Rules & Regulations


The decision of the judges shall be final. Our judges are highly qualified and are not to be harassed or questioned about their reasons for markings. The Chairman of Judges shall be responsible for decisions concerning ties or any problems arising over marks. The skating system of judging shall be used.

Age Divisions

Adult Pro/Am competitors may enter their true age category and as many age categories lower as they wish. Pre-Teen, Junior and Youth may enter their true age category and one division older.

Dance Levels

Pro/Am students may enter their true level and as many levels higher as they wish to compete. Students may enter in completely different dance levels in the American Style between Smooth and Rhythm and in the International Style between Standard and Latin-American.

There is no limit on student entries in Open or Closed Freestyle Divisions.

In any category with three entries or less, the organizer reserves the right to eliminate the age and sex divisions and merge competitors into one category.

Costume Regulations

Empire Dance Championship adheres to all costuming regulations set forth by the National Dance Council of America. Click here for a full breakdown of the NDCA Costume Regulations.

Click here to view selected NDCA approved dresses for the Pre-Teen Age Category.

Scholarships & Championships

For each scholarship a student enters, he/she must dance the same dances in the single dance events. Scholarships and championships are unisex and have different age categories than freestyle events. For scholarship events with 3 or less couples, the prize money will be reduced by half. Full prize money will be awarded for scholarship events with 4 or more couples.

Pro/Am Scholarships: To qualify for all scholarship events, a student must enter a minimum of 4 (Smooth) and / or 5 (Rhythm, Ballroom, Latin) Pro/Am single dances per scholarship event entered. All scholarships are unisex competitions for adults. Closed scholarships are restricted to Bronze, Silver and Gold students. Please remember that the closed scholarships are restricted to closed syllabus figures. Open scholarships are not restricted to any figures. In any scholarship event with fewer than three entries, the organizer reserves the right to eliminate the age and sex divisions and merge competitors into one division unless the Empire decides to run the event. 

On Deck Area

Dancers are required to be in the “On Deck” area two heats prior to their scheduled heat. Any competitor not on the floor when the Master of Ceremonies calls, is subject to disqualification for that heat. Please be advised that changes may be made from the original program and all dancers should be in the ballroom at least 45 minutes prior to the time they are scheduled to dance.


Solos are limited to 2:30 minutes. Music must be provided on individual USB / Flash Drive. Solo judging is on impression. Students receive score and comments.


Material used in closed competition should be based on the current NDCA syllabus and/or the ISTD syllabus for international style. No continuity in Bronze American entries. Multi dance entries may be closed or open. Open One Dance Division – Not Restricted to Syllabus Open Bronze Open Silver Open Gold Open Gold Star Open divisions may incorporate figures from the next higher level (e.g. Open Bronze may have Silver figures).

NDCA Registration for competitors

If you have a current NDCA registration, your competitor number will be in your package. If you are a professional dancer or an amateur couple you must have proof of your registration with the National Dance Council. If you are not on the NDCA roster and do not have a current card or a receipt showing you have registered, you will be required to register at the competition or you will not be allowed to compete. Please be aware that a late charge is added by the NDCA for those who register at the competition. All overseas couples amateur and professionals must be registered with the WDC and/or WDC/AL.


The deadline for cancellation refunds is two weeks prior to the event. Refunds will be mailed 30 days after the event. The organizer will not refund any money for expenses he has paid that cannot be recuperated. Any cancelled entries are subject to a cancellation fee of $ 50 per participant. If the Organizer is notified of cancellations after the deadline, credit will be considered in cases of emergency only and must accompany a Doctor’s Certificate. No substitutions will be allowed for entry cancellations taken at the event. No exchanges or refunds will be made on admission tickets. (ALL TICKET SALES ARE FINAL)


The organizer cannot be held responsible for any personal charges made to the hotel. All participants must pay for their own personal charges including phone and room service.

Late Entries

Entries received after the dead-line are subject to a $100 late fee. However we will still accept entries


All payments received after the deadline and at the competition must be by Cashier’s Check or Bank Check. Personal or studio checks will not be accepted. A 4% fee will be added to all credit card charges. Hotel and seating priority are given to accounts paid in full 2 weeks prior to the competition

Ballroom Seating

Seating will be according to packages and date of the order with preferred seating going first to package holders with balances paid 2 weeks prior to the event. All seats in the ballroom are numbered and match ticket numbers. Seating is assigned when the tickets are ordered. Tickets ordered at a different time period may be for a different table or in a different area.

Hotel Reservations

Hotel reservations should be made through our website or through your registration forms. Charges for room and tax should be paid to us at the time reservations are made. All participants will be responsible for their personal room charges. Hotel assignments are based on packages and date of order. In case the hotel is sold out, preferential treatment is given to package holders. We also give priority to accounts paid in full 2 weeks before the event.


Shortly after we receive your information, we will send you an invoice/confirmation. Please check this closely for spelling, correct entries, and correct charges and let us know immediately if we need to make changes. Please be advised that at the competition we may not have the time to make changes. Please note that if you are not on a package, tickets for the sessions in which you are dancing should be ordered for teacher and student. If tickets are not ordered, we will automatically add those to your invoice.


Please make sure that you have completed your entry forms, a participation order form for each person attending and a studio accounting summary and return those to us by our closing date of July 10, 2023. Please note that a $100 late fee per person will be charged after the deadline.

Registration Desk

Upon arrival at the hotel, one representative from the studio should come to the registration desk and pick up the packages for his studio. OUTSTANDING BALANCES MUST BE PAID BEFORE PACKAGES CAN BE RELEASED. Only that representative will be allowed to make payment and pick up packages. We will not be accepting payments from individual students or releasing any tickets until payment is made in full. Each participant will be given a heat list showing what heat and at what time he/she is dancing. Please be advised that the time listed is approximate and subject to change. Each competitor should be present in the ballroom at least 45 minutes prior to his/her scheduled dance time. When you receive your heat sheet, please check and make sure your dances, levels, and ages are correct. We need to be made aware of any mistakes as soon as possible.


No personal video cameras will be allowed. Professionally produced videos and photographs will be available.

Video for Pre-Teen, Junior, Youth Events.

Empire offers a Video Pass for all Pre-Teen, Junior and Youth events. Please purchase at the Pass $25 per day at the Registration Desk.


All persons attending this event, whether as spectators, officials, competitors or guests of the Organizers shall be bound by the N.D.C.A. rules and by participating in this competition automatically become obliged to adhere to them. The organizers of this competition and the N.D.C.A. are not responsible for the loss or theft of articles left in the changing rooms, ballroom(s) or hotel rooms. The Organizer(s) and the N.D.C.A. will not be held liable for injuries sustained by persons attending this event, whether as spectators, officials, competitors, or guests of the Organizer(s). Everyone attending does so at his/her own risk. Because of N.D.C.A. rules no video- taping or filming will be allowed. However, a professional video production company will be on hand to video your dancing. Tapes will be made available for purchase. (With the exception of the Pre-Teen to Youth events)