2016 MIT Open Eligibility and Rules



The MIT Open is open to dancers of all ages. It is a competition for amateur dancers only so professional dancers will not be permitted to compete. The YCN points system will be used at all levels; more information can be found by level below. We will be strictly enforcing eligibility rules. Any dancer dancing down will be disqualified, even after the event.


Competitors are eligible to dance in the Newcomer level only if both dancers in the partnership had not started their competitive training and/or competed in a ballroom competition before January 1, 2016. Dancers who are eligible to dance as a Newcomer also may not have accumulated 7 or more YCN points in the individual dance(s) they will be registering for at the MIT Open.

As there is a special discounted fee for Newcomers, dancers who had paid the Newcomer fee may only compete in dances at the Newcomer level. If someone qualifying to dance at the Newcomer level wishes to dance an event not offered at the Newcomer level, they will need to pay the regular registration fee.


Amateur competitors are eligible to dance in the Beginner level only if both of the competitors in the partnership have less than 3 full semesters (or half-year equivalents for non-students) of competitive ballroom dancing experience. A full semester (or half-year equivalent) of competitive ballroom experience includes participation in one or more competitions and/or competitive training during that semester. Any dancer competing in the Beginner level may not have accumulated 7 or more YCN points in Bronze in the individual dance(s) they will be registering for at the MIT Open.

Intermediate, Advanced, Pre-Championship

The Intermediate, Advanced, and Pre-Championship levels are open to amateur dancers who have accumulated fewer than 7 YCN points in Silver, Gold, or Pre-Champ respectively. Eligibility will be based on results for individual dances. For instance, if someone has 7 points in Silver Bolero, but fewer points in the other Rhythm dances, he or she will need to compete in Advanced for Bolero but may still compete in Intermediate for the other dances.

Eligibility to dance Pre-Champ will exclude any dancer who has accumulated 7 or more points in ANY Pre-Champ or Open-level competition with non-collegiate competitions scored in a similar manner as YCN competitions.

The YCN points system for Pre-Champ eligibility will also be applied to placements earned in "Open Latin" and "Open Standard" events (or their equivalents) in comps that did not divide Open International events into Champ and Pre-Champ levels.

There will be no time restrictions for dancing experience in any of these levels.


All amateur competitors are eligible to dance at this level.

Role Changes

Eligibility rules are independent of role. If a competitor is considered ineligible for an event as a leader, he or she is also considered ineligible as a follower and vice versa.

Eligibility and Points Earned During the MIT Open

Your eligibility for a particular event cannot change during the MIT Open. For instance, if you are eligible for Advanced Latin at the beginning of the MIT Open, and you double-register and place in the final of Pre-Champ Latin, the points you earn from Pre-Champ Latin will not be counted toward your eligibility for Gold Latin the next day.

Eligibility Enforcement

If you have any questions about your eligibility to dance at a certain level, please feel free to contact the competition registrar at mitbdt-registrar@mit.edu.

In the spirit of fairness, we will be doing our best to enforce the eligibility rules. We would urge all team captains to try to make sure their team members are registered appropriately.

If you believe a couple may have registered for an inappropriate level, please email the Competition Registrar at mitbdt-registrar@mit.edu and we will look into it.

Syllabus Restrictions


Permissible figures will be restricted to the ISTD Bronze syllabus for International-style dances and USISTD, NDCA, DVIDA, FADS, AMDS, or similar Bronze syllabi for the American-style dances.

Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

For all three levels, we will be allowing any figure that is Gold or below in the ISTD syllabus for the International-style events and the USISTD, NDCA, DVIDA, FADS, or AMDS syllabi or similar for the American-style events.

Pre-Championship and Championship

Open choreography is permitted. No lifts are allowed.

Double Registration

Double registering is only allowed between the Advanced, Pre-Championship, and Championship levels. Double registering for events at two syllabus levels will not be permitted, i.e., each competitor may compete in each of the 19 dances only once at the syllabus level (Newcomer, Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced).


Costumes are permitted but not required for all levels except the Newcomer level, at which no costumes are permitted.

Although there are no formal restrictions on costumes, please make sure they are appropriate. We reserve the right to restrict dancers from competing if a costume is deemed to be inappropriate by the Chairman of Judges.

Heel Covers

Heel covers are required on all ladies' shoes. Lack of heel covers can result in disqualification and removal from venue. Suede stars will be available for free at the information desk. Additionally, our vendors may have heel covers for sale.

Event Capping and TBA Policy

The MIT Open reserves the right to cap the number of registrants for any individual event. Individuals wishing to register for an event that is full may email the registrar at mitbdt-registrar[AT]mit[DOT]edu to be placed on a waitlist.

Before the close of regular registration: Open spots in a given level/style/dance combination will be offered to the the first couple in the waitlist with a request for that particular level/style/dance combination. The couple will have 24 hours to respond, before the spot will be offered to the next couple. If they respond after 24 hours they will be put in the front of the queue for the next opening.
After the close of regular registration: In waitlist order, couples will be offered whatever subset of dances are available. The same 24-hour response policy will apply.

Questions? Email mitbdt-comp-coord[AT]mit.edu.