For a printable copy of these rules, click here.

The Ft. Wayne Dance for All Choreography Exhibition is open to everyone. We feel our panel of professional judges will score honestly and fairly.

To qualify for “overall”, a choreographer must enter one dance in all three divisions offered: Beginner/Improver; Intermediate/Advanced; Phrased. Phrased is defined as a dance with different segments that do not happen in order: A,B,A,A,B, or A,B,A,B,A,B,C etc. Dances with restarts will NOT be considered as Phrased and/or a dance with only 1 tag less than 24 counts, which happens only once, will NOT be considered as Phrased. However, a dance with both a tag and restart will be considered phrased.  Please contact event directors with any questions regarding the proper division. If is the choreographer’s responsibility to read rules carefully regarding phrasing and level of dance.


  • All competitors and guests dancing with competitor must purchase weekend pass.
  • Scheduled competition will be posted with the workshop schedule, dependent on the number of entries. (Competitors should schedule arrival by Friday morning.)
  • Dance scripts are due by February 1st and should be submitted in .doc format and on one page if at all possible.
  • $5 per dance entry and only three dances per Division per Choreographer are allowed.
  • Music with unacceptable foul language is NOT acceptable and will be disqualified.
  • Beginner/Improver, and Intermediate/Advanced entries are danced to ONLY four walls or through the tag. Phrased entries will be danced through the FINAL phrase change.
  • Acrobatic moves are not allowed at any time. These movements include:

o Any move where both legs are above the waist height of the competitor
o Any move where the competitor’s weight is on one or both hands
o Any move where a competitor sits or lies on the floor. (This includes splits.)

  • Vulgar or crude movements are not allowed. Movements beyond the pint of flirtation, humor or comedy will result in dance being penalized.
  • Dancers entering exhibition are responsible for ensuring they are fully up to date with rules.
  • Dancers must be in the ballroom 15 minutes prior to exhibition. Each entry’s number will be called twice. If the dancer is not on the floor ready to dance, they will be disqualified.
  • Level of dance must be consistent with choreography. Step descriptions must identify with the proper level. Determining factors such as BPM and direction of travel should be considered in selecting the level of dance. Judges will be watching closely!
  • Intermediate/Advanced steps include: Boogie Walk; Develop; Spin, Mashed Potatoes, Moon Walk, Ronde de Bras, Turning Sailor, Sugar Foot, Twinkle, Camel Walk, Count “a”, Swivet, Arabesque, Heel Jacks, more than ¼ Monterey Turn, Progressive Turns, Triple Turn, Vaudeville, Wizard Step, Sailor Shuffle. “Any turn OVER 1/4 in a syncopated dance step (an & count), except for the basic triple step, is considered an intermediate move.
  • Music must be turned in by 9:00 am Friday at the Registration Desk. Dancers should have a backup USB stick or on phone w/ needed attachment to bring to the competition. Please email music with your final step description.
  • Music used in Exhibition must be listed first on the step sheet.
  • Choreographer or at least one co-choreographer must perform dance (unless due to injury. Prior approval by event directors is required).
  • Dances winning first place in any other choreography competition is not allowed.
  • Awards are Saturday night in the Main Ballroom prior to the show.
  • Proper execution is important and makes it easier for judges to evaluate the dance.

Judging is scored in 5 categories – 50 points possible:

  • CONTENT (15 points) – Variety, complexity, and originality of dance positions, moves and dance maneuvers. Selection of dance maneuvers and combinations of these maneuvers and their relationship to the music.
  • FLOW/PHRASING/MUSIC FIT (15 points) – Flow of steps to include transition to different directions. Steps for the music phrasing, accents, rhythm, and tempo.
  • EXECUTION (5 points) – Proper execution of basic step patterns, framework and hand, head, arm and body movements. Timing, rhythm, balance, and smoothness of dance. (Although the actual choreography is being judged, execution must be considered as a determining factor in some cases where the alike steps are included in multiple dances.)
  • ENTERTAINMENT (5 points) – Attitude, enthusiasm, energy, and excitement. Pride in dancing. Relationship with the audience.
  • PROMOTIONAL VALUE (10 points) – Of or relating to the publicizing of a dance, to increase dancers’ and instructors’ awareness of the dance. This does not necessarily mean the judge will promote but will this dance appeal to the dance community.

ATTIRE: If judges feel attire is not acceptable, a conference will be called, to include event director(s), resulting in entry being dropped a full placement in final scoring or possible disqualification. Due to time restrictions, costumes changes between dances and/or divisions are not allowed.

Judges deal in privileged information. We encourage judges socializing with everyone; however, they are not to discuss specific judges’ observations, will not coach, teach, and critique dancers they are judging until after awards. They should interact professionally with competitors and in no case discuss the results of any competition while the event is ongoing.

All decisions of the Judges’ findings / rulings and Event Director(s) are considered final.

Questions on administration and/or execution of the competition should be submitted in writing to Directors after the event.

All questions regarding rules interpretations must be submitted prior to the event starting.

Judges are asked to write comments during the dance however, due to time restrictions may not have the opportunity to write for every entry. Non-compliance of rules and guidelines by competitors may result in point loss / disqualification. Scores will be emailed to competitors the week following the event.

Directors are open to any suggestions or comments.

Our goal is to help dancers become great choreographers.  The Ft. Wayne Dance for All is the perfect place to start!

Revised 11/13/23