Each competition can structure their skill levels differently, and this is where much of the confusion regarding registration lies. Hopefully, this will clear it up…
Beach Ball at UCSB, and other CDA competitions, structure the skill levels consecutively from Newcomer through Open. That means that Newcomer level dancers may also compete in Bronze, Bronze level dancers may also compete in Silver, Silver level dancers may also compete in Gold, Gold level dancers may also compete in Novice, Novice level dancers may also compete in Pre-Championship, and Pre-Championship level dancers may also compete in Open. If you register for Newcomer and Novice, your registration will be adjusted. Similarly, if you register for 3 or more levels within the same style (American Smooth, International Ballroom/Standard, American Rhythm, or International Latin), your registration will be adjusted.
Other competitions, such as UCSD’s Dance by the Shores and UCR’s Orange Blossom Ball, allow dancers to compete in two consecutive levels of closed syllabus (Newcomer through Gold) and two consecutive levels of open syllabus (Pre-Novice through Championship/Open). In other words, there are two scales of skill levels and a dancer may participate in both. For example, a Newcomer level may also choose to compete in Bronze, Pre-Novice, and Novice.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the Newcomer level is reserved for dancers with less than one year of competitive dance experience. This is a rule that most collegiate competitions have – some choose to enforce it, some do not. CDA Fair Level Certified competitions do so by screening past competition results. If you competed at the same competition during the previous year or any competitions earlier than that, then you no longer qualify as a Newcomer. If you or your partner register for Newcomer but one or both of you no longer qualify as Newcomer, your registration will be adjusted.
Single Dance Events vs. Multi-Dance Events
Single Dance Events are events where the competitors are judged based on one dance at a time. Multi-Dance Events are events where the competitors are judged based on two, three, four, or five dances combined. In a multi-dance event you must dance all dances in the event with the same partner; you don’t get to pick and choose which dances to compete in within a multi-dance event. Be sure that you read the registration form carefully. You’ll want to know which dances you’ll need in order to compete in a multi-dance event.
Remember, the rules for each collegiate competition are a little different. So before you register for a competition please be sure to read the rules. The Beach Ball at UCSB rules are here.