Competitions

Competitions are a great way to strut your stuff and win amazing prizes! We’ll have competition sign up at the cashbox during dances and classes but it’s first come first served, so head on over sooner rather than later to put your blood, sweat, and awesome grooves through the gauntlet.

Jam & Jelly (J&J) |  $5 per person

This division is open to anyone except instructors at the event, you choose a role when you enter (lead/follow). The preliminary round will be just before the start of main dance on Saturday night (around 9:00pm) and contestants will randomly dance with different partners for a few all-skates. Competitors will get the chance to inform us of anyone they don’t want to dance with and finalists will be selected (any finalist receiving a majority of refusals will be disqualified and an alternate will be selected). The final round will be during the band break at the Saturday main dance and contestants will rotate through partners in an all-skate, spotlights, and a final all-skate. Judges will be looking for partner connection, musicality, creativity, and blues aesthetic. The top three dancers in both roles will receive passes to national dance events.

Solo Blues Riffin’  |  $5 per person

Riffing is an exchange of movement between dancers used to inspire new and creative expressions of movement. Competitors will be solo dancing and playing back and forth to create something new together. The preliminary round will be at the start of the Saturday late night (around 12:15am) and will consist of a few all-skates, where competitors will move around the floor solo dancing and interacting with different dancers. The final round will be during the late night dance on Saturday (around 1:30am), similar to the style of a jam/cuttin’ circle where contestants regulate entering and leaving the circle on their own, keeping two contestants solo dancing together at a time. Judges will be looking for musicality, creativity, blues aesthetic, and quality of movement in individual dancers, as well as the ability to collaborate with fellow dancers and take turns adding and listening to the exchange. First and second place will receive passes to national dance events.

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New structure and name for our Jam & Jelly Competition!
You may be curious about our new Jam & Jelly competition. It’s our formerly known Jack & Jill competition with a new name since the old name implies a gender for our lead/follow roles and we encourage anyone to enter as a lead or follow. Aries Indenbaum coined the catchy name years ago when MC’ing a competition at our weekly Thursday night Back Room dance. We have also adjusted the structure of our competition to align more with our values of safer spaces. In many competitions, when you rotate to an assigned partner sometimes you are forced to dance with someone you would never dance with on the social floor, due to them causing a previous injury, making you feel unsafe, or being the perpetrator of past trauma. We want to make sure everyone has an enjoyable time competing and gets to dance with who they want to. For this reason our prelims will allow competitors to find themselves a new partner when we rotate and our finals will allow finalists to refuse dancing with another competitor (and if the majority of finalists in that role refuse to dance with a competitor, that competitor will be disqualified and an alternate will be selected). If you have thoughts on our structure or ideas on how to improve it, please let us know. We strive to make the best blues event we can with a safe and inclusive environment.

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Pssssst! Curious about competitions in general (structure, judging criteria, DJs, etc) or what makes a great Solo Comp? Mike Legenthal: Instructor, DJ, and Event Organizer who travels nationally with her vast ocean of experience runs a great blog with insights to all of these things and much more! Check it owowout.