The Challenges 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. This year we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Crystal Blues and we think that's kinda special - we also think that it's important not to rest on our laurels or become too complacent, so just as in previous years we've taken a good long look at our Challenge categories - and we're making a few changes! Take a look at our challenge lineup below. NOTE: Please check eligibility criteria before entering (below) - 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 at 10:00am Beat-up Blues (over 55’s) (10:30am) - 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. BeSwitched NEW! (12:00pm) - Both partners switch between leading and following and back again - seamlessly, fluidly and musically! Unlike hijacking, the aim of this is to create a sharing of the lead, not a stealing of the lead...Another open to all category. Funkified Blues (1:30pm) - 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 - Previous winners and competitors welcome.) Top Cats and UnderDogs NEW! (3:00pm) - In this category one partner will have either been placed or have won in a previous competition (either CBC or a.n.other) and the other partner will never have been placed in competition before! We think this will bring a very exciting dynamic to the competition and hopefully, promote inclusivity and generosity of spirit. Open to all (provided you follow the rules above!) Dance Like Sara White Is Watching NEW! (4:00pm) - A very special category for our 10th Anniversary. And for the very first time, Sara White will be judging. And choosing the music. And choosing the prize. So what will she be looking for? All the things, make Modern Blues dancing special... The connection to music, the interesting close hold dynamic between partners, the energy control and passion and drama and magic and, and, and... So... Dance like Sara White is Watching - cos she really really is! (An ‘open-to-all’ category.) Best-of-Luck Saturday (5:00pm) – 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 Debut Blues NEW! (10:30am) – A category for all those who are in the earlier stages of their Modern Blues journey and who have never entered a competition before! To enter this category you must have been dancing Modern Blues for 2 years or less (you may well have danced other styles for longer). You cannot enter if you have been a teacher, demo or DJ (for any style of dance). You can only enter if you have never entered a dance competition before... Blues is Blues Is Blues NEW! (12:00pm) - For us, Modern Blues is all about letting the music guide your dance... What is happening in this particular moment of the music that encourages you to move..? It is usual in a competition for you to get two pieces of music to dance to, in order to show your connection, your range, your technique, your style etc - but for this challenge, we are going to give you three pieces of music! There'll be a shorter time for each piece, but each selection of music will require a clearly different response from you and your partner. (An ‘open-to-all’ category) Bluest Blues (1:30pm) - 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. You can transition from close-hold, to reverse hold and back again - 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.) Ultimate Challenge (3:00pm) – 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 (5:00pm) – 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) - 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. Freestyle time: Wrapped around and threaded through the individual challenges will be loads of time for dancing - if there's not a competition on, then the dance floor will be open! And of course we have freestyle time on Friday and Saturday through til 1am (n two rooms!), and on Sunday through til 11pm. 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. There's more information on what the judges are looking for HERE - remember that each member of the audience can influence the outcome through their voting crystal, so pay attention! 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. We've made things a lot simpler this year so most of the challenges are 'open to all'. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA We've simplified most of our eligibility criteria this year: most categories are open to all comers, with one or two obvious exceptions. BeatUp Blues: You must be 55 or over to enter this category - otherwise, open to all. Debut Blues: To enter this category you must have been dancing Modern Blues for 2 years or less (you may well have danced other styles for longer). You cannot enter if you have been a teacher, demo or DJ (for any style of dance) AND You can only enter if you have never entered a partner dance competition (any style) before. Funkified Blues: Open to all. Bluest Blues: Open to all. Best-Of-Luck: Open to all. BeSwitched: Open to all. Top Cats and UnderDogs: one partner will have either been placed (2nd or 3rd) or have won in a previous partner dance competition (either CBC or a.n.other) and the other partner will never have been placed in competition before. Blues is Blues is Blues: Open to all. Dance Like Sara White Is Watching: Open to all. Ultimate Challenge: Open to all. Centre Stage: Open to all.