Cuppers Rules

Teams and amalgamations

A full team is made up of four couples, one dancing each of waltz, quickstep, cha and jive. There is no upper limit on the number of teams a college may enter.

College captains do not need to rank couples. The best-scoring couple in each dance will form the A-team, the next best your B-team and so forth.

A college may enter an incomplete team which can be amalgamated with dancers from another college. The amalgamated team will be the lowest ranking team for each of the colleges concerned. All the points scored by dancers from a college will still count towards their own college’s overall total, which is used to calculate the winner of the Rob Stevens Memorial Cup.

If a partnership is made up of two dancers from different colleges, they may form part of an amalgamated team between those two colleges. However, they must be considered part of the lowest ranking team for both colleges.


A college member (including staff) may compete for that college and score full points.

An old member of a college who is a current eligible member of another college may request permission to dance for his or her old college. Requests should be sent to the OUDC Secretary and will be considered by the OUDC committee.

An ineligible dancer may take part in the competition as a ‘non-scoring partner’ if they are partnering a college member. In this case, the couple will score half points. If a partnership is made up of two dancers from different colleges, they must either dance as part of an amalgamated team (see “Teams and amalgamations”) or one of them must be declared to be a ‘non-scoring partner’.


No two ‘experienced dancers’ may dance together in Cuppers.

An ‘experienced dancer’ is defined as anyone who has:

  • been rated at intermediate level or above by the EADA (or equivalent);
  • ever danced Advanced on the university circuit;
  • ever competed in a team match (except as part of an all-beginners team) at one of the six major university circuit competitions as designated by the IVDA (Warwick, Nottingham, Sheffield, SUDC, NUDC and IVDC);
  • competed in any capacity during the current academic year at one of the six major university circuit competitions mentioned above;
  • competed in five or more previous cuppers competitions.

Exceptions to the above rule may be granted by the OUDC committee in exceptional circumstances (for example, if a dancer started the year on the beginners team but dropped out after only one competition). Please email the OUDC Secretary and give as many details about the case as possible.

Step and dress restrictions

Steps are unrestricted.

Dress is restricted to lounge wear. No competitive attire, stones, sequins or fringing is allowed for the girls and no tail suits, latin trousers or latin practice tops are allowed for the boys.

If you have any questions about any of these rules, please contact the OUDC Secretary.