prior to the division start time.

  1. Performance time is a minimum of two (2) minutes and a maximum of three (3) minutes.

  1. Competitors select their own music.

  1. Costumes are required, no props are allowed.

  1. Time and judging start at the first movement of the performance with or without music.

  1. Separate entrances are permitted, but must come together within thirty-two (32) beats of the music intro.

    1. Break-a-ways and side-by-side patterns are permitted, no longer than eight (8) beats.

  1. Lifts are optional but not required.

  1. Maximum five (5) partner weight support moves with at least one foot on the ground.

Restart Guidelines:

Couples may request a restart in the following cases:

  1. The DJ plays the wrong music for your routine, or the sound system fails.

  1. Shoe breaks, costume malfunction, or loss of a vital piece of clothing.

  1. Lights go out in the ballroom during the performance.

Contestants may NOT request a restart in the following cases:

  1. Dissatisfied with their dance order, performance, or failure to remember part of the routine.

  1. If a contestant is injured during their performance, this is for safety concerns.

  1. If a couple completes their routine but believes they should be allowed to restart due to

  1. Make their request to the Chief Judge (CJ) prior to leaving the competition floor.

  1. If the CJ approves the request, the couple may elect to perform their routine again with the previous performance scores voided.

  2. If the CJ denies the request, the performance that was completed will count towards scoring the contest. If the CJ denies the request, the couple will be scratched from the contest.

  3. The CJ may call a restart without the request of the couple if the CJ believes it is fair and in the best interest of the contestants and their fellow competitors. In this case, the couple will be allowed to restart after the next couple in dance order or at the discretion of the CJ.

  4. The couple may decline the option to restart if they are satisfied with their completed routine.

WOW PRO Division: “World of West Coast Swing” Routine INVITATIONAL


This new swing dance division is being introduced as “INVITATION” only for 2022. Professional dance partners will bring their best 90 seconds of choreography. Designed to bring the top swing dancers in the world to create a new SHOWTIME experience! All forms of swing dancing are welcome to the SwingTime WOW division! Top performers will receive WOW performance awards!

Specific: Choreographed performance may be a minimum of 90 seconds and a maximum of 105 seconds. Time starts when the music begins. No props allowed. Anything goes, especially amazing swing dancing! Dancers will have professional lighting and videographers during the show, made for the screen and audience!

*Judges & audience will decide top performance awards based on: quality of swing movement, choreography, execution, and visual presentation. (MORE DETAILS TO COME)

Credit for rules goes to Liberty Swing.