Dance for Me

PBS Premiere: July 21, 2014Check the broadcast schedule »


About Competitive Dancing

At the beginning of the 20th century, French entrepreneur Camille de Rhynal held the first social dance competitions in converted ballrooms. Ever since, dance as a competitive sport has become increasingly popular throughout the world.

The first international tournament for Latin dance (the discipline practiced by Egor and Mie) took place in Nice, France, in 1907. The discipline continued to gain popularity throughout Europe, and couples from 15 nations and three continents were involved in the inaugural world championship in Germany in 1936. Today, the sport is governed by an international federation, with competitions held in Europe, Asia and the Americas, and it is currently under consideration for Olympic inclusion.

The focus of competitive dancing is for couples to demonstrate both technical skill and creative fluency. Since Mie aspires to be a legendary dancer, her search for a partner is of the utmost importance.

The competitive format for ballroom dancing is unique. Partners do not get the floor to themselves. Rather, all couples dance on the floor at the same time for 90 to 120 seconds in a variety of styles, including tango, rhumba and jive. Each dance is performed multiple times as the competition progresses.

As Mie and Egor progress through the competition, the judges scrutinize their performance based on a number of different criteria. To advance from the first round, the couple must demonstrate technical proficiency. Later in competition, the challenge is to demonstrate artistry and style.

Criteria considered throughout the competition include posture, timing and basic rhythm, body line, hold, movement, rhythmic interpretation, foot action, floor craft, how two dancers look and fit together as a couple and their costuming and appearance.

» World DanceSport Federation. "Competition."
» World DanceSport Federation. "Within World Sports."