1st January 2020

Recognised by the Freestyle Rules Committee

As members (professional and amateur) of the BDC/ ADFP we are expected to appear professional, well behaved and respectful at all times and ensure that our conduct is always exemplary.

Please ensure that whenever you attend a BDC/ADFP event you leave the area where you were sitting clean and tidy and put all rubbish in the bins or black bags provided.

Damage to property will not be tolerated and anyone found abusing this will be charged for any damage they have caused and unable to remain as a BDC/ADFP member or attend any further BDC/ADFP events 

General Section

1.         Title

These rules shall be known as the Official Rules for Freestyle Competitions and Championships and will be administered by the British Dance Council (BDC) and Association of Dance and Freestyle Professionals (ADFP), known jointly as the Freestyle Rules Committee [FRC]

The FRC should consist of three delegates from the B.D.C. three delegates from the A.D.F.P, a B.D.C. and an A.D.F.P. Chairman and a minute’s secretary. A non voting status card secretary may attend, one from the B.D.C. and one from the A.D.F.P.

2.         Where Applicable

            These rules shall operate throughout the U.K.    

3.         Rules

(a)       Should any point arise not covered in these rules, it shall be referred to the Freestyle Rules Committee [FRC] whose decision shall be final. 

(b)       Rule revisions would be considered by the FRC no later than the last business week in September. Such revisions must receive a two thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote                                                .

(c)        Any amateur found to be in contravention of these rules may be subject to disciplinary action resulting in:

i) reprimand ii) suspension iii) total ban   

(d)       Promoters may reserve the right to refuse admittance at any event run under these rules to any dancer or spectator whose conduct has been, or in the opinion of the FRC, likely to be unacceptable.   

4.         Disciplinary Action

(a)       Either the BDC or the ADFP may on the written application of any member, or on the initiative of either in any case where either it shall think fit to do so, request a Disciplinary Committee be appointed by either, to investigate and examine any complaint against any person subject to the jurisdiction of either organisation in relation to whom any prima facie cause of complaint appears to exist.  In the case of those under 18 years of age the Parent/Guardian to act on behalf of the person concerned.

(b)       Any such Disciplinary Committee will consist of not less than five members selected by either BDC or ADFP who shall appoint their own Chairperson.

(c)        Any person in relation to whom any complaint is to be the subject of  investigation by a Disciplinary Committee shall be given a minimum of 14 days notice in writing of the date on which the Disciplinary Committee will meet  accompanied by a full statement of the complaint, and shall attend the meeting in person and also may be represented at his or her own expense by an authorised representative for the purpose of answering any complaint or  allegation which has been made against him or her and of making any statement by way of explanation which he or she may wish the Disciplinary Committee to take into consideration.

(d)       The Disciplinary Committee shall be empowered to regulate its own proceedings and shall within 14 days after meeting report to its own organisation, its findings and recommendations in relation to each matter brought before it and a copy of such report shall upon request be forwarded to every person affected thereby. 

(e)       The BDC or the ADFP, upon the recommendation of a Disciplinary Committee shall be empowered to impose such penalty as it deems appropriate upon any such person whose conduct has been the subject of complaint and investigation and in addition to or as an alternative to any such penalty may require such person to pay his or her regulating body all or any part of the expenses incurred in the investigation.  The findings of the disciplinary committee will be communicated to the person concerned in writing.

(f)        In the event of any person whose conduct has been the subject of complaint desires to appeal against any findings or recommendations of the Disciplinary Committee such person shall give notice thereof in writing to his or her regulatory body, BDC or ADFP, within 14 days after receipt by him/her of notification of the Disciplinary committees decision.  In the event of any such appeal, either BDC or ADFP, shall as soon as possible there after, appoint an Appeal Committee none of whose members shall have sat on the Disciplinary Committee which is being appealed against.

If the appeal fails all expenses incurred by the hearing and of the members of the Appeal Committee, will be met by the person lodging the appeal.

(g)       The findings and decisions of an Appeal Committee shall be final and binding upon all persons who may be affected thereby.

Amateur Section-General

5.         Competition Categories

(a)      Confined to registered amateur competitors as defined   in rule 6

(b)      Competitors may only dance in one grade per section (i.e. solos, slow, pairs) 

6.         Registered Amateur Competitors

(a)       A registered amateur competitor is one who uses the art of dancing as a non-remunerative or non- profit making pastime.

  • It is a condition of registration that Amateur Competitors may only receive tuition with their registered school of dancing (i.e. the school through which they applied for status cards) or they may be liable to a three-month exclusion from competitions.

(c)      Only dancers from same registered school may dance together at Competitions.

(d)       All dancers outside the UK must firstly be registered with a school in their country of residence. Status card registration to the BDC/ADFP can only be made through the school with whom they have originally registered in their own country.

7.         Forfeiture of Amateur Status

(a)       Acts as a teacher of dancing with or without a fee. 

(b)       Takes a teaching qualification or student teacher examination in any form of dance.

(c)        An individual acting as a promoter or adjudicator for any form of Freestyle Competition or function.

(d)       Competing for cash (vouchers may be accepted).

(e)       Converting prizes into cash.

(f)        Accepts remuneration in cash or kind for the use of his/her name as a dancer in any advertisement or sell a sponsored costume for personal gain.

  • Any dancer wearing a costume with a visible Company name or Logo or other recognised means of advertising at any competition and/or championship or other event run under Official Freestyle Rules.

8.         Amateur Displays

Displays of dancing may be given. Any monies received for such displays to be paid to the trainer for use at his/her discretion.  No individual dancer to receive payment.

9.         Unrecognised Competitions/Championships

An amateur who competes in an unrecognised competition and/or championship run under rules not recognised by the FRC shall be subject to disciplinary action.          

10.      Closed Competitions and Championships: –

            Eligibility to compete

(a)       The location of the school of a competitor’s registered teacher will define the eligibility of a Freestyle Competitor to compete in an area or County Closed Championship

(b)       At a National Closed Championship a competitor must dance within their country of birth or within the country of their permanent residence if that residency were of greater length than twelve months. A pair with different Nationalities may use either partner’s eligibility, but may only dance in one National Closed Championship in any calendar year. Teams must dance in the National Closed Championship that appertains to their teacher’s eligibility.

11.       Re-instatement – How To Apply 

Any Freestyle competitor who under Rule 7 is deemed to have lost his/her amateur status and desires to be re-instated as an amateur dancer, must apply in writing to the FRC giving full details of the circumstances. An appropriate fee must be paid to cover administration expenses. The Reinstatement Committee will consider each application on its merits and the applicant shall be allowed to appear in person and/or be represented before the committee. Reinstatement may be refused, postponed or granted either unconditionally or subject to such conditions and to operate from such dates as the Reinstatement Committee may decide. Any dancer, whose reinstatement has been deferred until a particular date, may not participate in any competition during the interim period. The Reinstatement Committee will decide in which grade a competitor will be reinstated, to be notified in writing to the applicant.

12.       Right To Appeal

(a)       Any dancer who has applied for reinstatement and is dissatisfied with the decision of the Reinstatement Committee may request permission to appeal and attend in person or be represented. The Reinstatement Appeals Committee may reduce or increase any interim period.  Any dancer who submits an appeal may not participate in any event until the results of the appeal have been finalised.

(b)       The Reinstatement Appeals Committee shall not be the same as the Reinstatement Committee, which first heard the case. 

(c)        The findings of the Reinstatement Appeals Committee shall be final.

13.       Objection – to Eligibility to Participate

No objection to a competitor’s eligibility to take part in a competition or championship shall be considered unless the complainant gives his/her full name and address. Such objection, unless admitted by the competitor complained against, shall be referred to the FRC but if there is not time to reach a decision before the event, the competitor complained about shall be permitted to dance in the competition or championship on the understanding that any prize he/she may win shall be withheld until the decision of the FRC is known.  Should the objection be sustained, the result shall be adjusted accordingly.

14.      Judge’s Decision Final

Any competitor entering a competition or championship held under the Official Rules of Freestyle, he/she must accept as final the verdict of the judges and their individual markings and no appeal against that verdict or markings may be made to the FRC or elsewhere except when it can be shown that the actual markings have been incorrectly interpreted.

15.        Objection – General

 If any competitor, or in the case of a junior or juvenile the parent/guardian, has an objection against any aspect of  the adjudication they should forward an objection to their teacher, who in turn will submit the objection to the FRC.

Amateur Section – Freestyle: Solos, Pairs, Trios

 16.      Age Groups

(a)       1. Under 6’s   (3, 4 & 5 years of age)

2. Under 8’s   (6 & 7 years of age)

            3. Under 10’s (8 & 9 years of age)

            4. Under 12’s (10 & 11 years of age)

5. Under 14’s (12 &13 years of age)

6. Under 16’s (14 & 15 years of age)

7. Under 18’s (16 & 17 years of age)except beginners

8. Adult   (18 years of age and over) except beginners           

(b)       The age groups for championship events are as follows:-

            Under 6 Mixed

Under 8 Mixed

Under 10 Mixed

Under 12 Girl            Under 12 Boy

Under 14 Girl

Under 16 Girl            Under 16 Boy

Youth Girl                 

Youth Boy         

Adult Girl                    (i.e. over 18)

Adult Boy                   (i.e. over 16)

At a Championship Under 14 Boy may be added to the programme

At all Championships in Pairs, separate Boy/Girl events should be run in Under 12 Under 16 and Adult age groups.

(c)  All competitors must dance within their age group and grade.  When a promoter does not include one of the main age groups in the programme competitors may move up to the next higher age group in their own grade or remain in their own age group and dance in a higher grade.

   (d)    When changing age group by birthday, dancers may at their teacher’s discretion compete in competitions one grade lower.  Anyone wishing to take advantage of this rule must notify the office within twenty eight days of entering the higher age group or they will have to remain in their original grade. 

            No Starter may return to beginner.

  • The eligibility of a pair to enter a competition is determined

by both the following criteria. Dancers must dance in the higher grade of either dancer, and dance in the age group of the eldest dancer.

Championship and Premier Championship fast solo dancers cannot compete in beginners for fast pairs.

  • Premier Championship dancers who have lost 3 lives may

not downgrade.

  • When a dancer has not been registered for over 2 years and has missed an age group entirely, then the teacher may apply for the dancer to be downgraded by 1 grade when they re-register the dancer.

17     Competition Grades

 (a)      Fast Solo (Five grades)

1)  Beginner

2)  Starter

3)  Intermediate

4)  Championship

5)  Premier Championship(except Boys)

Beginner and Starters will be restricted to the Dress code as per rule 21 make up rule 22 will apply. All Under 6 dancers will be restricted to make up rules 22.

(b)       Pairs (three grades)

1)  Beginner

2)  Intermediate

3)  Championship

Beginners dress rule 21 will apply there are no further dress restrictions, make up rule 22 will apply.

17c)  Slow Solo (5 Grades

  1. Beginner
  2. Starter
  3. Intermediate
  4. Championship
  5. Premier Championship (except Boys)

Beginner dress rule 21 will apply. Make up rule 22 will apply.

There are no further dress restrictions in slow 

(d)       Changing Status

Competitors will change to a higher grade on losing three lives in their own grade or being placed in the final of a higher grade competition in which there are more than six participants. See Rules 17e and f for full details of life loss.

Competitors moving up an age group at birthday  may either carry forward the lives they have lost in the lower age group by informing the General Office or start afresh  with no lives lost in their new age group.

(e)       Loss of Life

The number of lives lost is determined by the number of competitors in the first round of the event. As follows:-

            1st  place  =    7 or more competitors

            2nd place  =  14 or more competitors

3rd place  =  21 or more competitors

4th place  =  28 or more competitors

5th place  =  35 or more competitors

6th place  =  42 or  more competitors

(f)  Be a 1st place before the dancer moves up a grade.

In the case of Championship dancers the 1st place life lost must be at a Championship event before they move up to Premier Championship grade.

(g)Premier Championship Dancers

When a premier championship dancer has lost 3 lives (one being a 1st place at a championship event) they cannot revert to championship grade at an age group change.

 18.      Freestyle Status Cards

(a)       All amateur competitors who compete in the UK under these rules must be in possession of a current Status Card (Swipe Card). Status cards are only available through a recognised teacher of dancing who will be issued with Status Cards upon application. Status Cards are the property of the amateur dancer.   TEACHERS MUST ISSUE THEM TO THE DANCERS – NOT RETAIN THEM

(b)       Changing school   If a dancer leaves your school you

must notify the status card office immediately. This dancer will no longer be able to compete with immediate effect.

If a competitor joins your school from another dance school, please notify the Status Card Office as soon as possible as any period of exclusion will not start until you have registered the dancer with the Status Card Office and paid the transfer applicable at the time of the transfer notification. 

There is a three month exclusion from competitions when a competitor changes school, which is effective from the day written notification is received at the Status Card Office from the new school.  Any dancer changing schools for a second time within a 12 month period may incur a 6 month exclusion from competitions.  Consideration may be given to a competitor changing schools due to a previous school closure on receipt of documentation from the previous school

The fee to re- register with another school will be the fee in force at the time of transfer notification.  In extenuating circumstances written application for re- registration with another school may be made to the FRC.

If a dancer returns to their original school within 12 months then the 3 month exclusion will apply.

Whilst a dancer is on a period of exclusion they are not permitted to attend competitions.

(c)        Minimum age for competitors is 3 years of age.

(d)       To ensure all Freestyle competitors enter the correct  age group and grade events, competing dancers MUST carry their Status Cards and produce them at all competitions.        

(e)         In order for teams to dance in competitions and championships, the trainer/teacher must lodge the name/s of the team/s with the Status Card office. All teams will be issued with a Status Card under the school/trainers name to avoid duplication of team names, which should be produced at competitions/championships when required.

18.1    Newly registered Schools

When newly registered schools register existing competitors from their former dance school, or any other school, these competitors will not be able to compete for twelve months from the date they first register the new school with the registrations office. This does not apply to any new competitor that has not been previously registered.  Extenuating circumstances may be considered by the FRC on receipt of application.  For the purpose of clarification, a newly registered school is defined as a school registered for less than 12 months.

Any professional extending their business into a new FRC geographical location will be classed as a newly registered school.

18.2    Whilst a dancer is on a period of exclusion they are not permitted to attend any ADFP/BDC event run by an ADFP/BDC professional.  This exclusion includes their parents/guardians

19.       Competitions that do not affect status.

(a)       The winning of a competition restricted to bona fide pupils of one school, or a competition confined to medallists, does not in any way affect status 

(b)       Small Interschool Competitions i.e. a maximum of three schools attending a competition by invitation only, does not affect status. These events must not be advertised.

 (c)        Events held with one adjudicator do not affect status

(d)       The winning of a consolation competition for those eliminated in earlier rounds of a larger event does not affect status.

20.       Re-grading.

Application may be made to the FRC for re-grading of status, each case will be considered on its merits.

21.      DRESS

a)  Beginners (rule to apply to fast solos, slow solos, pairs and teams

Beginners outfits are restricted as follows:

Either a leotard as described:

Leotard with no sleeves and a high neck  – may have a closed back or a small keyhole back.

Leotard with 2 long sleeves and a high neck – may have a closed back or a small keyhole back.

Or a catsuit as described:

Catsuit with no sleeves and a high neck – may have a closed back or a small keyhole back.

Catsuit with 2 long sleeves and a high neck – may have a closed back or a small keyhole back.

2 piece options are as follows:


Crop top  with no sleeves and a high neck – may have a closed back or a small keyhole back.

Crop top  with 2 long sleeves and a high neck – may have a closed back or a small keyhole back.


Leotard with no sleeves and a high neck –may have a closed back or a small keyhole back.

 Leotard with 2 long sleeves and a high neck – may have a closed back or a small keyhole back.


T- Shirt – short sleeved, waist length

Bottoms – one of the following

Pants with high waist

Leggings – full length

Loose (not baggy) trousers

Shorts/ PE Style Shorts

Please see attached sheet of pictures of acceptable designs.

These are the only designs that are permissible.

Commercial sports wear is not allowed.

Any single colour – where two pieces are worn, the top may be one single colour and the bottom another single colour.

Material may only be lycra or cotton lycra.

There is no recommended supplier.

No glitter.

No hair accessories may be worn – this includes, (but not exclusively) wigs, hair extensions, or hair clip-ins, hair pieces and bows.  No wraps or pony cones or ribbons.

Any hair tie must be in a colour that matches the dancer’s natural hair colour.

No glitter.

Any dancer contravening the beginner dress rule will not be permitted to dance in beginner grade until the costume complies with this rule.

(b)       Starters.  No starters are allowed stones as make-up or on their bodies. No glitter is allowed on the dancer’s face, body or hair. Starters outfits may be of any fabric including foiled fabrics but not sequinned fabrics. They may be of any design but may not have any added beads/sequins/stones or any other form of added glitter to the manufactured material.

(c)     Pairs.  All intermediate/championship pairs to be plain outfits – equivalent to starter rules. Beginner’s pairs dress rule 21 beginner dress applies.

(d)    All boys to wear tops to cover their nipples.

(e)    Outfits should be suitable for the age group of the dancer and   should be the responsibility of the parent or teacher.

(f)        Dancers will be subject to disciplinary action for contravention of rule 7(g) appertaining to Logos etc. Name and Status Card Number will be taken and reported on the Competition Report Form for future use. 

(g )      Numbers to be issued on the day of the event. They will be of standard size, and feature black printing on a plain background. No dancer may carry the same number from one event to another and the number must not be decorated or altered in any way.  

(h)       It is the duty of the promoter to ensure that adequate changing facilities are provided for male and female competitors and dancers should use the facilities provided. Changing anywhere at the venue other than in designated areas will only be acceptable if a changing robe is used.

(i)       Weights are not permitted to be worn/used at any B.D.C./A.D.F.P. event.

22.       Make up

(a)       No make up or fake tan of any description on Under 6s Under 8s and Under 10s.

 (b)      Under 12 dancers are not allowed to wear false eyelashes, stones or false nails.

(c)      No oil based or non drying tan is allowed to be worn at any event

(d)       No tan to be applied at a competition venue.  Anyone found breaking this rule will be asked to leave the competition and may be subject to a fine of up to £1000 and given an exclusion from future events

(e)       No Glitter is allowed as per rule 21 Dress and 21 (b)

23.       Routines

The teacher should ensure that the content of routines is appropriate and suitable for the age and grade of the dancer.

24.       Solo Spots.

(a)       When Freestyle solo spots are danced they shall be restricted to a maximum of 12 bars (48 Beats) from the first movement and an equal amount of time shall be given to all dancers in the final. Dancers will be allowed a maximum additional 2 bars (8 beats) to clear the floor. All dancers in a final must be given music which has the same continuous beat.

 (b)      Anyone re-starting a solo spot must be asked to do so by the Chairman of Adjudicators or the Promoter and not assume they may do so by right.

  •     There will be a 15 second break after the last dancer has

     danced their solo spot before the final commences.

  •      When slow dance spots are danced they shall be

restricted to a maximum of 40 seconds from the first                                       movement and an equal amount of time shall be given to all dancers in the final.  All dancers in the final must be given music which has a continuous beat.

(e)      Anyone restarting a slow solo spot must be asked to                                                                do so by the Chairman of Adjudicators or the Promoter and        not assume they may do so by right.

  • Safety Restrictions.


Freehanded (ie with no hands) 360 degree rotating movements in any direction are not allowed at any time.

Chest rolls and chest balances are completely banned.

(a)       In Freestyle competitions NO acrobatics or gymnastics, (i.e. cartwheels, handstands, walkovers etc) are permitted in any rounds including the final round. These restrictions do not apply to solo spots. 

(b)       Lifts. In freestyle competitions no lifts are permitted in any round. At the discretion of the organiser restrictions may be lifted in the final/solo spot only.

(c)       Definition of a lift: – Where one dancer has both feet off the floor with the assistance or support of another.

(d)       Dancers should be aware that glass trimmings including beads are not allowed

(e)       Dancers should be aware that it is improper to make lewd or suggestive movements.

Dancers should dance at a suitable distance away from an adjudicator allowing the adjudicator their own space.

            On no account should any dancer ever touch an adjudicator and if seen to do so will be met with immediate disqualification.

(f)       If a dancer is injured during a round and advised  not to carry on by a first aider and/or the Organiser in discussion with the Chairman of Adjudicators, they must withdraw from all competitions on the day.

            Any dancer rendered unconscious in the dance floor will immediately be withdrawn from that day’s events.

Amateur Section – Freestyle: – Teams

26.      Team Competitions

(a)        Grades.

            1) Beginner

            2) Intermediate

            3) Championship

(b)       Age Groups

            1) Under 12 years

            2) Under 16 years

            3) 16 years of age and over

            4) 25 years of age and over

N.B. Rule 21(a) Beginners’ Dress, applies to teams.  Rule 22 Makeup rules apply.

27.      Teams to comprise.

(a)       Minimum number of six persons in any mix of gender. Maximum number sixteen persons in any mix of gender. 

(b)      Eligibility to enter is governed by the age of the eldest team                member.

(c)        No person may dance in more than one team on the same day, or at a festival, or at an event held over more than one day.

(d)       Over 25’s team. At least 75% of team members must be 25 years of age or over.

(e)       Beginner Teams. At least 75% of team members must be Beginner team status

(f)        Intermediate Teams. At least 75% of team members must be Intermediate team status.

(g)       Teams must not use props. “Props” is taken to mean anything other than an item of clothing.

(h)       Changing Status. Teams will change to a higher grade on losing three lives in their own grade or being placed in the final of a higher grade competition in which there were at least three teams.

(i)       Trophy Day Competitions and Championships. Open to                                                                                 all teams.

(j)       The renaming of a team does not constitute the

           establishment of a new team.

28.       Time Limits.

(a)       Beginner Teams: – Not to exceed 1 minute and 30 seconds

(b)       Intermediate Teams: – Not to exceed 2 minutes

(c)       Championship Teams: – Not to exceed 3 minutes.

Timing to commence from the first movement to music. Exceeding the time limit will meet with immediate disqualification.


Amateur Section – Rock’n’Roll

29.       Footwear

Competitors are not permitted to dance barefoot. Suitable footwear must be worn.

30.       Age Groups

(a)       1)   Under 6’s   (3, 4 & 5 years of age)

            2)   Under 8’s   (6 & 7 years of age)

            3)   Under 10’s (8 & 9 years of age)

            4)   Under 12’s (10 & 11 years of age)

            5)   Under 14’s (12 & 13 years of age)

            6)   Under 16’s (14 & 15 years of age)

            7)   Under 18’s (16 & 17 years of age)

            8)   Adult          (over 18)

(b)       All competitors must dance within their own age group. If an event is not included in the programme, competitors may move up to the next higher age group

 (c)       When boy/girl events are held refer rule 16(b)

 (d)      Other age groups may be added at the promoter’s discretion.

(e)      The eligibility of the pair to enter a competition is determined by the             age of the eldest member of the partnership.

 (f)       Safety Restrictions: Free Handed (i.e. with no hands) rotating gymnastic movements are not permitted at any time.

(g)       Dancers are not allowed to progress round the floor and they should dance on the spot.

            Dancers are also required to dance on the opposite foot to their partner when dancing basic Rock ‘n’ Roll steps and where syllabus steps are performed. Dancers are allowed to move or dance on the same foot when recognised Rock ‘n’ Roll travelling steps or same foot movements are danced.

(i)      Solo spots for Rock’n’Roll will be restricted to a

maximum of 15 bars from the first movement (60 beats)                                                                                     and anyone re-starting a solo spot must be asked to do so by the Chairman of Adjudicators or the Promoter and not assume they may  do so by right.

Amateur Section – Rock’n’Roll: Teams

31.       Team competitions may be conducted in four age groups:

             1)   Under 12 years

             2)   Under 16 years

             3)    16 years of age and over

32.       Teams to Comprise:

(a)       Minimum number four couples in any mix of gender. Maximum number eight couples in any mix of gender.

(b)       Eligibility to enter is governed by the age of the eldest    team member.

(c)        No person may dance in more than one team on the same day, or at a festival, or at an event held over more than one day.

33.       Time Limits.

Teams – not to exceed 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Timing to commence from first movement to music. Exceeding the time limit will meet with immediate disqualification.

Amateur Section –  Street Dance

34.       If a BDC/ADFP promoter includes a supporting street section this is covered by our rules and insurance.  Rule 25 safety restrictions will apply.

Costume restrictions.  Retail sports wear is permitted, however no school logos or dancers names may be on the costumes.

Streetdance competitors cannot run, skip or travel round the floor and any movement off the spot can only be danced with a hip hop or street action.