Christchurch Modern Jive Championships


Do I need a partner?

For some categories such as DWAS and Lucky Dip you do not need a partner.

For other categories you do need a partner and there are a number of ways of finding one:

  • Let other dancers know you are looking. Mention it at your local dance class, on social media etc
  • There's also a Facebook group Find A Dance Partner 🔗 which may help

Until you do find a partner you can still enter and just put "tbc" for the time being until you know for sure.

How do I enter for a different role?

You need to join the MJPI both as a Lead and as a Follow in order to compete using either role. You'll then be able to select the role you want for each category.

Can I swap roles during a song?

Yes, "Although there is a leader and a follower it doesn't matter who leads or follows nor if you switch roles during the dance." - see,

What about practice?

Whenever you dance you are practising - you are topping up your ability to perform controlled movements to music aka dancing.

Competitions are about having fun and getting in on the action. For Levels 1 & 2 attending social dance classes, workshops and freestyles is sufficient practice for a social dance competition!

Dance with lots of different people as this will make you a better leader or follower overall. Don't get stuck into thinking that you must dance with your partner as much as possible.

If you are a more experienced / advanced dancer (Level 3 and above) then private lessons or attending specific competition training sessions may help but remember to always keep in mind the original spirit of social partner dancing.

Tips for first time competitors?

A dancer shares their first competition experience:

My first comp was like, out of this world. I'd never done anything like it before and it was during a time I was very much struggling with self esteem.

I was a nervous wreck. Mostly because I had 'no freaking clue' what to expect. But when I got there, I finally understood what everyone was saying. You can be told what a picture looks like, but until you actually look at it, you have little idea, I feel.

Everyone was just so friendly! So welcoming and so encouraging. I felt like I was accepted by people (where I've never had this feeling before). Watching the people I looked up to dancing, and then seeing some others that others look up to as well was just amazing.

So, the moment I stepped foot onto that dance floor, for my first ever heat in something, I understood a little better how it worked, and I was gutted I didn't listen to everyone's advice of "enter as many events as you can! TRUST US!".

Anything new is scary. But once I did it, I was addicted and never looked back.

What do I wear?

Anything you like! The judges do not judge you on what you wear.

Some people like to coordinate clothing / costume but this is more to get into a particular theme or character and can help with confidence and letting go of any fears about dancing in front of people.

People enjoy the opportunity to dress up once in a while - don't dress to impress - dress up for the sheer fun of it.

Rules & Criteria

What is the footwork for each role?

Right-Left for the Leader, Left-Right for the Follower? Answer: whatever you like.

  • You can dance many moves comfortably and in time with the opposite footwork
  • We can add triple steps, kick ball changes, miss out steps - the possibilities are endless without the constraints of a prescribed footwork
  • The increase in popularity of dancing both lead and follow roles also means that footwork is going to be variable without it upsetting partnership or musicality
  • For people who consistently dance one role we encourage leaders to initiate on the right foot and followers to initiate on the left
"We have the suggested appropriate Footwork and anything else is a stylistic choice. Consider the suggested Footwork your basic - and it's OK to change to fit the needs of the song, move or partner but the changes should not be consistently there.
...There are *usually* 4 whole beats to a bar with many different possibilities for how those beats can be broken up... You could step any of those combinations with either foot and still be on time...." - Courtenay
"Dancing with your partner and the music is great. Be in time with your motion and connection. Feet change all the time. eg my partner might half time to allow me to move past and reflect the music... opposite feet are involved for 50% of the dancing of that move, doesn't matter, we are still together and with the music." - Deb
"...the amazing thing with MJ is that it's very much a blank canvas. Once you are comfortable with the canvas/frame then your inside artwork can be very individual in terms of styling which includes feet." - Rebecca R
"As a level 1 who usually follows but has decided to lead in DWAS, the footwork thing is such a relief!! There are some moves that really need a lead to initiate on the right, but many of them work out (for a level 1) if I end up initiating on my left. It's hard to fight my default setting." - Rebecca B
Do we have to dance in a slot?
  • No, but dancing in a slot is sometimes recommended at competitions and performances where there is an audience to present to
  • Dancing in a slot is good for slow music but circular can be better for fast music - fit your dancing to the music
  • It can also depend on your partner: an inexperienced partner may find it challenging to keep in a slot. Looking after your partner is more important than looking good for the cameras
  • It can depend on the music. We can dance to a wide range of music and therefore the overall movement (linear v. circular) can change according to the feel of the music

It can also depend on the friction between the surface and shoes: the high friction encountered when dancing on concrete or grass can be offset by not dancing in a slot. It's better for your joints if you go with the flow rather than force a particular orientation.

Is the music always 4/4?
  • We can also dance to 6/8 time music and either add a Waltz style rise and fall or dance to each bar of music rather than each beat. The latter is very popular with dancers who like a slower more interpretative approach to dancing. We may occasionally play 6/8 in Music Mashup but not in other categories
  • 4/4 is the most common time signature for pop music and over 99% of the music we play is 4/4

At Fevah Modern Jive we run workshops where dancers can learn how to dance to different time signatures.

Can I do the splits in Level 1?

No, the splits is an example of a Supported Move see Allowable Moves under