Ballroom dance competitions allow you to showcase your skills and compete among your peers. Competitions can and often are places of seeming chaos and disorganization with couples often running around trying to get on or off the dance floor as their numbers are called in seemingly random order by judges. Whether you plan on taking the floor with a partner, or just coming to competitions to cheer on the dancers, each of you will take away something different from competitions. It’s understandable that this all might be somewhat overwhelming. However, rest assured that there will always be experienced dancers around you, more than willing to help you with hair & make-up, last minute instruction and reassurance.
Four main categories:
- American Rhythm – Swing, Cha-Cha, Rumba, Bolero, Mambo
- American Smooth – Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Viennese Waltz
- International Latin – Jive, Cha-Cha, Rumba, Samba, Paso Doble
- International Standard – Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Quickstep, Viennese Waltz
Sections by level of experience:
- Newcomer or Pre-Bronze
- Beginner or Bronze
- Intermediate or Silver
- Advanced or Gold
- Master of Syllabus (not frequently offered at collegiate competitions)
- Novice (not frequently offered at collegiate competitions)
In addition to the individual couple events, most competitions include team events, where four or more couples are scored together. Team events are divided into American and International. There are no syllabus or experience restrictions. You can prepare open choreography.
Fun dances are often the highlight of the comp. Examples include: Lindy Hop, Viennese Waltz, Same Sex Cha-Cha, Jive. The rules for these vary but a good time is always guaranteed. The Team Coordinator will inform you of what the fun dances will entail well in advance. Most importantly, this is the time to relax during a comp and have fun.
Final Thoughts. Each of you will take away something different from competitions. It’s understandable that this all might be somewhat overwhelming. However, rest assured that there will always be experienced dancers around you, more than willing to help you with hair & make-up, last minute instruction and reassurance. If you are worried that you might not have what it takes to become an accomplished ballroom dancer, consider this quote: “Can’t act. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” -Anonymous studio verdict on Fred Astaire’s original screen test, 1933.