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Competition Dance Styles

People get into competitive dance for different reasons. People dance at weddings, because of their ethnicity, or simply because they want to exercise and be really good at something. Whatever the reason is, can be just a hobby or a competitive sport

Competitions are very broad in type. They can range from winning $50 at your local bar, to the more formal international competitions which require hours upon hours of discipline, dedication, and practice. These competitions are for dancers that are very serious about their art.

Your journey through the world of competitive dance will most likely begin in your teacher’s dance studio. Even Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly were taught by someone at first. You participate in local competitions held throughout the year, and if you win you move up to the next level competition until you are at the state, national, and international contests.

Expect to pay entry fees, travel costs, and spend perhaps hundreds of dollars on costumes. Money isn’t the only expenditure, as you will need to spend many, many hours developing and working on your routine with your teacher and practicing with your partner. You can’t do something like this motivated by ego alone, you have to love it! You have to love to dance, love to perform, love a challenge, and love to win.

Unfortunately, spending a lot of time and money isn’t enough either. Dancing is an art, not a science, and true talent on the dance floor must come from inside. Steps can be taught, but talent and true style? Never! You can teach anyone to dance, but you can’t teach anyone to be great. Some of the greatest dancers in the world can make the simplest steps look impressive and make the most difficult steps look easy.

The first thing you’ll want to do is choose your category. Will you compete solo, with a partner or a group? There are categories for age and style of dance, and the rules will dictate what moves you can use or must avoid. There are 10 International Style categories: five International Standard: Slow Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Slow Foxtrot, Quickstep and five International Latin: Cha-cha-cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive. The American Style includes four American Smooth: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, and five American Rhythm: Cha Cha, Rumba, East Coast Swing, Bolero, Mambo categories. You will be judged by a panel, usually consisting of professional dancers, and will be competing against some very talented dancers.

Esther Frances has been dancing her entire life and runs a lucrative ballroom and latin dance studio in the heart of times square. Make sure you see her advice on becoming a great competitive dancer How to Dance Competitively