Interested in dancing at a competitve level? Below are 10 of the most commonly asked questions regarding competive dancing.
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1. How do I enter a competition?
To enter a competition, you must first be a member of the Alberta Amateur DanceSport Association (DSAB). You must also send your registration (entry) to the organiser of the competition before the posted deadline. A fee may be required. You can contact the organizer to get the entry form - or ask your teacher/dance studio. Sometimes the organizer will accept the entry by email
2. How do I become a member of DSAB?
You can download the membership form through the following link. The cost for an adult 1 year membership is $44.00 and has several benefits, including receiving newsletters and regulation handbooks and making you eligible to enter all Alberta competitions.http://dancesportalberta.org/dsab/site/
3. How much does a competition cost?
There may be registration fee (within $15 to $25 a category). Every competition however, has an admission price which is usually applicable to both spectators and competitors. Most of time, this ranges from $20 to $40 a person for the whole day.
4. Do I need to be at a high level to start competing?
Not at all. Every competition has many categories, with levels for even absolute beginners. The very first level is called Newcomer, and is especially made for dancers who have never competed before.
5. What are the levels of competition?
The first level of competition is called Newcomer. After that follows Bronze, Silver, Gold, Pre-Championship, and Championship. At each of the levels of competition, there is a set syllabus of regulation steps.
6. What dances do I have to know to compete?
In Newcomer, the competition dances are Chacha in Latin, and Waltz in Standard. You can choose to compete in both styles (Latin and Standard) or only one. To compete, you will need a short routine comprised of steps that are within the newcomer level. The length of your routine is not important. In fact, a routine at the newcomer level can be as short as a 20 second grouping of steps that you repeat over and over. It is advised that you have your routine built by a professional teacher to ensure that it complies with the DSAB syllabus regulations.
At the Bronze level, the dances are Chacha and Jive in Latin, and Waltz and Quickstep in Standard.
7. What happens at a competition?
Upon your arrival, go to the registration table and pick up your competition number, which you pin on the back of the male competitor's shirt. There is always a schedule of events or program available, most often for a nominal charge. If you need to change, there are always both male and female dressing rooms available. During the competition, the categories are called one after the other by the MC, who will announce the next category while the previous one is on. This assists competitors to know when to prepare and be ready to compete. Prior to competing, competitors line up, usually at one corner of the dance floor called the marshalling area. There is always a volunteer, called a marshal, to help organize all the competitors and make sure no one competes in the wrong category! Competitors usually enter the floor from one corner and exit by another one.
Once you are lined up and your category is called, you and your partner walk onto the floor and choose a spot where you feel comfortable dancing. You then wait for the music to start, and once the music is playing, you start your routine and repeat it as necessary.
The music will play for approximately 1 minute and will then fade out. Once the music fades, you bow slightly (there is always a cheering audience!) and exit the dance floor. It's as simple as that!
Depending on the number of competitors participating, you may be required to dance more than once. If there are:
- 2 to 7 couples.....there will be a final only.
- 8 to 13 couples.....there will be a semi-final + the final.
- 14 to 25 couples.....there will be a quarter-final + half-final + final.
After a quarter-final or semi-final, lists are posted in the marshalling area of which couples have been called back to the next round of competition. There is always a break between rounds.
8. Do I have to buy an expensive costume as a beginner?
No, you can probably find something in your wardrobe that would be suitable for the competition. Competitors don't usually have custom-made outfits before the Silver category, and you are not allowed to wear a costume at the newcomer level. Check the DSAB website for the dress code.
9. I don't know many people who compete... will I feel alone on the competition day?
Don't forget that competitions are run in a very friendly atmosphere where everybody supports one another. We always have many Edmonton competitors at competitions and spectators coming to watch. They all give great support and cheer for the Edmonton couples, and are great for answering questions if you need a bit of help. It's a fun activity where you can socialize and have a great dancing experience.
10. Where and when are the competitions around Alberta?
Below are 2 links to web calendars of every competition in Alberta (and Canada) where you will find the contact informations & registration infos.