Swing Discussion Boards > How to win a swing dance competition

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by pygmalion, Jun 27, 2004.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    So exactly how does one win a swing dance comp? Swing is so, so proud of its social dance orientation and lack of pretention. So what, if anything, is the difference between a swing dance social on a Saturday night and a swing dance comp? How are dancers judged, and by what criteria? Anyone?
  2. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    One guaranteed way to win is to insure that Tonya Harding IS your dance partner!!!
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Silly! :lol: :lol:
  4. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Seriously . . . at a swing dance social on a Saturday night, I can do just about anything I want - lifts, dips, suicide drops, aerials - and I don't have to do any vanillas (basic patterns)! Why, I could even "grind" if I wanted to!

    However in most competitions, there certain things you cannot do. In UCWDC, I think the only one from above that I can do is the dip . . . and I would have to do the vanillas!

    Of course I am talking Pro-Am WCS here. In showcase and other divisions, you could do some or all the above.

    The difference is akin to night and day in this case . . . so basically, depending on the dance division that you are entered in for competition, there may some diference or there could be no difference

    Other insights . . . ?
  5. jon

    jon Member

    Probably the principal way that comes out in the WCS world is the Jack & Jill style of competition. Otherwise I don't know that there's a lot of difference in procedural aspects of WCS and ballroom comps, though externalities like costuming are a lot different. I gather from dnice's posts about Lindy comps that they have a rather different set of judging guidelines.
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Ooh. Lots of questions. How is costuming different? How is WCS different from any other type of swing dance? What's the role of Jack and Jills? Anybody (not just jon. :wink: :D )
  7. Jmatthew

    Jmatthew New Member

    a friend of mine told me about an interesting lindy competition he was in...

    4 follows and 4 leads were pre-chosen as judges, but their names weren't announced, and they were entered into the jack and jills as regular competitors.

    Then everyone danced with everyone else.

    The 8 judges rated each partner based on how much FUN their dance was. :)

    Seems more in the spirit of Lindy than traditional technique based on judging to me. :)
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    That sounds fun. Different, but fun. 8)
  9. Flat Shoes

    Flat Shoes New Member

    I think it will depend on the kind of competition. In my opinioen the three main elements are technique, musicality and showmanship.

    You need to show that your technique is good, good footwork, good balance, good driver and feeling.. You need to fit your moves to the music, hit the breaks, play with song etc. And you need to communicate with the audience, flirt with them and wow them.
  10. swinginstyle

    swinginstyle New Member

    A good rule is to land a highly ranked follow in your division in finals.
  11. bjp22tango

    bjp22tango Active Member

    I had never heard of a Jack & Jill competition in any dance format until WC Swing. I see it mostly in the Swing community, but also at some USABDA venues.

    A Jack & Jill competition is one where you sign up as a lead or follow and you don't know who you will be dancing with until the music is about to start. You may or may not have danced with this person before. It is a way of attempting a true lead/follow competition. In our dance communities the people who enter the Jack & Jills tend to know each other from social dances, but the chances are still small that they have routinely danced as a couple. The luck of the draw can land you with a super partner or one who only knows the basics. What you make of the pairing is everything.
  12. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Jack and Jills are popular in ECS/lindy as well, where I had competed. We held a J&J for the swing mini-comp at Triangle Invitational (where I'm glad to say I finished in the top 3 couples in that cohort). But it's complete luck-of-the-draw and you hope you get a good partner in the late rounds.

    But the idea of having the judges dance along with the competitors is a very interesting idea.

    BTW, I'm hoping that I can get a ballroom four-dance Jack and Jill arranged. In all likelihood it's probably better format for smooth/standard though I suppose Latin/rhythm could work too. If there is ever a "reunion" of this group, I may have to increase that to 12-dance... or maybe even 21-dance. ;)
  13. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Depends entirely on what swing dance the event caters to and which event promoter is running it. Events like Hellzapoppin' have no rules. The judges want the spirit of lindy hop and your personal interpretation of the music with lindy hop as your vehicle. No rules, no disqualifications. You win by simply being the better than everyone else. You make the judges hear the music the way you do, you keep their attention anyway you can, but once you have it you need to show that you can DANCE.

    Best Lindy Hop competition I've been to ever.

    Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown is another that hits that same kind of feel. Respect for the dancers/competitors as artists, the only real rules are to determine what division you are in.

    NJC and ALHC are variants on West Coast rules last I checked.... In these you want to keep your dancing safe. Sure "daring" stunts are rewarded, but they look for clean lines, dancing that is easily recognizable as lindy hop with as little pushing the envelop as possible. At least as far as ALHC is concerned the more "Show" oriented it is and less "Social" the bteer. Wink at the judges, flirt with the audience, point at people and give cheezy smiles. Oh and body rolls. :roll:

    That seems to generally get you placed pretty high.

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