WDSF Syllabus: How it Differs

13 May 2016

For the past few decades, the Syllabus that has been most recognized and enforced at competitions was that of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD), however, like a dictionary written 50 years ago, many dancers argue it does not reflect modern trends. The World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) has set out to solve this problem, by creating a new Syllabus with new ways of dancing old figures, and other figures new entirely to the Syllabus. More and more this Syllabus is starting to become accepted around the world.

New Standard Figures

Below is a list of the Standard figures found in the WDSF Syllabus that were entirely absent from the ISTD Syllabus.

Dance Figure Level
Waltz Open Natural Turn Bronze
Waltz Fallaway Natural Turn Gold
Waltz Running Weave from PP Gold
Waltz Running Spin Turn Gold
Waltz Overturned Running Spin Turn Gold
Waltz Running Cross Chasse Gold
Tango Whisk Silver
Tango Back Whisk Silver
Tango Mini Five Step Gold
Tango Telemark to PP Gold
Tango Outside Spin Gold
Tango Reverse Pivot Gold
Tango Natural Twist Turn (commenced in Closed) Gold
Foxtrot Whisk Bronze
Foxtrot Back Whisk Bronze
Foxtrot Double Reverse Spin Silver
Foxtrot Outside Spin Silver
Foxtrot Curved Three Step Gold
Foxtrot Running Weave from PP Gold
Foxtrot Open Reverse Turn (Quick Open Reverse) Gold
Foxtrot Extended Reverse Wave Gold
Foxtrot Reverse Pivot Gold
Quickstep Outside Change Bronze
Quickstep Open Natural Turn Bronze
Quickstep Telemark to PP (Open Telemark) Silver
Quickstep Whisk Silver
Quickstep Back Whisk Silver
Quickstep Tipple Chasse to Left Silver
Quickstep Outside Spin Silver
Quickstep Natural Turning Lock (Turning Lock to R) Gold
Quickstep Drag Hesitation Gold
Quickstep Running Cross Chasse Gold
Viennese Waltz Chasse Change Step Bronze
Viennese Waltz Continuous Spin Silver
Viennese Waltz Reverse Pivots Silver
Viennese Waltz Hesitation Change Silver
Viennese Waltz Drag Hesitation Silver
Viennese Waltz Natural Spin Turn Silver
Viennese Waltz Closed Telemark Silver
Viennese Waltz Natural Spin Turn and Reverse Pivot Silver
Viennese Waltz Checked Natural Turn Silver
Viennese Waltz Natural Back Check Silver
Viennese Waltz Checked Reverse Turn Silver
Viennese Waltz Reverse Back Check Silver
Viennese Waltz Slow Contra Check Gold
Viennese Waltz Left Whisk Gold
Viennese Waltz Running Weave Gold
Viennese Waltz Overturned Natural Spin Turn Gold
Viennese Waltz Throwaway Oversway Gold
Viennese Waltz Running Feather Gold
Viennese Waltz Double Reverse Spin Overspin Gold
Viennese Waltz Reverse Impetus to Right Lunge Gold
Viennese Waltz Rudolph Fallaway Gold
Viennese Waltz Ronde Twist Turn Gold
Viennese Waltz Double Leg Ronde Gold
Viennese Waltz Swivel to Promenade Pivot Gold
Viennese Waltz Swivel to Promenade Link Gold

Some of the more exciting highlights are that Promenade Position is now allowed in Quickstep, starting in Silver, and that everyone's favourite line figure, the Throwaway Oversway, is now available in Gold Viennese Waltz. Also, certain figures like the the Outside Change, and the Quick Open Reverse are long overdue being added to certain dances.

New Latin Figures

Below is a list of the Standard figures found in the WDSF Syllabus that were entirely absent from the ISTD Syllabus. Much of the WDSF Syllabus was based on the original Latin technique book, written by Walter Laird.

Dance Figure Level
Samba Outside Basic Bronze
Samba Side Samba Chasse Bronze
Samba Samba Locks with Lady on Right Side Silver
Samba Same Position Corta Jaca Gold
Samba Double Spiral Turn for Lady Gold
Samba Drag Gold
Samba Carioca Runs Gold
Cha Cha Syncopated Open Hip Twist Gold
Cha Cha Continuous Overturned Lock Gold
Cha Cha Swivel Hip Twist Gold
Cha Cha Swivels Gold
Cha Cha Walks and Whisks Gold
Cha Cha Advanced Foot Changes Gold
Rumba Syncopated Open Hip twist Gold
Rumba Advanced Sliding Doors Gold
Rumba Swivels Gold
Rumba Overturned Basic Gold
Paso Doble Foot Changes Gold
Jive Sugar Push Gold

The most exciting change is the inclusion of the Advanced Sliding Doors in Rumba. So few couples dance it the traditional way, most people don't even know what the traditional way looks like (see for yourself here). It's also interesting to see the Sugar Push accepted into Jive. Traditionally a West Coast Swing figure, it was used often as an advanced variation, giving smoothness and dynamic to an almost over the top dance.

Check the Rules of the Competition before Dancing these Figures

While it is exceedingly rare to find a competition that doesn't abide by the ISTD Syllabus, most non-WDSF competitions don't allow the WDSF Syllabus, although more and more are allowing it each year. Always check the rules of the competition before using a new Syllabus.