Glamour Smackdown


The USC Glamour Smackdown is a Collegiate Dancesport Association (CDA) Affiliated Competition. We aim to provide a fun competition experience for all by observing the CDA Fair Level Certification system. Competitors may not register below their Proficiency Level for each event.

Proficiency levels are calculated based on a combination of honorable self-enforcement and your recorded performance at previous CDA-recognized competitions. Visit the CDA Fair Level Certification site to see how your Proficiency Level is calculated.

These levels do not apply to Nightclub and Performance Team events. Scroll to the bottom of this page for rules regarding Nightclub and Performance Team.

Here are the available levels, from lowest to highest skill level:

  1. (Syllabus) Newcomer
  2. (Syllabus) Bronze
  3. (Syllabus) Silver
  4. (Syllabus) Gold
  5. (Open) Novice
  6. (Open) Pre-Champ
  7. (Open) Champ

In each dance, competitors are allowed to register for two events, at consecutive levels — their own Proficiency Level and one level higher. See the Examples section below.


If this is your first competition, calculate your Proficiency Level like this:

  • If both you and your partner have been partner-dancing (including social dancing) for less than one year, your level is Newcomer.
  • If you or your partner has more than one year of partner-dancing experience, ask other members of your dance organization or contact us and we'll help you decide what level to register at!

The 1-year rule for Newcomer applies to both members of every couple. Dance figures are limited to the Bronze syllabus level.


Rookie/Veteran events are designed to help new dancers gain experience by dancing with a partner who is at a higher level.

  • A Rookie may be anyone whose Proficiency Level is Newcomer or Bronze.
  • A Vet may be anyone whose Proficiency Level is Silver or higher.

This means that, for each dance, if you're registered for Newcomer & Bronze events or Bronze & Silver events, you can be a rookie, and if you're registered for Silver & Gold events (or higher), you can be a vet.

In Rookie/Vet events, dance figures are limited to the Bronze syllabus level.


For example:

  • If you have been ballroom dancing for less than one year and your Proficiency Level is still Newcomer, you may register for Newcomer and Bronze levels.
  • If your Proficiency Level for American Smooth Waltz is Silver, you may register for the Syllabus American Smooth Waltz Silver and Gold events.
  • If your Proficiency Level for International Standard Tango is Gold, you may register for the Syllabus International Standard Tango Gold event and the Open International Standard Tango Novice event.

See the CDA Fair Level Certification site for more examples and a complete guide on allowable registration levels.


All Syllabus Events (Newcomer, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Rookie/Vet) will be invigilated. We will be using either NDCA or USA Dance syllabus rules (check back here for updates).

Dance figures outside of our syllabus rules may be allowed but you should contact us to check whether a particular dance figure will be allowed by our invigilator.

All other events are open, meaning there is no restriction on the dance figures that competitors can do. However, in all events lifts and drops are not allowed.


Heel protectors are required while on the dance floor. There will be heel protectors available for purchase on the day of the competition at the registration table.

Please wear dance shorts under your dress or skirt. Dance shorts must be a color other than nude.


In Newcomer, Bronze, and Silver events, the following costume elements are not allowed:

  • Clothing with light effects, such as rhinestones, sequins, actual lights, etc.
  • Floats, streamers, or similar additions
  • Suit jackets
  • Shirts open below the bottom of the breast bone
  • Highly revealing attire

Costumes will be judged allowable or not by the invigilator. If you are unsure whether your attire is allowed, bring other options to change into at the competition, and you can contact us to check beforehand.

There are no costume restrictions in Rookie/Vet and in Gold and higher levels. (You still must follow the Attire Rules, listed above.)

You can still be glamourous in Newcomer, Bronze, and Silver! Jewelry and hair accessories, even if they contain light effects, are allowed at all levels. (Note that at all levels, the invigilator can still require competitors to remove specific accessories if deemed inappropriate for the competition.)


Photography and videography are allowed. Our beautiful venue is the perfect backdrop for your glamourous dancing!


Nightclub events at the Glamour Smackdown have two levels: Beginner and Non-Beginner.

  • At the Beginner level, both dancers in a couple must have been partner-dancing for less than two years.
  • At the Non-Beginner level, anyone may register.

There are no restrictions on dance figures in Nightclub events, except lifts and drops are not allowed. Get creative!

There are no costume restrictions for Nightclub events. This is your chance to be especially glamourous! Or to dance in pajamas! (You still must follow the Attire Rules, listed above.)


All performance teams compete against each other in the same event. There is no minimum or maximum number of performers per team. Also, multiple performance teams from the same school/organization may register.

There are no proficiency level, costume, or dance figure restrictions for the Performance Team event. (Performance Team members still must follow the Attire Rules, listed above.) There are also no restrictions on the music (mixing/medleys are allowed).

Each performance may be 4 minutes long. Teams will have additional time to enter and leave the floor.

Performances will be evaluated by our judges based on a combination of dance technique and the creativity of the choreography.