Heard about Ballroom Dance Competitions, and think you might want to get your feet wet? Here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions – take a peek, and see if this just might be for you!
Q: Am I good enough to compete?
A: You are good enough to TRAIN to compete. There is a level for everyone, starting with Newcomer (never competed before). Ray, Maria and Cathy are experienced competitors and we can whip you into shape to look great on the dance floor!
Q: Why should I compete?
A: Fear is a powerful motivator! All joking aside, having a concrete goal and a finite amount of time to achieve it really does motivate dancers to work hard, stay focused, and reach for improvement. Competitions are exciting and beautiful – your heart will race and you will dance as hard as you can! You’ll be inspired by others reaching for their best, and in turn you will inspire your audience to reach for their own achievements!
Q: What dance(s) should I do?
A: If you’re just starting out, you should pick one style, either Rhythm (Cha Cha, Rumba & Swing) or Smooth (Waltz, Tango & Foxtrot). You can dance each dance up to four times, and we recommend doing each one at LEAST two times. The first round is often compromised by jitters; the second round you begin to loosen up and move more fluidly; the third round you are hitting your stride; and the fourth round you are having fun! You can dance at your age level as well as one age level younger, and you can dance at your proficiency level as well as one level higher.
Q: Who will I be dancing with?
A: Most of our students compete “Pro/Am,” which means a student with his/her teacher dancing against other students dancing with their teachers. Ladies would dance with Ray, gentlemen would dance with Maria or Cathy.
Q: How do I get ready?
A: You should plan on at least two lessons per week, per style that you are dancing, starting at least 8-10 weeks before the competition you are planning to enter. The first lesson each week can be on your 6- or 12-pack, and the second lesson each week is just $70. (The price is the same whether you are working 1-on-1 with your coach, or if you are attending the lessons with a partner). [*Note: for gentlemen competing with Maria, plan to attend all of your private lessons with a female partner (your spouse or any friend near or above your level who is willing to join you for the lessons!). Maria will alternately dance with you, and watch you dance with your partner so she can both see and feel the best way to help you improve.] Your coach will start you off with a simple routine that you can learn in your lesson and through watching a video of the routine when you’re away from the studio. The routine will be a vehicle for improving your technique and styling, and it will look more polished and powerful with each lesson! You will purchase a costume and accessories for yourself (your instructor can help advise you on this).
Q: How much will it cost?
A: The main cost of competition is the lessons used to prepare (during which you will learn figures, technique and styling that will transfer over to your social dancing!). Price per heat is generally between $50-$60 per heat, so if you do Waltz, Tango and Foxtrot three times each, the cost is 9 x $50, or $450. There is sometimes a cost for admission to the ballroom as well, generally $25-45 per session (one-time fee). When you and your coach feel that you are ready, you can enter a Scholarship category, which is a multi-dance event, for which you can win prize money (generally between $50-$500).
Q: What do I wear?
A: Ladies can purchase a custom-made costume (either ball gown or Latin dress) for as little as $200 online; men’s costumes run about the same price. We would be happy to help guide you to dress- and pant-makers we’ve used in the past with good success. Men should wear black dance pants; for Rhythm, add a fancy shirt; for Smooth, add a button-down shirt with vest and tie.
Q: Where and when is the next competition?
A: The next competition coming up is the Boston Dancesport Cup, at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center in Framingham, MA on Saturday, January 19, 2019. All events take place during that 1 day, and admission to the ballroom is FREE for competing students and teachers. The next competition after that one will be the Eastern U.S. Dancesport Championships, Saturday, February 16 (Rhythm) and Sunday, February 17 (Smooth), 2019 at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf.
Q: How do I get started?
A: Contact Maria at (603) 943-1106, Ray at (603) 930-6521, or Cathy (firstname.lastname@example.org) to book your first lesson and start your plan of attack! We have all been to the rodeo many times before and can guide you well!!!