2019 National Jitterbug Championships Divisions

“Where it’s not winning or losing, but who places above you that counts”

You must be a full weekend or party pass holder to compete in all contests, including Teams.

Although this is technically a Lindy (Shag, and Balboa) competition, the main focus of this event is the concept of “jitterbug”—the idea is to have fun, dance to the music, work with your partner, and capture the joy of swing music and swing dancing that we all experience. We’ll make no distinctions as to what is or is not “lindy hop”—as long as you have the spirit of the jitterbug, this contest is for you!

We use the “Relative Placement” system of tabulating scores.  To view a comprehensive explanation of this system, click here.

Your NJC Master of Ceremonies is Tim “Wolfman” Wollman

Your NJC Head Judge is Tise Chao

Your NJC tabulator is Scott Angelius

Your NJC contestant coordinator is Cari Westbrook

NJC division rules & formats:

Please note these are preliminary formats & music tempos for the following contests – be sure to check back in as these may change.

Our new Open divisions are to allow for more flexibility for Pros and Ams to dance together and keep the Amateur divisions truly Amateur.  We only ask that you be in only one of the same type of division – as in, you can be an amateur that dances in the Open Lindy, but you can’t also be in the Am Lindy (but you can be in the Open or Am Classic Lindy) unless you are dancing a different role (an advanced follow can be an amateur leader, and vice versa).

Open Showcase—this division is open to Pro couples, Amateur couples, or Pro/Am couples to perform a routine to their own music, song length to be between 2 and 3 1/2 minutes.  Dance order to be determined by random computer draw.  Limited to 15 couples, but additional couples may be added at the discretion of the Head Judge. Each participant may dance no more than twice in this division.

Amateur Showcase—this division is open to Amateur couples only to perform a routine to their own music, song length to be between 2 and 3 1/2 minutes. Dance order to be determined by random computer draw.  Limited to 15 couples, but additional couples may be added at the discretion of the Head Judge. Each participant may dance no more than twice in this division.

Open Team—minimum of three couples to perform a routine to their own music, song length to be between 2 and 4 1/2 minutes. Open Teams may comprise any combination of pro and amateur dancers. For 2019 we ask that teams pay one flat fee per team of $150 and submit a roster of dancers for the team by 8/26/19. Open Team division is limited to 12 teams but more may be added at the discretion of the Head Judge.

Student Team—minimum of three couples to perform a routine to their own music, song length to be between 2 and 4 1/2 minutes. Student Teams may consist of no more than four “pro” competitors within the group (teachers, top placing competitors, etc). This division is for dance instructors or studios to compile teams of their students but can also include all-amateur teams, junior teams, etc not connected to a studio or set of instructors. For 2019 we ask that teams pay one flat fee per team of $150 and submit a roster of dancers for the team by 8/26/19. Student Team division is limited to 12 teams but more may be added at the discretion of the Head Judge.

Solo Team—minimum of three dancers to perform a routine to their own music, song length to be between 2 and 3 minutes (new times). Solo Team may be comprised of any combination of pro and amateur dancers. Some partnered content is allowed but the majority of the choreography must be solo. If you prefer to do a partner dance team routine, please see the Open or Student Team definitions above. For 2019 we ask that Solo Teams pay one flat fee per team of $75 and submit a roster of dancers for the team by 8/26/19. Solo Team division is limited to 12 teams but more may be added at the discretion of the Head Judge.

Open Balboa

This division is open to Pro couples, Amateur couples, or Pro/Am couples. For prelims, dancers to dance in groups to two 1 1/2 minute songs, first song about 210 bpm, second about 235 bpm. Finals to start with a short warm up song at about 220 BPM, followed by a phrase battle with one couple out at a time for 16 8 counts, twice (tempo 240). Bal-swing or pure Balboa permitted.  Dancers in this division may not also participate in the Am Balboa division unless they are dancing a different role (lead or follow).


Amateur Balboa

This division is open to Amateur couples only. For prelims, dancers to dance in groups to two 1 1/2 minute songs, first song about 195 bpm, second about 220 bpm.  Finals to start with a short warm up song at about 210 BPM, followed by a phrase battle with two couples out at a time for 16 8 counts, twice (tempo 220). Bal-swing or pure Balboa permitted. Dancers in this division may not also participate in the Open Balboa division unless they are dancing a different role (lead or follow).


Shag

This division is for collegiate shag or double rhythm shag. For prelims, dancers to dance in groups to two 1 1/2 minute songs, first song about 205 bpm, second about 230 bpm. Finals to start with a short warm up song (tempo around 210), then 2 couples out at a time for 16 8 counts, twice, tempo 240 with a possible final song after the phrase battle.

Amateur Lindy

Dancers to dance in group heats to three songs for 1 1/2 minutes each, slow to fast. We pick the music, you pick the moves. Finals will consist of a warm up dance followed by a “phrase battle” to live music where couples will enter the circle for 8 eight counts twice to show off their stuff, followed by an allskate if there’s any song left.  Prelim tempos 130/185/205, final tempo 220.  Dancers in this division may not also participate in the Open Lindy division unless they are dancing a different role (lead or follow).


Open Lindy

This division is open to Pro couples, Amateur couples, or Pro/Am couples. We pick the music, you pick the moves. Dancers to dance in group heats to three songs for 1 1/2 minutes each, slow to fast. Finals will consist of a warm up dance followed by a “phrase battle” to one song where couples will enter the circle for 8 eight counts twice to show off their stuff, followed by an allskate if there’s any song left. Prelim tempos 160/190/220, final tempo 240.  Dancers in this division may not also participate in the Am Lindy division unless they are dancing a different role (lead or follow).


Open Classic Lindy

This division is open to Pro couples, Amateur couples, or Pro/Am couples.  This is a “just dance” division intended to focus on musicality & style rather than flash.  Dancers will dance in group heats to slow to mid tempo music in prelims (prelim tempos 130/155).  Finals will consist of a warm up dance followed by a “phrase battle” to live music (160 bpm) where couples will enter the circle for 8 eight counts twice to show off their stuff, followed by an allskate if there’s any song left.  Dancers in this division may not also participate in the Am Classic Lindy division unless they are dancing a different role (lead or follow).


Am Classic Lindy

This is a “just dance” division open to Am dancers intended to focus on musicality & style rather than flash.  Dancers will dance in group heats to slow to mid tempo music in prelims (prelim tempos 130/155).  Finals will consist of a warm up dance followed by a “phrase battle” to live music (160 bpm) where couples will enter the circle for 8 eight counts twice to show off their stuff, followed by an allskate if there’s any song left.  Dancers in this division may not also participate in the Open Classic Lindy division unless they are dancing a different role (lead or follow).


Amateur Mix & Match

As invented by swing dance legend Jack Carey, in this contest dancers rotate to partners randomly drawn – partners will rotate four times, song length about 1:15. This contest does not require a partner and is for dancers with little or no contest experience. Aerials not permitted but minor drops, lifts, slides etc OK.  Finals will consist of 3-5 rotations of one heat of music of varying tempos and lengths.  You will be judged as individuals, not as couples. Open to 60 leads and 60 follows.


Advanced Mix & Match

For advanced dancers who are experienced competitors.  As invented by swing dance legend Jack Carey, in this contest dancers rotate to partners randomly drawn in three heats to four 1:15 minute songs.  Finals will consist of 3-5 rotations of one heat of music of varying tempos and lengths including a phrase battle style dance where each couple gets two 8 eight sections; you will be judged as individuals, not as couples.  Open to 60 leads and 60 follows.


Shag Mix & Match

This division is for Collegiate Shag or Double Rhythm Shag. In this contest dancers rotate to partners randomly drawn for prelims, finals will consist of a phrase battle style dance where each couple gets two 16 eight count sections; you will be judged as individuals, not as couples.  Open to 30 leads and 30 follows.


Switch Contest

New for 2019, we’re offering a Switch Contest for people who like to both lead and follow. In this contest, couples will dance in groups for the prelim to varying tempos. Finals will consist of a warm up dance followed by a “phrase battle” to live music (160 bpm) where couples will enter the circle for 8 eight counts twice to show off their stuff, dancing one role for the first time through and the opposite role for the second time through, followed by an allskate in which dancers may dance whichever role or switch roles as they choose. This contest will take place Monday night after Awards and during the night dance, finals to live music. Open to 20 couples.

If you are on a waiting list for a contest – Be present in the room as the contest starts.  If a couple is not there to dance in their slot, you’re up!  Be ready to compete, and have your contest fee for us!

Although we recommend you sign up for contests in advance (in particular, the Amateur and Team divisions, which always fill up shortly after registration opens), you may still sign up, change, or drop contests in front of the ballroom from 12:00-2:00 Saturday and 12:00 – 2:00 Sunday. Please note the cut off time of 2:00 PM – we will not be able to add any contestants after this time.

  • Each division limited to 40 couples; exceptions are Mix & Matches to 60 leads & 60 follows, Shag Mix & Match 30 leads & 30 follows, Amateur Showcase and Open Showcase limited to 15 couples, and Switch contest 20 couples, but additional couples may be added at the discretion of the Head Judge. Teams are limited to 12 teams.
  • Fees are $40 per couple for couples contests, $20 per individual for Mix & Matches and Open and Student Team is a flat fee of $150. Solo Team fee is $75.
  • All contests are “anything goes” – lifts, drops, aerials permitted, except in Amateur Mix & Match.
  • We reserve the right to cancel any contest that does not have at least five couples as of the day of the event.
  • Please note formats of all contests subject to change without notice, as determined by number of competitors.
  • Costumes are encouraged and appreciated!
  • We may promote some Pro couples to the finals of the Open Lindy, Balboa or Classic divisions at the organizer’s discretion

Cash prizes: (1st-3rd also receive trophies, 4th & 5th place medals – cash prizes broken down 1st-3rd place):

  • Open Showcase – $1000
  • Amateur Showcase – $500
  • Open Team – $1000
  • Student Team – $1000
  • Solo Team – $500
  • Open Lindy – $500
  • Open Classic Lindy – $400
  • Am Classic Lindy – $300
  • Advanced Mix & Match – $300
  • Open Balboa – $300
  • Am Balboa – $300
  • Shag – $300
  • Amateur Lindy – $400
  • Amateur Mix & Match – $200
  • Shag Mix & Match – $200

Don’t forget to go for the Golden Budgie—our Rock the House Award for exceptional performance, given to couples, groups or individuals who exemplify the Spirit of the Jitterbug!  Previous winners -Adam Brozowski & Mate Csike (Seattle, WA and Budapest, Hungary, 2018), Valerie Salstrom (Cleveland, OH, 2017), AJ Howard & Jennifer Runyan (CA, 2016), Kenny Nelson & Delilah Williams (CO, 2015),  James Bennett (CA, 2014),  Amy Denissen (CA, 2013), Soochan Lee & Hyunjung Choi (Korea, 2012), Morgan Day & Emily Wigger (CA, 2011), Tip West & Mike Mizgalski (CA, 2010), David Frutos & Kim Clever (CA, 2009), Nick Peterson (NV, 2008), Filippo Bucomino & Titty Sperzagni (Italy, 2007), Joanne Harrold (CA, 2006), Ben Yau & Sheri Kang (CA, 2005), Ben Morris (CA, 2004), Narusi Oki & Naoko Terada (Japan, 2003), Dabney Hopkins and Tracie Jones (AZ, 2002).  Make yours the next name on this list!

Pro and Am definitions:

An Amateur is defined as someone who does not regularly teach dance and has not placed 1st in any major three day swing dance weekend contest (ie, US Open, ILHC, Camp Jitterbug, etc). If you competed as an Amateur in any previous NJC and placed 1st, you must now move on to the Open or Advanced division – if you have placed 2nd or 3rd in any major weekend contest or previous NJC, you MAY opt to move up to the Open or Advanced division but can continue to compete as an amateur if you prefer.

A Pro is defined as someone who has placed 1st in any of the above 3 day swing weekends, 1st in any Pro or Amateur Lindy NJC divisions, and/or is a regular dance instructor.  You may consider yourself a Pro if you have placed top 3 in any of the above mentioned contests; you MUST compete as a Pro if you have placed 1st.

With regards to the Mix & Match contests – if you have won the Amateur Mix & Match but not placed in any other contest, you are not required to then be a Pro in all other divisions although you must move up to the Advanced Mix & Match.  If you have won or placed in previous Pro/Ams, you are not required to then be a Pro in all other divisions from now on.  You should only participate in the Advanced Mix & Match if you placed 1st in the Amateur Mix & Match (formerly Jack & Jill), are a seasoned competitor and/or are an advanced dancer. You can dance in both Mix & Matches providing you switch roles (lead or follow) and are a Pro as one role and an Amateur as the other.

Not permitted – being in both the Adv and Am Mix & Matches unless dancing a different role, dancing in both Open and Am Classic, Open and Am Showcase, or Open and Am Lindy or Balboa divisions unless dancing a different role, dancing twice with different partners in the same division (the exceptions are Showcase and Team, where a Team member may dance on more than one Team, and participants may be in more than one Showcase routine with a different partner), being a Pro dancer and participating in Amateur divisions unless dancing a different role.

Not sure if you’re a Pro or an Am?  E-mail us at info@camphollywood.net – we’ll be happy to help!

Contest Schedule:

Friday, August 30th

10:00 PM – Open Team

12:30 AMSolo Team

Saturday, August 31st

3:00 – 3:30Open Lindy Prelims

3:30 – 4:00 – Shag Prelims

4:00 – 4:30 – Open Balboa Prelims

4:30 5:00 – Am Lindy Prelims

5:00 – 5:30 – Am Balboa Prelims

5:30 – 6:00 – Am Classic Lindy Prelims

6:00 – 7:00 – Student Teams

9:45 PM – Shag Final

11:00 PM – Open Balboa Final

12:30 AM – Shag Mix & Match Prelims

Sunday, September 1st

3:00 – 4:00 – Adv Mix & Match Prelims

4:00 – 5:00 – Am Mix & Match Prelims

5:00 – 5:30 – Open Classic Prelims

5:30 – 6:30 – Amateur Showcase

6:30 – 7:30 – Open Showcase

9:45 PM – Am Lindy Final

11:00 PM – Open Lindy Final

Monday, September 3rd

4:00 – 4:30 – Am Mix & Match Finals

4:30 – 5:00 – Am Bal Finals

5:00 – 5:30 – Open Classic Finals

5:30 – 6:00 – Am Classic Finals 

6:00 – 6:30 – Advanced Mix & Match Finals

6:30 – 7:00 – Shag Mix & Match Finals

7:30 – Awards

10:15 PM – Switch Contest Prelim

11:30 PM – Switch Contest Final