I became aware of this change in the rules when I saw the announcement for adult sectionals - they note that, as of May, 2017, this new rule applies. It looks like everyone gets grandfathered, and can compete at bronze level for showcase events. But to compete higher than that, you need to have passed your free dance tests.
For me, this is actually good, because when I did AN last time, I had to compete at silver level for light entertainment, against people who had obviously been skating WAY longer than I had. Came in second to last! Whoo-hoo!
You'll find the rule change mentioned on the last page of the attached link, and I've also included it here:
Here is what it says: "As of May 1, 2017, Pattern Dance Tests will no longer qualify adult athletes to compete in Showcase Events. Those who have passed the complete Pre-Bronze Dance Test prior to 4/30/17 will be grandfathered at the adult bronze showcase level. Athletes currently competing based on pattern dance tests will need to pass a qualifying free skate or free dance test (solo, partnered, standard, adult, or masters) to compete in showcase events above the adult bronze level after April 30, 2017."http://www.usfsa.org/content/16-17%20Showcase%20Guidelines.pdf
My coach did not know about the change. But we're now going to do our pre-bronze free dance test, and work up from there. I hope to do the pre-bronze and bronze free dance test, over time. But first, I need to take my final pre-silver dance, which I've been working on since the dawn of time.