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2024  Competition Rules 

SOswing complies with the competition guidelines of the World Swing Dance Council (WSDC). As a competitor, you are responsible for knowing the divisions in which you are eligible/required to compete, for understanding the WSDC Points Registry Rules, and for using your WSDC Competitor ID number when registering for competitions. WSDC rules mandate that you dance in the Jack & Jill divisions at the appropriate skill level for which you qualify.

SOswing recognizes the WSDC petitioning process for moving levels based on the competitor’s current points. You may submit a formal petition to Chief Judge Trudy Thatcher to dance in a different level than the Jack & Jill division for which you qualify in your dominant or secondary role. A committee, including the Chief Judge, will consider the requested reclassification petition after reviewing your WSDC Points Registry record. All decisions of the competition officials are final. No appeals are allowed.

To compete at SOswing 2024, you must:

  • Hold a full weekend event pass.

  • Register for competitions during the open registration times listed on the schedule and pay the required entry fees.

  • Sign a legal waiver. If you are under 18, your parent or guardian must sign the legal waiver for you.

  • Have the consent of a parent or guardian if you are under 18 years of age; you should also be comfortable social dancing with adults.

  • Demonstrate good sporting conduct at all times, both on and off the competition floor. This includes treating your partners, other competitors, competition officials, spectators, and the event itself with respect.

  • Follow the SOswing Code of Conduct.

  • Know the rules. Read the rules carefully prior to the competition. You are responsible for following the rules whether or not you have read them.


In addition:

  • There are no mandatory competitor meetings at SOswing. An optional competitor meeting is scheduled on Saturday morning, and we highly recommend that anyone new to competing attends. You are responsible for checking the event schedule and knowing the time of your competitions.

  • The Event Directors reserve the right to cancel any division with fewer than five couples.

  • If your name is not called by the final preliminary heat in your division, see the emcee or Chief Judge immediately to let them know you signed up but were not yet called.

  • If you are not in the ballroom when the last name is called to the floor for the final preliminary heat in your division, you will not compete.

  • During semi-final and final rounds, if you are not present in the ballroom after the last name has been called to the floor, we will call the alternate(s) to dance in your place. Once the alternate has been called, the dancer not present is out of the competition.

  • If you miss or withdraw from a competition, you forfeit your entry fee.



SOswing Jack & Jills are gender neutral. Please refer to WSDC rules at for the qualifications and requirements of the WSDC skill-level divisions, which are Newcomer, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and All-Star.


Competitors may compete in a maximum of two skill-level WSDC Jack & Jill competitions, once in their primary role and once in their secondary role. You may enter one skill level as a leader and a different skill level as a follower, each at your appropriate WSDC-pointed level. Once entered as a leader or a follower, you must remain in that same role throughout the specific skill-level competition (prelims, semi-finals, and finals). 


Masters Jack & Jill: This is a WSDC aged-based division. Dancers aged 50 and above may compete in the Masters Jack & Jill Division in addition to their skill-level Jack & Jills. You must meet the age requirement as of the close of the event. Competitors may compete as a leader or follower in a skill-level Jack & Jill and in the same or opposite role in an age-based Jack & Jill.


Non-dominant Role Competing and Tracking: Competitors may compete as both Leaders and Followers in skill-level Jack & Jills. Leader and Follower points will be tracked separately in the WSDC Points Registry.

  • Competitors qualify for their dance level based on either their Leader or Follower points, whichever is higher and may compete in this dominant role.

  • Competitors may also compete in their non-dominant role one level down, as long as they don’t qualify in both for the same division.

  • Competitors may petition down an extra level for their secondary role.

  • Competitors will not be permitted to dance both roles in the same division.



All American Jack & Jill: This division is open to competitors of all levels, and you may enter in the role of your choice. Once randomly paired, the dancers compete as a couple through all rounds of competition. This competition is gender neutral, but role switching within the competition is NOT allowed.


Invitational (People’s Choice) Jack & Jill: Participation is at the discretion of the Event Directors. Role-switching within the dance is not permitted, except for short musical reasons. Lifts below the shoulder are allowed.



Competitors may compete in any Strictly Swing division for which they qualify, as long as they have different partners for each division. All registrations for all strictly swing divisions must be listed under the leader’s bib number. Dancers are judged as a couple in all rounds of competition.

Leveled Strictly Swing: SOswing holds Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced Strictly Swing contests. The partnership must dance in the division of the highest leveled dancer. For example: A Novice lead with Intermediate follow must compete in the Intermediate Strictly.


Masters Strictly Swing: Both competitors must be at least 50 years of age to compete in this division.


All-Star / Champions Strictly Swing: To compete in this division, both partners must currently qualify for the rank of All-Star or Champion in the WSDC Points Registry. Role-switching within the dance is not allowed. Lifts below the shoulder are permitted in this division.



  • All dancing must be lead/follow. Choreographed routines, in whole or in part, are not allowed.

  • At least 80 percent recognizable swing content is required for all divisions, with the exception of the Invitational Jack & Jill, where 70 percent swing content is required. 

  • For Jack & Jill competitions, all competitors must wear their bib numbers for all rounds of competition. Bibs are only required for leaders in the Strictly Swing divisions. Bibs are not required for the Invitational Jack & Jill.

  • You and your partner must maintain physical contact except for spins, turns, short breakaways, and recoveries.

  • “In the air” partner weight support moves (lifts, aerials) and acrobatic maneuvers are not allowed, with the exception of the All-Star/Champion Strictly Swing and the Invitational Jack & Jill, where lifts below the shoulder are allowed.

  • “On the ground” support moves (such as drops and slides) are allowed. However, you and your partner must each maintain at least one foot in physical contact with the floor during support moves.


SOswing makes every effort to conduct all competitions in accordance with current WSDC guidelines and reserves the right to update our Competition Rules should WSDC requirements change.

SOswing also reserves the right to make any changes in the competition schedule or format as we deem necessary.

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