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What to Expect at a Dance Competition


Knighttime -

KNIGHTtime by Stephen Knight, FADS Vice President and Executive Dance Director


In a word, you should expect tons of FUN at a Fred Astaire Dance Studios Dance Competition! FUN stands for:

  • Friendships created for a lifetime
  • Undeniable great time
  • Non-stop action

Now, let’s talk what you should expect from the event itself. The first thing is of course the venue where the event is being held. Fred Astaire Dance Studios holds its competitions at beautiful hotels all over the country. Each chosen hotel features a beautiful ballroom gleaming with lights, screens and decorations. This ballroom is where you will perform all week, in front of as many as eleven judges at one time (for a national event, regional and inter-regional competitions are slightly smaller).

There is a multitude of different Dance events to take part in:

  1. Proficiency Dances, where you dance for a score as an individual.
  2. Closed Divisions, where you compete in school figures.
  3. Open Divisions, where you compete in open choreography.
  4. Championship Multi Dance Competitions in Closed and Open.
  5. Scholarship Multi Dance Competitions in Closed and Open.
  6. Solo Competitions, where you and your partner perform a special routine to your own music.
  7. Novelty Competitions, where you and your partner perform a special routine with the use of props.
  8. Showcase Competitions, where you and a multitude of partners perform a special routine.

There is something for everyone! My sincere suggestion is to experience it all at least once, to find where your niche is and where you like to excel. The event will be action packed and there will be all kinds of things that will be new to you, but it’s all timed and scheduled so you won’t miss a thing.

  • Once you arrive at the event and check into your room, you then go with your instructors to the FADS Registration Desk and check in.
  • There, you will receive your tickets, number, heat sheet, and welcome gift. If you have any questions, they will be happy to handle it there.
  • Next, sign up for videos – because you will want your dances taped for training purposes and memories to show family and friends!
  • Then, attention turns to the hair, makeup, warm ups, stretching and walking through your material.
  • You’re going to feel some butterflies but don’t worry, that’s natural and it will only help with your performance. You are not alone in this adventure; you have your instructors as well as your studio team, and our entire company cheering you on!
  • As far as expectations go, the most important thing to remember is that placement does not matter. What does matter to your instructors most is that you do your best and enjoy the experience.
  • After the Pro/Am dancing, you can then look forward to an exciting Professional Competition and the big Gala on the final night – with a cocktail party, dinner, and more. Our main goal is to make sure you have a fantastic time, and together we will take your dancing to the next level.

Always realize that competing is about the benefits that are personal to you, and how we can dance together as one big family.

Stephen Knight is Vice President & Executive Dance Director with Fred Astaire Dance Studios. He also serves as Dance Coach and Regional Franchise Director for the FADS Wisconsin Region. A National Champion during his competitive years, Stephen is most well-known for his choreography, and for creating a large portion of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios Silver Syllabus. For more information on the members of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios International Dance Council, contact us. And to get started on YOUR dance journey, contact Fred Astaire Dance Studios today.