A New Kind of Online DanceSport Competition

DanceSport – Adapted

We know many of you are disappointed at the prospect of a year without ballroom. Social distancing, and travel restrictions seem like they make ballroom dance competitions impossible. As part of USA Dance’s push to provide a path forward during these times, we’re providing virtual competitions and critique events an exciting way to give you something exciting to work towards.

We know what you’re thinking – “I’m stuck here with only my bedroom to practice in, how could I possibly compete, let alone against those who are able to still get into a studio?”. We’ve given that a lot of thought and come up with the Virtual Ballroom Comp Format – a novel format that not only levels the playing field but gives you numeric feedback about how you stack up to the competition.

How We’re Different

We’ve structured the Virtual Ballroom Comp Format to use ‘uncontested scoring’ for each competitive round and 3-5 sentence critiques for each ‘critiqued event’.  For each event you wish to participation in, you will submit a video by a deadline. Over the next few days following the deadline, the judges watch your videos one at a time. For scored events, they will give you a 0-10 score. If you entered a critique event, you’ll receive 3-5 sentences instead from a judge on the panel.

Why it’s Better

A Level Playing Field

 If you can only shoot your footage in a bedroom but your competitors get a brightly lit studio, running all the videos at once puts you at a distinct disadvantage.  At these events, you are guaranteed that the judges will be looking at your dancing and only your dancing. Your scores are based on proficiency within the level and style you enter, and are not directly compared to someone who may have more resources than you do at this time.

It’s More Engaging

Other formats we’ve seen basically involve submitting your videos and then walking away.  That’s not really much to get excited for.  But now for the month of November you get the excitement of waiting for results, callbacks, and getting to participate again and again.

Better, Useful Marks

Uncontested scoring gives you a more meaningful (0-10) result, rather than “I didn’t make callbacks”.  If you don’t get called back from the quarter finals, you can see how large the gap really is to get to the next level. Best of all, your scores are based on a full minute of your dancing, rather than the average 3-7 seconds a judge may get at a typical collegiate competition.

What People Are Saying About It

“Wow! I am so excited that there is an event I can compete in that I know will not be cancelled due to health risks. I also love the idea of competing with the judges eyes on only me! I won’t worry about getting noticed on the floor here. I hope people from all over the world can take part in this singular opportunity.”

Ames Olsen

“I’m so grateful to not only have a reason to get back on the floor, but for an opportunity to get numeric feedback from judges. It’s crazy to think the judges will finally see my entire routine! This is definitely a different experience, but one that comes with so many new opportunities and gives me an excuse to dance in weird locations!”

Genova Morel

All You Need to Compete

  • Yourself (partner optional!)
  • Clothing (shoes optional, costumes optional)
  • A smartphone or camera + speakers
  • A place you’ll have fun dancing. Examples:
    • Your room
    • A studio
    • A garage
    • A tennis court

What You Need to Do

  • Get Excited! Solo-proficiency events are available in addition to amateur, pro-am, and professional partnership events, so no partner required!
  • Register – you can check out the competitions list for upcoming events and check out the format information and judging breakdown to prepare!
  • Wait for the party to start – music for the first events will be available shortly after registration closes for any competition you register for.
    • Submit your video(s) by the end of the submission period.
    • Wait for results to be posted about one week later.
    • Repeat the following weeks and at other events!