The Leading Follows Pro Awards

The Leading Follows Pro Awards mission is to recognize and celebrate the outstanding contributions of professional follows who have dedicated themselves to improving the dance education, competitive prospect, and overall well-being of their students. ​The Leading Follows Network will be fully sponsoring the end of season awards for professionals on the Amateur Leaders Series. The Total Top Teacher Purse is $26,000.

Participation & Rules (Tentative, will be finalized before the first event of the 2024-5 tour).

  • Professional and Amateur must be registered with the NDCA and current on dues to participate in the tour. 

  • To start participating in the Amateur Leaders Series just enter one of the Amateur Leaders Series Scholarship or Multi Dance events this season.

  • Scholarship Qualifications: In order to compete in scholarships, you must dance the same number of single dance entries as are included in each scholarship event.

  • The competitions will determine the number of age levels and proficiency categories a couple may enter. However for purpose of circuit points only one dance for each couple will be credited in each style.

  • Example: a competition decides to permit a couple to enter in multiple age categories. The amateur and professional will only get circuit credit for their highest scoring dance in that style.

  • Bronze and silver scholarship events are closed to bronze and silver students respectively.

  • Competitions may choose to offer Newcomer Multi Dance Events in all 4 styles in 2 age divisions (A-18-49 or B - 50+). A newcomer is defined as someone who has 50 hours or fewer of ballroom dance instruction (any type of ballroom instruction from any instructor) by the debut event of the current tour season (Emerald Ball 2024) and must have competed in no more than 5 NDCA competitions prior to the start of the tour. Amateur competitors may enter both the Newcomer Multi Dance Division and the Bronze Scholarship, they may NOT dance in the Newcomer Multi Dance Division and the Silver or Advanced Scholarship. Those wanting to be eligible for circuit Newcomer awards must submit an email to LFN requesting inclusion and asserting they have met the limits of ballroom instruction and prior NDCA competitions. Newcomers will be credited for circuit purposes with points earned in the Bronze scholarships at events if the competition doesn't specifically offer Newcomer events. They will be credited for circuit awards with the higher score in each style if they enter both Newcomer & Bronze at an event that offers both.

  • Anyone winning a LFN Award must be present at the LFN Grand Tour Finale presentation (2025 Ballroom Beach Bash) to receive their award. Exception to this rule would include: written medical reasons, or death in the family.

  • Tour Finale: No entries added following the posting of the heat lists of the tour finale competition (2025 Ballroom Beach Bash), shall contribute to the professional follow's overall points. Exceptions may be made by majority vote of the board of Directors in instances of injury or emergency.

  • Ties: In the event of an exact points tie, the prize money of the two placements shall be combined and equally distributed between the awardees.​

  • All leaderboards will be posted publicly on this website. Please report any perceived data entry data errors to the boards immediately.

  • NOTE: there are no gender restrictions for this tour, or for the Grand Tour Awards. The only qualification is that the Amateur must be the leader and the Professional must be the follower in the Am-Pro team. 

The Point System (Tentative, will be finalized before the first event of the 2024-5 tour).

  • The scoring system for the LFN Awards reflects the Amateur Leaders Series which includes both participation points and placements points for each of the professionals' amateur partners participating in these events at each competition. These 3 types of points are explained in detail in the "LF Awards Point Structure" below. ​

  • The All-In Smooth (all levels & 19+ ages) Scholarship does not count toward circuit awards for amateur dancers in an effort to keep the playing field level between the amateur leads in all styles, but the All-In Smooth DOES accumulate participation, placement, and bonus points towards the LFN Pro Awards for the professional. ​

  • Please be aware of the any and all differences between the Leading Follows Awards point system for professionals and the Amateur Leaders award system. It is the responsibility of all participants, amateur and pro, to be aware of all of the participation rules to help keep the tour as fair as possible and encourage excellence on the dance floor.

  • Points Certification: The board of directors of the Leading Follows Network reserve the right to exercise discretion in certifying the points awarded in the Leading Follows Pro Awards. In particular, the board of directors will certify points that are aligned with the spirit of the Leading Follows Pro Awards which include promoting equality, fostering a culture of excellence in education and improving the lives of students. The board of directors' decision regarding the certification of the points will be final and binding.

LF Award Point Structure:

The scoring system at a glance

  • Participation Points: Each am/pro team receives a participation point for dancing in an Amateur Leaders Series Scholarship event regardless of their placement. Every such event entered will earn 1 point.

  • Placement Points: Each am/pro team will receive points determined by the number of competitors in a scholarship or championship final and 2 points for each call back.

​Example of points awarded for a 6 couple final recalled from a semi-final:

1st place= 1pt + 6pts + 2pts = 9 pts

2nd place = 1pt + 5pts + 2pts = 8 pts

3rd place= 1pt + 4pts + 2pts = 7 pts

4th place = 1pt + 3pts + 2 pts = 6 pts

5th place = 1pt + 2pts + 2 pts = 5 pts

6th place = 1 pt + 1pt + 2 pts = 4 pts

* Note: Established NDCA rules and the Chairman of Judges of the event determines if there should be more than 6 couples in a final. The Leading Follows Network has no control over these standardized rules that all NDCA competitions must follow.

  • Bonus Points: You will receive 1 point per qualified amateur lead that attends the competition. A qualified lead is someone that enters a minimum of 1 Amateur Leaders Series scholarship at a participating Tour competition. Example: If you bring 3 students to a participating competition & they all dance at least 1 Scholarship, then your bonus points will be 3 points total.

Honors & Awards

Leading Follows Pro Awards

1st Place: $10,000

2nd Place: $6,000

3rd Place: $4,000

4th Place: $3,000

5th Place: $2,000

6th Place: $1,000

1st Place Professional will also receive the Shalene Archer Award, an exquisite trophy designed by Esther Ching.

Ties: In the event of an exact points tie, the prize money of the two placements shall be combined and equally distributed between the awardees.​