1. Why a “Gender-Neutral” competition? Why not? But on a more serious level, let's face it, the times are changing and ballroom needs to change with it. If we want ballroom dancing to continue into the 22nd century and beyond we need to move with the times. Over the years, attire, steps, what is considered competitive has changed and evolved, so why shouldn't partnerships? In keeping with that, we don't care what your gender or gender expression is, or what your partner's gender or gender expression is, we just want you to dance! Thus, we believe gender-neutral competitions are the way of the future and we want to be at the forefront. We believe in being totally inclusive and letting everyone have the chance to dance. Thus, whether you like to lead, follow or switch, we are confident that Gateway DanceSport Festival can offer you something and will be the most inclusive competition around.

  2. What is an “Assessment Event?” An ‘Assessment Event’ is where each couple gets graded on specific technical aspects of their dancing. At Gateway DanceSport Festival you will be assessed on the following 5 criteria: footwork, partnership skills, musicality, presentation and overall look. There will be 2 judges per criteria, and you will get a marked on a likert scale that will indicate if you are below the expected level for a particular proficiency level, at the expected level for a particular proficiency level, or above the expected level for a particular proficiency level. This will give you information based on how you actually danced at a competition that you will be able to take back and discuss with your coaches. You will receive those marks at the end of the event.

  3. What is a “Grading Round” event? There are no pre-determined proficiency levels in events that start with a ‘Grading Round.” ‘Grading Rounds’ are therefore required before the competition rounds of multi-dance categories. The purpose of ‘grading rounds,’ also called "separation rounds" or “classification rounds,” is to group all couples of the same average level/quality in the same class. In addition, there are no restrictions in choreography (steps/syllabus) for lower classes. This is an opportunity to see what the judges consider to be your proficiency level when looking at the entire field of current couples and also for you to try some open work and see how it goes.

If you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to contact us at We love hearing from you.