General Competition Rules

  1. You must have a Full Weekend or After Five pass to compete.
  2. We strongly encourage contest sign up before the event during online registration, but you may sign up at the event if the competition is not yet full.
  3. If you did not register online, competition sign up must occur at the Registration Desk no later than 2:00 p.m. of the day of that competition. Competitors in the All Strictly must register online in advance of the weekend.
  4. All competitors must attend the competitors meetings prior to the competitions for that day. If you are wait-listed for a competition, please plan on attending the meeting in case a spot has opened up.

Competition Schedule

  • Friday Main Dance: All Star Strictly prelims and finals
  • Saturday After Classes: Newcomer MnM prelims, Open MnM prelims, Solo prelims.   Note that these competitions occur simultaneously in different rooms.
  • Saturday Main Dance: Newcomer MnM Finals, Open MnM Finals
  • Saturday Late Night: Solo finals
  • Sunday After Class: Open Strictly prelims, All Star MnM prelims
  • Sunday Main Dance: Open Strictly finals, All Star MnM finals

Judging Criteria

At bluesSHOUT!, competitions are judged using five major components in the following order of priority:

  1. Musicality - dancing in a way that makes sense given the song. Are the dance(s) you choose the best fit for this music? This includes freestyle blues dancing as well as regional idiom dances.
  2. Aesthetic - maintaining the look and feel of blues dancing and specific blues dances e.g. movement style, connection, footwork. This includes freestyle blues dancing as well as regional idiom dances.
  3. Partnering - Communicating and collaborating with your partner while fulfilling your role in the dance.
  4. Ephebism - Showing vitality and youthful vigor. The Africanist Aesthetic in American Dance Forms
  5. Personal Authenticity - Showing realness and personal expression.

The Solo Cuttin’ Contest will also be judged based on cuttin’ ability and etiquette.

To break down the details on judging criteria and scoring, we made a short video.  You can watch it here.

Divisions

Newcomer
The Newcomer division is open to any attendee who has never placed in any regional or national partnered blues dance competition. This division is specifically for attendees who are new to competing on a regional or national level. If you are unsure, please contact us at contests@bluesshout.com
Open
The Open divisions are open to all attendees who do not qualify as an All Star or Newcomer.
All Star

Please review the All Star Qualifications to see if you are eligible.

Attendees eligible to compete as an All Star may not compete in Open or Newcomer competitions.

Lead and Follow

Dancers may compete in either role at their qualifying level for that role. If a dancer qualifies for the same level in both roles (e.g. Open Lead as well as Open Follow), they will need to pick one for the duration of the weekend.

Competition Descriptions

All Star Strictly

Prelims: Friday, Main Dance, First Band Break (around 9:45pm)
Finals: Friday, Main Dance, Second Band Break (around 10:45pm)

Eligibility

See the All Star Qualification Page.

Rules

  • Prelims: three heats with 3 DJ'd songs per heat.
  • Finalists: Six pairs.
  • Finals Format: Spotlight style to live music.
  • Awards: Three awarded places. Prizes will be free passes to future events including next year’s bluesSHOUT!, plus a cash prize for each of the first place winners.

Newcomer M&M


Prelims: Saturday, After Classes, in the Gallery
Finals: Saturday, Main Dance, First Band Break (around 9:45pm)

Eligibility

The Newcomer MnM is open to any dancer who has never placed in a regional or national blues dance competition. If you are not sure please email us at contests@bluesshout.com .

Registration for the Newcomer MnM will be capped based on the number of competitors at last year's event. Should the competition fill up in advance of the weekend, we will keep a waitlist and open spots as they become available.

Mix & Match Rules

  • Prelims: multiple heats with rotating partners. Each heat will have 3 DJ'd songs.
  • Finalists: Three leads and three follows. Finalists will be randomly matched with a professional dancer and will be judged as individuals.
  • Format: Jam Style to DJed songs.
  • Awards: one winning lead and one winning follow. Prizes will be passes to next year’s bluesSHOUT!

Open M&M


Prelims: Saturday, After Classes, in the Gym
Finals: Saturday, Main Dance, Second Band Break (~10:45)

Eligibility

The Open MnM is open to dancers not eligible to compete as an All Star or Newcomer.

Registration for the Open MnM will be capped based on the number of competitors at last year's event. Should the competition fill up in advance of the weekend, we will keep a waitlist and open spots as they become available.

Mix & Match Rules

  • Prelims: multiple heats with rotating partners. Each heat will have 3 DJ'd songs.
  • Finalists: ~Six leads and ~six follows, randomly paired.
  • Pairs will be judged as a couple.
  • Finals Format: Spotlight style to live music
  • Awards: Three award places. Prizes will be free passes to future events, including next year’s bluesSHOUT!.

Solo Cuttin’


Prelims: Saturday Afternoon, after classes
Finals: Saturday Late Night, around 1:45am

Eligibility

The Solo Cuttin’ contest is open to (almost) everyone! Teachers at this year’s bluesSHOUT! may not enter the Solo Cuttin’ contest.

Cuttin’ Contest Rules

Prelims

  • Prelims: paired challenges from four corners of the room. The center of the room is the "Cuttin' Circle".
  • Dancers will be sorted randomly into corners A, B, C, and D.
  • Each dancer will have the opportunity to be in the Cuttin' Circle twice.
  • First round: dancers in corner A will battle dancers in corner C, and dancers in corner B will battle dancers in corner D.
  • Second round: dancers in Corner A will battle dancers in corner B, and dancers in corner C will battle dancers in corner D.
  • Eight dancers will be selected to move on to the Semi Finals.

Semi-Finals

  • Eight dancers will enter the semi-finals, which will be conducted in bracket format as follows:

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Finals

The winner of the Semi-Finals will be matched against last year’s Cuttin’ Contest Champion, Rachel Stirling, for a final throwdown. Finals will be judged by our judges panel.

You will be judged on your cuttin’ etiquette.

Cuttin’ Etiquette

  • Cuttin’ is about one-upmanship with respect for both art and authenticity. Good sportsmanship is expected at all times.
  • Maintain awareness of musical phrasing so that you have your full amount of time to dance without infringing upon your fellow contestants’ time.
  • Refrain from making physical contact with your fellow contestants, and give them ample space to dance. Aggressive posturing is not appropriate etiquette, nor is it within the blues aesthetic.

Open Strictly


Prelims: Sunday, After Classes
Finals: Sunday, Main Dance, First Band Break (~9:45)

Eligibility

The Open Strictly is open to dancers not eligible to compete as an All Star or Newcomer.

Rules

  • Prelims: multiple heats with 3 DJ'd songs per heat.
  • Finalists: ~Six pairs.
  • Finals Format: Spotlight style to DJed music
  • Awards: Three award places. Prizes will be free passes to future events including next year’s bluesSHOUT!.

All Star M&M

Prelims: Sunday After Classes
Finals: Sunday Main Dance, Second Band Break (around 10:45pm)

Eligibility

See the All Star Qualification Page. Attendees eligible to compete as an All Star may not compete in Open or Newcomer competitions.

Mix & Match Rules

  • Prelims: all competitors dance to all DJ'd songs and judge their partners in between songs.
  • Finalists: ~Six leads and ~six follows, randomly paired.
  • Pairs will be judged as a couple.
  • Finals Format: Spotlight style to DJed music
  • Awards: Three award places. Prizes will be free passes to future events including next year’s bluesSHOUT!, plus a cash prize for each of the first place winners.