DanceSport Disciplines

Acrobatic Rock'n'Roll

Rock´n´Roll Acrobatic Rock'n'Roll is a mix of fast-moving and dynamic dance and acrobatic elements performed to Rock’n’Roll music. Since the 1950s it has developed into a sport which has little left in common with original Rock’n’Roll. Modern Rock’n’Roll is a sport where high-precision movements are carried out at a great speed and which brings the spirit of a spectacular show to the audience. The WDSF Associate Member, the World Rock’n’Roll Confederation governs Acrobatic Rock’n’Roll.

Boogie Woogie

Boogie Woogie is characterized by fast footwork and lack of choreography. It is a “led” dance requiring harmony between the couples, and is danced to the hot rhythms of the 1940s and 1950s. As a competition dance, Boogie Woogie mainly differs from Rock‘n‘Roll in that it has no practiced choreography. The WDSF Associate Member, the World Rock’n’Roll Confederation governs Boogie Woogie.



Breaking (also called b-boying or b-girling) is an urban dance style which originated during the mid-1970s in the Bronx borough of New York City. The earliest innovators of breaking were African-American and Puerto Rican youths. During the ensuing ~40 years, Breaking has progressed from its Bronx roots into an internationally-recognized cultural art form, with elements of urban dance intertwined with extraordinary athleticism.

Breaking has evolved into a global cultural art form with many elements of sport, given its athletic nature. This naturally led to the 2016 decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to add Breaking to the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires and, later, to the sportsprogramfor the Olympic Games Paris 2024. WDSF Breaking


Disco Dance

Disco Dance has evolved from the discotheque culture in the 70’s. The Disco Dance signum today is the dynamic between soft and hard movements, explosive, high energy and it’s danced in a high tempo. Foundation movements are the body pump with basics in contraction and release. Disco Dance includes basic steps mixed with technical movements as different kinds of pirouettes, kicks and jumps.

Sn3TR5Bzpjg|Kira Yeromenko & Yeva Zagorodnia - Disco EC 2018

WDSF Disco Dance


Hip Hop

Hiphop dance is an umbrella term consisting of social party dances done to Hiphop and Rap music. Hiphop dance is often heard to be categorized in three main eras; Oldschool, Midschool and Newschool. 

The first era is with Breaking, the original dance of Hiphop Culture. The oldschool hiphop dance is originally done to Soul, Funk, Jazz & Swingbased rhythm, rhymes and grooves. Oldschool hiphop is closely connected to vernacular jazz dances. The change within the music from old jazz is known to have happened with DJ Kool Herc and turntablism August 11th 1973 in Bronx, New York. The «Breakbeat» was invented as the «new» music that the Bboys and the Bgirls danced to at block parties.  These get-togethers were often outdoor in the street and this is where the cyphers and battles happened which are foundations of Hip Hop dance. Midschool Hiphop music were influenced by the «Boom Bap» sound with a different groove then the old school sound. At the change into the new millennium, hiphop music was then widely spread to the world and is presently one of the most popular genres in the world. It developed from being an underground subculture to a mainstream popular industry. 

Other dance styles that is closely connected to hiphop culture is the Funkstyle dances Locking, Popping & Electric Boogaloo. These styles were a big part of the beginning of Hiphop Culture as the young «hiphop heads» got a lot of inspiration from watching tv-shows as «The Soultrain». These styles were danced to Funk music and are originally American Westcoast dances.

WDSF Hip Hop
WDSF Hip Hop


Latin Dances

The five Latin dances are the Samba, Cha-Cha-Cha, Rumba, Paso Doble and Jive. With their heritage in Latin American (Samba, Cha-Cha-Cha, Rumba), Hispanic (Paso Doble) and American (Jive) cultures, they each have their distinguishing traits but coincide in expressiveness, intensity and energy.

XyTLxjRKHtk|Marius Andrei Balan & Khrystyna Moshenska - 2023 WDSF GrandSlam Latin Belgrade Final Jive

WDSF Latin


Para DanceSport

Para DanceSport is an extremely elegant, graceful and stylish sport which involves athletes with a physical impairment that affects the lower limbs. Participants can compete combi style, dancing with an able bodied (standing) partner, or duo dance for two wheelchair users together. Group dance involves wheelchair users only or together with able-bodied partners whereas single dance sees a wheelchair user dance alone. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) governs Para DanceSport.



Dances in this discipline is comprised of Cha-cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero and Mambo. At times, the Samba, Merengue and West Coast Swing are also included in this discipline for competitions. These dances have slightly different rhythms with an earthier interpretation than the International Latin. The basic counts as well as the leg and hip motion are also different. The Rhythm and International Latin disciplines have different styling and dance figures in their respective syllabi.



Salsa is a Caribbean Dance where couples perform a choreographed routine that emphasizes virtuosic levels of synchrony and stylized gesture in a presentational context. There are a variety of salsa dance styles represented on the floor. The differences between all of these styles of salsa are in part a result of the different countries where it is danced.  Salsa itself is a mixture of cultures and the different dance styles that have influenced the development of what we know today as Salsa: guaguancó, cumbia, swing, songó, samba, merengue, bomba and of course, son.  In WDSF we allow all the styles only by doing the difference by the musical timing that is danced. The instruments that can never be missing in salsa music are the clave, the congas, the bass drum, the tap, the bell and the güiro among others.

QM4g9efO-wo|Jeremy & Olaia / France Salsa Champions 2022 FFD

WDSF Salsa



There are four dances in this discipline namely, Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot and Viennese Waltz. In this discipline, in addition to the closed hold position, dancers are also allowed to dance in position where they let go of each other. They also have the opportunity to separate and dance solo actions. These positions and actions present more opportunity for dancers to create volume during a movement. The Smooth dances can be viewed as having a combination of Standard, Latin and Show. Because of the versatility Smooth dances present, it is also more challenging to master this dance discipline. The Smooth dances also have stylistic differences than the International Standard. Special certification is required to adjudicate this dance discipline.


Special Olympics

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. DanceSport has been recognized as the official sport discipline within Special Olympics.


Stage Dance

Modern/Contemporary dance:
The Modern/Contemporary dance discipline stems from a rebellion against the classical technique. The dance is an interpretive routine and can be defined as a free-style dance, and should incorporate balance, control and extensions moves. It uses the entire body, all possible body movements, creating new shapes, bringing new compositions and room for experiment. Experimental or original technique and choreography are encouraged, but the basic technique is and remains essential. The use of gravity should predominate, which is expressed in ‘grounded’ dancing and modern floor work. The modern techniques stem from Limon, Cunningham, Graham, Laban, Duncan among others.

Jazz Dance:
Originally Jazz Dance was designed to entertain and may refer to Vernacular Jazz or Broadway or Theatrical Jazz; therefore, the basic steps have a showy feel to them. The Vernacular Jazz can be danced as Lindy Hop and for example Charleston. The Broadway and Theatrical Jazz is the foundation of the Stage Dance. Bob Fosse is one of the persons who popularized the style.

Jazz technique includes isolations, lay outs, turns, kicks, jumps, turns, pas du bourré, jazz hands, alignment, placement, stretches, use of port de bras, jazz walks, … as some of the typical movements. As many influences encircle Jazz Dance, other styles may be incorporated into the Jazz Dance, but they may never dominate the acknowledged Jazz Dance Styles. WDSF Stage Dance
WDSF Stage Dance



Standard Dances

The five Standard dances are the Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Slow Foxtrot and Quickstep. Somewhat more formal than their Latin counterparts - and not just in terms of the athletes' attire - they are generally danced in a closed position of the partners. The hold a Standard dance commences with is maintained throughout.


WDSF Standard

Published on 20 August 2010 (last update on 15 January 2024)