Competitive Dancers FAQs

  • What is Dancesport or Competitive Ballroom?

Dancesport refers to competitive ballroom dancing at events that are sanctioned and regulated by dancesport orgnizations. The International Dancesport Federation (IDSF) governs amateurs while the World Dance Council (WDC) governs professionals. Dancesport is popular in several countries, and competitive ballroom dance is featured in television programs such as Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing with the Stars and Eurovision Dance Contest.

  • What is pro-am?

Think of the popular television show “Dancing with the Stars”.  Pro-am is a category in dancesport competitions in which one person in the partnership is the teacher (pro) and the other person is a student (amateur). Check out our Pro-Am Videos.

  •  Why should I compete?

Competing is a great way to set concrete goals, to motivate you to improve quickly, and to apply your knowledge. Competitions are a unique creative outlet that allows you to compete and simultaneously perform and express your individuality.  Challenge yourself.  Have fun! The costumes. The make-up.  The music.  There is nothing more exciting and passionate than the glitz and glamour of competitive ballroom dancing

  • Why would I compete in pro-am instead of amateur?

There are many wonderful benefits to competing with your teacher instead of another amateur. You will improve exponentially faster because your lessons focus entirely on you.  Your dance training is tailored specifically to your individual goals, strengths, and weaknesses. Also, you will feel a lot less stress competing with an experienced professional who will guide you through the entire process. Although it is an amazing journey to compete with an amateur partner, it is often difficult to find a partner who matches your skill level, age, physical requirements, commitment, and budget. Some people turn to pro-am to continue dancing and improving while searching for an amateur partner.  Then there are others who dance pro-am exclusively because they are hooked on improving at their own pace, having individually-tailored lessons, competing with an experienced professional, and excelling in the pro-am competition circuit.

  • What level do I compete in?

Each dance is broken down into proficiency levels.  The levels are as follows, starting from beginner to expert: Newcomer, Pre-Bronze, Closed Bronze, Closed Silver, Closed Gold, Open Bronze, Open Silver, Open Gold.  The Newcomer category is for dancers who have never competed or have been dancing less than one year.  In the Closed proficiency levels, you can only dance steps and figures listed in the Dancesport Syllabus.  In Open levels, you are not limited to syllabus steps and can add as much pizzazz as your heart desires.

  • Are there age-categories?

Yes!  You will be competing with students in your age-range.  Competitions are typically divided into three age divisions: A (ages 16-35), B (ages 36-50), and C (ages 51 +).  Therefore, competition events are level- and age- appropriate (e.g., Closed Bronze – A and Open Gold C).

  • When can I start competing?

As soon as you want!  The first proficiency level is Newcomer, and many people start competing as early as one month after they start learning. Please talk to your instructor to discuss your competition goals so they can tailor your lesson schedule and make sure you achieve your goals!

  • What are single-dance events?

Think gymnastics.  Single-dance events are similar to gymnastic’s individual event competition such as floor exercise, whereas the multi-dance event is like the all-around competition. In single-dance events, each dance you registered for is treated as a separate event. You can register for as little as one single-event and up to as many as you can dance.  Maybe you only want to compete in swing and cha cha cha because your rumba is still in the works.  You would then register and compete in swing and cha cha cha separately.

  • What are multi-dance events?

Multi-dance events are the “all-around” events in ballroom.  In multi-dance events, your final results are based on your aggregate performance on multiple dances.  For instance,  the Rhythm Open Scholarship is a multi-dance event based on five dances. Your result will be based on your performance on all five of the latin dances: cha cha cha, rumba, swing, bolero, and mambo.

  • How do I register for competitions and what are the rates?

We will take care of all of the paperwork for you! When you are ready to participate in a competition your instructor will suggest the appropriate entries and take care of all of the details. Rates are based on the cost of each entry (as determined by the competition) plus the instructor and studio fees. Rates vary from competition to competition based on the event’s fees and the costs incurred by the studio for travel, lodging, etc. Our instructors are ready to help! Talk to any of the instructors for additional information.