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Rules and Awards

Each category must have a Minimum of 5 contestants to pay out!

All winners paid the night of the event!


Judging Criteria (Originality, Synchronization, Footwork, Appearance, Showmanship)

Synchronization: Two partners dancing with one another in time. Points will be deducted for the following execution areas.

A. Missing hands

B. Slips, falls, or missed dips and drops

C. One partner out dancing the other partner


Footwork: Moving both feet in a rhythmic pattern that looks effortless and fancy. Feet movements should coordinate with upper body movements and turns. Points will deducted from couples who:

A. Fail to execute footwork while dancing.

B. Move feet in an awkward manner that detracts from the effortless movements that are characteristic of the dance.


Showmanship/Creativity: Showmanship consists of movements, both impromptu and choreographed, that are executed in the context of the dance and present with flair and dramatic presentation. Depending on the category, showmanship could consist of fancy turns, dips, drops,

and routines or style, body movement and swagger. Showmanship is category specific; make sure to pay attention to the criteria of each category before integrating showmanship or routines into your dance performance. Points will be deducted from couples who:

A. Miss partner cues or rehearsed steps.

B. Dance without flair, energy, or creative moves.

C. Fail to engage the audience in their dance.

D. Fail to keep their head up while dancing.


Appearance: Couples should be dressed from head to toe in fancy contest attire. Attire should be coordinated in color but custom-tailored suits are not a requirement. Contest apparel should be appropriate, consistent with the rules, and should not detract from the performance by being overly revealing. Judges should not deduct points from contestants because of differing fashion opinions. However, distracting apparel will be decided at the judge’s discretion. Points will be deducted from couples who:

A. Fail to coordinate their attire.

B. Have wardrobe malfunctions that don’t violate the rules.


Originality: The foundation of the dance should be Steppin’ and all movements should be executed in time within the basic pattern of the dance. Originality is not creativity and the two should not be confused. Points will be deducted from couples who:

A. Deviate from the basic pattern of Steppin’ and begin executing another dance form (e.g. Salsa, Ballrooming, Jitterbug, Tap, etc.).

Note: Routine movements will be accepted, so long as they are executed within the basic pattern and time of the dance.




1st Place $750.00

2nd Place $250.00

Cannot compete in both Original and New School/Free Style   

Original Steppers should be masters of all the basic elements of the dance. Emphasis in the category will be placed on fancy footwork, pulling the female dance partner in close while Steppin and overall style and rhythm. Turns are accepted but dips and drops will result in deductions in this category. Timing, style, footwork, close dancing and slow bopping are all elements of original style dancing. Routines will be frowned upon in the original category. The Original category will be judged by cancers with 10+ years of experience or more, so structure your dance accordingly.


New School

1st Place $750.00

2nd Place $250.00

While this category shares many of the same elements as the Original Category, the Original New Skool category differs with respect to the emphasis placed on Turns, Dips, and Drops.  While dips and drops are not required or preferred over creative dancing in the Original New Skool Category, they will not be frowned upon.  Routines are also acceptable in this category, as long as the basic pattern of Steppin’ exists.  The New Skool Original category will be judged by Steppers who began dancing after 1995, so plan your dance accordingly. 


Intermediate Category 

Qualifier for the World's Largest Stepping Contest only 

The Intermediate Category is designed for Steppers with 7 years of dancing or less.  Since some Steppers advance much faster than others, dancers can choose to compete in one of the Original Categories if they choose.  This category will be judged on the Original New Skool criteria by Original New Skool judges so plan your dance accordingly. 



     Winner Take All $500.00

Beginners should have less than 1 year and ½ years of total dance time.  Beginners are judged on the Old Skool Original rules.  The judges for this category will be the Original Old Skool judges, so plan your dance accordingly.

Emphasis For Beginners Will Be Placed On:

1.  Timing and coordination

2.  Synchronization with partner

3.  Mastering basic turns and basic footwork

4.  The initial development and/or foundation of a unique style 



    Winner Take All $500.00

The Trio category is executed with 3 partners dancing together in unison. Coordination, rhythm, timing and creativity are important elements of the Trio. While the lead in a Trio dance can change, the basisi of this dance is for the lead dancer to keep his or her partners continuously involved in the dance. Limited routines will be accepted in this category. Turns, dips and drops are also allowed in this category.