Ballroom Dancing As Competition
November 22, 2016
World championships exist for any kind of competition and ballroom dancing is no different. Often times called dancesports, this particular sports are regulated strictly. Its governing body is the World Dance Council and it holds competitions at various levels from those for beginners to those for world renowned dancers. While the world over there are separate competitions for amateurs and professionals, in the US pro-am tournaments are commonplace. In fact, the Olympic committee now recognizes ballroom dancing as part of its competitions. Another recognized body is the WDSF or the World DanceSport Federation and this is the official representative body for the Olympics. However, dance still does not feature as part of any Olympic Games and chances of it ever becoming one seem low at the moment.
Regulations relating to ballroom dancing are country specific. There is a total of 30 countries that regularly take part in the World Championships and another 20 countries that have membership but do not always compete. For instance, UK has the British Ballroom Championships and three other competitions. On the other hand, in the US there are several pro-am competitions. Australia has the New Vogue competition that is not just a competitive event but a social one too. Russia when it was formerly known as USSR had its Soviet Ballroom dances.
There are variations to the dances used in these competitions and they depend once more on the country in question. For instance, in the US, Rhythm and American Smooth are part of the competition but elsewhere these do not exist. It seems, dances are added depending on the demand of the local market.
The most prestigious competition though world over is the Blackpool, England Dance Festival. This is one place that attracts the top dancers globally.
Elements of Competition
In the competitions a judge is always present in the foreground and a few others too who help them out. Dancers basically are judged for the frame, hold, poise, musicality, expressions, body alignment, timing, posture, shape, foot and leg action, floor craft and presentation. Judging in dance sports as you can imagine is mostly subjective and thus results are often clouded with controversies with complaints to organizers not uncommon.
Then there are scrutineers or scorekeepers who basically tally all the scores accumulated by each couple as they progress through various stages or rounds. The floor may actually have around 6 to 8 couples dancing at once in the finals. There is actually a syllabus for these competitions and moves that are deemed as illegal too. Depending on the level of competition, you can have bronze, silver or gold syllabus.