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Guide for New Competitors

What is Dance Sport?

DanceSport, competitive ballroom dancing, is basically couples assembled on a dance floor being compared with other couples by qualified judges, on relative performance and execution using a defined and recognized set of standards.

DanceSport Competitions

DanceSport invites audience participation. Members of the audience frequently call out their favorite couple’s number and cheer for them which energizes the couple and can help bring the judges’ attention to that couple. Dancers are segregated by skill levels (proficiency), age and dance style so that they compete on a “level playing field”. As skills and proficiency improve they advance and move up to the next higher level and compete against dancers at the higher proficiency level.

What is Pro-Am?

Pro-Am competition is a category in DanceSport where the amateur students partner with a professional dancer, similar to what you see on “Dancing With The Stars.” In these events only the amateur is judged, leaving the professional free to concentrate on helping you look and dance your best! There are several age classifications and level divisions available, allowing professional partners to dance with all their students, and to ensure you compete against other dancers of similar skill. Every dance style is available, so you can choose the dances you want to compete in.

Age Categories

Each competition has slightly different age division breakdowns, and it is often possible to compete in a different age category. Pro-am age categories usually are:

  • Teddy Bear: 7 & younger
  • Pre-Teen 1: 9 & younger
  • Pre-Teen 2: 11 & younger
  • Junior 1: 12-13
  • Junior 2: 14-16
  • Youth: 16-18
  • Adult: 18-35
  • Adult B: 35-50
  • Senior 1: 50-70
  • Senior 2: 70+

Skill Divisions

Competitions are usually divided by ‘syllabus,’ meaning competitors are restricted to specific steps appropriate for their experience level. Your instructor will teach you competition choreography in advance, to prepare you for your competition. The levels are: Newcomer, Pre-Bronze, Bronze, Full Bronze, Open Bronze, Pre-Silver, Silver, Full Silver, Open Silver, Pre-Gold, Gold, Full Gold, Open Gold & Open Championship.

Dance Styles

Pro-Am competitors choose which style(s) of dance they compete in. They may compete in one, or many styles of dance. There are four major categories the dances are grouped into: International Latin (cha cha, samba, rumba, paso doble & jive), International Standard (waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, foxtrot & quickstep), American Rhythm (cha cha, rumba, east coast swing, bolero, mambo, west coast swing, salsa, nightclub two-step, merengue & new york hustle), and American Smooth (waltz, tango, viennese waltz, foxtrot & argentine tango).


In solo competition, you and your instructor are the only couple on the floor. Judges usually give you individual feedback, and mark you on a scale of 1-100. Your scores are compared with many other couples who dance solos during the competition. The top-marked solos re-dance at night, and scholarships are usually awarded to the top solos of the entire competition. Solos are great for dancers who have a particular song they love dancing to, or if you would like the judge’s individual feedback which you cannot get in group flights. Solos are limited to 2 minutes and 45 seconds, but choreography is unrestricted allowing for maximum artistic expression and showmanship. Solo events are exciting and often highly competitive.

Scholarship Events

Most competitions offer multi-dance scholarship events. These are highly competitive events where competitors are judged on their overall ability in several dances. The top three couples are usually rewarded with scholarship money to help further their dance training.


Costs vary between competitions, so you‘ll need to discuss the event you‘re interested in with Alla for specifics. Firstly: you pay your instructor for their time, talent and expenses. You will need to buy tickets to the event (often discount packages are available) and pay entry fees.

Please contact the studio if you are interested in competing today!

Acrobatics / Tumbling
Acrobatics/tumbling is centered on fundamental acrobatic technique to increase flexibility, strength, balance, coordination, endurance, timing, body awareness, self-discipline, and confidence.
Toddler Dance

We develop an enjoyment of music and movement as well as a positive self-image as primary goals. Basic ballet terms and steps are taught along with tumbling skills.

Jazz / Contemporary

We teach sharp and fluid movements to create a visually technical dance and style. It is usually done to popular music. Body isolations, stretch, turning, leaping and technical steps are taught in this class.

Beginner Ballet
Ballet is the “backbone” of all dance training. In ballet the student will learn grace, elegance, technique, discipline, flexibility, stamina, and endurance. We strongly feel that ballet is the most important dance form that a child or adult can study. We offer Ballet for all ages and abilities. 
Hip Hop
Hip Hop is designed to help the dancer loosen up, gain rhythm, and have fun in an aerobic workout. Moves from MTV and other videos on TV with popular artists will be taught. This is a great way to get a good workout, have fun and gain confidence. 
Kids Latin
In the Latin class you will learn how to add grace, femininity, & flare to your Latin dancing. We teach choreography that focuses on arm & leg styling, body isolation technique, footwork/shines, hand & foot placements, and much more. Kids  will also learn how to incorporate styling in  partner dancing, as you will gain confidence and improve the fluidity of body movements. 
Adult Salsa
Inspired by Latin dance & music, more like a Salsa workout class that uses a variety of styles in its routines, including, merengue, salsa, pop, mambo, rumba, & flamenco. No dance experience required.