Details – 2022 Event

The Summary – 2022 Event

Please see the front page for information about the 2023 event, to be held March 17th – 19th in St. Louis, MO.

Dates and Location

  • April 2nd and 3rd, 2022, Pittsburgh, PA
  • The event is at the Wyndham Grand Downtown Pittsburgh
  • USA Dance National Ballroom DanceSport Championships starts on the 1st, even though the college events are on the 2nd and 3rd. Feel free to come in early for the workshops, spectating the awesome night show, and for the social dance!
  • Registration is open at Early registration closes March 1st, and registration closes completely on the 17th. After the 17th, entries are extremely limited – we can only accept entries past the 17th if they don’t add a heat. Contact us at to do so!
  • A preliminary schedule can be found at A list of entries can be found at

College Prices

You Get

  • All the perks mentioned below and on the home page
  • 1 Level of Collegiate and the same level of Amateur Adult (ex: Silver-College and Silver-Adult). No qualifications necessary – compete both collegiate and adult right out the gate. You can dance an additional level of collegiate and an additional level of adult (for 4 total levels!) for an additional fee per dance.
  • Got two partners of different proficiency levels? No problem! Amateur Adult should be thought of as more difficult than Collegiate. Think the difference between Beginning Bronze and Advanced Bronze.  Instead of doing bronze-silver, you get to do college-bronze and adult-bronze (or college-silver/adult-silver, if you’re feeling adventurous!
  • Dancing with an Alumni? Also no problem! They will pay the alumni rates and you will pay the college rates. A college-alumni pair is eligible for the adult categories, and the college student may opt to dance their college events with a different partner.

Want More?

  • If having two levels isn’t enough, you are eligible to enter up to 2 full levels of amateur and 2 full levels of collegiate. Additional events beyond those granted by the college pass will be $10/dance/person.  You won’t leave without your fill of dancing!
  • Don’t forget to form teams for the team matches and win some money for your team!
  • Leave some space in your brain for learning from national-level and world-level talent during our workshops and/or Q&As held throughout the weekend!

Important Notes

When you register in O2CM, it will (at first) charge you like a normal adult. Never fear! Give the registrar 48 hours to clear it up and adjust you to the college rate. Then, pay as normal. Also, you’ll want to submit your student ID in advance (because it saves you time the day of the event), so prepare to take a snapshot on your phone and email it to the registrar soon after you or your team registers!

About the Rules

They’re a little different this year, so check out the rules in full below.

Like Fun? Like Saving Money?

Check out our preparing to attend page for tips on how to optimize your trip and make it unforgettable


The FAQ at the bottom is your friend! Otherwise, we’re always happy to help at

The Nitty Gritty (Rules & Regulations, etc.)

Big picture: We’re standardizing everything between adult and collegiate so you don’t have to worry about two rule sets. This should require almost no adjustment for most of you.

College Student Definition

A college student is defined as someone actively seeking a degree or graduated within the last 6 months. As in the past, this is verified by student ID.

 Registration Costs + Membership

We worked hard this year to ensure you could get your normal amount of dancing in and hold to the typical NCDC prices – historically $65 for non-members with a discount for members.   

Membership will be part of the collegiate entry package and is available at the normal price for NCDC thanks in part to an anonymous donor. Thanks, Mr. or Ms. Or Mrs. Anonymous! To take advantage, just sign up as a Student Athlete member of USA Dance at the membership page ($25). We set the entry price to work out to be the same for those that already had membership to keep things fair ($40).

To be clear, you must be a current member of USA Dance in order to register for the competition. The collegiate package provides you with 1 level of collegiate categories and the same level of adult categories. You do not need to ‘qualify’ to participate in the adult categories, so you can and should dance both adult and collegiate. This is the same amount of dancing as if we just gave you two collegiate levels, but we wanted to give you the opportunity to compete for both the amateur and collegiate titles – at no extra cost! As we noted above, we also have the option this year to offer additional dancing to those who want even more dancing than normal. You can dance an additional level of collegiate and/or an additional level of adult. We’re thrilled to offer this opportunity at the pricing available to all others – $10/dance/person.


Registration is open at Early registration closes March 1st, and registration closes completely on the 17th. After the 17th, entries are extremely limited – we can only accept entries past the 17th if they don’t add a heat.

Event Types

  • The Collegiate package comes with entries for Am/Am only. If you’d like to enter in pro/am or other categories (ex: Under-21), you’ll have to refer to the nationals website for more details.
  • You will receive entries in one level of choice in both the collegiate categories and adult categories. No need to ‘qualify’ to participate for either the adult categories or the college categories.
    • Got two partners of different proficiency levels? No problem! Amateur Adult should be thought of as more difficult than Collegiate. Think the difference between Beginning Bronze and Advanced Bronze.  Instead of doing bronze-silver, you get to do college-bronze and adult-bronze (or college-silver/adult-silver, if you’re feeling adventurous!)
  • The levels available on the collegiate package are Bronze, Silver, Gold, Pre-Champ, and Champ
    • Newcomer is not available at Nationals – those who would normally enter newcomer should enter at the Bronze-Collegiate categories (see above).
    • You may enter up to 2 consecutive levels per style, though the 2nd level will be at an additional cost. Remember, you are already receiving two rounds, so this is really the option to dance up to twice as much as you would at a normal competition.
    • Novice is available as an adult category, for those looking for extra open dancing.


Check out the entries list at the below table! At each level there are multi-dances, with the remaining dances as single dances.


To make your lives easy, we’re adopting the less-restrictive Adult rules. You can get the fully skinny in the rulebook, but the big ones are:

First, Rhinestones are allowed. Get fabulous!

Second, there are ‘decency rules’ you’d hopefully follow anyways:

For people-wearing-dresses-or-skirts: full coverage of ‘private areas’ is required. Bare minimum: it’s opaque, not skin colored, and covers as much as full-briefs and a normal bra. Can’t be just a literal bra or a literal two piece. If it is smooth/standard and it covers your knees, you’re probably fine, but your leg slits have to be just leg slits, not leg-and-hip-slits. If you’re unsure, go check the full breakdown to figure out if it’s going to work.

For people-wearing-pants: full coverage of ‘private areas’ rules apply to you too. This includes the ‘breast area’. For those rocking the ‘shirt with an open V’ look, fabric tape will be your friend. Standard requires a white shirt (which also looks dashing in Latin/Rhythm). Ties are required in smooth/standard.

Concerns or questions? Got a costume you want reviewed? Just e-mail the rules officials in advance at . You can even send them pictures and have them give you a thumbs up or thumbs down. They’ll be the ones enforcing the rules at the event, so there is no higher authority on what will pass muster.


Syllabus is enforced in all styles. Hooray for fair play! If you need a refresher, you can check out what is allowed or not in the rulebook.

Re: American Syllabus. As in the past, the American syllabus remains fairly permissive. In future years, expect us to require the DVIDA syllabus as we try to standardize these categories for World Championships and potential inclusion at other major events (ex: The World Games).


We’ll put out a tentative schedule soon. When we do, we’ll announce it from the tallest mountains.  For now, you can expect you’ll be dancing Saturday and Sunday, and it’ll be one style of American and one style of International each day. The American team match will be Saturday night, and the International team match on the end of Sunday before we send you home. Open dancers should prepare to dance in the evening, but preliminary rounds might happen late afternoon. Beyond that, stay tuned for more info!

The Team Match

The team match goes back to its usual riotous format.  There will be two team matches, an International Team Match and an American Team Match. There are several wrinkles which are unique to NCDC. These are here to achieve our goal of maximizing inclusion, providing parity, and testing each college’s ability to train the future generations of dancers. Please read the rules in full.

  •  The American Team Match will be Foxtrot, Tango, Rumba, and Mambo. The International Team Match will be Waltz, Quickstep, Samba, and Jive.
  • There are no limitations on the number of entries from a given college. Yes, you read that correctly. We want people to dance, to be proud to represent their team, and to have the opportunity at the end of the year to dance in the night show.
  • Competitors may enter in both team matches. See above. You’re here to dance!
  • Two dances in each team match are restricted to bronze dancers only. In the American Style, this will be the Foxtrot and Rumba. In the International Team Match, this will be the Waltz and the Samba. The best teams in a style must be able to demonstrate not only their ceiling, but their ability to train future generations of dancers.
  •  For purposes of determining syllabus, the team matches are considered open. Bronze dancers are welcome to go crazy and cut loose. Lifts are not allowed at any level.
  • Team match scholarship will be rewarded broadly, rather than to the top team. Make the top 12? You’re in the money. We want as many colleges as possible to win scholarships, you all deserve it!

Team Rankings

You bet we’re doing team rankings again! The rules are the same as years past – we provide two rankings: by total points, like traditional competitions, and ‘points per dancer’.  This was our compromise between the big vs small question. To be considered a team, you must bring at least 8 people to the event.  As is tradition, we’ll include the results in our historical results on this website, so your team can prove its well-earned national ranking! P.S. – ask your school for more money for your team because you’re nationally ranked. It works!

Seminars/Private Lessons

Why not learn and play at the same time? Workshops will be available for FREE to college students throughout the day, just like NCDCs past. We’re still sorting out some of the details, but the plan is they’ll be available at times you’re not normally dancing and be taught by national-level and world-level instruction. If our memory serves us well, we’ve had at least two world finalists teaching each of the last few years, so get excited for the kind of teaching we’ve got on tap for you.

Check back for more details soon!

For Everything Else

The FAQ below is your friend. In the unlikely event we missed something, you can reach out at The official USA Dance National Ballroom DanceSport Championships website might also have what you are looking for, as it is designed for all competitors rather than the details specific to college students.


Why April? Why Pittsburgh?

The USA Dance National Collegiate DanceSport Championships are intended to be a capstone for the academic year. Placing our event to anchor your year seemed a fitting way to go out with a bang.

Pittsburgh works well for a National Collegiate Championship as it vastly expands the number of teams that can attend by driving.  It has an excellent airport for those who are flying in, and remains in the Midwest to make it a little easier for our friends flying from Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Los Angeles, etc. Lastly, it’s a great city, so if you get extra time to be a tourist, you’ll have a blast!

Why did you decide to combine with the USA Dance National Championships?

Truthfully, we had been looking at trying to combine the two events since before the 2020 event.  As you can see from our Welcome Letter, there are a lot of attractive benefits combining the events offers students and non-students alike.  The trick was finding the right combination of logistics to make it happen.  We’re really excited to have this opportunity, and we’re looking forward to over-delivering for you once again.

Do I have to be a member of USA Dance to participate?

If you aren’t a member of USA Dance yet, never fear! We structured our event prices this year so that your total price ‘all-in’ remains the same as years past.  However, this year we will be requiring valid membership in order to compete. For those of you who are already members, you get an extra $15 discount compared to previous years. Congratulations!

Do I have to ‘qualify’ to participate in any categories?

No. Historically to compete in non-collegiate categories at USA Dance Nationals there has been a need to qualify. This year, there is not. You can and should take advantage of being offered adult and collegiate categories and dance in both.

Is there cool swag this year?

Of course!  Our queen of swag has had a full extra year to think about what she’d like to get you.  Get excited!

This particular water bottle has made its way to ten national parks!

Our team would love to attend but our team has some financial difficulties.  Do you have any advice or help available?

As the Minnesotans say – “Oh ya, you betcha”!  First, check out the details on our “Preparing to Attend” page to see if they help you.  If you’re a team and you’re still having trouble or have a unique situation, reach out to us at We’re happy to help you think through your planning, but more importantly we are happy to reach out to our network of donors to see if any are interested in supporting your team. We’ve successfully helped teams through the process of preparing pitches for donors and gotten them funding each of the last few years!

I’ve got two partners. How should I enter given we only get to dance in one level?

Got two partners of different proficiency levels? No problem! Amateur Adult should be thought of as more difficult than Collegiate. Think the difference between Beginning Bronze and Advanced Bronze.  Instead of doing bronze-silver, you get to do college-bronze and adult-bronze (or college-silver/adult-silver, if you’re feeling adventurous!)

In the past you haven’t had the time for a welcome dance the night before. Were you able to make it work this year?

YES! There will be a social dance AND a night show Friday. Competitors get access to the social dance for free. So come in early on Friday and come be part of the fun!

I’m concerned about <insert rule here> being different from years past now that the event is combined with Amateur Nationals. How can I be sure I follow the rules?

USA Dance has a team of DRO (DanceSport Rule Officials) that respond to e-mails year-round. They can answer any question you have about the rules and help you figure out what to do with a gentle bedside manner. They can be found at

Alternatively, we LOVE talking to everyone, so you can also e-mail us at and we’ll help you out!

Further Questions:

If there’s something we missed, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have!

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