New NDCA Rules for Dress – 2018

The Fordney Foundation wants you to enter as many competitions as you can and take pride in your dancing.  It is very important to rack up good solid points and be aware of meeting regulated dress guidelines for your future success.  This is also a note to parents or coaches of Pre-teen and Junior couples. We want you to be updated and aware there has been an adjustment made to the costuming guidelines for these age categories. If you have any questions, you can find an updated NDCA rulebook on the NDCA website.


1  Pre-Teen

1 a. Boys

2 (1) Trousers

3 (a) Black or dark blue color only

4 (b) High waist optional

5 (c) Underfoot strap optional

6 (d) Satin stripes are allowed.

7 (2) Shirts

8 (a) Plain white or black long sleeved collared shirt only (no wing collars)

9 (b) No pleats or ribbing

10 (c) Sleeves to be worn at wrist length

11 (3) Black or dark blue vests are allowed, but sweaters and jackets are not allowed.

12 (4) Tie – Black color only, may be either straight or bow

13 (5) Socks – Black or dark blue color only

14 (6) Shoes- Heel height not to exceed 1.5 inches (must be black)

15 (7) Materials – Fabrics must be plain, ie: cotton, polyester, cotton/polyester blend, wool blend

16 (a) No satin or shiny fabrics

17 (b) No rhinestones, glitter, metallic thread, patterns or sequins allowed

18 (c) Decorations – not allowed

19 (8) Makeup – Not allowed

20 (9) Hairstyle – Long hair must be worn in a pony tail

21 b. Girls

22 (1) Skirt with top or simple dress with attached under garment or leotard top with full skirt

23 (2) Skirts

24 (a) Plain or pleated with minimum 1 to maximum 3 half circles. Only three panels total may

25 be used in the construction of the skirt, regardless of how many half circles. One plain

26 simple underskirt allowed which is no larger or longer than top layer, and is the same or

27 similar color as the outer skirt

28 (b) No godets or extra panels may be inserted into the skirt.

29 (c) No uneven hem lines, frills, splits, openings, lace, or sequins. Horsehair/Crinoline may

30 be used as part of the construction but not as a trim.

31 (d) Length of skirt must not be shorter than 3 inches above the knee cap and no longer than 3

32 inches below the knee cap

33 (e) At least one of the layers of the skirt must be solid (not sheer).

34 (3) Bodice

35 (a) Necklines: Boat, high neck, v-neck, sweetheart, ‘peter pan’ collar, and regular collar are

36 allowed. Edging or trim of any kind, including ribbon, satin, lace, sequins, etc, is not

37 allowed on the neckline

38 (b) Belting, as well as gathering or shirring is permissible from the waist down for a

39 maximum of two inches, provided it is part of the dress itself and not an accessory

40 (c) Edging or trim on the bodice is not allowed

41 (d) No backless bodices allowed.

42 (4) Sleeves

43 (a) Long, short, elbow length, cap, puff. or sleeveless styles are allowed

44 (b) Cannot be replaced by trimmings, frills, or edging on the shoulder line

45 (c) No “finger loops” allowed

46 (5) Materials

47 (a) Fabrics MUST be only one color throughout, and the color must be continuously the

48 same.

49 (b) No rhinestones, glitter, metallic thread, pearls, patterns, sequins, or similar materials

50 allowed.

51 (c) No use of feathers, fringes, bows, belts, frills or sequins

52 (d) No flesh color fabric

(e) Any use of color coordinated ‘see through’ fabric must be lined from waist to shoulder;

2 for use on arms no lining is needed

3 (f) Lace and/or burnout (also called Devoré), or similar fabric, is not allowed. Lycra,

4 spandex, polyester, plain velvet, satin or jersey is encouraged.

5 (6) Shoes and Socks

6 (a) Shoes – Heel height not to exceed 1.5 inches, and must be block heel style if a dance

7 shoe. If the shoe comes with rhinestones on the buckle then they are allowed. If the shoe

8 comes with glitter on the shoe then it is allowed.

9 (b) Socks: White ankle socks (may have a small amount of lace), flesh colored pantyhose, or

10 light pink or white tights must be worn.

11 (c) No Fishnet Tights

12 (7) Accessories, jewelry, and makeup

13 (a) No use of arm bands, chokers or headbands

14 (b) No decoration is allowed on dress or in hair

15 (c) No jewelry is allowed, other than one small earring in each ear

16 (d) No makeup allowed

17 (e) Use of fake eyelashes, fake fingernails, colored or glitter hair spray is forbidden

18 c. For pre-teen one-dance or two-dance events, competition organizers may require that the

19 shirts/tops be white and the trousers/skirts be black.


22 1. Definition of “Syllabus Dress”.

23 a. Gentlemen. Ballroom and Smooth Divisions: Dress pants, plain shirt and tie, and optional

24 cummerbund or vest or black sweater or tuxedo. No tail suits. Latin and Rhythm Divisions:

25 Dress pants, plain or ruffled shirt, optional tie and or vest.

26 b. Ladies. Ballroom and Smooth Divisions: Cocktail dress without excessive adornment. No ball

27 gowns. Latin and Rhythm Divisions: Leotards and wrap skirts or party/cocktail dresses without

28 excessive adornment.

29 2. Definition of “Open Amateur Dress”.

30 a. Gentlemen. Ballroom and Smooth Divisions: Tailsuits. Latin and Rhythm Divisions: Latin

31 costumes.

32 b. Ladies. Ballroom and Smooth Divisions: Ball gowns. Latin and Rhythm Divisions: Latin

33 costumes.

34 3. For “Syllabus” competitions competitors must wear “Syllabus” Dress.

35 4. For “Novice” competitions competitors may wear either “Syllabus” or “Open Amateur” dress. The

36 competition organizer may stipulate one or the other for this category.

37 5. For “Pre-Championship” and “Open Amateur” competitions competitors should wear

38 “Championship” costumes.

39 6. Competition organizers may establish alternative dress and/or costume guidelines if they desire for

40 Juniors, Youths or Adults.

Thought Of The Week:

Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them  –  Bruce Lee



Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website