Greetings from Judge Certification!

As we prepare to emerge from a year-long competition hiatus, judge certification would like to start the new dance season off with all dancers and judges on the same page. We need all Pro’s, competitors, coaches as well as judges to be aware of an especially important spatial structure/floorcraft issue regarding partner dance divisions.

We need everyone to help make each competitor’s experience a great one! Outstanding floorcraft begins with routines that are constructed to match the size of the competition dance floor. Correct spatial structure of each dance as well as attention to the natural flow of each dance is necessary for excellent floorcraft. For example, Triple Two has wide curving/banking actions whereas Polka travels on a narrow lane.

Progressive dances need to move counterclockwise around the floor. It is important to choreograph with consideration of the floor you will be competing on. If your practice space is small, make whatever accommodations necessary to be able to dance the full length of the competition floor. When you present a progressive routine that is much shorter than the competition floor, it causes floorcraft issues for many people including the judges!

If ninety degree turns perpendicular to the floor are executed anywhere except at the end of the dance floor, they may cut into traffic and may interfere with your fellow competitors. If you dance a ninety-degree turn, it should be danced at the end of the dance floor where it less likely to cut into the flow of traffic. Please go through your routines and make sure this type of turn only occurs at the end of the dance floor. Often asked: What if I dance this type of turn and I do not cause problems; may I dance it where I want? The UCWDC strongly encourages anyone who includes this type of turn in their choreography to do so at the end of the competition floor.

Each progressive dance offers different ways to move around the floor based on “signature figures”, the motion of the dance, as well as the spatial structure. Please develop skills using these options to move counterclockwise around the floor, as this will help to promote good floorcraft which is invaluable to you and your dance family who is sharing the floor with you.

Floorcraft in the non-progressive dances is also important. Cha Cha and East Coast Swing may now travel away from your starting point providing you do not interfere with another couple. It is not required that you return to your starting point, although you may. For example, “three cha cha cha’s” or extended chasses in East Coast Swing may travel in one direction. Although most figures remain close to the starting point when dancing Cha Cha and East Coast Swing, these figures should have the ability to move in one direction due to the natural flow of the dance. It is our hope that with this adjustment we offer more freedom to our dancers. Please use good and thoughtful floorcraft as to not impact other dancers.

Another point to consider when reviewing your choreography, please remember our Classic divisions are different from Showcase. The concept of our Classic divisions is based on the natural flow of movement (leadable patterns) which may highlight phrase changes. In recent years, judges and your fellow competitors have seen an increase in non-leadable figures that are more appropriate for Showcase divisions. When we merge Showcase patterns with Classic dancing, floorcraft issues will undoubtedly arise. Please review your Classic routines and be sure your choreography matches the concept of Classic dance.

Judge Certification will soon debut an updated and expanded curriculum. Stay turned for an announcement as to when this will appear on our website.

In closing, the UCWDC is known for promoting a friendly atmosphere. Good floorcraft is a gift to not only your fellow competitors, but yourself! We ask you to review your choreography; be sure it dances correctly on the competition floor.

Many thanks to the Judge Certification Curriculum Sub-Committee who has worked so hard to update Spatial Structure and Floorcraft Considerations.

Have questions? Email, text, or call Kathy. Your feedback is greatly valued and needed for us to grow as an organization! ( or 401.474.3434)

Wishing you an amazing dance season!

Kathy St. Jean

UCWDC VP Judge Certification

w:                    p: 401.474.3434                    e:                     04.02.2021