Rules of Dance Battles

So for our world it is like a dance battle we realised we needed to look into actual dance battle rules themselves before designing our game, to come up with the basic structure of how it will be played. The judge itself is the world, i.e. the person who has the biggest impact on the world structure will be the winner of the game.

Dance Battle Rules

I found quite a lot of research into dance battle’s rather than just say individual styles being judged. I did a lot of research online and through books, (Judging Dance Battles by Daniel “MaGNuM” Maliy was very helpful).

The ukstreetdancechampionships and gave the following rules;

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From a lot of research into these areas, online and through books, I found that the key elements in judging are the following; rhythm, musicality, creativity and difficulty level. Other areas that can be judged, dependent on the dance style of course, can include facial expression and costume.

I then had a look into each individual dance type and how these are judged.


Dan Radler summed this nicely on his website for the amateur looking into judging with this sport. The judge listed the following things as being key aspects when judging ballroom competitions;

`’POSTURE – One of the most important aspects. Good posture makes you look elegant and exude confidence. It improves balance and control, and allows your partner to connect well to your body in the smooth dances. One’s competition result is often directly proportional to one’s postural correctness. Hence the old adage, “Persistent practice of postural principles promises perfection.”

TIMING – If a couple is not dancing on time with the music, no amount of proficiency in any other aspect can overcome this. The music is boss. 

LINE – By this we mean the length and stretch of the body from head to toe. Attractive and well- executed lines, either curved or straight, enhance the shapes of the figures. 

HOLD – The correct and unaffected positioning of the body parts when in closed dancing position. For instance, the line of the man’s arms should be unbroken from elbow to elbow. Also, there should be symmetry of the man’s and woman’s arms coming together to form a circle, which, although changing in size, should remain constant in shape so that the dancers remain in correct body position relative to each other. The silhouette of the couple should always be pleasing. 

POISE – In smooth ballroom dancing, the stretch of the woman’s body upwards and outwards and leftwards into the man’s right arm to achieve balance and connection with his frame, as well as to project outwards to the audience. 

TOGETHERNESS – The melding of two people’s body weights into one, so that leading and following appear effortless, and the dancers are totally in synchronization with each other. 

MUSICALITY AND EXPRESSION – The basic characterization of the dance to the particular music being played and the choreographic adherence to musical phrasings and accents; also the use of light and shade to create interest value in response to these accents and phrases. For instance, in foxtrot, the stealing of time from one step to allow another to hover; or a quick speed of turn in an otherwise slow rumba; or the snap of a head to suddenly freeze and then melt into slowness in tango. 

PRESENTATION – Does the couple sell their ballroom dancing to the audience? Do they dance outwardly, with enthusiasm, exuding their joy of dancing and confidence in their performance? Or do they show strain or introversion? 

POWER – Energy is exciting to watch. I’ve noticed that, in a jive, it always seems to be the most energetic couple that wins this dance. But the energy must be controlled, not wild. For instance, powerful movement is an asset in waltz or foxtrot, but only if it is channeled into the correct swing of the body, and not just by taking big steps. The lilt of the music must be matched by the action of the body. In a waltz for instance, the dancers’ body action must clearly show the influence of the one down beat and two up beats. So the release of power into the beginning of a figure must be controlled and sustained during the rise at the end of the figure. 

FOOT AND LEG ACTION – The stroking of feet across the floor in foxtrot to achieve smoothness and softness; the deliberate lifting and placing of the feet in tango to achieve a staccato action; the correct bending and straightening of the knees in rumba to create hip motion; the extension of the ankles and the pointing of the toes of the non- supporting foot to enhance the line of a figure; the sequential use of the four joints (hip, knee, ankle, and toes) to achieve fullness of action and optimal power; the bending and straightening of knees and ankles in waltz to create rise and fall; the use of inside and outside edges of feet to create style and line all fall under this most important of categories. 

SHAPE – Shape is the combination of turn and sway to create a look or a position. For instance, in Paso Doble does the man create the visual appearance of maneuvering his cape? Does the lady simulate the billowing flow of the cape through space? In foxtrot, does the man use the appropriate shape on outside partner steps to enable body contact to be maintained? 

LEAD AND FOLLOW – Does the man lead with his whole body instead of just his arms? Does the lady follow effortlessly or does the man have to assist her? 

FLOORCRAFT – In Ballroom dance, this refers not only to avoiding bumping into other couples, but the ability to continue dancing without pause when boxed in. It shows the command of the couple over their choreography and the ability of the man to choose and lead figures extrinsic to their usual work when the necessity presents itself. 

INTANGIBLES – such as how a couple “look” together, whether they “fit” emotionally, their neatness of appearance, costuming, the flow of their choreography, and basically whether they look like “dancers”; all have an affect on a judge’s perception and therefore on his markings.”


Ballet (a dance type that my sister has Grade 6 in) has another set of rules included for this style. provided some of the additional knowledge into this type of dance.


Ballet dancers are known for their beautiful feet. Some dancers refer to perfect ballet feet as “banana feet,” as the curved arch and instep somewhat resembles the shape of a banana. Notice how their toes are always pointed, especially when they leave the ground. Excellent ballet dancers have incredible arches and flexible ankles. Watch for their crisp, clean footwork. A good dancer will not take any noticeable steps in between the bigger steps. 


One of the first things a ballet dancer learns is how to properly hold the body. Notice the incredible, unwavering posture of each dancer. Look how their arms and legs form graceful parallel and perpendicular lines with each step.


One of the most amazing qualities of a ballet dancer is the appearance of being able to float through the air. Notice how the dancers appear weightless as they glide effortlessly across the stage.

Pointe shoes can make a dancer seem weightless. They also emphasize the gentleness of the dance. The ballerina appears to gently dance on her toes. Also, watch the men leap high into the air and complete countless rotations before their feet hit the floor.


Classical ballet is meant to be dramatic. Romantic ballets often feature themes that emphasize intense emotion as a source of aesthetic experience. Notice the emotion on the faces of the ballet dancers as they dance. Excellent ballet dancers seem to speak volumes without uttering a single word. Ballet mime is a set of conventional gestures that allow dancers to speak without words. After you have watched a few ballets, you will become familiar with the basic mime gestures and find it easier to understand the underlying themes.”


Diddlyi provided the information on this genre- there’s a whole website dedicated to rules.

Facial Expression was one I would never have thought of – it states to insure the head it tilted and a smile is always present as it helps with posture- who would ever have thought of that?

Overall Rules

  1. So what are our overall rules? Well we decided to have a general rule set based on the dance battle rules, and then the different dance styles would be judged as they are above.
  2. No fighting among competitors will be tolerated
  3. No additional props or costumes to be worn
  4. Each dance section will last thirty seconds, the World will decided at random which to dance to
  5. The competitor’s performance will be judged on the following : skills/accuracy of dance moves, musicality and how they interact with the music, the creativity of moves, the performance itself.
  6. The performance will be judged by the World, skill and ability will be reflected as how the equalizer reacts with each competitor.


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