SISDC 2019 – Competition Rules

The following are the rules for the South Island Swing Dance Competitions 2019. If there are any questions around these please get in touch with us at


We reserve the right to cancel a category if insufficient entries are received to run it. For any of the partnered categories if you don’t have a partner you are welcome to just let us know your role (lead/follow/either) and we will do our best to match you with someone if we can.
Lindy Hop Mix and Match  (enter as an individual, specify lead, follow or either, all levels of dancer encouraged to enter, this one is all about having a fun social dance!)
Strictly Lindy (enter with a partner and show off your lindy hop!)
Novice (lindy hop, enter with a partner, both must have been dancing for less than one year, this category is just about getting up and giving it a go!) UPDATE: unfortunately this category will not run in 2019 due to lack of interest.
– Blues (enter with a partner)
Balboa   (enter with a partner)
Solo Charleston (this is your chance to show off your solo moves and grooves!) UPDATE: unfortunately this category will not run in 2019 due to lack of interest.
Fast and Furious (enter with a partner, the music’s gonna be fast!)
Showcase (enter a choreographed routine of up to 3 minutes 30s, with as many people as you like. If numbers warrant we may divide this into small and large showcase categories. And to encourage some good cross level participation and collaboration, there will be a special prize on offer for the highest placing showcase that was jointly choreographed by a first-time choreographer and a more experienced dancer, or by a new choreographer alone! – please indicate on your entry form if you wish to be considered for this category). 

General Rules

1.     Moves, music and styling in all events should predominantly be in the appropriate style for that event (e.g. lindy hop, balboa, shag, blues, Charleston, solo jazz).

2.     To enter the novice competition you must have started learning swing dancing on or after 1st August 2018.

3.     Aerials are permitted in all divisions but dangerous behaviour (e.g. carrying out an aerial that lands on or dangerously near another couple) may get you disqualified.

4.     If there are sufficient numbers to run heats, heats and then a final will be run. Heats will consist of all skate dancing.

5.      Finals will usually consist of a mixture of all skate and shines. Finalists will typically be required to do at least two shines of 8 bars each. The novice category will not require any shines.

6.     Judges decisions are final.

Exemptions from above rules

1.     Showcase obviously won’t have heats. Entries will be split across the Saturday night.  For a Showcase the rules about “Swing” styling/music/moves are relaxed slightly, with judgement of the relative merits of each routine left to the judges discretion.

Judging Criteria:

The following are areas the judges will be looking for:

 1.     Technique: The ability of the dancers to use core dance and movement technique to precisely execute swing dance steps.

2.     Lead & Follow: The skill of clear leading and following techniques that enable the flow, individual expression, moves, musicality and execution of the dance.

3.     Timing: How well the couple stays in time with the music and each other. Flow and connection.

4.     Entertainment: Showmanship and entertainment value of the performance, ability of the competitors to engage with the crowd

5.     Level of Difficulty: The complexity of the moves and interaction between the couple, lead and follow ability in the context of the moves and musicality. Innovation will also be rewarded under this criterion, being the ability of the couple to execute moves to the music that are clearly not scripted/choreographed moves (excluding the team showcase division).

6.     Musicality: How the music is interpreted by a couple, suitable expression of the music, use of musical highlights. Interpretation and understanding of phrasings.

7. Challenge level: Competitors are encouraged to challenge themselves and their dancing level rather than “playing it safe” even if it is at the expense of getting things perfect.