Novice – Advanced

On this page – First TeamSecond Team

Fresher’s Week 2022:

Fill in this form to register your interest in the Cambridge University Dancesport Team as a non-beginner – this includes people who have taken one Cha Cha class, right up to Varsity veterans and open circuit champions! Our first event is a partnering session called Trials: Trials are designed to help us assign teams and partners, and will be held on the 8th of October 2022 at Chesterton Sports Centre. For trials this year, we would like you to prepare some choreography in advance. We will ask you to dance some Waltz, Quickstep, Cha Cha and Jive. There are choreography videos from our professional coaches, which will be sent to you once you have signed up. Please learn at least one Ballroom and one Latin choreo – you may learn all 4 set choreos, or one from Waltz / Quickstep, and one from Cha Cha / Jive, and use your own choreography for the remaining dances. If you have any queries about the format of trials this year, please do let us know! 

If you are keen to dance with CUDT and have previous dance experience but are unable to attend trials, please fill in the form anyway, so we know you are interested! The deadline for signing up to trials is 18:00 Friday the 7th of October.

Training through the year – First Team

The CUDT First Team usually consists of 16-20 couples who are selected to represent the University of Cambridge in the Team Matches at Inter-Varsity Competitions. Dancers earn their spot on First Team not by experience and achievement alone, but by hard work and commitment, too. Consistent dedication to Team is key to remaining on First Team throughout the year. Couples in First Team typically compete in Advanced, Intermediate and Same Sex at inter-varsity competitions.

First Team Training Expectations

  • Sundays 17:30 – 19:55 at the USC – upstairs studios
  • At least one open practice per week (see list below)
  • At least one private lesson per couple most weeks
  • Active participation in demos and publicity events

Check out our timetable to see when each practice is during the week.

Competing on First Team

Competing is a large part of what we do at CUDT, and First Team couples are expected to compete in the Advanced, Intermediate, Pre-Intermediate or Same Sex categories at University circuit competitions. Couples do not have to compete at the same level for Ballroom and Latin, and will often have a preferred discipline!

  • Advanced – 4 dances – Open dress – No step restrictions
  • Intermediate – 3 dances – Open dress – No step restrictions
  • Same Sex – usually(!) 2 dance – Open dress – No step restrictions
  • Pre-Intermediate – 2 dance – Open dress – No step restrictions

The highlight of competitions is of course the team match, which will require couples from the First (and often Second!) Team to dance Waltz, Quickstep, Cha Cha or Jive as part of a 4-couple team. We like to enter as many teams as the competition allows, so many CUDT members will be able to participate in the Team Match, not just those on the First Team. Teams are chosen at each competition independently, based on who looks good on the day.

Training through the year – Second Team

Containing everyone from the bewildered fresher who had one social Cha Cha lesson, to the people looking to make next year’s varsity squad, the Second Team really does accommodate people of all ability and experience. Second Team couples that work hard and show commitment to team can be promoted to First Team during the year, making the boundary between the teams porous both upward and down.

Second Team Training Expectations

  • Saturdays 15-17:00 at Parkside Community College gym – where Paul and David’s lessons are
  • Improvers classes with David and Paul, or at least one open practice each week

The captains and coaches regularly attend Second Team training and observe all the couples closely in competitions. We are always looking to reward hard work and commitment to training, by moving couples up from the Second to the First Team.

Competing on Second Team

Second Team couples cover a much more varied range of abilities, which means they will be competing from Novice through to Intermediate in some years! If you have little prior competitive experience, it is sensible to discuss your competition level with the coaches, and the Second Team Captains. Novice (Ballroom and Latin) and Same Sex (Latin) routines are taught during Second Team training, but more advanced couples sometimes prefer to use private lessons with the coaches to make personalised touches to the choreography, or to learn a completely different set of steps!

  • Same Sex – usually(!) 2 dance – Open dress – No step restrictions
  • Pre-Intermediate – 2 dance – Open dress – No step restrictions
  • Novice – 2 dance – Waltz / Quickstep – Cha Cha / Jive – Restricted dress – Restricted steps

During the competition day, the coaches and captains will watch all the couples critically, trying to determine the best configuration of couples to put forward on the Team Match. High ability couples from Second Team are usually recruited to form part of the 4-couple team, dancing one from Waltz, Quickstep, Cha Cha or Jive. Teams are chosen at each competition independently, based on who looks good on the day.

Open Practice

There is of course open practice – which anyone from First or Second Team may attend. These are organised by CDC and the full list is available here. At open practice, the music plays and people are free to practice technique from their classes or lessons, or run through their full routines to time with music: arms, legs and faces a-go!

  • Tuesdays 18:00 – 19:45 Ballroom practice at Parkside
  • Tuesdays 21:00 – 23:00 Latin practice at Kelsey Kerridge (in the studio)
  • Thursdays 18:00 – 20:00 Open practice at Parkside Community College gym
  • Fridays 21:00 – 23:00 at Kelsey Kerridge Fenners
  • Saturdays 13:30 – 14:55 at Parkside Community College gym (before Second Team training)
  • Sundays 12:00 – 13:55 at Parkside Community College gym (after Beginners training)
  • Sundays 21-23:00 at Kelsey Kerridge (in the studio)

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