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2023  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 one level up or down based on the competitor’s current points. You may submit a formal petition to Chief Judge Trudy Thatcher in order to dance only one skill level up or one skill level down from the Jack & Jill division for which you qualify in your dominant role. A committee including the Chief Judge will consider the requested reclassification petition after reviewing your WSDC Points Registry record. All decisions of our competition officials are final. No appeals are allowed.

To compete at SOswing 2023, 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.

  • 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. 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.

  • For the Masters divisions, you must meet the age requirement as of the close of the event.


SOswing Jack & Jills are gender neutral. For skill-based WSDC Registry Jack & Jill divisions (Newcomer, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and All Star), 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). See Dominant Role Competing and Tracking Section below.

Newcomer: You are encouraged to dance in the Newcomer Division if you are new to competition, have earned fewer than six Newcomer points, and have not earned any WSDC points in a higher division.

Novice: You may dance in this division if you have less than 30 Novice points and no points from a higher division.

Intermediate: You may dance in this division if you have 16* or more Novice points, less than 45 Intermediate points, and no points from a higher division.

Advanced: You may dance in this division if you have 30+ Intermediate points. Competitors with 45+ Advanced points within the last 3 years may continue to dance in this division but are not required to.


All Star: You may dance in this division if you have at least 45 Advanced points accumulated within the last three years. Due to the covid pandemic, there is currently a freeze on the WSDC requirement that competitors must have accumulated at least three points in All-Star within the last three years to remain eligible to dance in this division.​


Masters Jack & Jill (WSDC aged-based division): Dancers aged 50 and above may compete in the Masters Jack & Jill Division in addition to their skill-based levels.  

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 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.

  • No petitions will be approved for dancing more than one level down.

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

Current competitors whose combined points as both a Leader and Follower would have moved them into a higher skill level will be offered a one-time option to be “grandfathered” into the higher level.



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 by computer, 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 Jack & Jill Participation is at the discretion of the Event Directors.



Competitors may compete in the Switchly Strictly, plus one skill-leveled and one age-based Strictly Swing division as long as they have different partners for each division.

Competitors must dance in the highest leveled division within the partnership. (Example: Novice lead/Intermediate follow must dance in the Intermediate division)

The Switchly Strictly division is open to dancers who can both lead and follow as well as  switch between roles. Dancers are judged as a couple in all rounds of competition.


Both competitors must be at least 50 years of age to compete in the Masters Division.



  • All dancing must be lead/follow. Pre-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 Champion divisions, where 75 percent swing content is required. 

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

  • Partners 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 in any competition.

  • “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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