Heats, Rounds, Finals

How do the judges decide who wins when there are so many couples? To make order out of the chaos of large groups each dance is split into heats which then runs rounds of callbacks until a final of approximately 7 couples is chosen.

  • Each event will begin with a given group of competitors. If this group is large enough, the event may be divided into several preliminary rounds, called heats. It is important to remember the number of your heat so you will know when to return to the dance floor – especially in events with paired dances.
    • Each heat dances for approximately 90 seconds. During this time, the judges mark the couples they wish to return to the next round by circling the number of the couple on their clipboard.
    • Once the judge has selected the appropriate number of couples, their marks are taken to the “scrutineer” to be tallied. The other heats dance immediately afterwards until the rounds are over.
  • The next time the event is called, the announcer will call back to the dance floor the numbers of the couples kept from the previous round (usually about half the previous number) to dance again.
    • It is important that you are always paying attention. You don’t want to leave the area and miss a callback. Similarly, keep an eye on your partner. Avoid having to scramble to locate one another.
  • A typical callback would sound like: “WE would now like to announce the callbacks for the semi-final round of Beginner Cha-Cha. The judges have re-called the following 12 couples: Couples 122, 134, 146, 152, 166, 178, 179, 180, 187, 191, 210, 211. Judges please call back 6 from 12. May we have a Cha-Cha please.”
    • This process repeats until the final round. Those finalists dance one more time, and the judges rank them in order.
    • The results are all announced together by category later in the comp.