Dance With A Stranger

DWAS is the category where you get to pick neither your partner nor the music that you are dancing to. You will rotate within your heat and each time you rotate, you will get a portion of music to dance with that person. Judges are looking for how well you adapt to the style of the person you are dancing with, and your connection, as well as how technically proficient you are.


Freestyle is the category where you get to pick your partner, but not the music you dance to.

Competitors will rotate position on the competition floor so that everyone gets a chance to be at the front!

Stuck In The Mud

This category is unique to SummerJive, and is designed to showcase dancers’ floorcraft skills. Rectangles will be laid out on the floor, and competitors will be judged not only on the aesthetics and technical proficiency of their dancing (by our mainstream judges) but also on their ability to keep their feet from landing outside those lines (by our line judges). Results will be a combination of the two sets of judges scores.

As the competitors progress through heats towards finals, the floor space available to competitors will be made smaller at each progression.

Broken Wing

Another category unique to SummerJive, Broken Wing is designed to showcase dancers’ ingenuity and teamwork. Leads are required to use only one hand and arm throughout each dance; the other is to be kept out of action and never used.

This will be achieved by keeping one arm in a sling (or, if necessary, a pocket)!

Leads may choose whether their left or right is out of action but must make that choice before the dance starts! Competitors will be provided with a wristband to easily identify the “broken” limb to judges. Leads may choose to change which “wing” is “broken” in between dances (and in between heats), but must wear the wristband on the one that they are not using.

Swaps and Steals

In Swaps and Steals, a group of three dancers rotate the lead role of the dance partnership (and sometimes the follow role) by whatever means necessary within the confines of Modern Jive and dance floor safety.

Dancers may choose their trio, and may choose which person amongst that trio starts standing to one side of the dancing pair, but do not get to choose the music you dance to.


In this category, a person who:

  • has been dancing Modern Jive for less than 2 years and/or
  • is competing at Level 1: Beginner or Level 0: Rookie at this competition, and
  • has placed three or fewer times in a similar category at SummerJive or any other competition

dances with their choice of:

  • a teacher, or
  • a level 4: Advanced Plus / Champion competitor

Competitors in this category should not compete with a partner with whom they have entered into a similar category at another competition, nor should they compete with their Freestyle partner.

ProAm will be split up into student leads and student follows.

A lack of routine entries

In some previous years, we have elected to not run choreographed routine categories, due to a lack of interest from competitors. If any competitor(s) wish to enter either a cabaret or teams routine, they should contact the Event Director as early as possible.

If there are insufficient entries to Cabaret and/or Teams, entrants to these categories will be asked to demonstrate their hard work by performing for us at SummerJive. In this case, the category/ies will be non-awarded categories.


Cabaret is the category where you get to pick your partner and your music, and dance a set routine to that music. The routine must be substantially choreographed by the persons dancing it, and should be between 2.5 and 4 minutes long. It must also be recognisably Modern Jive.


Teams is the category where six or more dancers perform a routine together to a piece of music of their choosing. The routine should be between 2.5 and 4 minutes long, and should be recognisably Modern Jive.

An abundance of routine entries

If there are sufficient entries to Cabaret and/or Teams, we will split these divisions up into two categories – Open and Strictly Modern Jive (Open will be more lenient, Strictly MJ more strict about the definition of “modern jive content” – for example, the number and length of aerials will be capped in order to make this division more accessible to more dancers)