Swing Discussion Boards > Questions about WCS Competition

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by someoldsong, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. someoldsong

    someoldsong New Member

    Hello, Im new here and wanted to see if anyone could help me with my questions.

    I am a ballroom/latin/swing teacher in Myrtle Beach and do alot of West Coast Swing and Carolina Shag socially at the SOS functions and things of the sort on Ocean Drive.

    My dance partner and I are wanting to start competing in West Coast Swing competitions. I dont believe we would be considered pro's because we havent had much experience in West Coast but I dont know where we would fall. I dont know what syllabus any competitions go by. We more or less make up everything as we go along anyway. If any of you out there know anything about these competitions please let me know. I have researched a few on the internet but I figured I would get an opinion from someone who has some experience under their belt instead of walking in blind.

    Thanks so much!
  2. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    I would suggest checking out the World Swing Dance Council, which sanctions competitions. They have a lot of good info on that site, as well as a list of sanctioned events. Unlike ballroom, WCS events focus heavily on jack-and-jill competitions; I have done those. But if you want to stick with a chosen partner, there are divisions for that. For different skill levels, there is a comp known as "strictly", where you choose your partner.

    I'm not clear if you already have a coach or instructor for WCS, but if not, I would suggest contacting a current competitive WCS pro for help. They will be much more knowledgeable than I am.
  3. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Well, first off, welcome to DF.
    Then my caveat that I don't compete...
    wasn't going to go there...
    but since Jenny pointed you to the Swing Dance Council...
    there she is, Skippy Blair.

    Don't know what your idea of WCS is, but I found out that Skippy's is a lot more exacting than mine, and that would include most of the people that I see dancing it!

    I'm wondering if her West Coast Swing 101 wouldn't give you an idea of what to expect as far as what you''l be judged on.
    I'd be interested in hearing your adventures.
  4. megeliz

    megeliz Member

    There are three main types of competition in WCS: Jack and Jill, Strictly Swing, and the routines.

    The most popular form of competition is the J&J, where you dance with a random partner to a random song. As far as levels go, the World Swing Dance Council keeps a points registry for all competitors, and as you place, you earn points, and point out of each division. If you have never competed before, you will be in the lowest division (either novice or newcomer, depending on where you are) unless you "petition up" (which is generally frowned upon).

    Strictly Swing is when you dance with a chosen partner to a random song. Levels are determined by the higher partner's J&J level (a novice dancer and an intermediate dancer will dance in intermediate). There is no points tracking in this division.

    Routines are not extremely common outside of the Pros (and when we talk about pros in WCS, we're not talking about any teacher, but specifically about the top national champions), but there are 2 main divisions, Showcase, which allows lifts, and Classic, which does not. Some competitions have a "Rising Star" division so that amateurs do not have to compete against the pros.
  5. Dancegal

    Dancegal Member

    Yes, agree with the posts above. The WCS scene scene rewards success in Jack & Jills first and foremost to "move up". Everyone, regardless of who they are, starts at Novice. This makes Novice the hardest division to win because you could very well draw someone who just started dancing or you could draw someone on the verse of moving up from Novice! Many well-trained dance teachers from overseas travel to the U.S. to compete in WCS and get points and must start in Novice (but often quickly move up). Unless you travel to any Boston or DC events or go to Swing Niagara in Buffalo, NY or Chicago Classic in March, you should not ever have to enter a "Newcomer" contest (those cities have slightly different rules with some events not allowing people without points to compete in Novice). Reading the competitions rules for an event is a MUST.

    I would check out the U.S.A. Jack & Jill event in Nashville Easter weekend and enter the Jack & Jill contest and the Strictly Swing contest. Not a huge event, but a good one to get your feet wet.http://web.archive.org/web/20111020022131/http://www.usajj.net/index.htm

    Also, the Grand Nationals event (WCS and Shag) Memorial Day weekend that is now headed by Shag pros Michael and Leann Norris should be a fun event for you to attend. It is a larger event, but since you dance Shag it should be even more fun for you! http://www.usagrandnationals.com/

    Just a warning, but because usually there are A LOT more women than men in Novice J&Js, men have a higher chance to do better and often move up faster. When I say a lot more women, I mean it. Some huge events have well over 100 women and sometimes half as many men! Don't let that discourage you. Instead, find a good coach for you and your partner, preferably one who competes in the WCS "circuit" World Swing Dance Council sponsored events. It will be money well-spent!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2017
  6. someoldsong

    someoldsong New Member

    Awesome! Thank you guys for the information. That is exactly what I was looking for. I have no problem starting at Novice. I am in now ay a dance snob and think I am better than anyone else. I really enjoy dance and would really just like to broaden my horizons in WCS.

    We had already planned on going in April to the J&J in Nashville but we will see. Im also going to a Fred Astaire Seminar in January (thats the company I work for) and there will be some guest speakers and alot of dancing with nothing but teachers so it should be a really good time. I will definitely start posting about some of the events I go to. Thank you guys for being so friendly. Its pretty rare on forums!
  7. someoldsong

    someoldsong New Member

    So, I contacted the gentleman in charge of the National Shag Dance Competition today (NSDC)

    I spoke with him for a little bit, nice guy, actually lives in my hometown.

    Here is the situation: I am 21, and my partner is 19. Well the NSDC has a strange rule with age limits and we technically cannot compete together. I am considered a non pro division and she is Junior 2. Anyway, I asked to petition her up to my level. They are going to vote on it on Monday when the board gets together to figure out if we can do it. Hopefully it will work out.

    Im really excited for this upcoming year. I dont know if anyone is near or interested in travelling to the Myrtle Beach area, but please let me know. We have alot of history in all the dance spots in town, and working in the Service industry and the dance industry I get alot of hookups. Its mostly all shag, but my partner and i go out almost every weekend and do mostly west coast and no one really cares. Of course there are the purists that hate us taking up so much precious floor space in these packed clubs.

    I didnt know where else to put this, so let me know if I put it in the wrong place.
  8. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    Good luck...and I am not familiar with shag comp rules...but so far as I am aware, for WCS comps, the juniors are under 18. Maybe someone else can confirm this.
  9. megeliz

    megeliz Member

    This is correct. A couple remains in juniors until the younger of the two turns 18.
  10. Asiatias

    Asiatias New Member

    I am originaly from Ballroom. I also started in WCS to "broaden my Horizons."

    I did just that and more. I have absolutely fallin love with WCS. I commend any Ballroom Pro for Taking up WCS. It is definately a completely different animal... and I believe it will improve your other dances as well.

    Good luck with your comps! Enjoy.
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Awesome info in this older thread. I can't' find an info on the Nashville event, though. Is that one still being held?

    I found this this of USA Swing Net Member events (including a couple near where I live Yay!) But no Nashville.

    Any thoughts of good comps to attend this year?

  12. Dancegal

    Dancegal Member

    No, unfortunately USA Jack & Jill in Nashville no longer exists. 2011 was the last year. USA Grand Nationals in Atlanta is the next closest event in the region and a very good one. This year they have an amazing national pro line up!
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I'll take a look at the lineup. Thanks. :D
  14. Dancegal

    Dancegal Member

    Be sure to book the Renaissance Waverly soon (Grand Nationals hotel). Price is very, very reasonable at $92/night plus tax http://usagrandnationals.com/GNDC/ . Staff is yet not updated on the website, but the event's facebook page has the official announcement on staff. Name of Facebook page USA Grand National Dance Championship.
    From the page:
    Are you ready for this?
    GNDC Teaching Staff 2013:
    Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollmann-Bennett
    Charlie Womble & Jackie McGee
    Kyle Redd & Sarah Vann Drake
    Sam West & Lisa Davis West
    Benji Schwimmer & Torri Smith
    Robert Royston & Nicola Royston
    Deborah Szekely
    Brandi Tobias
    Matt and Crystal Auclair
    Gary McIntyre & Susan Kirklin
    Myles Munroe and Tessa Cunningham Munroe
    Brent & Kellese Key

    You do not want to miss this. Book your rooms and get your tickets today. Weekend tickets get you FREE workshop with the above.

    There it is. The best of the best. Sharlot Bott has been chief judge for the competitons the past 3 years so I expect since since doing the GSDA intensive she will be chief judge. She releases scoring results and the very end of the event late Sunday night (closed room, no picture taking allowed) and is available for questions. That's a great thing cause a lot of events outside CA do not release scores on preliminary rounds only the final rounds. Be there! If anything, be there and get a nice girl t-shirt, off-shoulder T etc. They have great souvenir merchandise :) lol!
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Wow. What a line-up.
  16. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    no Jessica cox tho:(

    hi pyg!
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hi! :)

    Too bad it doesn't make sense for me to go to Atlanta this year. The championships there are being held the exact same dates as Dallas DANCE, which is twenty-five minutes from my house.

    I would have to literally drive to and park at the airport where Dallas DANCE and the Skippy Blair workshop are being held and fly across the country to take the Skippy Blair workshop.

    With Dallas DANCE, I could just commute. It's that close. 25 minutes on a limited access, 8 lane, low traffic, highway.

    I will put the USA dealie on my list for next year, though. It looks like a better event, overall.
  18. Dancegal

    Dancegal Member

    The Memorial Day weekend event name is DFW ProAm Jam. Dallas DANCE is a Labor Day weekend event.

    With all due respect, there is NO comparison between a NASDE tour event USA Grand Nationals and DFW ProAm Jam. None. You get what you pay for. Atlanta will get people from other parts of the U.S., national level pros as judges, attendees from perhaps outside the US. DFW event will be mainly Dallas, Oklahoma, maybe Louisiana since some of their local pros are on staff. Big difference.

    Best wishes and hope the intensive is a positive experience :). Please share what you thought of it!

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