Information for Students

About the IVDA

The Inter Varsity Dance Association (IVDA) is the student-led, non-profit administrative organisation promoting dancing amongst University students in the UK.  The IVDA Executive Committee arranges a national competition each year for university students, as well as implementing initiatives to help assist University dance clubs across the country.  The current membership of the IVDA consists of 9,000 student dancers from over thirty universities across the country.

The IVDA was formed in 1962 with the following aims:

  • to promote Ballroom and Latin American dancing within universities
  • to organise an annual Inter Varsity Dance Competition
  • to extend participation of university dancers in competitive dancing both on the University Circuit and the Open Circuit
  • to seek to raise the standard of dancing amongst students

IVDA & EADA Working Together

The aims of the IVDA are therefore synonymous with EADA and the organisations are working together to increase the number of students competing on the open circuit and to encourage students to continue dancing once they graduate.

Membership of EADA under this IVDA scheme runs from 1st October to 30th September (based on the academic year).  For 2011-2012 this is open to full time university students and will cost £3.00.

To join fill in a membership form and send it with a cheque for £3 payable to EADA Ltd, an SAE and a photocopy of your student card to the address given on the form.  If you wish to compete internationally in IDSF comps please also send a passport photo for your IDSF licence.  Please note that to represent England at least one half of the couple must have a British passport.  Please make sure you put sufficient postage on the envelope so that the registration is not delayed; please note you need a first class stamp on A4 envelopes; see Royal Mail website

2011-2012 EADA student membership form


Benefits of joining EADA

If you want to compete on the open circuit you must join EADA.  However joining EADA also entitles you to various discounts: 10% off Supadance, Spot Turn Ballroom, Dancesport International, Crystal-Clover, Chrisanne and Desire Designs Desiree.  Members of EADA receive InMotion, the EADA Newsletter, twice a year and a quarterly e-newsletter E-Motion.  EADA membership also entitles you to attend the subsidised EADA training days.  The EADA website has a variety of information about dancing on the open circuit and there is a forum where you can place ads for dancing partners, ask advice, find out details of competitions, and browse the costumes for sale.  


WDSF University Competition

In August 2010 the WDSF announced that there would be a University Student European and World Championships in Moscow.  The "European Cup for Universities" took place from 18-19 December 2010 and the World Championships will take place in December 2011.  One half of the couple must be a student aged over 16.  Member countries will be invited to send their top 2 couples, but the event will be open to all (although couples selected will not have to take part in the first qualifying round).   Any entries to this competition will need to be via Dancesport England (DSE) and competitors representing England will need to have an active WDSF Licence and be a DSE member.

The University Dancesport Circuit

Any UK university student is eligible to compete in the student events at university competitions, and each competition typically has events for former students.  A complete calendar with information on all university competitions can be found on the IVDA's website.

If you would like more information about the IVDA, if you are a dancer at university but your university does not appear to have a dance team, or for more details about the Inter Varsity Dance Competition, contact the president [at] universitydancesport [dot] com (IVDA President)

Moving from the university circuit to the open circuit

This may seem like a daunting move at first but the open circuit is not intimidating as you may think – there are a range of events at most competitions from beginners through to Amateur.  In order to make things easier we have answered some of the frequently asked questions below and EADA and IVDA have worked together to devise a guide to the open circuit for IVDA members.  Please feel free to contact Rachelle, EADA's University Liaison Officer, on universities [at] eada [dot] org [dot] uk with any questions you may have.

Other initiatives:

EADA-IVDA Training Day: EADA have hosted a series of training days specifically designed for IVDA members to encourage those students who want to compete on the open circuit.   The training days offer top coaching suited to those new to the open circuit at an affordable price.  The first day was held in January 2006, for a report on the event click here

Qualifying Competitions: University competitions are now acting as qualifiers for Champions of Tomorrow in Blackpool in January and Stars of the Future in June in Brentwood.  Those students who come in the top two in the Beginners ballroom events, Beginners Latin events, Novice ballroom, Novice Latin, Intermediate ballroom and Intermediate Latin and the highest placed Under 21 all girl couple will qualify.

Student events at open comps: The IVDA & IVDA-EADA Liaison Officer are also working with competition promoters to arrange events at open circuit competitions which are designed for those who have competed on the university circuit.  The first of these was the “University Dance Challenge” team event at the West London Champions in Egham in December 2006, which has now become an annual event. 

How the open circuit works:
Open competitions happen most weekends at various venues across the country.  You can find details of major events in EADA's and IVDA's online calendars.  the most comprehensive listing is in Dancenews.  You will see in the charts section a list of National Ranking Events (NREs), they will have a number of supporting competitions and it would be worth contacting them to see if there is anything you can enter.

The open circuit caters for all standards of dancer – levels are beginner, novice, intermediate, pre-champ and Amateur.  If you win six comps at one level you are expected to then move up a level.   Competitions are also divided up into events for different age ranges:  Juveniles (<12yrs); Junior (12-16yrs); Youth (16-19yrs) –sometimes there are under 21yrs events, Adult; and senior (>35, >45 or >50yrs).
Generally beginner and novice categories have restricted steps (basic syllabus only) and beginners competitions are restricted to lounge wear.  However rules can vary between comps (especially at Stars and Champions) so it is worth checking with the competition organiser beforehand if you are unsure.
National Ranking Events (NREs) are held around the country throughout the year. The events are used for the compilation of charts which monitor the rankings of the Amateur couples. Points are awarded to couples according to their final position in the selected events in which they have danced.
What do I do if I want to enter an open competition?
 You will need to become a member of EADA to compete in any level above beginner.  EADA offers a discounted student membership for the academic year.  Please register well in advance of attending the first comp you wish to enter.  Then just turn up to the competition you want to go to and register at the desk, saying what levels you’d like to compete in.   If you are entering an amateur National Selection Competition, however, you may need to enter in advance.

What competition to chose?
Simply find a competition that has suitable events in a convenient location.  Feel free to post on the EADA and/or IVDA forum to see if anyone else you know will be attending.  Most competitions will cost around £10 per person entry.  Some competitions will be qualifiers for Stars of the Future, Champions of Tomorrow or Britain’s Best; qualifying typically involves finishing in the top three at one of the levels. 

How will this differ from Uni comps?
You’ll have to organise yourself, register for your events and obtain a number (don’t forget to take your own safety pins!).  The rules for open circuit competitions may be different to university competitions in terms of dress and step restrictions (see above).  Feel free to post on the IVDA forum in advance if you have any concerns or contact the organiser.  However, the open circuit is not as intimidating as people may think and although there is no team match, there is still a lot of support and shouting from the sidelines. 

What to do when you arrive?
Go to the registration desk, show your EADA membership card and pay the entry fee.  Fill in the entry form, listing the events which you want to enter – there will usually be a list of numbered events at the entrance.  Hand the entry form in and you will be given a number.  Then just listen out for when your event is called.  The organisers will be happy to help with any queries.

What level to enter?
It is best to ask your coach for advice as to what level/s is suitable for you to enter.  Most open competitions (apart from Stars and Champions) will allow you to enter two competitions at two different levels in each discipline.  If you win four comps at one level, you go up to the next level. If you win one of the really big competitions, like Stars of the Future, or Champions of Tomorrow, it is seen as ‘good form’ to shift up to the next level.  Because there are so many different levels, you should be able to chose the level that is suitable for you.

Where to continue dancing after University?

If you are leaving university there are open practices available, you can find links to websites with dance school listings on our links page.  There are also many places to post adverts for partners including on the IVDA and EADA Forums.  If you are looking for second hand costumes then have a look at the IVDA links page and on the EADA forum and links page.