If this is your first time at a ballroom dance competition, this guide is designed to help you have a more informative and enjoyable time. The following is a brief explanation of how a dance competition is organized.
A dance competition allows dancers to show and compare their skills with other dancers at a similar level. A competition consists of many events, each of which is targeted at a particular skill level. Each competitor is required to perform one or more dances from a given division.
Anyone may enter in a dance competition. In most events, dancers compete as couples. However, some events such as formation team competitions are performed by teams of dancers.
|American Style|| Smooth |
East Coast Swing
|International Style|| Standard |
|Night Club|| West Coast Swing
During the event, up to five judges will rank the dance couples based on their skills, presentation, and showmanship. Scores from all the judges are combined to obtain the final standings. Adjudication is a subjective process (to say the least) and that is why several judges are used to ensure fairness.
Depending on the number of entries, competitors may be required to compete in a series of elimination rounds (nth round, quarter and semi-final) until six couples are recalled for the final round by the judges. During the final round, the top placements are determined.
Most Competitions will have a good amount of general dancing. These intermissions allow social dancers to stretch their legs and share the floor with the competitors, (It's amazing how much your dancing improves just watching the great dancers!). Don't be afraid to join in, competitive dancers are also social dancers! Most dance competitions feature amateur or professional showcases toward the end of the evening. These show cases are performed by some of the top ranked dancers. They are considered the highlight of the competition.
During the competition, you will be seeing some lovely and inspiring dancing. Beautiful movement to music is one of life's great joys! Applause is much appreciated anytime during the event. So don't be afraid to clap, yell and call out the number of your favorite couple. We invite you to play “judge” during the competition and see if you agree with the judges results. So sit back and experience this wonderful visual and aural delight.
Source: USA Dance - NorCal