Dance sport

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Dance sport tournament - in the foreground is a judge

In dance sport , dancing is practiced as a sport . Competitive dance sport is also called tournament dance . If at least one of the dancers is in a wheelchair, it is wheelchair dance .

Be operated as a dance sport among others, the Latin dances , the standard dances , rock 'n' roll , boogie woogie , Bugg and West Coast Swing and Oriental dance , modern line dance Cheerdance , hip-hop , show dance, disco dance , tap dance , breakdance , Electric Boogie , Jumpstyle , Guard Dance , Contemporary, and Jazz and Modern Dance . Which dances are practiced in sports differs from country to country. The first three named are also represented at the World Games . In 2013, Salsa was also held at the World Games in Cali , Colombia, as a dance sport competition in cooperation with the WDSF and the IDO .

Individual dancers, dance couples or dance formations compete against each other in dance tournaments . Judges assess the performances from various points of view and award points or placement recommendations, on the basis of which winners and ranking lists are determined. The course and form of the tournaments can be very different.

Dance tournaments

Latin formation

Dance sport is popular in popular as well as in tournament and competitive sports. Ideally, the transition from amateur dancers to ambitious amateur athletes to beginners in the tournament scene is fluid. There are tournaments for both popular and competitive sports. Here come some dancers , couples , formations or teams on individual pairs. Following the tournament rules, they either present a rehearsed choreography or freely interpret a piece of music that has been played.

In tournaments of the German Dance Sports Association (DTV), couples, divided according to age and level of ability, compete against each other in competitions. During the preliminary and intermediate rounds, their performance is judged comparatively by an uneven number of judges in a concealed evaluation. On the basis of this selective evaluation, it is decided whether a couple will get into the next round or not. In the next round, depending on the number of pairs up to five rounds per tournament, at least half of the pairs from the previous round take part. Up to seven couples make it to the final round and can thus achieve a coveted placement, of which between five and ten are necessary for promotion to the next higher class. For each pair that is lower in the overall ranking, the pair receives one point, but a maximum of 20 points per tournament. A certain number of points are also required to advance to the next higher class. Placements and points are recorded in a couple's start book . While the start book was previously made of paper, points and placements have been managed electronically in the ESV (Electronic Sports Management in DTV) since 2015. The couples are given an ID card and can view their results, points and placements online.

In addition to the above-mentioned DTV, dance tournaments are also organized in Germany by the German Amateur Tournament Office (DAT), which was founded in 1993 . Despite the slightly misleading term “office”, the DAT is by no means an officially recognized sports organization in the German Olympic Sports Confederation . Due to the involvement in the professional association of German dance teachers , a commercial character cannot be dismissed. According to their own statement, the DAT tournaments are aimed particularly at dancers who want to dance less performance-oriented. They only differentiate between hobby and sports dancers without permanently dividing them into performance classes. Only at a tournament are the performance classes resulting from the participating couples on this day formed by so-called screening rounds and then danced out. In contrast to the DTV system, each pair has to re-qualify for a class at each tournament.

In addition, tournaments of the WDC German Amateur League (GAL) are held in Germany . Here, too, the couples compete against each other in different performance classes and age groups in the five standard and Latin dances. This is the German amateur league of the World Dance Council (WDC), the second major world association alongside the World Dance Sport Federation. In many points the tournament procedure and rules are the same as those of the German Dance Sports Association, in some areas there are differences. So z. B. in all tournaments first danced sighting rounds and then divided the classes based on the performance shown.

In addition, official dance tournaments are organized in Germany by TAF Germany eV (The Actiondance Federation). As an association in Germany, TAF is open to all dance styles that are not part of standard or Latin American dances or rock'n'roll and organizes a large number of regional and national tournaments for this purpose. TAF, with its predecessors by name, has existed since 1978 and has been an independent eV since 2012 as well as the German member of the IDO (International Dance Organization). TAF is still a professional association with special tasks in DTV (Tanzsport Deutschland) and ADTV (Allg. Deutscher Tanzsportverband) and is open to all German dancers. The DTV is in turn a member of TAF.

Start groups

Start groups are divided according to age. There are the following start groups in the DTV area :

  • Children and youth groups
    • Children I (maximum age of the older partner 9 years)
    • Children II (maximum age of the older partner 11 years)
    • Juniors I (maximum age of the older partner 13 years)
    • Juniors II (maximum age of the older partner 15 years)
    • Youth (maximum age of older partner 18 years)

Until further notice, the two children's groups are currently being combined into a common starting group of children .

  • Main groups
    • Main group (minimum age of the older partner 19 years)
    • Main group II (minimum age of a partner 28 years)
  • Senior groups
    • Seniors I (minimum age of older partner 35 years, minimum age of younger partner 30 years)
    • Seniors II (minimum age of the older partner 45 years, minimum age of the younger partner 40 years)
    • Seniors III (minimum age of the older partner 55 years, minimum age of the younger partner 50 years)
    • Seniors IV (minimum age of the older partner 65 years, minimum age of the younger partner 60 years)

Starting classes

Starting classes are classifications based on performance. In the DTV area, tournament beginners begin in the D-class and, through placements and points, dance their way up to the C-class, which is followed by the B and A-classes. After that, the promotion to the highest German class, the S (onder) class, can be achieved. The requirements for this are particularly high and, like all other classes, are regulated nationwide.

Only certain figures are allowed in the D- and C-Class. This step limit is no longer applicable from the B-Class . In the dances Wiener Walzer and Paso Doble, which are part of the program from the B class, there has been a step limit since 2015.

The starting class also determines the dress code of the dancers. In the D-Class Standard for women, neither competition clothes nor jewelry are allowed, only street clothes or training clothes. The restrictions are lifted more and more in the higher classes, whereby the clothing of the lower classes is always allowed.

In the children's group there are only starting classes D to C, in the junior group D to B, in the youth group D to A. In the highest child, junior and youth class, a double start in the same class of the next age group is allowed. Promotion to the next higher class is then also permitted there. Thus, for example, a couple can be youth A and main group S at the same time. The Senior IV are limited to classes B, A and S. The senior Latin classes are limited to age groups I, II and III, with Sen III only having the A and S classes.

If there are a small number of active participants in individual starting classes and in invitation tournaments (2nd order tournaments without awarding promotion points and placements), starting classes can also be combined, for example B and A classes; For first-order tournaments, the approval of the federal or state sports supervisor is necessary.

Since a descent to a lower starting class is not possible, the couples gather in the S-class, so that the performance range is particularly high there. It is practically only a matter of time before you move up to the next higher class with regular tournament participation and a cheap choice of tournaments. This becomes problematic for couples who lose performance due to their age or lack of time. The self-requested downgrade to a lower starting class is possible, but is rarely used, so that relegation regulations are discussed again and again.

Tournament types

Popular sports competition (BSW)

BSW tournaments are more intended for beginners. Only a selection from both disciplines (standard and Latin) is danced. All couples who are registered through a club are eligible to start (with a popular sport pass, these couples can also take part in a D-tournament), but also standard and Latin couples in the D-class.

Combination tournament ("Ten Dances")

In a combination or tournament of ten dances , all ten classical tournament dances ( standard and Latin ) are completed in one competition.

Ranking tournament

Ranking tournaments are held in Germany in both disciplines (standard and Latin) in the highest performance classes of the respective age groups .

  • Juniors II B
  • Youth A
  • Main group S
  • Seniors IS
  • Seniors II S

In these tournaments, the couples receive so-called ranking list points depending on their placement . This ranking list is used to determine so-called asterisk pairs, which are directly qualified for the intermediate round at the German Championships and do not have to contest the preliminary round.

Tournament rounds

In the following, we speak of pairs, even if, for example, in formation competitions, not individual pairs, but the entire formation as a group.

In dance tournaments, the evaluation procedures in the preliminary rounds and the final round differ: while in the preliminary and intermediate rounds the judges carry out a concealed evaluation, in the final round there is an open evaluation that is visible to participants and the public.

Preliminary and intermediate rounds

If there are more than six starting pairs, preliminary and possibly intermediate rounds take place. All starting couples take part in the preliminary round. Since only six pairs are allowed to start in the final round (seven if they are tied), the number of pairs in the preliminary and intermediate rounds must be reduced to this number. The rules state that at least half of the pairs should advance to the next round. This is done through a selection evaluation.

For this purpose, the judges distribute crosses at each dance to those couples who they would like to see again in the next round (or the final round). There are as many crosses available to them as couples should dance in the next round. With 23 pairs it should be reduced to 18 pairs, so 18 crosses are available. However, if the number of crosses is the same, it can happen that more than half of the pairs are allowed to participate in the next round. If this happens, the next one will be danced with more couples than planned. In this round there may be fewer crosses than half of the pairs available.

A couple can collect a maximum of as many crosses in each dance as there are judges. The couples who have collected the most crosses over all dances come to the next round (simple addition). The outgoing pairs are placed using the total of the crosses. If several pairs have the same number of crosses, the relevant space is shared.

Redance (hope run)

In international tournaments, it is common to hold a hope run. In the first round (preliminary round), the couples have the opportunity to qualify directly for the intermediate round. Some of the unqualified couples get their second chance to qualify for the intermediate round in the Redance.


All dance sport tournaments are rated by an odd number of judges, so that a clear majority results. The judges give a placement recommendation and a couple receives a place number if they get the majority of the placements for this place or a better place (for more details see majority system ). This is done separately for all dances in a tournament. The place numbers are then added up to determine the final result, with the lower total giving the better place. If the result is equal , the skating system is used, which takes the individual placement recommendations into account.

Scoring areas

The judges evaluate the performance of the couples relative to each other. There are four scoring areas available to you.

  1. Music includes dancing to the beat and the basic rhythm as well as the endeavor to implement music as a complete work in terms of movement.
  2. Balances deals with the dance-typical body positions to each other and with each other and their interaction on the respective movement energies.
  3. Movement sequence includes the various structures of movement elements and the resulting links.
  4. Characteristics - The last assessment area includes the historical development of the individual dances and also includes everything that the dance athlete expresses in addition to the skills he has learned in his endeavor to translate music into movement.

Each scoring area is divided into sub-points.

The level of difficulty is basically not a valuation area. The better performance is measured by the rhythmic and energetic execution of the dance. The evaluation areas are not on an equal footing with one another. Only when it is no longer possible to differentiate the pairs in one evaluation area should the next evaluation area be used.

Association structure

Dance sport has no recognized global umbrella organization and no proper hierarchy of sports associations . The World Dance Sport Federation (WDSF) is the world's largest association of dance sport federations in the amateur field and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). However, since 2006 she has also held tournaments in the professional sector.

Differences between the individual associations are z. B. clear in the current dispute about the dance sport world championships Latin and dance sport world championships standard between the WDSF and the World Dance Council (WDC), which as the previous world organization of professionals has started to organize amateur tournaments. But they also show up in emerging dance forms such as salsa , where the world championship title is awarded several times. The consequence of these unclear responsibilities are power struggles, which are particularly evident when it comes to the question of which association is responsible for awarding the world championship title. The German Dance Sports Association (DTV) as an amateur dance association and member of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB, formerly DSB) belongs to the WDSF, the German Professional Dance Sports Association (DPV) as a professional association to the World Dance Council. The cooperation between the DTV and the DPV has so far not been problematic.

In addition to the above-mentioned WDSF, there have been two other world associations for some time. On the one hand the International Dance Union (IDU) with 28 organizations from 22 countries and four continents and the International DanceSport Association (IDSA) with currently 52 members from 34 countries. The German Amateur Tournament Office, the professional association of German dance teachers , is a full member for Germany of both leading associations.

Olympic sport

It is the stated goal of the World Dance Sport Federation to make dance an Olympic sport . The WDSF has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee since 1997 and has the 75 active member associations required to participate in the Summer Olympic Games . The problem is that the summer games have already reached their capacity limit without dance sport. Admission to the Olympic Winter Games is contradicted by the fact that dancing is not practiced on ice or snow. The WDSF is optimistic that it will soon achieve its goal. However, there has been little progress since a peak conference with the IOC in 2002.

The aforementioned dispute with the World Dance Council could be a reason for this. Further arguments against dance as an Olympic discipline are the lack of objective measurability of performance and the lack of personal separation between active tournament participants, coaches and judges .

Dance is an integral part of the World Games , an international competition in sports that are not part of the competition program of the Olympic Games. They are held under the auspices of the IOC every four years in the year after the Summer Games.

Dance sport in the media

Compared to other sports, dance has generally received very little attention from the media. Well-known print magazines are DPV Aktuell or the Tanzspiegel . However, both are published by dance associations. There is hardly any critical reporting on dance sport. National and international tournaments are rarely shown on television. With several broadcasts, for example from the German Open Championships, the Latin World Cup in Karlsruhe, reports from dance schools or the SWR World Dance Gala in the Kurhaus Baden-Baden, Südwest-Rundfunk has recently turned a little more to dance. Other ARD stations also show one or the other tournament. In the field of formation sports, international tournaments in Germany were sometimes also broadcast live by the broadcasters of the ARD.

In recent years, however, there has been a greater interest in dance sport on the private television channels: RTL has already broadcast several seasons of Let's Dance , a show in which couples of tournament dancers and celebrities compete against each other. Similar programs with tournament athletes were also broadcast in German-speaking countries with shows such as Dancing Stars .

Situation in Austria

Basically, the system or the structure of the Austrian dance sport differs from that of the German only in details. There are deviations mainly in the determination of the ascent points, the conditions for ascent, the age classifications, the step limits and the practice of open scoring.
In addition, official dance tournaments in Austria are organized by the Austrian Tournament Office for Leisure Dances (ÖTF). As an association in Austria, the ÖTF is open to all dance styles that are not part of standard or Latin American dances or rock'n'roll.

Ascension Points

In contrast to the German system, the pairs in Austria do not receive one point per pair beaten. Instead, a formula is used to calculate points, which always determines 100 points for the pair placed first and always 10 points for the pair placed last. The points for the places in between are determined according to a quadratic function or taken from prepared tables. For national and state championships, 50% and 100% higher values ​​apply. The ascent point limits vary depending on the starting class and discipline.


In contrast to German tournament couples, Austrian couples do not need any placements in order to advance to the next higher tournament class. For an ascent, 10 starts in the current starting class in combination with a certain minimum number of points are sufficient. The ascent points are fully credited for all starts in Germany and abroad, but only starts in Germany count for the compulsory starts. This does not apply to the age groups schoolchildren, juniors and youth, for whom foreign starts are fully credited, as well as couples from Tyrol and Vorarlberg who - due to the long distances to the tournaments in the rest of Austria - only have to complete 7 of the 10 starts in Germany.

Age classification

In Austria, the following eight classes are divided according to age:

  • Children (older partner 11 years or younger)
  • Juniors I (older partner 12 or 13 years)
  • Juniors II (older partner 14 or 15 years)
  • Youth (older partner 16 to 18 years old)
  • General class (older partner 18 years or older)
  • Seniors I (younger partner 30 years or older)
  • Seniors II (younger partner 45 or older)
  • Seniors III (younger partner 45, older partner 55 years or older)

Special features of the age classifications:

  • At the moment, the age groups Juniors I and Juniors II are merged in the implementation of events and are generally referred to as "Juniors". This amalgamation regulated in the implementation regulations applies until revoked.
  • It is possible for a youth couple to also start in the general class, provided that the conditions, i. H. the older partner is 16 years of age or older.
  • Seniors may also start in the one level "younger" class within the senior classes.
  • Simultaneous entry in the general class and in the senior classes is permitted

Open ranking in the final

The open scoring in the final, which is customary in Germany, is practically not carried out in Austria. After heated discussions in the executive committee of the Austrian Dance Sports Association (ÖTSV), it is of the opinion that an open evaluation after each dance influences the performance of the couples too much. Even if open evaluation is more interesting for the audience, the aim is to get the couples to give their absolute best in all five (or four) dances and to give up prematurely (e.g. after three dances in sixth place) or to be prematurely confident of victory (e.g. after winning three dances) to counteract this.

Dances to be danced in the respective classes and corresponding regulations

While in Austria all five dances (samba, cha-cha-cha, rumba, paso doble and jive or slow waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, slowfox and quickstep) have to be danced from the C class onwards, this only applies in Germany from the B-Class to. In Germany only three (Cha-Cha-Cha, Rumba and Jive or slow waltz, Tango and Quickstep) have to be danced in D-Class, and Samba or Slowfox in addition in C-Class. This is one of the reasons why Austrian D-pairs, when they start a tournament in Germany, already have to dance in the C-class.

In the subclasses (D and C classes) there are also differences in terms of the step limits that apply in these classes. In general, the German set of rules is more liberal when it comes to the catalog of figures.

The dress code is also different in the two countries. From the B class onwards, both countries are now based on the international dress code of the WDSF. Rhinestone dresses are allowed in tournaments in Germany from the C class if the couple competes in the main group or a higher age group, while Austrian dance couples have to be patient up to the B class.

From the B class onwards there are no differences in dances and step limits .

Same sex dancing

All associations define a couple as a team of a man and a woman and do not allow same-sex couples to participate in tournaments with classically occupied couples. The reasons for this are not so much a lack of acceptance as the poor comparability of performance. However, due to the increasing acceptance of same-sex couples in public, there are now more and more competitions, so-called Equality tournaments (Engl. Equality "equality"), in which exclusively same-sex couples compete. This has led to the founding of numerous dance sports clubs, which primarily want to offer same-sex couples a training opportunity. However, same-sex couples are also increasingly training with mixed couples. A connection between same-sex dance and homosexuality is common, but cannot be assumed. At equality tournaments, dancers who usually come from higher-performance classes and want to acquire new skills for their work as trainers, for example, dance together.

See also

Web links

Dance sport associations




  • Swiss DanceSport Federation (SDFS) . - The umbrella organization of the two Swiss dance sport associations:
    • STSV for ballroom and Latin American dancing
    • SRRC for rock 'n' roll



Individual evidence

  1. Project - ESV | Dance sport Germany. Retrieved August 28, 2018 .
  2. Bernd Bork: Competition rules WDC Amateur League. April 1, 2016, accessed August 28, 2018 .
  3. ↑ Evaluation guidelines in the DTV for the standard and Latin American dances ( memento of the original from October 24, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF file; 91 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. WDSF. ( Memento of the original from December 8, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Tournament regulations of the ÖTSV, section "Change of start class"  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  6. ^ World Championship Men's Waltz Final