Partner and I returned from our first-ever comp this past weekend. It was the Illini DanceSport Invitational at Champaign-Urbana, IL. The categories were odd: Beginner and Advanced only, with Advanced meaning more than a year's experience or something like that. We danced a heat, and were judged on whether we were more advanced or less advanced, which separated us into an A (for advanced) category, and a B (beginner) category. So you had four total categories: Beginning beginner, advanced beginner, beginning advanced, and advanced advanced. That's how we figured it anyways. We entered WTFQ, and made it to the finals in tango and foxtrot (placing 5th in each) and to the semi-finals in quickstep. We didn't make the waltz semi's, which totally threw me for a loop. They were two of the cleanest waltzes we've ever danced, and felt awesome. The only reason I can think of is maybe because we threw in a throwaway in each heat of waltz we danced, and maybe since it was a collegiate-level comp they weren't allowed? I don't know... The website and flyer never mentioned any disallowed moves, and we were in the "advanced" category. Partner said she noticed one of the judges give us a rather disapproving stare when we did one, which she said later didn't really make sense at the time. Maybe that was it... We didn't final in quickstep since we were both really tired after all the heats we did, and I flubbed the footwork during the semi, but we at least made finals in two, and semi'd in the other one. Out of probably 50 or more total couples (not sure of the exact count), I'm tickled we did so well for our first comp! We went along with two of our dance-friends from the studio, and they danced beginning waltz and cha-cha. They placed 4th in waltz and 5th in cha-cha (both in the "A" category) and really looked great. One of them had an aunt come to watch, and she played videographer for us. The vid turned out great. Definitely a great first comp.