Dancesport Competitions

Art and Patty at the Harvest Moon Dance Competition Claire, Al and Janet. Two of "Al's Gals"!If you are interested in ballroom dance competition, we can prepare you for your event.  If you are a male dancer, you will be dancing in the Pro/Am division with Patty.  If you are a female dancer, Al is available to dance with you in the Pro/Am division.  If you are a couple, then Amateur Couple is available to you. 

We focus on allowable American Style dance patterns for the various entry levels as defined by the NDCA.  Your lesson plan will revolve around technique such as balance, foot placement, head placement and body position.  After you select the types of dances with your instructor, your focus will
 be on those dances in preparation for the competition.  We will go over all
 aspects of competing including what to wear, what to expect, entering and
 leaving the competition dance floor, and when to be at the competition.  Go to the Links page for local and near by
 Dancesport Competitions.

 Competition Judging:

 What factors does a judge weigh in assessing a couple's performance? 
 Judging, whether in figure skating, dancing, or in any other sport, must have a
 basis on which to judge competitors within a limited amount of time. 
 Figure skating to some degree would seem to be a lot easier as you are only
 looking at one competitor or one competing couple at a time.  Dancing however
 is a different story.  There can be numerous couples on the dance floor at
 one time.  So, what are the adjudicators looking for?

 Excerpts by Dan Radler (World Class Adjudicator)

 An experienced judge can quickly assess these factors collectively:

 Posture - One of the most important aspects.  Good posture makes you look
 elegant and exude confidence.  It improves balance and control.

 Timing - If a couple is not dancing on time with the music, no amount of
 proficiency in any other aspect can overcome this. The music is boss.

 Line - The length and stretch of the body from head to toe.

 Hold - The correct and unaffected positioning of the body parts in closed dancing position.

 Poise - In smooth dancing, the stretch of the woman’s body upwards and outwards and leftwards into the man’s
 right arm to achieve balance and connection with his frame, as well as to project outwards to the audience.

 Togetherness - The melding of two peoples’ body weights into one, so that leading and following appear effortless
 and the dancers are totally in synchronization with each other.

 Musicality and Expression - The basic characterization of the dance to the particular music being played and the
 choreographic adherence to the musical phrasing and accents.

 Presentation - Does the couple sell their dancing to the audience?  Do they dance outwardly, with enthusiasm,
 exuding their joy of dancing and confidence in their performance?  Or do they show strain or introversion?

 Power - Energy is exciting to watch, but it must be controlled, not wild.

 Foot and Leg Action - The stroking of the feet across the floor in Foxtrot to achieve smoothness and softness;
 the deliberate lifting and placing of the feet in tango to achieve a staccato action;  the correct bending and
 straightening of the knees in rumba to create hip motion;  the extension of the ankles and the point of the toes
 of the non-supporting foot to enhance the line of a figure;  the sequential use of the four joints (hip, knee, ankle
 and toes) to achieve fullness of action and optimal power;  the bending and straightening of knees and ankles in
 waltz to create rise and fall;  the use of inside and outside edges of feet to create style and line.

 Shape - The combination of turn and sway to create a look or position.

 Lead and Follow - Does the man lead with his whole body instead of just his arms?  Does the lady follow
 effortlessly or does the man have to assist her?

 Floor Craft - Refers to avoiding bumping into other couples as well as the ability to continue dancing without
 pause when boxed in.

 Intangibles - How a couple "look" together, whether they "fit" emotionally, their neatness of appearance,
 costuming, the flow of their choreography and basically whether they look like "dancers".

 Adjudicators are individuals and each person has a different view in what they want to see and how they weigh
 these factors.  One adjudicator may be especially interested in technique while another may be interested in poise
 or musicality and expression.  No qualified adjudicator will mark a competitor for any reason other than his or her
 honest evaluation of your performance.

Be good to your mind and body!

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