Strictly Competition Guidelines

Up & Comers Strictly Lindy

This competition goes straight to finals

  • You will dance for one or two songs with your partner in an all skate format – everyone on the dance floor at the same time
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Rising Star Strictly and All Star Strictly

Prelims:

All competitors will take part in the preliminary round.

Heats 1 and 2:

  • Wait for your names to be called for your heat
  • You will dance for approximately a minute and a half to three different songs of increasing tempo.
  • You will be judged as a couple

We will post the results on Facebook and on the front desk as soon as we have the information ready and processed from the judges.

Finals:

Between 5 and 7 couples will be invited to the finals depending on number of entries and at the judges’ discretion.

  • You will dance with your partner in two spotlights – 16x8s the first time, 8x8s the second time
  • There will be a final all skate
  • Each spotlight will have one couple dancing at a time
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Invitational Strictly

This competition is straight to finals

  • Every couple will dance to a short song (no spotlights)
  • Every individual competitor will judge every other couple excluding themselves (no collaborating with your partner for opinions!)
  • There will be a final all skate at fast tempo for everyone to swing out! Competitors are not expected to judge this 🙂
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Balboa Strictly

This competition is straight to finals

  • You will dance with your partner in two spotlights – 16x8s the first time, 8x8s the second time straight into all skate
  • Each spotlight will have one couple dancing at a time
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Shag Strictly

This competition is straight to finals

  • You will dance with your partner in two spotlights – 16x8s the first time, 8x8s the second time straight into all skate
  • Each spotlight will have one couple dancing at a time
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Blues Strictly

This competition is straight to finals

  • You will dance with your partner in two spotlights – 6 x 8 in both rounds with an all skate at the end of the second song
  • Each spotlight will have one couple dancing at a time
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Fast & Furious

Prelims:

All competitors will take part in the preliminary round.

Heats 1 and 2:

  • Wait for your names to be called for your heat
  • You will dance for approximately a minute to three different songs of increasing tempo.
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • You can dance any vintage style – lindy hop, Charleston, Collegiate/St Louis Shag, Balboa… as long as you dance with your partner

We will post the results on Facebook and on the front desk as soon as we have the information ready and processed from the judges.

Finals:

  • You will dance with your partner in two spotlights – 16x8s the first time, 8x8s the second time straight into all skate
  • Each spotlight will have one couple dancing at a time
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Mix & Match Guidelines

This year we are running the Mix & Match competitions slightly differently! Check out the full guidelines below:

Blues Mix & Match

All competitors will take part in the preliminary round.

Heats 1:

  • Wait for your name to be called for your heat
  • You will dance for approximately a minute and a half to three different songs of different style and tempo.
  • You will be randomly allocated a new partner for each song
  • You will be judged as an individual in your role (leader or follower).

We will post the results on Facebook and on the front desk as soon as we have the information ready and processed from the judges.

Final

  • You will dance with one partner for a spotlight of 6x8s, then with a second partner for another spotlight of 6x8s to a different song.
  • There will be a final all skate for you to dance with your third and final partner
  • Each spotlight will have one couple dancing at a time.
  • You will be randomly allocated a new partner for each section – 3 different partners in total
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as an individual in your role (leader or follower)
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

There is a chance that the winning lead and winning follow did not dance together in the final! But we like this format as it will give everyone a chance to shine with different partners.

Rising Star Mix & Match and All Star Mix & Match

Prelims:

All competitors will take part in the preliminary round.

Heats 1 and 2:

  • Wait for your name to be called for your heat
  • You will dance for approximately a minute and a half to three different songs of increasing tempo.
  • You will be randomly allocated a new partner for each song
  • You will be judged as an individual in your role (leader or follower).

We will post the results on Facebook and on the front desk as soon as we have the information ready and processed from the judges.

Finals:

Between 5 and 7 couples will be invited to the finals depending on number of entries and at the judges’ discretion.

  • You will dance with one partner for a spotlight of 16x8s, then with a second partner for another spotlight of 16x8s to a different song.
  • There will be a final all skate for you to dance with your third and final partner
  • Each spotlight will have two couples dancing at a time.
  • You do not need to battle the other couple or interact with them!
  • You will be randomly allocated a new partner for each section – 3 different partners in total
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as an individual in your role (leader or follower)
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

There is a chance that the winning lead and winning follow did not dance together in the final! But we like this format as it will give everyone a chance to shine with different partners.

Jedi Mix & Match

Prelims:

All competitors will take part in the preliminary round.

Heats 1 and 2:

  • Wait for your name to be called for your heat
  • You will dance for approximately a minute and a half to four different songs of different tempos.
  • The first two dances will involve followers being blindfolded
  • The last two dances will involve the leaders being blindfolded
  • You will be randomly allocated a new partner for each song
  • You will be judged as an individual in your role (leader or follower).

We will post the results on Facebook and on the front desk as soon as we have the information ready and processed from the judges.

Finals:

Between 5 and 7 couples will be invited to the finals depending on number of entries and at the judges’ discretion.

  • You will be randomly allocated a partner at the start
  • You will dance one spotlight of 16x8s to one song, then a second spotlight of 8x8s to a different song.
  • There will be a final all skate to the final song
  • Each spotlight will have two couples dancing at a time.
  • You do not need to battle the other couple or interact with them (this would be too challenging blindfolded anyway!)
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Invitational Mix & Match

This competition is straight to finals

  • You will be randomly allocated a partner at the start.
  • Every couple will dance to a short song (no spotlights)
  • Every individual competitor will judge every other couple excluding themselves (no collaborating with your partner for opinions!)
  • There will be a final all skate at fast tempo for everyone to swing out! Competitors are not expected to judge this 🙂
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

The Eric Sun Rising Stars 60 Second Showcase

Eric Sun was instrumental in building the swing dance community at Facebook London, where he spent two-and-a-half years as an Engineering Manager helping to grow the office. Eric and his wife Karen Law were regulars on the Swing Patrol London scene, and coaxed Facebook engineers to come along to events and learn to dance. Today, the Facebook London swing community is going strong, with an official club and in-house troupe.

Eric was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2016, and died in the US on Thanksgiving Day 2017, aged 34. Eric inspired many with his zeal and dedication to the arts post-diagnosis. In his final months he performed notoriously difficult violin cadenzas as the Fiddler on the Roof, and alongside his wife, wrote a book and many compelling web posts, choreographed dance performances, and established the Tarisio Trust: Eric Sun-Karen Law Vuillaume Fellowship for young musicians.

The Eric Sun Rising Stars 60 Second Showcase has been sponsored by Facebook London in honour of Eric and his contributions. It is a category that encourages everyone to have a go at performing, bringing their own style and flair, which is fitting given Eric‘s passion for building community and spreading the joy of music and dance.

The Big Apple Contest

The Big Apple was a dance craze originating in South Carolina that was popular in Harlem and throughout the United States in the late 1930s. It was a called social dance that was done with a partner, with regional variations of moves as well as fun and silly moves that came in from popular culture.

The Big Apple starts with everyone standing in a circle holding hands. Tap your right foot in the middle three times on the 1 3 5 and everyone shouts ‘Swing Out’ on the 7!

The caller then calls moves for the dancers to dance with their partner, with all moves being fairly simple and inclusive to all levels. Some moves are similar to Charleston, Shag and are danced in solo jazz and Lindy Hop.

In some Big Apple dances the caller can invite couples into the centre for a ‘shine’ – this is a moment for the couple to do a solo, either something they’ve prepared or made up on the spot. Couples who dance together a lot might have prepared something quite elaborate! During the shines the other dancers will do a simple step and keep time round the outside of the circle.

The traditional ending to the Big Apple is a move called ‘Praise Allah’ or ‘Hallelujah’ – everyone runs into the centre and throws their hands in the air shouting ‘hallelujah!’.

You can find out more about the origins and history of the Big Apple dance on a variety of sites, with a few great notes about moves and clips for inspiration!

Teachers at Rock That Swing Festival 2013 do the Big Apple with steps called by the MC!

The Big Apple Routine danced today was made famous by the film Keep Punchin’ from 1939 and was choreographed by Frankie Manning. He hadn’t seen the Big Apple dance craze and simply designed the routine based on a telegram! Although many of the moves from this routine are danced in the Big Apple dance, they would have been danced to songs of a slower tempo which make it easier for everyone to join in as well as easier to hear the call and respond with a move.

Join us on the Friday night before the party for a free lesson on some classic moves from the Big Apple! We’ll be holding the Big Apple Contest that same night and it’s free to enter. Simply find a partner and jump in!