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Dress Code for Competitors

No costumes will be permitted at the newcomer level. By "costume" we mean something that could only be found in a specialty store or made by hand. Alterations to make a piece of clothing fit are fine (of course), but alterations that radically change the shape of the outfit or add a major element (e.g. cutting a "tail" into a Latin dress, gluing rhinestones on anything, sewing a boa to the hem of a dress) are not.  No stones, beads, feathers, excessive sequins or excessive fringe.

 No slacks will be permitted on ladies who are following. This includes Latin-style pantsuits, and applies to all levels from newcomer to open.

 Dancers who do not adhere to the dress code will be disqualified immediately.

 Non-binding recommended dress:  

Gentlemen should wear dark pants in all sections; with a long-sleeved shirt and tie (and optionally a vest or cardigan) in smooth/standard, and a white, black, or solid-color shirt in rhythm/Latin.

 In smooth/standard, ladies should wear an evening dress or a leotard with a flowy calf- to ankle-length skirt. In rhythm/Latin, a cocktail dress or a leotard with flouncy thigh- to knee-length skirt.

 Above all, wear something appropriate.  


Rules and Guidelines


The organizers of this event bear no responsibility for the loss or theft of personal property. Johnson & Wales University, University of Rhode Island, or any other affiliated university or college cannot be held liable for any injury sustained while in attendance at this event. Persons attending do so at their own risk.  All participants will be required to sign waivers upon registration pickup.

 All categories and events are subject to change without notice.

Level restrictions.


Started dancing

American Syllabus

International Syllabus


no earlier than Spring semester 2005


(no open or continuity footwork of any kind)

I.S.T.D. Bronze


no earlier than Spring semester 2004


(no open or continuity footwork of any kind)

I.S.T.D. Bronze


no restriction


I.S.T.D. thru Silver


no restriction


I.S.T.D. thru Gold


no restriction



 The complete International and American syllabi are available through the I.S.T.D.

 If you have placed 1st or 2nd in recent competitions in the Advanced or Gold level, please consider dancing Open.  

Which level can I dance?

Newcomer couples may only dance at their own levels.

Other couples may dance as follows:

  • Multi-level couples dance at the level of the more advanced partner.
  • A competitor may dance up to two levels in each style - their current level and one level higher.
  • A competitor may dance at two adjacent levels in two different styles.
  • A competitor may dance one level lower than their normal level only if they are dancing in their non-traditional role.  For example, a gold follower may lead in silver.

For example: one couple might dance Bronze Smooth and Standard but Silver Rhythm and Latin; another might dance Gold Latin and Standard but Open Rhythm and Smooth; but a couple may not dance both Open Latin and Beginner Smooth. Moreover, one person may not dance Open Smooth and Silver Rhythm, even with different partners.

 All competitors may dance the 9- or 10-dance scholarship regardless of any other events they have registered for; however each event must be danced with the same partner for all 9 dances or 10 dances, respectively.  Both the 9 and 10-dance events are open to all competitors and are open syllabus.

 Judging. The committee of judges will be responsible for decisions made regarding problems of marking, ties, and adjudication.


American Rhythm: ISTD Rhythm + NDCA Rhythm
American Smooth: ISTD Smooth + NDCA Smooth

International Latin: ISTD Latin
International Standard: ISTD Standard

 Syllabus restrictions will be strictly enforced by professional invigilators.

Level Restrictions

  • Newcomer: both partners started dancing after January 1, 2005.  No costumes allowed, bronze syllabus.
  • Bronze: both partners started dancing after January 1, 2004.  Costumes allowed.

In addition to these restrictions, the new USA Dance, Inc. proficiency point system applies (if you have "placed out of" a level, you may not compete in it at the Rhode Island DanceSport Invitational).

 Questions, Rulings and Appeals

A member of the competition General Staff will be on hand at the emcee’s table throughout the competition to act as Chairman of Competitions.  The Chairman is the only officer authorized to make final rulings on questions that arise during the competition (for example, on the legality of figures or on disqualifications). 

 Although it is our policy generally to defer to our professional judging panel, invigilators, scrutineers and emcee, we must emphasize that judges, other officials and other officers of the Ballroom Club are not able to offer authoritative rulings during the competition. 

No smoking.

Smoking will be strictly prohibited anywhere in the building and on all premises of the competition.


The organizers have the right to eject anyone from the premises for unruly conduct or for violation of any of the rules or guidelines. Flagrant disregard of any of the rules or regulations will result in a mark down of placement or in a disqualification where necessary.

Videos and photography.  

Videotaping and flash photography are expressly... permitted! Have a blast.

Food and the Bring-In/Bring-Out Policy.

We will not be taking a break for lunch, but there are several food options for competitors:

  • Johnson & Wales Catering
    • Student organizations of Johnson & Wales will provide food at the competition which may be pre-purchased upon registration.
  • Takeout from a local business
    • A list of local establishments will be provided the morning of the competition.
  • Bring your own
    • You are allowed to bring your own food to the comp.  Designated eating areas will be posted.

In all cases, for food or anything else, there is a "bring-in/bring-out" policy in effect. Namely, anything you bring to the competition, you need to take back with you. We will provide garbage bags for this purpose and recycle bins will be in the main atrium. Thank you for your help.