At the Southeastern Dancesport Championships, we offer many different ways to dance so that everyone has ample opportunity to demonstrate their skills. With so many options, we want to make sure that everything is clear. For this competition, the rules about most of the events can be found in the USA Dance Rulebook, although there are a few events that are more unique.
The amateur division is for couples where both partners are amateur dancers and both are the same level. In these events, the couple is judged against the other couples on the floor. Dancers of all ages are welcome, with the youngest age division being Teddy Bear (7 and under) and the oldest being Senior V (75 and older). Events are offered in seven levels: Newcomer (competitors who have been dancing less than a year), Bronze, Silver and Gold are the syllabus levels; while Novice, Pre-Champ, and Championship are the open levels. In the former, only figures from the USA Dance, WDSF, or DVIDA syllabi may be danced, while in the latter, anything is fair game.
Master of Syllabus events are special amateur events that we encourage everyone to dance. They are open to all with the one restriction that all figures must be drawn from the USA Dance, WDSF, or DVIDA syllabi. This ensures a fair basis for comparison while allowing competitors to measure their ability to dance fundamental figures against dancers of all levels.
Don't have a regular partner? Dancers can still register for Amateur events by registering with their partner as "TBA", or "to be announced". This lets others know that they're planning to compete in these events and allows dancers looking for TBA partners in different roles to start to connect and find people to dance with. Either before or at the competition, they can partner up, practice a bit, and then get to enjoy dancing together!
These events are for the best of the best. Professional couples, who have made dance their career, compete against each other at the highest level. Expect to see beautiful dancing with impeccable technique, fantastic musicality, and deep emotion.
The Pro/Am division is for couples composed of a professional dancing with an amateur. These events are separated for amateur leaders and amateur followers. In these, the amateur partner is judged. Events are offered in a wide variety of levels and age groups and are typically offered as single dances. In this division, we offer the all-ages closed and open syllabus three-dance events, which give dancers a chance to measure their skills against many others they wouldn't necessarily be able to compete against normally.
In Teacher/Student and Mixed Proficiency events, couples are made up of one teacher or more experienced amateur and a student or less experienced amateur. Similar to the Pro/Am events, the less experienced partner is judged, and events are split so leaders and followers are judged separately. These events mimic the level and age group structure of the Amateur events.
Dancers who want to showcase their skills in their role on their own or who do not have a partner can dance in the Solo category. In these events, which are split between leaders and followers, competitors demonstrate their choreography in their role in the absence of a partner. This is an excellent opportunity for dancers to show their ability to execute their technique and for judges to truly evaluate a dancer's ability as an individual.
Rookie-Vet events are designed for dancers whose partner is at a significantly different level than them. In these events, couples compete, but each couple has a more experienced dancer and a less experienced dancer. These events are great ways to dance with friends who are different levels or for a more experienced dancer to mentor a less experienced one without the stress of a Teacher/Student event
Switch-Role is a new event type that is being introduced to the Southeastern Dancesport Championships this year. In these events, competitors change from leading to following and back over the course of a song. The events are open to all couples and all levels. As we continue to develop this division, we love to get feedback from the competitors about what is working well and ways we can continue to improve the events to make them more fun. The event at Southeastern 2024 will have 30 seconds of music, a switch, 1 minute of music, a second switch, and 30 more seconds of music to finish. You can download sample music below. Listen for a bell to indicate the switch.