There are 3 main terms to explain so you understand what you’re entering into at DOR, “standard”, “category”, and “age group”.
Standard is the level you're currently working on in your lessons, that is, the standard you have attained in your Bronze, Silver or Gold Programs. If you're new, you’ll probably be on Bronze 1 or 2, so your standard is Associate Bronze. This will be the standard you will enter into at DOR and be judged along with the rest of the Bronze 1 and 2 students.
Category is a classification given to the way you can compete, the materials you can use, and how you’re judged. Closed, Open, Scholarship and All Around are all various categories you can enter in your respective standard.
Age group is purely a way to finally make things a little fairer, and place people together that are around the same age, keeping the playing field even.
This is a category only new students can enter, thereby giving them a bit of an advantage for their first competition. You must have been learning for less than 12 months, had less than 50 lessons and be on Bronze 1 to enter this category.
This is the all-round category for everyone to participate in. It’s exactly that, closed, meaning you compete using the materials you learn on your every day lessons and in groups. If you can dance at a party, you can do the closed category. Freestyle is just dancing using patterns you're confident in and can lead and follow with ease.
This category can be as simple or as involved as you would like. A lot of students enter open and just repeat what they did in closed, just as an excuse to get on the floor and dance again. But, this category gives you the opportunity to break away from the norm, and delve into materials that you would not normally learn at your current level.
This is reserved for students at the Silver and above level. This is where you get to see students freestyling at the highest possible standard, usually involving intricately choreographed routines, to make the dances special and more of a performance than a competition. This is a pro/am event only, meaning that every couple is made up of a professional teacher and student.
Amateur 3 dance
This is a category reserved just for students, no teachers allowed! They can be couples that learn together, or just 2 students that decide to compete together. The 3 dances are the standard 3 ballroom and standard 3 rhythm dances.
All for one, and one for all! Everyone gets to dance together, and have a great time doing it. To put a twist on it, couples dance 2 of the smooth and 2 of the rhythm dances, BUT, you won’t know which 2 they are until you’re on the floor as the judges draw them from a hat!