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DanceSport is what used to be referred to as competitive Ballroom Dancing. This glamorous and exciting leisure activity has been renamed to suit its modern image as a demanding sport.

Its characteristics consist of physical strength, agility, co-ordination, stamina, high level of fitness, discipline, teamwork, grace, style and musical interpretation. It is now recognised by the International Olympic Committee as a sport and is expected to eventually be included in the Olympic program. It was featured in the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. DanceSport provides opportunity for developing athletic discipline of body and mind and as well as artistic creativity through musical interpretation, costume design and choreographic programming.

There are a few pathways in DanceSport...  The major one being Competitive, another is for the Medalist dancer or if you just want to have fun, then there is the Social side as well, where most dancers are introduced into the sport. Many see dancing as being an artistic expression of oneself, and not just a physical sport. However whatever the case may be, whether you are interested in medals, or want to be challenged to a higher level in the competitive field, you can rest assured that everyone should at one point in their lives experience the joy to dance. Many find that once they do they wished they had started earlier in their lives. Following this introduction is an explanation of what dancesport can do for you, please read and enjoy!

DanceSport is for some, a very competitive sport but for others it can be a wonderful way to participate in social dancing.  People as young as 4 years, or as mature as 90 years, can enjoy this wonderful pastime. To dance is a natural human activity, and also with it, comes many advantages, which are:

  • Thorough but gentle way to exercise your body without knowing it.

  • Develop co-ordination of mind and muscle.

  • Encourages good poise, irrespective of age.

  • Develops good muscle tone and gives a person that "wonderful feeling of being alive".

  • Teaches participants the social graces.

  • Helps to keep you youthful with an up to date spontaneity.

  • Is one of the few hobbies that couples or friends can do together.

  • Is a great social asset in developing skills of communication.

  • Promotes confidence, self-assurance and awareness of life.

  • Develops artistic creativity and musical interpretation.

  • The competitive dancer's opportunity to dress up and feel "special".

  • Is the most rewarding way to spend your leisure time.

  • The best and easiest way to meet someone your are interested in.

  • And best of all instigates great friendships that can last a lifetime.

Copyright 2009 DSWA 

Social dancing is perfect for people of any age. Most dance studios offer group classes usually 8 weeks at a time for a up front nominated fee. Also some studios have a pay as you go system, work out which is best for you and choose the studio that suits your needs. Sometimes there is a free lesson or a discount for the first night also. You can participate as an individual, a couple or in a small group. Cost of tuition does vary from studio to studio, so ask before you decide to take lessons. Once you take dance lessons try to participate in any social dance cabarets that the studio may have, these are beneficial for practicing what you have learn't in class.

Of the many people throughout the world who regularly participate in social dancing, there are some who are attracted to taking part in organized DanceSport competitions held locally in their area. Here in WA Championships are held on a monthly basis. Competition dancing is a form of DanceSport dancing that has evolved from social dancing and medalists. It attracts people who love to dance, and who have the urge to show their skill and talent in direct competition with other couples on the dance floor, and if you are ready for something a little more glamorous and exciting then it?s time to get competitive.

There are two main international styles of DanceSport are:

  • Standard (Which used to be called "Modern")

  • Latin American

At each Competition separate events are held for Standard and Latin dances as the two styles are so different. The differences are particularly reflected by the costumes worn by the dancers during these competitions. Ladies dresses worn for the Standard dances are long and flowing, to enhance the movements created during these dances and the Gentlemen wears a Suit of Tails. In contrast, the dresses worn by the Ladies for the Latin dances are designed to show the movements of the individual body parts used to interpret the various Latin rhythms. The Gentlemen wearing fitted long pants with a fitted or loose shirt to match.

Standard Dances are: Modern Waltz, Quickstep, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz and Tango

Latin Dances are: Rumba (the dance of Love), Cha Cha Cha, Samba, Jive and the Paso Doble (dance of the Matador)

There is also a third style of DanceSport which is completely Australian, it is called:  New Vogue

Unlike the Standard Ballroom and Latin American styles of dancing, New Vogue is a sequence style of dancing. Everyone on the dance floor dances the same steps together. Thus making these dances easy to learn, and enjoyable. Many mature people prefer this type of dancing, but it also is popular at social Cabarets where there are large numbers of dancers on the floor, of mixed ages, who can follow easily the person in front of them.

New Vogue Dances are: Evening 3-step, Merrilyn, Parma Waltz, Gypsy Tap, Swing Waltz, Carousel, Tangoette, La Bomba, Charmaine, Lucille, Twilight, Barclay Blues, Tango Terrific and Excelsior.

Age Groups for Dancers in Australia

DanceSport caters for all ages.

  • Juvenile (under 13 years)

  • Junior (13-15 years)

  • Youth (16-19 years)

  • Adult (16-34 years)

  • Masters 1 (35-49 years)

  • Masters 2 (50+ years)

  • Professional (16 years and over)

Each age group is further broken down into performance levels according to their number of championships or competition wins...The levels range from Level 5 (the top level) to Level 1 (beginner level).

Couples must complete five elevation marks before elevating from one level to another. This will be common to all Levels and all Age Groups

There is a restricted syllabus (which means not all dance sequences are allowed to be performed) for the following sections:

Juvenile Grades
Junior, Adult and Masters 1 & 2

Juvenile competitors are required to comply with a separate dress code, that is they are not permitted to wear full dress costumes.

Junior, Adult and Masters 1 & 2, Level 1 wear non-competitive attire.

So whether you dance socially or compete for fun or personal satisfaction, your can pursue your ambitions to an elite dancer. DanceSport has the criteria to cater for all participants as an exciting and rewarding pastime, as well as a competitive sport.

Copyright 2009 DSWA

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