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Invigilation and Syllabus Information for NDCA Competitors

January 2023 - NDCA APPROVED FIGURES ELEMENTS and RESTRICTIONS (Effective January 2023).pdf

Here is a listing of the most common invigilation infractions that competitors make.

All Smooth dances must start in a closed ballroom hold.  You must maintain this closed hold and complete 4 measures of dancing.  You may not open up on the 4th measure, you must COMPLETE four measures in closed hold.  Prep steps do not count as a measure. 

Common Bronze Infractions


Back Twinkle to Promenade:  In bronze this pattern must end with a closed foot position for the man and the lady.  Many times the patterns mistakenly ends with open or continuity foot position, similar to an open impetus.  There are no open foot endings or continuity endings allowed in bronze.


Change of Places: If the man lets go of the lady's hand to change places then it is a silver pattern.  For this to qualify as a bronze pattern it must be done without letting go of the hand hold, therefore with an underarm turn.

Knee Lift:
even if you keep the foot close the floor this pattern is not bronze.  It creates a timing change which is not allowed.

Forward Spot Turn:  Not allowed in Bronze ChaCha or Rumba.
Paseo or Aida.  We normally dance this pattern in International from a spiral (not allowed in bronze), and we forget that what happens AFTER the spiral is the Aida.  And this pattern is a Silver American Cha Cha and Rumba pattern.


Hip Twist: A bronze closed hip twist is danced from closed position and with a closed hold.  Many times in International Bronze Rumba dancers perform a hip twist from open facing and with only one hand, this is a silver open hip twist. 

Snap Underarm Turn - Quick Underarm Turn:  This pattern is listed as an NDCA silver step in American Rumba.  It is also listed as a bronze step in the DVIDA syllabus.  Many teachers mistakenly use this pattern in Bronze at NDCA competitions, which is not allowed.


Double Underarm Turns: Underarm turns are defined by how many times a leaders hand passes in front of her face.  If his hand passes her face twice it is a double underarm turn.  And no...letting go of her halfway through does not save you ;-) 

Syncopated Crossbody lead to a Syncopated Underarm Turn:
No syncopations allowed.

Swivel are only allowed from a Cross Over.

Syncopated Time Steps:  There are no syncopations allowed in Bronze Mambo.


Common Silver Infractions

HAIRPINS:  There is a lot of confusion surrounding this name!  There are several patterns that use the name hairpin in the NDCA syllabus.

Hairpin with the man backing onto his L foot is also a gold pattern.

It only turns to the right.   It is 4 steps long and is danced QQQQ or 1&23 or 1313 for viennese waltz. 

It is now renamed Heel Pull Hair Pin.

Hairpin (can sometimes be called a curved feather) is a silver pattern.  It turns left (continuity ending, continuity finish, feather ending, feather finish, curved feather) and then turns right to slip outside and is followed by a natural figure.  It is just three steps long, man dances RLR, it's timing is SQQ or 123. 

Hairpins may NOT be danced twice in a row.

Shadow Hairpin: dancing the hairpin in shadow (only one time) is a gold figure.

Continuous Hairpins (two in a row, traditional closed hold only, not in shadow) is a gold combination. 


Shadow Viennese Crosses:  This is a gold pattern.


Shadow Natural Weave:  All syncopated turning shadow figures are gold.


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