Contests

California Balboa Classic Competitions

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

Passes and 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

The 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.
  • Competitors in the Open Classic are automatically entered into the Wildcard.
  • 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 Wildcard

Open to couples of any skill level.

Prizes include:

Cash: $700 first prize — $350 second prize — $150 third prize.
Other: Trophies and merchandise vouchers and/or event passes.

Description:
  • Entering the Open Classic automatically enters you into the Wildcard.
  • Prelims: The Open Classic and the Wildcard share a single preliminary round—anyone competing in the Open Classic prelims is eligible to compete in the Wildcard finals.
  • Finals: Finalists will be the top 8–10 couples who did not make it into the Open Classic finals.
  • Stay tuned for more format and judging information.

The Pure Balboa 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 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.

Open Mixed Couples

Open to any age or skill level of dancer.

Prizes include:

Cash: $1000 first prize — $500 second prize — $250 third prize.
Other: Trophies and merchandise vouchers and/or event passes.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

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.

  • 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.

Invitational Mixed Couples

Open to individuals by invitation only.

Prizes include:

Cash: $1000 first prize — $500 second prize — $250 third prize.
Other: Trophies and street cred.

  • Competitors will go straight to finals. They will randomly draw a partner and they will be judged as a couple. Competitors will dance a warm-up all skate. Each couple will dance a DJed spotlight.
  • Competitors will judge themselves and must rank themselves and their partner in last.

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.

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

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 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.
A couple consists of one designated lead and one designated follow.
Competitors are expected to exhibit courteous and respectful behavior at all times during the California Balboa Classic competitions.

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

Contest schedules are subject to change at any time. Please stay up to date on any changes.
Each competitor must agree to the liability waiver.

Competing as both a lead and a follow

  • Dancers who wish to compete as both a lead and a follow in a single contest division must register for each role separately.
  • To do so, 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.
  • 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.
  • CalBal reserves the right to amend these rules in order to preserve fairness for all competitors and maintain reasonable judging conditions.

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

  • Mixed Couples Divisions: Competitors will be required 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.