ESSDA Competition Rules

General Rules

A couple must consist of two female or two male partners. Participants can compete with one person in the standard section and with another person in the latin section and 10-dances or show. Female and male couples start and are classified separately (except show-tournaments ). Every participant must be at least 16 years old. To participate in the senior category both partners have to be at least 40 years old and reach together in sum 90 years. The organizers and competition management are entitled to carry out identity checks . There is no open judgement in the finals

Tournament for Standard and Latin and 10 Dance

At the start of the tournament all reported couples dance a general look and are divided in a classification round by the panel ofadjudicators in each of the disciplines Standard and Latin in the classes. (Performance classes D , C , B , A).

During the classification round three dances are performed in the following order:


  • Waltz ( LW )     
  • Tango ( TG )     
  • Quickstep ( QS )


  • Cha-Cha ( CC )     
  • Rumba ( RB )     
  • Jive ( JI )

Following the classification round the competitions in the sections Standard and Latin take place in classes D , C , B and A . The procedure of the tournaments is carried out on the basis of the rules of the European Same - Sex Dance Association (ESSDA ). According to the number of couples in the individual classes, the event is organized in several stages (first round, semi-final and final).

In standard competition the following dances are performed in the classes D , C , B and A :     

  • D-Class : LW , TG , QS     
  • C-Class: LW , TG , QS     
  • B-Class : LW , TG , SF , QS     
  • A-Class : LW , TG , WW , SF , QS

In Latin Competition following dances are performed :     

  • D-Class : CC , RB , JI     
  • C-Class: CC , RB , JI     
  • B-Class : CC , SB , RB , JI     
  • A-Class : CC , SB , RB , PD , JI

In all rounds, the duration of the dances is about 1:30 minutes. In the preliminary round and the semi final the Paso Doble is danced until the second highlight, in the final until the third highlight.

The 10 Dance Competition includes all 10 dances in Ballroom and Latin. There will be no classifiocation round, but (if more than 6 couples tae part) a semi final.

Show couples and show dance groups

Each couple and each team will be given the opportunity to rehearse their show on the floor in advance of the competition. Show Dance entries must be based upon and exhibit at least one (or more) recognised ballroom, Latin or other syllabus partner dance (such as Waltz, Quickstep, Cha-Cha, Jive, Argentine Tango, Salsa). Elements from other dance forms, lifts, drops and physical movement may be used to enrich and complete the choreography.

Accessories are permitted, provided they are limited to props that are carried by the dancers without assistance on and off the floor and are used as part of the routine.

The marking system aims on assessing the technical quality of the dancing, the artistic impression and the entertainment value.

Length of music:     

  • for couples: between 2:15 and 5:30 minutes.     
  • for groups: from 4 minutes to 7 minutes.

Check out ESSDA-Site for detailed information.