ARCCDF 2020 Competition Rules

A.    Application Requirements

To keep the competition attractive for our audience, we try to avoid the same title song of a choreography being used by another team.  Participating teams need to declare an application the title of the song as well as the performing artist’s name.  Songs are allocated on first come, first serve basis.

As part of the team registration, all Rueda teams need to send a recent high-quality photo of the entire team, as part of the team registration.

All team members must be mentioned in the application, as well as the caller and the choreographer.

Every team can also declare one extra couple to replace a couple or an injured group member.  You can’t just add the couple, only replace one.

If an injury or team member cannot compete on the night, then the director of the school must report it to the Head. This must be prior to the competition.

Every team must email a copy of their music to the organisers in a universal format prior to the closing of registrations Monday 9th September 2020.  Each team must also provide two copies of their music on a USB on the day of the competition.

B. Team & Choreography Requirements

It’s obligatory that any Rueda team must have a minimum of four couples

The choreography must be between 3:00 minutes and 3:30 minutes in length for the Rueda de Casino competition, and maximum 3:00 for the Cuban Open competition;

The choreography must contain at least 75 percent Cuban salsa music.

All competitors entering in the Amateur division must meet the following definition of an amateur dancer:

  • A person who engages in dancing mainly as a social activity 

All competitors entering in the Professional division must meet the following definition of a professional dancer:

  • A person who frequently engages in dance performances, competing and/or teaching dance  

C.    Judging Terms  

Judges are giving marks from 0 (not at all) to 10 (excellent) in each of these criteria:

TIMING (worth 20% of total score):

The timing score asks: Was correct rhythm maintained throughout the routine? Were syncopations deliberate and within the acceptable deviations of timing for the dance?

Every judge will decide alone what percentage to be deducted from the score depending on how many times an infraction happened. 

Competitors must demonstrate routines that are 70% Cuban routines. Failure to demonstrate basic Cuban salsa rhythm for this duration of the routine will result in a timing score of “0”. 

MUSICALITY (worth 20% of total score):

Teams will demonstrate their ability to creatively work with the timing of their individual music. This can be done in a variety of ways, including Rueda patterns, footwork, hits, tricks, etc… Judges will evaluate the level of interpretation of the music chosen, the different nuances, breaks and accents the overall synchronization of the dancers with the music. How effectively did the team utilise the breaks and nuances of their chosen piece of music? Were they rhythmically in sync with the piece?

TECHNIQUE (worth 10% of total score):

Teams must reflect adequate Cuban Rueda de Casino motion and body movement as designated by the dance style. A movement should appear to be effortless. These are reflections of good dance technique. Minor infractions as balance error and major balance error point deducted will be determined by each judge.

DIFFICULTY (worth 10% of total score):

What was the level of the Rueda de Casino patterns, turns and intricacy of movements, level of tricks, dips, drops, and flares? Were all movements attempted successfully executed?

In Order to get credit for any of these, the movements must be successfully executed.

PARTNERING / CONNECTION (worth 10% of total score):

This is reflected in the lead/follow aspect of the dance.

Are partners truly connected, or are they merely executing choreography while holding hands? Synchronicity during side by side or shines will also help determine the score in this category.

Minor and major misconnects deduction in points will be determined by each individual Judge.

CHOREOGRAPHY / ORIGINALITY (worth 10% of total score):

The choreography is the team’s interpretation of the music. Did the routine flow easily from one movement to the next? Good choreography should contain clever Rueda de Casino patterns and shines.

Although not required, a few creative tricks will help with your score.

All choreography should be musical, and dancers should show a good usage of the space itself. Originality is a factor here.

Routines must ideally reflect the following: How well put together was the performance? Did the routine flow easily from one movement to the next? Was there something clever or new that was part of the routine? How musical was it? 

In the freestyle round, competitors will be judged on their creativity and freedom in social dancing and the interaction between the team and the music.


How professional and polished did the team appear to be?

How did they project to the audience and capture their attention?

Contestants will show etiquette during the competition by refraining from distracting others while competing teams are dancing. If this is not the case the judges will deduct points.

Costumes or matching outfits are required. All costumes should be in good taste with all private parts covered by non-transparent material.

We strongly suggest that jeans are not used as costumes and ladies wear dresses or skirts with nylons or fishnets. If you decide not to do this no points will be automatically deducted. However, be aware that judges might be looking at this as a personal preference.

Special note:  For the Open Category, matching costumes are not required and will not be part of the judging criteria. However, teams will be judged on their overall appearance and must be presentable.

SYNCHRONIZATION (worth 10% of total score):

Teams must be synchronized when parts are choreographed to be synchronized.

How synchronized was the team during side by side movement or shines, combinations, lines, hands & feet and body movement?

Infractions: if a team loses synchronicity points will be deducted each time.

How well did the team work together? Was there a lead / follow relationship established?

The final three teams are to be decided by the judges and the head judge’s decision is final

D.   Disqualification 

Any inappropriate misconduct of any team member will result in disqualification of the entire Rueda team.

Any individual misconduct against any judge will lead to disqualification of the entire Rueda team. 

E.    Public Relations  

To make this project known to everybody we need to communicate it to the press, media agents and VIPs.  In order to promote it, we are videotaping, or possibly broadcasting the entire championship on social media and the website.  By entering into the Rueda de Casino Championship you are authorizing the organisers of the event to have free use of any video material for promotional or merchandising purposes.

F.    Prizes

The prize money for the competition will be paid only if a minimum of 3 teams are competing in all categories. Trophies will be presented to first, second and third.

Pro Team winner will receive $1,000 AUD

Amateur Team winner will receive $500 AUD

Open Cuban Dance winner will receive $200


All the information will be provided to the director of schools prior to the event.

Each round is considered a fresh start for competitors. 

All competing teams have the opportunity to conduct their rehearsal on the stage, where the competition is to be held.  The schedule will be communicated prior to the event. No competitor will be allowed on stage to rehearse without permission. 

All decisions are final and are to be determined by the head judge. However, if there are too many complaints on decisions after the competition, only the head judge after meeting with the other judges have the right to change the score. The Directors of the event need to be informed before the final decision.

After the competition and ONLY AFTER the final competition, judges will be allowed to communicate his or her decisions with the competitors and/or coaches. 

Judges should always maintain neutrality and professionalism.

Competitors will be allowed to see their scores after they have been eliminated but not allowed to talk to judges until after the finals of all the competitions.

Competitors will in no way be allowed to raise their voice or be unprofessional to any judge or member of the organization.  If this occurs the person will be disqualified along with their team.

All Scores will be published online.

All parties should respect each other’s opinion. 


This is an open competition for anyone that is not competing in the Rueda de Casino Main Competition.

Open Competition is open to all dancers regardless of their experience levels – Amateur or Professional.

Dance style must not be Rueda.  Acceptable styles are: Son, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Cuban Salsa, Reggaeton, Timba, Ladies/Mens Styling or Afro Cuban.

Must have a minimum of 4 dancers in the team.  Cannot be less and cannot be solo.

Single round choreography only, no freestyle.

We must have a minimum of 3 teams for the competition to take place.  Otherwise we will treat it as a performance if only 2 teams.

Music must be Cuban and maximum 3 minutes long.

Same rules above apply for the Open, apart from specific Rueda related.  Same judging criteria applies.

Open competition will be on the night of Friday 9th October.

Winner of the Open Competition will receive $200 cash prize for the Team. 


Props are not allowed. Extra costume pieces such as hats or jackets are permitted if they are a part of the costume, and are not discarded (taken off and thrown away) at any time during the performance. Failure to follow this rule will result in points being deducted from the final score by the head judge and lower the score by the judges also.

Hairpieces, jewellery or clothing pieces that fall on the stage during routine can also result in lower scores to be given by the judges. NO PROPS Allowed other than those worn by dancers (hats, Glasses, etc) NO Chairs, Canes, Guns, Knives, Fire effects, or any other carry on to stage props allowed!


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