What is Fair Level Certification?
Fair Level Certification is an opt-in program offered by CDA to member colleges to assist in ensuring fair levels of competition at intercollegiate dancesport competitions.
Fair Level is based on the philosophy that space should be kept for new and less experienced dancers to be successful at entry levels of competition.
Fair Level Certification consists of tracking competition results, calculating proficiency levels (similar to the Youth College Network, or YCN proficiency point system), and ensuring that all dancers are competing at or above their appropriate proficiency level.
How it works
CDA reviews the registration data from participating competitions against past competition records. For each dancer, their Proficiency Level is compared to their registration data to make sure their entries are not below their Proficiency Level.
CDA also reviews competition results after the fact to double-check that late adds were at or above the appropriate Proficiency Level for each dancer.
Proficiency Levels and Proficiency Points
Proficiency is based on a system similar to the YCN. Each dancer accumulates Proficiency Points for large events won at past competitions. Each dancer’s Proficiency Level, per dance, is the lowest level at which they have fewer than 7 points (with the exceptions noted below). Although each dancer accumulates points as an individual, regardless of role as lead or follow, a couple’s Proficiency Level is the higher of the two individuals’ Proficiency Levels (with one exception noted below).
Levels of competition
CDA recognizes seven levels of competition. In increasing order, they are: Newcomer, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Novice, Pre-Champ, and Champ.
Any couple is always eligible to compete at the Championship level regardless of proficiency points at that level.
How Proficiency Points are awarded
Proficiency Points are awarded for events that have at least two rounds of competition (i.e. a semi-final or more), as shown in the table.
|Points awarded based on the numbers of rounds danced
for the (Level Danced // Next Lower Level // All Levels Below That)
|Your place||Final Only||Semi-Final||Quarter Final or More|
|1st||0||(3 // 6 // 7)||(3 // 6 // 7)|
|2nd||0||(2 // 4 // 7)||(2 // 4 // 7)|
|3rd||0||(1 // 2 // 7)||(1 // 2 // 7)|
|4th||0||(0 // 0 // 7)||(1 // 2 // 7)|
|5th||0||(0 // 0 // 7)||(1 // 2 // 7)|
|6th||0||(0 // 0 // 7)||(1 // 2 // 7)|
Syllabus events are awarded points for the same dance at lower levels, as shown; open level events are awarded points for all dances in the lower syllabus levels within the same style.
For logistical reasons, CDA only tracks points from competitions participating in the CDA Competition Circuit.
What is your Proficiency Level?
A dancer’s Proficiency Level for a given dance, again, is the lowest level at which they have fewer than 7 proficiency points, with the following exceptions.
Within-Style Proficiency: A person’s Proficiency Level for a syllabus level dance is never less than two levels lower than any other dance within the same style.
Cross-Style Proficiency: A person’s Proficiency Level for a dance is never less than two levels lower than the same dance in another style; a person’s Proficiency Level is also never less than two levels lower than their open level proficiency (if any) in another style with similar dances, and never less than four levels lower than their open level proficiency (if any) in any other style.
Split-Level Exception: A couple’s Proficiency Level is the greater of the individuals’ Proficiency Levels; however, if their levels differ by two or more levels, they are allowed to dance one level lower than the greater of their individual Proficiency Levels.
Alternative format multi-dance events
For competitions where Pre-Novice is offered, it is treated like Gold for the purpose of registration level checking, but no points are awarded.
For competitions where only two open level events are held (e.g. “Advanced” and “Open”), they are treated like Pre-Champ and Champ for the purpose of level checking, but treated like Novice and Pre-Champ for the purpose of awarding points.
At competitions holding multiple events at a given open level (e.g. Novice Standard W/F/Q and Novice Standard T/V), proficiency points are awarded only for the event with the greater number of dances; or, if the number of dances is the same (e.g. Novice Smooth W/T and Novice Smooth F/V), points are awarded only for the event containing Waltz or Cha Cha. Eligibility for such events is still determined, for all such events, according to the above guidelines.
Multi-dance syllabus events are awarded points for each of the dances contained based on the overall placement (i.e. not the placement in individual dances).
- Awarding of Points: Each dancer in a couple placing 2nd in Gold Smooth Tango after recalls from a semi-final round earns 2 points in Gold Tango, 4 points in Silver Smooth Tango, and 7 points in Bronze and Newcomer Smooth Tango.
- Within-style Proficiency: A dancer who is Gold level for Samba is automatically at least Bronze level for Paso Doble, Jive, and Latin Rumba and Cha cha.
- Within-style Proficiency: A dancer who has pointed out of Gold for Standard Waltz (i.e. accumulated 7 or more points in Gold Standard Waltz) is automatically at least Silver level for the other Standard dances.
- Cross-style Proficiency: A Champ level Latin dancer is automatically at least a Novice level Rhythm dancer, and automatically at least Silver level for all Smooth and Standard dances.
- Split-level Exception: A Gold level dancer may compete at the Silver level if their partner is eligible to compete at the Bronze level; or a Championship level dancer may compete at the Pre-champ level if their partner is eligible to compete at the Novice level.
What if a couple dances below their Proficiency Level?
At the discretion of the competition registrar, couples that register below their Proficiency Level may be automatically raised to their correct level, or the dances in question may not be added.
Couples that end up inadvertently competing in events below their Proficiency Level (e.g. by mistakenly adding events below their Proficiency Level) will not accumulate points toward CDA Competition Circuit rankings for the events in question; the dancer(s) involved will also not accumulate points toward CDA circuit rankings for higher level events (even if at the correct Proficiency Level). Couples competing in open level events beneath their Proficiency Level will not be included in the that competition’s open results for ranking calculations, and will be lose a number of “Places Claimed” (used in breaking ties in the open ranking; see the CDA Ranking Guide for details) equal to their average number of Proficiency Points at the lowest level they entered.
Couples who have been registered for higher level events may, of course, drop those events (e.g. by using a Drop form on the day of the event). Similarly, couples that have not been added to events below their proficiency level may add events at a higher level (e.g. by using an Add form on the day of the event).
If you believe your Proficiency Level has been incorrectly assessed, you are entitled to appeal. Please address any concerns to CDA as directed on the CDA website, including questions regarding changes to entry levels; questions regarding penalties; concerns of incorrect Proficiency Point data or Proficiency Level assessments; concerns about names of other people similar or identical to your own.