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Bachata Jack & Jill Competition

Rules & Guidelines


Jack and Jill is a format of competition in partner dancing, where the competing couples are the result of random matching of Leaders and Followers. How partners are matched may vary based on organizers, but matching must be random and stated beforehand. While a Jack and Jill is essentially a competitive social dancing format. This does not mean that competitions are exactly like social dancing. You need to also be aware of things like presenting to the audience, in addition to the technique, timing, and connection that are staples of social dancing. Jack and Jill competitions are also a mix of luck and skill. Skill is how well you execute and fulfil the competition criteria. Luck is who you draw as your partner, when the judges are watching you vs. someone else, and what songs you dance to. However, as a social dancer matures and becomes more proficient, the luck element is reduced as they become more versatile with various partners and types of music.


Six criteria are used to judge you in competitions from intermediate and above whilst only three criteria will be used in novice. This is described on our Judging Criteria page. You should review this page prior to competing.


Although clothing and shoes are not specifically part of the judging criteria, a judge may deduct points from the presentation component if you are dressed inappropriately. This is similar to the Costume or Presentation element of a routine division. 

While you should not wear a costume for Jack and Jill, dancing is an aesthetic sport, and here are some things that are important for appearance: 


Shoes are required for all divisions. Not wearing shoes results in a disqualification. 

While some dancers do social dance or teach in socks or bare feet, it is not accepted for competitions. Footundeez and socks are not shoes. This is both for an appearance reason (showing your intention and professionalism as a JnJ competitor), and hygiene/safety. 

Followers are not required to wear high heels encouraged to wear high heels.  No penalties or bonuses are awarded based on wearing low or high heels. Leaders are required to wear , as we prefer leads to be more grounded and ready to stabilise the follower in complicated movements (which heels can make more difficult). 


Your competition clothing should be able to catch a judge’s attention, provide you with freedom of movement, and be something you feel confident in. You should also try to wear something that allows judges to see your lines and technique. However, there are some rules and guidelines regarding what is considered appropriate clothing for competitions. 

Clothing is expected to cover private areas (butt, groin, and breasts) at all times. 

Men must wear Tops,shirts,Tee shirts etc .Topless are not recommended. Judges are allowed to lower the Presentation score if you are dressed inappropriately , but it will not disqualify you. 

Competitors are encouraged to “dress up” (for example, classic or trendy jeans/pants/shorts, skirts with booty shorts, dresses or tops that securely cover the chest for women). We suggest that you not wear bodysuits or other gym wear, cargo shorts, sweatpants, etc. While bodysuits are a popular clothing choice in some areas and can be very intricate or sexy, they are still considered gym wear. Please note that this is a guideline – not a rule; you will not be judged on this. We want competitions to reflect professionalism – which is what this guideline is aimed to achieve. Props are not allowed in any division and shoes are compulsory.


Dips (where at least one foot of each partner is on the floor) are permitted. Lifts (when both feet of one partner leave the floor and the partner’s weight is supported) are not permitted in any division, and result in an immediate disqualification (heats) or last place (finals).


Jack and Jill competitions, you may see the following divisions: • 

  • Novice

  • Intermediate 

  • Advanced

  • Invitational (by invitation of event organiser) 

As a competitor, you can gain points and level up through Novice, Intermediate and Advanced Jack and Jill competitions. Non-registered competitions or competitions that do not follow our event rules will not give you points in the database. You can earn points and progress through, Novice, Intermediate and Advanced in the following manner:


Novice : Every starts in Novice.  Maximum points allowed 25 Novice points before being required  to move to Intermediate.

Intermediate : Minimum - 20  Novice points.   Maximum - 30 Intermediate Points
Advanced : Minimum 25 Intermediate Points.  Maximum - 40 Advanced Points

Division Requirements :
Minimum(When you can Compete in Division)
Maximum(When you must leave division)



You are permitted to compete as a lead or follow, regardless of your gender or sex. You are also allowed to change which role you do at different competitions. However, you may only enter one BDC levelled competition per event. For example, you cannot enter as both a lead and follow in Novice.


Tiers and Getting Points Tiers are how BDC determines how many points the finalists should get in a competition. It is designed to reflect the difficulty level based on the size of the competition. For example, it is more difficult to get 1st in a competition with 40 couples than with 10 couples. Tiers are calculated by role – not by couple. For example, a competition with 15 leads and 20 follows would be a Tier 1 competition for leads and Tier 2 for follows.


Dancer would be required to Dance on Bachata Music Genres based on Division

Novice: Modern Bachata 

Intermediate and above: Modern + Traditional 


Tiers determines how many points the finalists should get in a competition. It is designed to reflect the difficulty level based on the size of the competition. For example, it is more difficult to get 1st in a competition with 40 couples than with 10 couples. Tiers are calculated by role – not by couple. For example, a competition with 15 leads and 20 follows would be a Tier 1 competition for leads and Tier 2 for follows.

# of Competitors
Additional Points
5 - 15

No points are ever awarded for non-final rounds. Scratched (no-show) competitors are not counted towards the total number of competitors. For example, a competition with 16 registered followers where only 15 attend preliminaries would still be a Tier 1 competition.


In some cases, a competition final may have an imbalance between leads and follows. In these cases, some dancers will be required to dance twice.Placement will be based on dancers First dance only. 

Minimum Number of Couples Competitions are required to have a minimum of 5 couples prior to being recorded by BDC as an official competition. 


If there are more than 15 competitors in either role, there must be at least a preliminary round. BDC recommends (but does not require) the following:

• Tier 1: Straight to final, or optional preliminary round (if spotlight final, prelim if more than 10 couples) 

• Tier 2: Must have prelim; semi-final optional 

• Tier 3: Must have prelim; semi-final strongly recommended


BDC only permits judges to judge their significant other or immediate family member when there are no other qualified judges to take their place. While most judges attempt to remain impartial regardless of who is competing, we do this to ensure that competitions are as fair as possible. However, if there are no other available qualified judges, from time to time a judge may be responsible for judging their family member or significant other.


If you have looked at scores, you may sometimes see a very large range of scores. One judge may have placed a couple first, and one may place that same couple 10th. This is especially common in heated divisions. Often, really big ranges indicate that a competition was very close. Since relative placement doesn’t use raw scores, the difference between 1st and 10th can be very big or very small. For example, in some cases, it may be less than 2 raw score points of difference! So, extreme consistency often means that a competition’s result was very clear, and there was a wider gap between that placement and others. In non-spotlight divisions (where more than one couple dance at a time), it can also be the result of when the judges saw particular people. So, if a judge sees only part of your dance, whether you are 1st or 10th could depend on what part of that dance they saw.


Some judges are willing to give feedback. Some can’t remember, and others sell their feedback as part of  private lessons. You can also hire a pro to watch your competition (live or video) to give you feedback on it. This is between you and the judge or pro. Generally, judges will not provide feedback until the results of a competition are announced. It is rare that there are many notes on judging sheets because of the speed judges need to make decisions – and the fact that taking notes means they can’t watch the competition properly.


While competitions generally reward dancers who have strong technique, not making finals or not placing should not be seen as a measure of your social dance value or potential. It does mean that based on the criteria, your dancing was not as strong as other competitors while the judges were watching you. Further, making finals or placing in one competition is not a reflection that you have nothing left to learn. It is entirely possible to come 1st in one competition, and then to not make finals in a different one. It can be useful to use the videos and any feedback to target your training to address deficiencies that prevented you from having better competition results. Even if you did well, you can still get this feedback to help you continue to do well in the future. 


You should make sure you are adequately warmed up through stretching and movement before a competition. We strongly advise not dancing cold. Feel free to stretch, jump, or otherwise get your blood moving while you are waiting in line. You should also think about eating something light, using the washroom, and getting a water bottle before you line up. Bring a sweater to keep warm in case you are standing or sitting for a while. Props are not allowed in any division and shoes are compulsory

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