So like I mentioned in my first post since I woke back up to the world of ballroom dance blogging, I mentioned that one of the reasons that I switched studios was to focus on dance competitions that are nationally recognized. The 2 organizations that fit this mold are NDCA and USA Dance. Most ballroom dancers know the NDCA competitions and championships. USA Dance, however, sometimes gets overlooked.
USA Dance – The Organization for Amateur Couples
I guess the primary reason to choose USA Dance and focus on this organization is that it is made for amateur couples. All of the competitions are for amateurs only and with a few exceptions, you won’t see Pro-Am couples on the floor. But just because they are amateur couples doesn’t mean that everyone dances amateur-ish. Some of the the dancers you know competed and won the USA Dance National Championship. Val Chmerkovskiy comes to mind. So, on that note, if you want to compete seriously as an amateur couple, I don’t know why you wouldn’t focus on the USA Dance organization. Other organizations (*cough* NDCA *cough*) are really tailored for the Pro-Am couples. The vast majority of the dances are for them and the cost/bonus structure reflects that.
USA Dance – It’s a non-profit so you’re supporting a good cause
USA Dance is a non-profit organization with its mission to expand the footprint of social dancing worldwide. They are also the organization that is spearheading the movement to include ballroom dance as an Olympic sport. As an aside, can I just say that I think it is completely ridiculous that ballroom dance is not considered a sport. I mean DanceSport has “Sport” in the name for God’s sake… but I digress. As a non-profit with chapters all over the country, there is a community aspect in addition to a competitive aspect. You can give back both with your entry fees and with your time at your local chapter, if you so choose.
USA Dance – You actually have to qualify
So the rules to make National Championships is that you need to place in the top 60% of the dancers in a dance in a National Qualifying Event (NQE). Then, you can participate in Nationals. Then, if you do well there, you could represent the US in International Events. This process of having to qualify appeals to the sportsman in me as well.
USA Dance – The best deal in town
I saved the best for last. The best part about competing in USA Dance comps is the entry fee. For the most part, you will only have to pay about $100 to enter and you can dance all you want. That is an amazing bargain when you consider the fact that you can easily spend between $1,000 – $2,000 easily on an NDCA comp.
So what’s the drawback?
Well the big drawback is that the NQE events are primarily located on the East Coast. That’s a bit of a jaunt for me. Although the entry fees are extremely affordable, that’s offset by the travel costs.
All that said, I can’t wait for the next one.