Judges waiting for a contest to start

 

Attendees can choose to compete in a variety of Balboa and/or Collegiate Shag competitions throughout the weekend. A weekend dance pass is required to compete. 

Balboa Competitions

Both Pure Balboa and Bal-Swing are permitted during the Balboa competitions.

Shag Competitions

All Collegiate Shag rhythms (i.e., single, double, triple, and long-double) are allowed in the strictly competition, but the Shag Mix & Match competitions will be limited to only double rhythm Shag (i.e., the six-count shag basic that includes two 'slows' and two 'quicks'). Feel free to incorporate any two-count, four-count, and eight-count moves, but to keep the contest fun for everyone, please limit your basic to double-rhythm. All four Shag rhythms (single, double, triple, and long-double) are permitted in the strictly.

The Triple Threat 

Triple threat: Someone in a particular field who exhibits three skills that are necessary to excel. Do you have game in Balboa, Collegiate Shag, and Lindy Hop? You could go home with a cash prize for the first place couple. Last year's cash prize was $1000. Sign-ups are limited and can only be done in person the weekend of the event. Instructors and students can compete in The Triple Threat, and it is considered an open competiton. Show us something, kid!

Mix & Match Competitions

In a Mix & Match, contestants do not need a partner; each person is matched with someone at random. We have a Mix & Match for both Balboa and Collegiate Shag.

 

In the preliminary round, every competitor is given three songs and dances each song with a different partner. Those who make it through to the final round dance with a single, randomly-selected partner to DJed music.

 

There are two Mix & Match divisions:

Amateur

The amateur division is intended for dancers who have either never competed before or those who have not yet won a novice competition. Competitors range from beginner to intermediate skill level.

 

Contestents having fun

Advanced

The advanced division is targeted at experienced dancers. Competing is not new to you. You are an intermediate or advanced level dancer that has competed and/or placed in a competition.

 

Contestants must select either Amateur or Advanced. You cannot compete in both Mix & Match levels. 

The Strictly Competitions

In a strictly, you must have a partner ahead of time to enter the competition. Unlike a Mix & Match, you do not trade partners throughout the competition. There is an Open Strictly for both Balboa and Collegiate Shag.

Open Strictly

The open division is open to any level of dancer, however this division is targeted at more experienced dancers. In general competing is not new to you and you feel comfortable competing in this division.

Registration

Contestants need to register as individuals, but specify a partner if you are signing up for a strictly. There is no limit to the number of competitions one can enter. There is a no refund policy for competition fees.

Other Requirements

  1. Aerials are not allowed during the Mix & Match, but dips and floor tricks are permitted.
  2. Competitors' meetings for the Mix & Match and Strictly comps are mandatory.

Judging Criteria

Musicality: Dancing with the music is key. One can never be too musical while dancing and doing so will definitely help you stand out in our competitions. Technique: As best they can, the judges will assess the lead and follow technique used by the dancers, even during the strictly. Creativity: Presenting new moves that still keep true to the spirit of the dance is a great way to promote a dance as well as win points with our judges. Authenticity: You don't have to be a dance historian to dance in your style authentically. What we are looking for here is not a flawless recreation. However, it is important for competitors to demonstrate that they understand the unique form of each dance style. Footwork: We encourage clean footwork. Give us some precise, well-executed variations in footwork. That will definitely help you beat out the competition.

Other suggestions

Aerials: Doing aerials is not forbidden in our strictly competition, but it's also not considered a key factor in judging. Aerials aren't going to count against you (unless you do them poorly), and you'll probably entertain the crowd. But also keep in mind that this isn't something that we place a lot of emphasis on.

 

Borrowed Moves: Some moves are shared by several dances. The swing-out is one example of this and tandem dancing is another. There is a point at which it becomes obvious that one has temporarily left one dance for the sake of incorporating a beloved move from another dance style. If possible, try to avoid this. Incorporating moves from other dances is not a bad thing, but you must be willing to alter them considerably in order to make them fit the technique and aesthetic of your dance.

 

Choreographed Sequences from movies: Imitating lengthy choreographed sequences (not to be confused with stand-alone moves) taken from vintage clips is not uncommon in Shag competitions. If you really want to do well in our contests, steer clear of this trend. Show us something new. That's the way to really impress our judges!