Ballroom Competitions!

Anyone can compete—it's the best way to practice a lot, improve quickly, and see amazing couples on the floor. You'll drive with us to the competition, possibly spend the night in a hotel or be hosted by local dancers, and spend a day or two dancing rounds, watching Champ-level dancers and shows by professionals, and getting callbacks & winning. There are divisions by skill level, including Newcomer for people who've danced for less than one semester. If you don't have a partner, we can help you find one. 
Email ballroom@andrew.cmu.edu or contact the Competition Team Coordinators if you're interested!

What's involved

LEVELS AND DANCE STYLES

Newcomer, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Novice, Pre-championship, Championship. Newcomer is exclusively for dancers with less than 6 months of experience; after that, you must move up to Bronze, and you'll progress up through the levels as you get better. For each level, there are 4 styles to choose from: International Standard (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Quickstep), International Latin (Cha-Cha, Rumba, Samba, Paso Doble, Jive), American Smooth (Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz), and American Rhythm (Rumba, Cha-Cha, Mambo, East Coast Swing, Bolero). You can typically do any or all of these 19 dances at a competition.

HOW COMPS WORK

Typically, each event (dance) will have 3 or 4 rounds, each being 1 1/2 minutes long with about 20 couples on the floor. About five judges walk around the perimeter of the floor; in Newcomer, they mainly look to see if you're on time, doing the right steps, and looking confident, and in higher levels, they look for technique and style. If enough judges mark you down, you'll be called back to the next round for that dance.

PAYING FOR COMPS

The possible costs involved are entry fees, travel, housing, and food. The club subsidizes all of these as much as possible, and many comps have free housing available. Typically, a comp will cost you $45 to $60 + food expenses.

PRACTICE POLICY

Costs involved with a competition include registration, travel, and lodging-the club subsidizes a fraction of the cost (based on how many attend) so that it is more affordable for all to go. Since you are more prepared to do well at a competition and enjoy it more when you have practiced sufficiently, the club wants to reward your practice time invested by subsidizing your trip! Subsidies work as follows:

To get subsidized, you must practice for at least 12 hours in the month before a competition, 6 of them with the team, 3 of them with your partner.

NOTE —
Lessons and formation do not count as practice!
Thus, the following times are free each week:

Mondays 10 – 11 PM
Wednesdays 10 – 11 PM
Saturdays 12.30 – 3.30 PM
Sundays 12.30 – 3.30 PM