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Dance Sport Ireland Rules


The following resolution was passed at the Dancesport Ireland Ltd A.G.M on 9th Aug 2009:


Pending provision and acceptance of a set of competition rules for DanceSport Ireland Ltd at the Annual General Meeting in 2010 it is hereby resolved that DanceSport Ireland Ltd will use the competition rules of the Irish DanceSport Federation in the running and administration of DanceSport competitions. Throughout the Rules, Dancesport Ireland Ltd will be referred to as DSI.


In order to make contact with the CEO of DSI, please refer to the 'Contact us' page.


6.   Amateur Status
7.   Displays by Amateurs
10. Loss of amateur Status
11. Representation
12. Competitions
13. Protests in Competitions
14. Breaches of Rules
16. Categories of Competitions
17. Classes of Amateur Competitions
18. Age Groups
19. Sanctioning of Competitions
20. Accredited Competitors
21. Interpretation of Rules
22. Videos at Competitions
23. Sponsorship
24. Dress Code
25. Anti-Doping Code
26. Syllabus of Dances (including Restricted Syllabus)
27. Code of Conduct for Children in Dancesport


6. Amateur Status
6.1. An amateur is one who;
6.1.1 takes part in Sport Dance without material gain or personal profit for the pleasure and physical, mental and social benefit.
6.1.2 has not declared him/herself a professional.
6.1.3 has not commenced training as a professional.
6.1.4 has not undertaken a course of study for a professional examination.
6.1.5 has not taken a professional examination.
6.1.6 has not taken part in a competition limited to professionals.
6.2. An Amateur shall not:
6.2.1 demonstrate dancing, except as provided by Rule 7.
6.2.2 accept for the performance of dancing prizes or remuneration other than honour prizes, particularly money or vouchers.
6.2.3 convert prizes into money
6.2.4 take part in any type of dance sport in connection with which expenses are paid to competitors except as provided hereunder. It is permissible for an amateur to receive adequate travelling expenses to and from a town in which such amateur does not reside and adequate hotel expenses in such town (limited to the day or days of the competition, and one day before, and one day afterwards), provided such expenses are in reimbursement of actual expenses incurred, if and when invited by the organisers of a competition in such town, to participate in such competition, provided such expenses are received with the approval of DSI. teach dancing, except as specifically licensed to do so by DSI in writing. This licence will only be granted to those who have (a) passed an examination in the syllabus of figures for each of the Standard and Latin dances and (b) agreed to adhere to the guidelines governing Amateurs teaching, as laid down by DSI. The syllabus and guidelines are obtainable from the CEO. The term of the licence is for one year from the date of successful completion of the examination. The licence may be renewed on completion of a revision examination. It may be revoked at any time should DSI deem it prudent to do so. All expenses for any examination will be borne by the candidate. Any Amateur holding such a licence may advertise for pupils, provided such advertisement contains the words – “Licensed to teach DanceSport by Dancesport Ireland Ltd”. Should an Amateur wish to appeal against a revocation of a licence to teach s/he should in the first instance write to the CEO of DSI within fourteen days of receipt of notice of such revocation outlining the reasons for such appeal. On receipt of such notice of appeal DSI shall appoint an investigative body consisting of the President or his/her nominee and three National Council members to investigate the matter and decide if the original revocation was valid. The Amateur(s) concerned shall be invited to attend a meeting called by this body at which all aspects of revocation shall be investigated. The decision of this body shall be notified in writing to the Amateur(s) concerned within fourteen days. In the event of the Amateur(s) concerned wishing to appeal against this decision they should notify the CEO within fourteen days. The matter shall then be brought before the Council who shall act as an appeal body whose decision shall be final and binding on the Amateur(s) concerned
6.2.6 adjudicate dancing, except as specifically authorised by DSI in writing.
6.3 A professional in any form of dancing may not dance as an amateur in any form of DanceSport.
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7. Displays by Amateurs
7.1 A member or accredited competitor may not demonstrate without having received prior permission in writing DSI. Permission will only be granted for a charity, or for a group or association with which a member of the couple has had a lengthy period of contact, or if the Council believes such demonstration or display will advance the cause of Dance Sport.
7.2 Applications for demonstrations must be received in writing by the CEO not less than twenty one days prior to the event. Such applications must state the date, time, venue, and purpose of the display. It should include details of any expenses and/or fee payable. Applications in respect of adult dancers must be from the dancers themselves. Applications in respect of Juveniles and Juniors will be accepted from their parent, guardian, or teacher. Applications in respect of film appearances must be made by the production company involved.
7.3 Should permission be granted, it must be announced at the event, and in any pre-publicity, that the participating couple(s) are amateurs, and that permission has been granted by DSI, a member of the International Dance Sport Federation. In the case of film or television appearances, this statement in the credits is deemed sufficient.
7.4 Permission to demonstrate shall be at the discretion of the National Council.
7.5 Where such permission is granted the National Council may at its discretion delegate a member to attend the event as observer. Any expenses incurred in this must be met by the applicant
7.6 Any fees other than direct expenses, must be paid to DSI. These will be reimbursed in full to the dancer(s) concerned without any administrative deduction.
7.7 Any Amateur dancer will be limited to no more than four paid demonstrations in any period of twelve months.
7.8 Violation of this rule will result in a suspension for a minimum period of six months or three competitions, whichever is the greater. 
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10. Loss and reinstatement of amateur status
10.1 Questions under this heading shall be dealt with by the National Council, who shall be guided by the following general principles;
10.1.1 A professional by qualification may never be reinstated to amateur status.
10.1.2 A professional by declaration or a student to the profession may be reinstated only to full Championship status, once only, subject to a minimum period of one years suspension from the date of application for reinstatement.
10.2 The date of application in all cases shall be determined by the date of the postmark of a mailed letter, or the date of delivery, if delivered by hand.
10.3 The findings of the National Council shall be reported to the All-Ireland Board of Ballroom Dan 
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11 Representation
11.1 Representatives shall be nominated by the National Council.
11.2 A birth or residential qualification is necessary for eligibility for representation. A non-eligible partner may use the birth or residential qualification of the other half of the couple. The residential qualification period shall be twelve months immediately prior to the competition.
11.3 Only couples who have attained a minimum of Pre-Championship class are eligible for selection as International representatives.
11.4 Participation in a minimum of three Ranking competitions within the previous calendar year is necessary before points will be allocated for International representation. On having participated in a third Ranking competition any points gained in previous competitions will be awarded.
11.5 Ranking competitions in addition to those run by DSI shall be nominated by DSI on an Annual basis with not less than three months notice to competitors.
11.6 Representatives for team matches and competitions shall be selected on the basis of performance in the last five four or five dance Ranking competitions. These shall be competitions run by DSI, or over which the DSI has direct control, or those additional competitions nominated by Council in accordance with 11.5 prior to the receipt of the invitation. In the event of a tie, if there is sufficient time available, the result of the next Ranking competition shall be used to determine the couple for representation. Otherwise, the sixth previous competition shall be used. Six points shall be awarded to the first eligible couple in the final, five points to the second eligible couple, and so on. Points shall not be awarded to couples who are not eligible for representation.
11.7 Any couple missing a Ranking competition through being a representative couple shall be awarded their current number of points divided by the number of competitions in which these points were gained rounded to the nearest whole number for that Ranking competition.
11.8 Couples chosen by DSI to represent Ireland abroad at World and European Dancesport events shall be entitled to receive a contribution from DSI towards their air fares. This contribution shall be paid retrospectively during the first quarter of the year and shall cover all approved trips made by each couple during the previous calendar year. For example, all expenses due to a particular couple for 2008 shall be paid in a single payment during the first quarter of 2009.
11.8.1 In order to qualify for a refund of expenses on air fares each couple shall be required to submit a detailed claim to the CEO of DSI on or before 31st January each year. The claim shall provide details and dates of the events in question along with valid receipts for all economy class air fares.
11.8.2 The total contribution towards air fares payable by DSI in any calendar year shall be 20% of the profits made on competitions for the year in question. For example, if Irish Dancesport were to return a profit of €5,000 on competitions for 2008, a sum of €1,000 (20% of €5,000) would be made available to cover all claims for refunds of air fares.
11.8.3 In order to divide the fund in an equitable manner, couples travelling to the United States, Australia, China etc. are reminded that they will only be allowed the average European fare for such trips.
11.8.4 If the total amount claimed exceeds the amount available, then the amount available shall be divided proportionately amongst the claimants . However, claimants shall not be permitted to carry forward any shortfall to the following year. Similarly, if the total amount claimed is less than the total available, the surplus shall not be carried forward and added to the amount made available for the following year.
11.8.5 The refund payable to any particular couple in a given year shall not exceed the amount claimed.
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12 Competitions
12.1 Any competitor of Class D (Novice) or higher must be a registered member of a recognised dancing body in his or her area of residence.
12.2 Proof of membership will be required.
13 Protests in Competitions
13.1 Objections must be in writing, accompanied by a fee of €10.00, and lodged with the officials on the marking table. Should the objection be sustained the €10.00 will be refunded to the complainant. Should it fail the fee will be forfeit to DSI.
13.2 No objections to a competitor's eligibility to take part in any competition will be considered unless the complainant gives his/her name and address.
13.3 Such objections, unless admitted by the person complained against, shall be dealt with by the National Council. If there is no time to reach a decision before the event, the competitor complained against shall be permitted to dance in the competition on the understanding that any prize he or she might win may be withheld until the decision of the National Council shall be known.
13.4 Should the objection be sustained any prize withheld shall be passed down to the next couple, and suitable disciplinary action taken against the offender. 
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14 Breaches of Rules
14.1 A member or competitor who has committed a breach of these rules as distinct from declared professionalism or registration as a student professional, or who in the opinion of DSI has been guilty of unseemly conduct, or acted in any way prejudicial to Dance Sport shall be liable to disciplinary action.
14.2 Should DSI suspect that a breach of these rules has occurred it shall appoint an investigative body consisting of the President's nominee as Chairman and three National Council members to investigate the matter and decide on any disciplinary action required. However, should the National Council deem it necessary to appoint a person or persons with relevant experience from outside of the National Council, then such person or persons may be appointed
14.3 The member(s) or competitor(s) concerned shall be invited to attend a meeting called by this body at which all aspects of the alleged breach of rules shall be investigated. The decision of this body shall be notified in writing to the member(s) or competitor(s) concerned within fourteen days
14.4 In the event of the member(s) or competitor(s) concerned wishing to appeal against this decision they should notify the CEO within fourteen days. The matter shall then be brought before the National Council who shall act as an appeal body whose decision shall be final and binding on the member(s) or competitor(s) concerned
14.5 The National Council may decrease or increase any penalty previously imposed at its discretion. 
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16 Categories of Competitions
16.1 Amateur competitions - Confined to Amateur competitors.
16.2 Professional competitions - Confined to Professional competitors.
16.3 Formation competitions - Confined to either Amateur teams or Professional teams.
16.4 Mixed (Pro-Am) competitions - Confined to Amateur competitors dancing with a Professional.
16.5 Team Matches - Confined to Amateur or Professional teams.
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17 Classes of Amateur Competitions
17.1 Class A (Championship) - Open to all competitors
17.1.1 Competitors who win a Championship in any of the following age groups; Youth, Adult, Senior 1 (Over 35 Years) or Senior 2 (Over 45 Years) are confined to Championship class in all of these age groups.
17.2 Class B (Pre-Championship) - Confined to competitors who have not;
17.2.1 Won a Championship
17.3 Class C (Intermediate) - Confined to competitors who have not;
17.3.1 Won an aggregate of six class C (Intermediate) or higher class competitions.
17.3.2 Won a Championship.
17.4 Class D (Novice) - Confined to competitors who have not;
17.4.1 Won an aggregate of six class D (Novice) or higher class competitions.
17.4.2 Won a Championship.
17.4.3 Won a championship in a lower age group
17.5 Class E (Beginner) - Confined to competitors who have not;
17.5.1 Won an aggregate of six class E (Beginner) or higher class competitions.
17.5.2 Won a Championship.
17.5.3 Juvenile and Junior competitors may regain Class E (Beginner) status in a higher age group provided they have not won a Championship. 
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18 Age Groups
18.1 Under Eight (8) years - Confined to competitors who have not reached their eighth birthday.
18.2 Juvenile - Confined to competitors who have not reached their twelfth birthday
18.3 Junior - Confined to competitors who have reached their twelfth, but not their sixteenth birthday. In a partnership established for not less than twelve months where the older partner has reached the age of twelve years the younger partner may elect to compete in Junior competitions with the older partner, provided the younger partner has reached their eleventh birthday. Having opted for Junior they may not revert to Juvenile competitions.
18.4 Youth - Confined to competitors where the older member of a partnership has reached their sixteenth, but not their nineteenth birthday.
18.5 Adult - Confined to competitors where the older member of a partnership has reached their sixteenth birthday.
18.6 Senior 1 - Confined to competitors where both partners have reached their thirty fifth birthday
18.7 Senior 2 - Confined to competitors where both partners have reached their forty fifth birthday.
18.8 Senior 3 - Confined to competitors where both partners have reached their fifty fifth birthday.
18.9 Social - Confined to competitors where both partners have reached their thirtieth birthday, and who have not been accredited competitors in the past fifteen years. 
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19 Sanctioning of Competitions
19.1 Applications for sanction to promote a competition must be received in writing by the CEO not less than ninety (90) days prior to the event.
19.2 Applications for sanction must detail all events scheduled, not just those requiring sanction. An approximate timetable must be included.
19.3 A short list of adjudicators from which the panel will be chosen must be provided, listing their qualifications.
19.4 The date and venue must be stated.
19.5 No announcement of the competition or pre-publicity is permitted prior to sanction.
19.6 After sanction, any announcement, pre-publicity, or programme must include a statement or announcement that the competition is held with the permission of Dancesport Ireland Ltd.
19.7 No competitions other than those sanctioned may be run.
19.8 A Scrutineer appointed by DSI must be at the marking table for each competition. Should the event exceed four hours the Scrutineer must be provided with a meal. Any legitimate expenses incurred by the Scrutineer must be reimbursed by the promoter.
19.9 A copy of the markings of each competition must be supplied to DSI immediately after each competition.
19.10 No Radio, Television or Videography of the event shall take place without prior permission from DSI.
19.11 Under 8 years and Juvenile competitions must be completed and prizes awarded before 8.00 p.m. at any competition. Junior competitions must be completed and prizes awarded before 9.00 p.m. at any competition.
19.12 Under 8 years, Juvenile, Junior, Senior and Over 50s competitors must have their date of birth registered with the Federation, or with the registering authority in their area of residence.
19.13 Adult, Senior and Over 50s competitors must be accredited competitors with the Federation.
19.14 A list of intending competitors with their intended competitions must be supplied to DSI not less than five days prior to the competition for verification.
19.15 A certificate of Public Liability insurance covering the event must be produced by the applicant.
19.16 Guideline: It is emphasised that sanction is a privilege, not a right, and is for one event only. Sanction will only be granted once per annum to a promoter. Joint principals of schools will not be considered as separate promoters. 
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20 Accredited Competitors
20.1 Competitors in all age groups as defined by Rule 18 must register by completing a Registration Form and submitting it together with their Birth Certificate to the Membership Secretary. The Birth Certificate will not be retained and will be returned immediately.
20.2 Youth, Adult, and Senior competitors must register annually as a competitor with DSI. This is done by completing a Registration form and submitting it to the Membership Secretary together with the prescribed Registration fee. Where a birth certificate has previously been submitted it is not usually necessary to re-submit it.
20.3 The prescribed annual registration fee for an Accredited Competitor is €5.00, or such sum as may be approved from time to time at an AGM.
20.4 An accredited competitor must comply with the provisions of Rule 6 - Amateur Status
20.5 Accreditation as a competitor will be lost by breaking any of these rules or by taking part in a competition that is not sanctioned by Dancesport Ireland Ltd. The onus for ensuring that a competition is sanctioned rests with the competitor.
20.6 Each competitor will be supplied with a registration card which must be available for scrutiny by the Scrutineer or designated official at any competition
20.7 Accreditation as a competitor will be lost if s/he is found to be using performance enhancing drugs as defined by the International DanceSport Federation and the World Anti Doping Agency. The Federation shall have the right to demand a dope test at any time from a competitor. Failure to comply with this demand will result in loss of accreditation. 
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21 Interpretation of Rules
21.1 In any case of doubt, the interpretation and application of these rules shall be as interpreted by the National Council of DSI.
21.2 Matters not covered by these rules shall be determined by the National Council, whose decision shall be final and binding.
22 Videos at Competitions
22.1 Video cameras may only be used at competitions when a licence to use one has been issued by DSI.
22.2 Application for a licence to use a video camera must state the name of the camera operator, the couple(s) to be recorded, and the specific competitions for which permission is required. It must be submitted not less than seven (7) days prior to the event.
22.3 Video operators may only record the couple(s) for which a licence has been granted, in those specific competitions.
22.4 Applicants must accept the conditions laid down in the licence.
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23 Sponsorship
23.1 All sponsorships or patronage in cash to couples or individuals must be channelled through DSI. DSI will return such sponsorship or patronage as required by the couple at 100% of value. No administrative charge will be retained.
23.2 All sponsorships or patronage in other than cash must be reported to DSI, together with details of the value of such sponsorship or patronage.
23.3 Any conditions attaching to such sponsorship or patronage must be reported to DSI.
23.4 Where performance of dancing may be a feature of such sponsorship, separate permission must be obtained in advance from DSI for each performance. Notice of such performances shall be not less than twenty one (21) days. Conditions as per Rule 7 - Displays by Amateurs shall obtain
23.5 Promotional material for sponsors on dancing apparel shall be confined to a logo 2 centimetres by 15 centimetres worn on the breast of the gentleman. 
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24 Dress Code
  Couples competing overseas, particularly in International Dancesport competitions, must ensure that they are fully compliant with International Dancesport Federation dress regulations. With regard to domestic competitions run by Dancesport Ireland Ltd, the same regulations apply, but with a number of relaxations as follows:
  • Juvenile and Junior Beginner and Novice competitors may ‘dress down’ from these regulations, although denims and boots may not be worn. Any competitor wearing competition dress must comply with the Dress Regulations.
  • Juvenile and Junior competitors are allowed to wear make-up.
  • Juvenile and Junior female competitors are allowed hair decorations and coloured hairspray.

Click here to view IDSF Dress regulations

25 Anti-doping Code

Click here to view the IDSF Anti-Doping Code which is recognised and supported by Dancesport Ireland Ltd.

26 Syllabus of dances (including Restricted Syllabus)
26.1 Standard section - The dances applying are; Slow Waltz, Tango, Slow Foxtrot, Quickstep, and Viennese Waltz.
26.2 Latin section - The dances applying are; Samba, Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Paso-Doble and Jive.
  Restricted Syllabus for Beginner and Novice Grades (All age groups)
A Technique
-Technique of Latin Dancing by Walter Laird (IDTA)
-Technique of Latin Dancing - SUPPLEMENT by Walter Laird (IDTA - first edition 1997) 
-The revised Technique of Latin American Dancing (ISTD)
-The revised Technique by Alex Moore
-The Ballroom Technique by the Imperial Society (ISTD) 
-Technique of Ballroom Dancing by Guy Howard (IDTA)
As a base for all Latin American Figures the technique and principles explained in Technique of Latin Dancing by Walter Laird are recommended.
B Figures
Any figures including notes, special notes and amalgamations are allowed except those figures listed in Section E Standard Dances.
C Alignments, Positions, Amount of Turns
Alignments, commencing and ending positions and amount of turns have to be danced as described in the charts or notes. It is not allowed to dance only parts of the figures unless otherwise stated in the technique book.
D Precedes and Follows
As precedes and follows any connections are allowed, as long as they follow the above mentioned rules (alignment, amount of turn, commencing and ending positions).
E Standard Dances
All the specified figures including -Open Natural Turn from PP (as an independent figure)
except -Contra Check -Left Whisk
All the specified figures except -Oversway -Contra Check
Including -Open Natural Turn from PP (as an independent figure)-Running finish may be ended in PP
  Viennese Waltz:
Specified figures -Natural Turn -Reverse Turn -Change from Natural to Reverse Turn forward or backward -Change from Reverse to Natural Turn forward or backward
F Latin American dances
Permissible holds are as described in the technique books.
Free arms should be used naturally. 
The duration of figures which are allowed to be danced without hold can be four bars in Cha-Cha-Cha and four bars in Samba, not counting the foot changes.
  Guapacha timing in Cha-Cha-Cha:
Syllabus figures that lend themselves to the use of Guapacha timing are:
-Close and Closed Basic,-Cross Basic,- Time step,-Check from Open CPP and Open PP -Turkish Towel, Fan.
  Permitted figures for under-8, Juvenile and Junior accompanied solo dancers
Waltz Closed Changes, Natural Turn, Reverse Turn
Q'step Quarter Turns, Progressive Chasse, Natural Turn, Forward Lock
Samba Basic Movement, Samba Whisks, Promenade, Samba Walks
Cha Cha Basic Movement, New Yorker, Spot Turn
27. Code of Conduct for Children in Dancesport
  DanceSport Ireland wishes to provide the best possible environment for all children in dancesport. Children have rights, which must be respected, and responsibilities that they must accept.

They are entitled to:

  • Be safe and feel safe.
  • Be listened to, and be believed.
  • Have fun and enjoy dancesport
  • Have a voice in relation to their activities within dancesport
  • Be treated with dignity, sensitivity and respect
  • Participate in an equitable and fair manner, irrespective of ability, disability, gender, religion, social class etc.
  • Experience competition at a level at which they feel comfortable
  • Make complaints and have them dealt with
  • Get help against bullies
  • Say ‘no’
  • Confidentiality
They should always:
  • Treat all other people with respect including Council Members, Adjudicators Professionals, Coaches, Club officials, Club staff, Parents and Supporters
  • Look out for themselves and the welfare of others
  • Play fairly at all times and do their best
  • Be organised and on time and tell someone if they are leaving a venue or competition
  • Respect other team Members even when things go wrong
  • Respect opponents and be gracious in defeat
  • Abide by the rules set down by Team Managers when travelling to represent the Federation.
  • Behave in a manner which avoids bringing the Federation into disrepute
  • Talk to the Child Welfare Officer if they have any problems
They should never:
  • Cheat
  • Use violence or engage in irresponsible, abusive, inappropriate or illegal behaviour
  • Shout or argue with officials, team-mates or opponents
  • Harm other Dancers, Members, Opponents, Supporters or their property
  • Bully or use bullying tactics to isolate another dancer or gain advantage