The average competition song per dance is around 1 minute + 20 seconds (just 80 seconds!)


How many steps do you need to fill that music?


Not very many….

closed pro am ballroom competition

Let’s Break it Down:


So, when you have been working on the long program of 15+ Bronze steps per dance, you are really not perfecting what you need for success on the competition floor.


Next Question:


How many lessons do you take and how many dances do you to compete in? How much time do you have each dance?




Not very long…


An example:  Joe Dancer does 5 rhythm dances and 4 smooth dances and only has 3 lessons a week with his pro teacher. If you do the math, Joe only has 20 mins per week to work on each of the 9 dances.

Think about this: if you condense your routines, you leave yourself free for styling, timing, posture and footwork to name a few.  You will dance, look and feel better.

Steps are like trying clothes on.

Some steps don’t look good on everyone but maximizing what you do well will only make you dance better and also give you a better result.


Next Question:


How long does a judge have to adjudicate you????




Only 3 Seconds!


So…do you think he sees all of your routine or only a fraction of your routine?


Reality Check:


If you did in cha cha , for example:

  • Basic
  • Cross Body Lead
  • Crossover Breaks and Walk Around Turn
  • Open Break and Turn


That routine is around 40 secs and then you repeat it, for a total of 80 seconds (remember the answer to the first question?)

Do you think the judge knows when he/she looks at you whether you at the beginning middle or repeated your routine?

The answer is No.

What they do know is whether you have good posture, timing and performance (the reason I didn’t say technique is because everything you learn in dance has a technique). And the main thing you need to be is CONSISTENT….

So, the lesson to be learnt here in two words:


Time Management

— Jason Daly is a World and U.S. American Rhythm Finalist,  World & European Representative in Latin for Great Britain, and national NDCA adjudicator.  Jason is also one of our American Rhythm expert coaches on dancesportplace.com.  Become a member to access his video library. 

Jason Daly

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