Competitions

Competing at California Balboa Classic 2023

Competition questions?  Please write us:  contests@calbalclassic.com

Passes & Registration

Each competitor must have either a Full Weekend pass, Balboa Crash Course pass, Invitational pass, or a Dance/Comp pass to enter competitions.

Each Mixed Couples participant must register separately.  For Couples Contests only one participant should register and list their partner’s name.

Rules

Each competitor should read general rules and descriptions for each competition they enter.

Competition Fees

Couple Competitions:
$40/couple/competition ($50 at the door)

Mixed Couples:
$20/competitor/competition ($25 at the door)

Competition Descriptions

NEW: Artistic Voice

Open to couples of any skill level.

Prizes include:

Cash: $250/award category

Other: Trophies and merchandise vouchers and/or event passes.

Description:
  • The objective of this contest is to spotlight couples who dance Balboa while making a point to feature their own style, personality, and voice as individuals and couples.
  • This partnered contest will have unique judging criteria that rewards couples for excelling within select categories.
  • The three categories are Unique Style award, Inspirational Dance award and Best Performance award.
  • Couples can win an award in only one of the categories.
  • Couples will dance to randomized, DJed music, however they will select the tempo and genre in advance.

The Pure Balboa Classic

Open to couples of any skill level.

Prizes include:

Cash: $500 first prize — $250 second prize — $125 third prize.

Other: Trophies and merchandise vouchers and/or event passes.

Description:
  • This partnered contest is geared to feature today’s Balboa dancers dancing Pure Balboa/Closed position Balboa.
  • The judges will be asked to evaluate competitors based on their personal judging criteria and preferences.
  • Prelims: Couples will dance in heats to a minimum of three songs of three different tempos.
  • Finals: Finalists will have an all skate warmup followed by spotlights to DJed music and a final all at high tempo.

The Open Classic

Open to couples of any skill level.

Prizes include:

Cash: $1000 first prize — $500 second prize — $250 third prize.

Other: Trophies and merchandise vouchers and/or event passes.

Description:
  • This Balboa & Bal-Swing competition is designed to showcase the intricacies of partnering and musicality in the mid-tempo round as well as the excitement and energy of Bal-Swing and LA Swing in the fast round.
  • Prelims: Couples will dance in heats to a minimum of three songs of three different tempos.
  • Finals: Finalists will dance two rounds to live music. They will dance one medium round and one fast round to showcase diverse skill, partnering and musicality.
  • Medium Round: Couples will dance spotlights to live music. Approx. 230 BPM.
  • Fast Round: Couples will dance phrased dual spotlights to live music. Approx. 260-270 BPM.

The Amateur Classic

Open to couples meeting the amateur defintion (see rules below).

Prizes include:

Cash: $200 first prize — $100 second prize — $50 third prize

Other: Trophies and merchandise vouchers and/or event passes.

Description:
  • This Balboa & Bal-Swing competition is designed to showcase the intricacies of partnering and musicality, as well as the excitement and energy of Bal-Swing and LA Swing.
  • Prelims: Couples will dance in heats to a minimum of three songs of three different tempos.
  • Finals: Finalists will dance to DJed music. They will dance one All Skate Warm Up song, in a Dual Spotlight round to showcase diverse skill, partnering and musicality, and in a Final All Skate round.
  • All Skate Warm Up: All couples will dance to DJed music in a single group. Approx. 210 BPM.
  • Dual Spotlight: Two couples will dance at a time to DJed music. Approx. 240 BPM.
  • Final All Skate: All couples will dance to DJed music. Approx. 250 BPM.

Open Mixed Couples

Open to any age or skill level of dancer.

Prizes include:

Cash: $500 first prize — $250 second prize — $125 third prize.

Other: Trophies and merchandise vouchers and/or event passes.

Description:
  • Competitors will sign up individually as a lead or follow and will randomly draw partners for each round of this competition.
  • Prelims will be danced in heats with competitors changing partners a minimum of three times.
  • Finalists will draw a partner and they will be judged as a couple for the entire final round.
  • Finalists will dance a warm-up all skate and will dance in spotlights to DJed music. Couples may dance further all skates as deemed necessary by the judges.

Amateur Mixed Couples

Open to couples meeting the amateur defintion (see rules below).

Prizes include:

Cash: $200 first prize — $100 second prize — $50 third prize

Other: Trophies and merchandise vouchers and/or event passes.

Description:
  • Competitors will sign up individually as a lead or follow and will randomly draw partners for each round of this competition.
  • Prelims will be danced in heats with competitors changing partners a minimum of three times.
  • Finalists will draw a partner and they will be judged as a couple for the entire final round.
  • Finalists will dance a warm-up all skate and will dance in spotlights to DJed music. Couples may dance further all skates as deemed necessary by the judges.

General Rules and Guidelines for Competitors

Each competitor must have either a Full Weekend pass, Balboa Crash Course pass, Invitational pass, or a Dance/Comp pass to enter competitions.

A couple consists of one designated lead and one designated follow. Dancers will generally be judged in the role for which they registered.

Competitors are expected to exhibit courteous and respectful behavior at all times during the California Balboa Classic competitions.

All competitions are in Balboa, Bal-Swing and/or LA Swing unless otherwise specified. These dance styles are left to individual judge’s discretion with respect to definition and score/placement impact. CalBal judges are encouraged to reward a combination of style that represents these dances in the essence of their original forms as well as modern dancer’s interpretation, innovation, and creativity.

All competitions are in Balboa, Bal-Swing and/or LA Swing unless otherwise specified. These dance styles are left to individual judge’s discretion with respect to definition and score/placement impact. CalBal judges are encouraged to reward a combination of style that represents these dances in the essence of their original forms as well as modern dancer’s interpretation, innovation, and creativity.

Each competitor must agree to the liability waiver.

Qualifying amateur dancers may compete in both the amateur and open divisions of a contest (see CalBal’s Definition of an Amateur).

Each competitor must be present at the competitors’ meeting and must check in with the contest coordinator 10 minutes before the prelims and finals or they may be scratched without a refund.

CalBal’s Definition of an Amateur—please use these guidelines and your discretion:

  • Amateur dancers do not travel to teach Balboa regularly.
  • Within the last 10 years they have not placed in the top three placements in any national or higher level Balboa competition (*see examples below).
  • Dancers who have made the finals in a non-Amateur Bal division at a national or higher level Balboa competition should compete in CalBal’s Open division.
  • Dancers who have placed in the top three placements at a national or higher level Balboa competition as an Amateur** are also encouraged to compete in CalBal’s Open division.

These guidelines apply to dancers competing in a specific role, e.g. a dancer might qualify to compete in an amateur division as a lead, but not as a follow. Dancers should register in the roles and corresponding divisions for which they qualify.

*Examples of a National or higher level competition include but are not limited to: CalBal, All Balboa Weekend, Camp Hollywood, European Balboa Festival.
**Placements in novice, newcomer, Division 3 at ABW, or Pro-Am do not disqualify Amateur status

Competing as both a lead and a follow

  • Dancers may enter any division as both a lead and a follow if they meet the criteria to compete in their registered role in that division.
  • If you wish to compete as both a lead and a follow in a single contest division, please contact our team so that we can register you in both roles and ensure you are placed in different heats for the prelims. contests@calbalclassic.com. Contest fees apply per role.
  • Dancers who wish to compete as both a lead and a follow in a single contest division must register for each role separately.
  • Competitors will be judged for dancing in their registered role for the duration of each heat, round, or spotlight. Any switch dancing done during a contest (dancing in the opposite role from registration) may be disregarded at the judges’ discretion.

Finals Format for competitors who qualify as both a lead and follow:

  • Mixed Couples Divisions: Competitors will have to choose to dance as EITHER a lead OR follow in the finals.
  • Classic Divisions: Competitors may dance in the finals with BOTH of their qualifying partners so long as they inform their partners of the format and divide their dance time in the all-skates evenly between partners with assistance from the contest team.

All competition rules, description, and prizes are subject to change without notice. Final contest rules, descriptions, and prizes will be available at the event.