cbc-2017

ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL CHALLENGES

We want to make Crystal Blues a simple, straightforward transparent competition that celebrates the dance that we love. We do feel it's helpful to give you some idea of what we're looking for in each challenge: so here are a few guidelines.

Please note - these are preliminary only at this point - we'll be firming these up closer to the 2017 event.

NOTE: Please check eligibility criteria before entering - we want tohelp Crystal Blues remain a friendly and fun competition, but we do need to have one or two rules to ensure a good balance of accessible competition.

Gritty Blues – No dips, no drops, no lifts. It’s all about musical interpretation and allowing the music to drive the dance. (Minimal leans will be allowed as long as both partners have both feet in contact with the floor). The music for this category will be chosen to encourage an intense connection between partners and the music. An ‘open-to-all’ category- previous winners and competitors welcome.

Funkified Blues

A new competition for 2017. A chance for us to really celebrate and enjoy a beautiful merging of the funkier side of music and the joy of lead/follow partner dancing. More information to follow....

Beginner Blues – For those in the early stages of transition into Modern Blues. (For example, it would be very suitable for those who have recently participated in New-2-Blues workshops, BootCamp or courses), or who have been dancing Modern Blues for less than a year. To keep the spirit of the competition, this category is NOT open to DJs, Demonstrators or Teachers involved in any form of adult partner dance. Those who have entered this category in previous years will also not be eligible. Please also note that competitors cannot enter both Beginner Blues and Cool 'N' Confident in the same year.

Beat-up Blues (over 45’s (age limit under discussion)) - Both partners must be aged 45 or over at the time of competing. Beyond that, it's up to you to find your musical expression in the shared dance. Dips, drops leans etc are allowed here.

Best-of-Luck – Leads and follows are randomly paired - open to all as individual entries. No partner required to enter this category as we'll match you up during the competition. (Note that the Saturday and Sunday competitions are separate - you can enter either, or both).

Cool ‘N’ Confident – An Intermediate level category designed for those who have been dancing Blues a while. Dips, drops leans etc are allowed here, and judges will be looking for an emphasis on letting the music guide the dance, and a clear demonstration of the basics of Modern Blues dancing. This category is NOT open to DJs, Demonstrators or Teachers involved in any form of adult partner dance - previous winners of this category are not eligible for entry.

All-comers – This category allows all dancers to enter (ie it is open to DJs, teachers, demonstrators and all). This category celebrates the joy of everything that is Modern Blues dance with dips, drops, leans etc allowed. Judges will be looking for interesting musical interpretation as well as effective technique and a clear utilisation of lead and follow in both close-hold and at extension. (An ‘open-to-all’ category -Previous winners and competitors welcome.)

Bluest Blues - this category is designed to bring us back to the core of our dancing. In Bluest Blues our attention will be focused on the heart of Modern Blues - movement and musicality in close hold and intimate close hold, finding the soul of the dance and allowing the partnership of lead and follow to be fully expressed. Some dance at extension will be allowed, but the greatest proportion of the dance must be in close hold. Expect the music for this category to be sultry, sexy, fluid and sensuous. (An ‘open-to-all’ category)

Ultimate Challenge – This category is all about musical challenge. The music is selected to test and stretch you and is likely to be music previously unheard in most dance venues. (Please be aware that the music for this category may not be exclusively ‘Blues’) Being able to respond spontaneously to new music as it unveils is the key to success in this category. (An ‘open-to-all’ category - Previous winners and competitors welcome.)

Centre Stage - Take centre stage on our dance floor to allow us all to enjoy your moment of dance - choreographed or freestyle to your own choice of music. Each couple will have the floor to themselves as they showcase an entire track of their choice. This category is perfect for those who like to time to rehearse and prepare in advance, with a view to presenting a polished and pleasing performance. (An ‘open-to-all’ category). It is up to you to decide whether you prefer to dance a fully choreographed routine, a partially choreographed routine supplemented with freestyle interpretation, or entirely spontaneous freestyle. A track consisting of one or two pieces of music not exceeding four minutes in total length must be submitted to Sara on CD not less than one week before the competition begins (to allow the DJs to check for sound quality) (and please remember when choosing your music that this is first and foremost a Blues event).

Audience voting

The audience are hugely important throughout the weekend. Not only do the competitors get a massive boost from your support, but, collectively, you are one of the all-important judges.

 

JUDGING CRITERIA

For us, Modern Blues dancing is a music-led, lead/follow partner dance that incorporates and includes movement in both close-hold and at extension.

We celebrate the joy that is to be found in spontaneously choreographing the dance to the music as it plays, focussing on the interplay between lead and follow and music.

We feel that Modern Blues dancing isn't constrained by the style of music or by the style of dance but becomes a glorious amalgamation of all aspects of partner dance.

When judging a dance we would expect to see appropriate time spent in close-hold and potentially at extension - depending on musical style and category. (Close-hold can vary between ‘open’ and ‘intimate’ styles of close-hold and may or may not include travel as well as more rooted, on-the-spot movement). And remember that while Modern Blues can incorporate elements of Tango, WCS, Modern Jive and more, in this competition we would expect the emphasis to be on what makes for Modern Blues dance – an emphasis on musicality and close hold at the core of the dance.

Specifically, our judges are going to be looking for:

Musicality – Are the dancers listening for, and responding to, the changes within the music (e.g. breaks, pauses, tempo change, accents)? Do they make effective use of dynamics, time/half time/double time, pause, call & response and so on? Does the style of the dance match the style of the music?

Interpretation – Are the moves & movements appropriate to the music in terms of genre, feel, pace, energy? Are the dancers taking account of the vocals, lyrics, instrumentation etc?

Style (Lead/Follow) – Do the styles gel and complement each other and the music? Is the leader leading and the follower following the lead? Is there an excess of unsolicited styling? Are both partners combining to create a partnership that does justice to the music, or working in opposition?

Connection – Are the dancers in touch with the music and with each other, creating a synergy where, when musically appropriate, two become as one? Is the lead forecast in an obvious way, or so subtle that it is seems that the follow is reading the mind of the lead… But without anticipation or back-leading?

Aesthetics– Are the lines of both dancers visually pleasing? Are flourishes and styling additions appropriate or distracting? Are the dancers dressed to complement each other?

Technique - Are the dancers competent in both close-hold and extension? Are they demonstrating the key elements of connection? Do they use lead/follow techniques effectively and fluidly? Do they utilise the basics as well as technique that displays a good degree of technical difficulty?

 

ELIGIBILITY

Please check eligibility criteria before entering - we want to make sure that Crystal Blues remains a friendly and fun competition, but we do need to have one or two rules to ensure a good balance of accessible competition.

Beginner Blues – This category is designed to be an easy access category for those just setting out on their journey in Modern Blues dance. Both partners must have been dancing Modern Blues for less than a year. The category is perfect for those who have recently participated in New-2-Blues workshops, BootCamps or introductory events. To keep the spirit of this category, it is NOT open to DJs, Demonstrators or Teachers involved in any form of adult partner dance. Please also note that competitors cannot enter both Beginner Blues and Cool 'N' Confident in the same year.

Gritty Blues –An ‘open-to-all’ category. Previous winners and competitors welcome.

Funkified Blues –An ‘open-to-all’ category.

Beat-up Blues(over 45’s (TBC)) - An ‘open-to-all’ category. Previous winners and competitors welcome. Both partners must be aged 45 or over at the time of competing.

Best-of-Luck – Open to all as individual entries. No partner is required to enter this category as leads and follows are randomly paired during the competition.

Cool ‘N’ Confident – This is an intermediate level category and is NOT open to DJs, Demonstrators or Teachers currently involved in any form of adult partner dance. (Demos and DJs who have not been involved for over six months may enter) C'n'C is designed as an easy access category for intermediate dancers, and previous winners (in any challenge apart from Beginners Blues) are not eligible to compete (although you might consider that if you've entered and been placed in other challenges before, then the intermediate Cool 'n' Confident might not be the right place to compete!). Please also note that competitors cannot enter both Beginner Blues and Cool 'N' Confident in the same year.

All-comers – An ‘open-to-all’ category. Previous winners and competitors welcome.

Bluest Blues – An ‘open-to-all’ category.

Ultimate Challenge–An ‘open-to-all’ category. Previous winners and competitors welcome.

Centre Stage -An ‘open-to-all’ category. Previous winners and competitors welcome. It is up to you to decide whether you prefer to dance a fully choreographed routine, a partially choreographed routine supplemented with freestyle interpretation, or entirely spontaneous freestyle. A track consisting of one or two pieces of music not exceeding four minutes in total length must be submitted to Sara on CD not less than one week before the competition begins (to allow the DJs to check for sound quality) (and please remember when choosing your music that this is first and foremost a Blues event).