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.
NOTE: Please check eligibility criteria before entering – we want to help 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.
SATURDAY – Doors open and food and dancing starts at 10am
Beat-up Blues (over 55’s) (Saturday 10:30) – Both partners must be aged 55 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.
Beginner Blues (Saturday 12:00) – 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). Entrants must 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.
Funkified Blues (Saturday 13:30) – 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. (An ‘open-to-all’ category)
Bluest Blues (Saturday 15:00)– 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. A small amount of 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 – Previous winners and competitors welcome.)
Best-of-Luck (Saturday 17:00) – 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).
SUNDAY – Doors open and food and dancing starts at 10am
Cool ‘N’ Confident (Sunday 10:30) – 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, and previous winners of this category are not eligible for entry.
Tangoesque Blues (Sunday 12:00) – this new category will focus on the blending of Modern Blues with Tango styling, danced to music typically heard at Modern Blues events. We would not expect the dance to be exclusively Tango, but rather a fluid blend of close-hold, travel, musical interpretation complemented by Tangoesque styling. (An ‘open-to-all’ category)
The All-Inclusive (Sunday 13:30) – This category, new for 2018, is very much open to all. This category celebrates the ‘joie de vivre’ of everything that is Modern Blues dance and can include dips, drops and leans if they fit with the music. Judges will be looking for interesting musical connection and interpretation as well as effective technique and a clear utilisation of lead and follow in both close-hold and at extension. The music will be drawn from tracks typically played at Blissfully Blues events.
(An ‘open-to-all’ category)
Ultimate Challenge (Sunday 15:00) – 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 and is designed to focus on the challenge aspect of the category! (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.)
Best-of-Luck (Sunday 16:30) – We’re back with another Best-of-Luck competition where 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).
Centre Stage (Saturday and Sunday throughout: final Sunday 21:00) – 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). There will be a heat of Centre Stage at the start of some daytime challenge sessions.
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.
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.
We’ll publish some more guidance on judging these competitions nearer the time – remember that each member of the audience can influence the outcome through their voting crystal, so pay attention!
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.