Australian Rueda de Casino Championship – Rules


We have three big competitions running over the weekend.

  1. The Main Championship
    This is the core competence of the festival and will take place on Saturday 15th October. Show your skills, flare, and love for Rueda, and perform in front of a panel of international and local experts and the salsa-loving community.
    There will be two categories – Professional and Amateur. Each team is required to perform a choreographed and a freestyle routine.
  2. Open Cuban Competition
    Are you passionate about Salsa, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, Son, Rumba, Reggaeton, Timba, Ladies/Men’s Styling or Afro Cuban? Then form a team with your dancing friends and join this fun, exciting event. Your team can compete in any of these dance styles in an open competition on the night of Friday 14th October.
  3. Rueda Couple of the Year!
    Are you Australia’s hottest Rueda dancer?
    Join us for this fun competition on Sunday 16th October– a giant Rueda with an elimination round leaving us with the last best couple standing.
    May the best couple win!

Competition Rules ARCCCDF 14th – 16th of October 2022

A. Application Requirements
To keep the competition attractive for our audience, we try to avoid the same title song of a choreography being used by another team. Participating teams need to declare an application with the title of the song as well as the performing artist’s name. Songs are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
As part of the team registration, all Rueda teams need to send a recent high-quality photo of the entire team.
All team members must be mentioned in the application, as well as the caller and the choreographer.
Every team can declare one extra couple to replace a couple or an injured group member. You can’t just add the couple or individual dancer, only replace them.
Every team must email a copy of their music to the organisers in mp3 format to, prior to the closing of registrations on Monday 3rd September 2022. Each team must also provide two copies of their music on a USB on the day of the competition.

B. Team & Choreography Requirements
It’s obligatory that any Rueda team must have a minimum of four couples.
The choreography must be between 3.00 minutes and 3.30 minutes in length for the Rueda de Casino competition, and a maximum of 3.00 minutes for the Cuban Open competition.
The choreography must contain at least 75 percent Cuban salsa music.
All competitors entering the Amateur division must meet the following definition of an amateur dancer:
A person who engages in dancing mainly as a social activity
All competitors entering the Professional division must meet the following definition of a professional dancer:
A person who frequently engages in dance performances, competing and/or teaching dance

C. Judging Terms
Judges are giving marks from 0 (not at all) to 10 (excellent) in each criterion.
The winners of the Australia Rueda de Casino Championship and Cuban Dance Festival 2022 will be decided by a panel of expert judges, all of whom are highly accomplished and respected. All the judges are neutral and not affiliated with any of the schools involved in the competition.

TIMING (worth 20% of total score):
The timing score asks: Was correct rhythm maintained throughout the routine? Were syncopations deliberate and within the acceptable deviations of timing for the dance?
Every judge will decide alone what percentage to be deducted from the score depending on how many times an infraction happened.
Competitors must demonstrate routines that are 70% Cuban routines. Failure to demonstrate basic Cuban salsa rhythm for this duration of the routine will result in a timing score of “0”.

MUSICALITY (worth 20% of total score):
Teams will demonstrate their ability to creatively work with the timing of their individual music. This can be done in a variety of ways, including Rueda patterns, footwork,” hits”, tricks, etc… Judges will evaluate the level of interpretation of the music chosen, the different nuances, breaks, and accents the overall synchronization of the dancers with the music. How effectively did the team utilise the breaks and nuances of their chosen piece of music? Were they rhythmically in sync with the piece?

TECHNIQUE (worth 10% of total score):
Teams must reflect adequate Cuban Rueda de Casino motion and body movement as designated by the dance style. A movement should appear to be effortless. These are reflections of good dance techniques. For minor infractions such as balance errors and major errors, points deducted will be determined by each judge.

DIFFICULTY (worth 10% of total score):
What was the level of the Rueda de Casino patterns, turns and intricacy of movements, level of tricks, dips, drops, and flares? Were all movements attempted successfully executed?
In Order to get credit for any of these, the movements must be successfully executed.

PARTNERING / CONNECTION (worth 10% of the total score):
This is reflected in the lead/follow aspect of the dance.
Are our partners truly connected, or are they merely executing choreography while holding hands? Synchronicity during side-by-side or shines will also help determine the score in this category.
Minor and major misconnects deduction in points will be determined by each individual judge.

CHOREOGRAPHY / ORIGINALITY (worth 10% of total score):
The choreography is the team’s interpretation of the music. Did the routine flow easily from one movement to the next? Good choreography should contain clever Rueda de Casino patterns and shines.
Although not required, a few creative tricks will help with your score.
All choreography should be musical, and dancers should show good usage of the space itself. Originality is a factor here.
Routines must ideally reflect the following: How well put together was the performance? Did the routine flow easily from one movement to the next? Was there something clever or new that was part of the routine? How musical was it?
In the freestyle round, competitors will be judged on their creativity and freedom in social dancing and the interaction between the team and the music.

How professional and polished did the team appear to be?
How did they project to the audience and capture their attention?
Contestants will show etiquette during the competition by refraining from distracting others while competing teams are dancing. If this is not the case the judges will deduct points.
Costumes or matching outfits are required. All costumes should be in good taste with all private parts covered by non-transparent material.
We strongly suggest that jeans are not used as costumes and ladies wear dresses or skirts with nylons or fishnets.
If you decide not to do this no points will be automatically deducted. However, be aware that judges might be looking at this as a personal preference.

Special note: For the Open Category, matching costumes are not required and will not be part of the judging criteria. However, teams will be judged on their overall appearance and must be presentable.

SYNCHRONIZATION (worth 10% of the total score):
Teams must be synchronized when parts are choreographed to be synchronized.
How synchronized was the team during side-by-side movement or shines, combinations, lines, hands & feet, and body movement?
Infractions: if a team loses synchronicity points will be deducted each time.
How well did the team work together? Was there a lead / follow relationship established?
The final three teams are to be decided by the judges and the head judge’s decision is final.

Musicality & Consistency with the beat
Partnering: Lead & follow; unity/synchronization within the teams
DanceAbility & Music Interpretation: Style, control, and execution of the dance or choreography. Appearance/ Stage presence: Connection, Costumes, confidence, and presentation.

PANEL OF JUDGES: The judges will be aware of all judging criteria for each category
To maintain fair judgment, if there is a big difference in the allocation of points from one judge compared to the other four, then that judge will be asked to explain his/ her decision to the other judges, this is to avoid a judge being “biased” towards some competitors. A head judge will also be present to ensure fairness is always executed.
The head judge will have the final say on all discrepancies, equal scores, etc all decisions are final.
No ARCCCDF competition judge can be affiliated with a competing Rueda team.

D. Disqualification
Any inappropriate misconduct of any team member will result in the disqualification of the entire Rueda team.
Any individual misconduct against any judge will lead to the disqualification of the entire Rueda team.

E. Public Relations
To make this project known to everybody we need to communicate it to the press, media agents, and VIPs. In order to promote it, we are videotaping, or possibly broadcasting the entire championship on TV and the Internet. By entering the Rueda de Casino Championship, you are authorizing the organisers of the event to have free use of any video material for promotional or merchandising purposes.

All the information will be provided to the competitors at the registration/info desk upon arrival.
Each round is considered a fresh start for competitors.
All competing teams can conduct their rehearsal on the stage, where the competition is to be held if time allows. No competitor will be allowed on stage to rehearse without permission.
All decisions are final and are to be determined by the head judge. However, if there are too many complaints about decisions after the competition, only the head judge after meeting with the other judges have the right to change the score. The Directors of the event need to be informed before the final decision.
After the competition and ONLY AFTER the final competition, judges will be allowed to communicate their decisions with the competitors and/or coaches.
Judges should always maintain neutrality and professionalism.
Competitors will be allowed to see their scores after they have been eliminated but are not allowed to talk to judges until after the finals of all the competitions.
Competitors will in no way be allowed to raise their voices or be unprofessional to any judge or member of the organization. If this occurs the person will be disqualified along with their team.
All Scores will be published online.
All parties should respect each other’s opinions.

Props are not allowed. Extra costume pieces such as hats or jackets are permitted if they are a part of the costume and are not Discarded (taken off and thrown away) at any time during the performance. Failure to follow this rule will result in points being deducted from the final score by the head judge and a lower score by the judges also. Hairpieces, jewellery, or clothing pieces that fall on the stage during routine can also result in lower scores being given by the judges. NO PROPS allowed other than those worn by dancers (hats, Glasses, etc) NO Chairs, Canes, Guns, Knives, Fire effects, or any other carry-on to stage props allowed!

Cuban Open Competition & Rueda Couple of the Year!

Want to compete, but not in the main competition?
We have two more competitions running alongside the Championship – An Open Cuban Competition and a Couple’s Competition. Read below for more information.

Cuban Open Competition

Now is your opportunity to showcase your talents as a team for a fun competition on the opening night of The Australian Rueda de Casino Championship and Cuban Dance Festival.
Are you passionate about Salsa, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, Son, Rumba, Reggaeton, Timba, Ladies/Men’s Styling, or Afro Cuban?
Then form a team with your dancing friends and join this fun, exciting event. Your team can compete in any of these dance styles in an open competition on the night of Friday 14th October. You’ll become an integral part of the festival and enjoy a full weekend of parties and workshops from the 14th – 16th of October 2022.
You need a team of six or more dancers to perform any Cuban dance EXCEPT Rueda. Your music must be Cuban. There is a trophy for the winning team as assessed by our judging panel which consists of professional dancers of all styles and nationalities.
Don’t miss this fabulous opportunity to immerse yourself in the stimulating and dynamic Cuban dance world.

Cuban Open Competition Requirements
Teams of 6 or more dancers
Perform any style of Cuban dance (EXCEPT Rueda de Casino).
Your music must be Cuban and a maximum of 3.00 minutes in length.
The competition will be a single choreography round only (no freestyle round).
This is an open competition to all dancers regardless of experience level – professional or amateur
All competitors must purchase competitor passes for the event.

Rueda Couple of the Year
Are you Australia’s hottest Rueda dancer? Join us in this fun competition – a giant Rueda with an elimination round leaving us with the last best couple standing. Winners of this competition will win a free pass to the 2023 Australian Cuban Dance Festival.
Pick your partner and start practicing and perfecting the moves. When you go into the competition together you pretty much leave together.
The main objective is to ensure that none lose the movement and be the last standing. If you lose the movement and the judges catch you, you and your original partner are out. The winner of this competition is the couple that remains standing in the end.

How to enter:

  1. Make sure you have a ticket for the weekend and competition.
  2. Join the giant Rueda
  3. Listen to the call, and give us your best interpretation of the moves
  4. Make sure you don’t miss any calls otherwise you’ll need to step out of the Rueda.
  5. The last two dancers standing will be crowned winners!
  6. The entry fee to this competition is $50 per dancer (this is an addition to your full weekend pass).
    Please note: For this competition, you must choose your own partner since you will be judged as a couple of Rueda de Casino.