Beginner or new competitor. Should have no points other than in Newcomer. Any first place placement in Newcomer mandates moving on to Novice.


No points necessary. May not have points in Intermediate or higher. Two Novice first place placements plus 15 Novice points mandates moving on to Intermediate.


Must have earned at least 15 Novice points or must have official petition approved. May not have points in Advanced or higher. Three Intermediate first place placements plus 30 Intermediate points mandates moving on to Advanced.


Must have earned at least 30 Intermediate points or must have official petition approved. If competitor has All-Star points and the event has an All-Star division they must compete in All-Star or higher. Otherwise, if there is no All-Star division, the All-Star competitor may or may not compete in the Advanced division as determined by each event.


Must have earned at least 45 Advanced points or must have official petition approved. At least one win in the Advanced division at a Major Event is highly recommended (in addition to the 45 Advanced points).

Champions/Pro Invitational

As defined by the event. Any competitor with any points in this division will not be allowed to dance in Intermediate or below level, however they may be able to compete in other events’ Advanced or All-Star divisions as determined by each event.

Points are awarded for Jack and Jill results for current HDT Member events only. Only current HDT Member events are allowed to advertise their membership and promote the earning of registry points.

Follow this link for the Hustle Dance Tour Registry.

Each event can decide if they allow either gender to play either role. Nevertheless, we encourage any gender to be able to enter a comp as a Lead or Follow. Points earned will apply for the specific role that they achieved the placement in question. Points cannot be combined across lead and follow, they will be separately tracked and applied. For example, one person may actually have adequate points to be an Intermediate Follow, but a Novice lead. If one person is in the same division as a lead and follow, they must choose only one role to play in that level at any particular event, they should not be allowed to enter as both a lead and follow in the same division. It is up to the Event if they allow one individual to enter as a lead in one division and as a follow in another division, as long as they meet the requirements for each division.

Points are awarded as follows: The points will be awarded based on the # of competitors in the specific role (lead or follow). So, if there are more follows, it’s likely that the follow placements will earn more points than the leads. In other words, it is possible for the same competition to be considered a Tier 1 for the Leads and a Tier 2 for the Follows, etc. The minimum number of couples to make a contest eligible for registry points is five.

Tier/ # of Competitors (in each role)



2nd Place

3rd Place

4th Place

5th Place


Tier 1 = 5 – 8







Tier 2 = 9 – 15







Tier 3 = 16 +






6 -10th 1 pt

Tier 1: 5 to 8 Competitors (Could be run as a finals only).

Tier 2: 9 to 15 Competitors (Could be run as a finals only, or semi-final/final)

Tier 3: 16+ Competitors (Should be 2 rounds: semi-final/final, or 3 rounds: Prelim/Semi/Final)

If a competitor places twice in a division (in the event of uneven lead/follow finalists), that competitor will only earn points for the higher placement.

For events that combine divisions (i.e., Novice/Intermediate), points will be tracked for all contestants in the lower of the two divisions.

If there is an “All-American,” other multi-level J&J, or an alternatively-labeled competition, registry points will not be awarded unless previously approved on a case-by-case basis by the HDT committee prior to the event.

The event director is responsible to report the results of Jack and Jill competitions to the HDT within 7 days after the completion of the competition. However, any events in December must report the results of the Jack and Jill competitions to the HDT within 48 hours of the completion of the competition. They must report this information using the official printed HDT forms either scanned or mailed, or online (when available). All relevant information must be completed including, but not limited to, how many total contestants were in each division and role, each entrants name and information, placements, finalists, etc. Event directors are also responsible for informing contestants of the point structure. Points are not entered into the registry until the event director submits the full reports and pays the fee.


For 2014, the HDT launch year, highly-trained and experienced dancers may be able to start at an Intermediate or Advanced level if they have received approval by a Hustle professional dance instructor that is very familiar with their ability and skills. Use the General Skill Level Description below to help decide the appropriate level. For 2015 and beyond all new competitors in the Hustle Dance Tournament start in either the Newcomer or Novice Level and must earn points to graduate to the next level. Or, experienced dancers may ask an official HDT Member Instructor to complete one of two petitions on their behalf—either the One-time Event Specific Petition or the Permanent Petition.


As a guide, the following patterns and technique are characteristic MINIMUMS of each level. They are not strict rules, nor are they limiting criteria. A Newcomer and Novice can include Intermediate/Advanced characteristics in their dance, etc.

Newcomer: Any new competitor may start here, but experienced and skilled dancers should start in Novice.

Novice: Any new competitor may start here.


  • Syncopated Wrap
  • Syncopated Vegas
  • Double right turns such as Spanish Turns and Barrel Rolls
  • Simple traveling moves such as Continuous Grapevine and Diva Walks
  • Wrap variations
  • Balanced turns and spins at least 75% of the time
  • Free spins
  • Smooth transitions and smart amalgamations
  • Momentum control–no push pull
  • Perfect 3-count Hustle timing
  • All Core patterns or Full Bronze of a widely-accepted syllabus (IHDA, May I Have This Dance, DanceVision, etc)
  • Common acceptance from many currently classified Intermediate dancers


  • All from Intermediate
  • Several traveling patterns
  • Extended rhythm patterns
  • Extended turn patterns
  • Syncopated footwork
  • Ronde and similar embellishments
  • Playful patterns such as Circling Wrap Diva Walks, Arm Bar
  • Polished posture, poise, carriage, and styling (look like a pro)
  • Efficient, effective, and refined frame and connection. (feel like a pro)
  • Common acceptance from many currently classified Advanced dancers.

All-Star (We will not offer an All-Star division until a larger community of highly skilled hustle dancers has developed):

  • All from Advanced
  • Acceleration/deceleration
  • Timing variations amalgamated smoothly with standard timing
  • Musicality (hitting breaks, accents, expressing to different rhythms, melody, and instrumentation)
  • Dynamic movement using height, width, length, rotation
  • Continuous turns
  • Blind moves
  • Open visual partnering
  • Seamless integration of influences of other dances intertwined with a majority Hustle. (Salsa/Latin, WCS, Ballroom, etc)
  • Poses
  • Tricks


  • Three-count patterns (or multiples of 3). Timing of &123, &123&456, or 12&3, 12&345&6, must be done the majority of the time.
  • Should include several Hustle patterns from popular syllabi such as IHDA, DanceVision, or May I Have This Dance. Every dance should include patterns such as: Cross Body Lead, Throwout- Return, Shadow Cross Body Lead Turn, NY Walks, etc.
  • No “Push-Pull” connection
  • For &123 timing, the most distinct lead is usually on the “a2” as the lead gives the follow direction and rotation. For 12&3 timing, it’s on the “a1.”
  • The “&” step should not be a catch of momentum but should be more of a controlled punctuation.


  • Arm-styling should trend towards contemporary styling and reflect the social dance nature of J&J. The dramatic and performance arm styling in classic hustle for leads and follows is not a necessary element, although a dancer may choose to use classic arm styling. In any event, arm and hand movement should be connected to, and an outflow of, body movement. It should come across as natural as opposed to “placed.” Variance and different stylings should be encouraged according to whatever feels natural and is appealing to the dancers and audience. This can be feminine, macho, sultry, elegant, gritty, etc.
  • Syncopations, extended rhythms, and pattern variations are desirable as long as they are successful within the partnership and done for musical expression.
  • Musicality is highly encouraged. Matching your Hustle dancing to the various rhythms, accents, breaks, melody, lyrics, and mood of the song is magical.
  • Add dynamic movement to enhance your patterns including level changes, width, length, rotation, and progression.
  • As long as the dance uses Hustle as its basis, step patterns, styling and variations that incorporate other dances are allowed.
  • While keeping the Absolute Characteristics and integrity of the dance, a highly-skilled Hustle dancer will be able to make the dance look different to different music such as disco, R&B, ballad, rap, jazz, latin, etc.
  • Music, styles, and preferences evolve. We encourage Hustle to evolve and stay relevant and appealing to all generations. Nevertheless, there should be recognizable and logical evolution from past to present hustle styles instead of a wholesale change which may result in a totally different dance that loses most of the foundation of hustle. The best Hustle dancers, and Hustle instructors, will understand and be able to dance many iterations of Hustle, from the classic 70’s style to whatever is most current, and all in between.


There is no specific mandatory syllabus, but we encourage the use of industry standard syllabi such as IHDA (International Hustle Dance Association), Dance Vision, or May I Have This Dance.


All Divisions

Should be mostly CONTEMPORARY. “Swustle” music is encouraged. Songs that would be considered excellent for contemporary West Coast Swing and still have the characteristic for Hustle should be played whenever possible. Classic music should only be played if each heat is allowed 3 songs and only a maximum of 1 of the 3 should be a classic song. Classic is defined as from the 1970’s or 80’s.

Newcomer or Novice: Explicit steady beat. Between 100-112 bpm


Explicit or strongly-implicit steady beat.

Musically interesting to listen and dance to via rhythms, accents, and mood. Between 100-118 bpm

At least one slow and one fast.


Explicit or implicit steady beat.

Musically interesting to listen and dance to via rhythms, accents, mood, breaks, and melody. Between 90 – 122 bpm

At least one slow and one fast.


Explicit or implicit steady beat. Highly-recognizable songs can have some phrases of suspended beats or rhythm changes.

Musically interesting to listen and dance to via rhythms, accents, mood, breaks, and melody. Between 90 (or slower!) – 125 bpm

At least one slow and one fast.


In order of importance, judges will score dancers based on:

  1. Timing
  2. Technique
  3. Teamwork
  4. Content
  5. Entertainment

Overall judges are looking for impressive hustle dancing by the couple as a partnership, each individual, and how they express the music.

Other items to keep in mind:

  • Jack and Jill competitions should be 100% social lead/follow. No routines, or pre-choreographed movements should be allowed. The dance should be a spontaneous creation and conversation between the lead and follow.
  • No lifts or aerials allowed. Each dancer just have at least one foot on the floor at all times with the exception of an unassisted jump, skip, or hop. Event directors may make an exception by allowing safer lifts for the All-Star/Pro levels only.
  • No costumes. Otherwise dress code is up to the event director.
  • There are no limits to what hustle patterns you can do at any particular level. However, fundamentals done well, with style, great connection, partnership, and musicality will usually trump the fanciest patterns done less well and/or without musicality.
  • In finals, especially for higher divisions, judges must consider how couples dance to all played songs and place them accordingly. A couple that dances all songs very well should place higher than a couple that is outstanding at the first, but not so much on the second.
  • Judges should look favorably upon dancers adapting their styling to the music.


Since the tournament is a cumulative point contest, there is no specific finale event. However, we intend to announce and award the Tournament Champions at the last scheduled HDT event of the year. This is dependent on the presence and availability of adequate event staff and HDT staff, and other logistical factors. If there is any cause for delay, the tournament results will be announced at a later date through our social media and website or at another event.

The intention is to award those that received the most amount of points in a specific role regardless of their division level. So a Newcomer or a Novice may be a Tournament winner right along side an Intermediate or Advanced, etc. However, in the event of any ties, the dancer that has more points in a higher division level will win the tie. If there is still a tie, then the dancer will win that placed higher at the most recent HDT event that the tying competitors competed against each other. If there is still a tie, both dancers will end in a clear tie, share the title for that tournament year and will negotiate a split of the prizes for their placement. The prizes will vary from year to year as it’s based on the fees collected from the events and sponsorship. But at a minimum, we intent to award:


1st Place Hustle Tournament Best Leader of the Year: Trophy or Plaque, Money, Event Passes 2nd & 3rd Place: Certificate, Money, Event Passes


1st Place Hustle Tournament Best Follower of the Year: Trophy or Plaque, Money, Event Passes 2nd & 3rd Place: Certificate, Money, Event Passes

For 2014 The Tournament is just held locally, and separately in Chicago and Philadelphia areas. However, in 2015, the Tournament will be combined in to one national/international program.


Details are subject to change at any time. Each dancer releases the Hustle Dance Tour, the hosts and sponsors for any HDT event, and any of its agents or assignees from any liability and waives all claims for damage, injury, loss to person or property which may result from this event. The dancers consent to the use of photographs, videos, their names, likeness, and their competition standings by the Event Organizers and HDT for the use of any HDT or Event Organizer purpose.