Dance With A Stranger

DWAS is the category where you get to pick neither your partner nor the music that you are dancing to.

While the music plays, the MC will call for you to change partners at predetermined intervals. You will rotate within your heat and dance with (hopefully) each person in turn.

This applies to all heats and to the Finals of levels 1 through 3. In the Final of Level 4 DWAS, partners will be assigned randomly, and the lucky finalists will stay with that dance partner for a two song spotlight and an all-skate.


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!

This applies to all heats and to the Finals of levels 1 through 3. In the Final of Level 4 Freestyle, the lucky pairs of finalists will each dance a two song spotlight and an all-skate.

Stuck In The Mud

This category is unique to SummerJive and is designed to showcase dancers’ floorcraft skills. Rectangles will be marked on the floor and competitors must dance within the space marked out.

Line judges will be watching for competitors landing outside the lines. The lines have the same rulings as for tennis – on the line is OK, clearly outside the line is not.

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

New for 2021: Partnerships must have a combined level of 6 or less when the dancers’ individual levels are added together.

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.

Leads may choose whether their left or right is out of action but must make that choice before the dance starts. They 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.

New for 2021: Leads “broken” arm doesn’t need to be restrained if it is instantly identifiable as unusable. Eg: wearing a glove, spangled attire, holding something, etc.

Swaps and Steals

In Swaps and Steals, any two of a group of three dancers are dancing together. The dancing pair is changed by either swapping or stealing a lead or follow. This must be within the confines of Modern Jive and dance floor safety.

Dancers may choose their trio but do not get to choose the music they dance to.


In Pro-Am, an experienced dancer (a level 4 or a teacher of any level) dances with a student from level 1 (no time limit) or a student from level 2 (dancing less than two years).

Competitors are not allowed to enter into Pro-Am with anyone they’re dancing with in another category, or with anyone they’ve placed with in a similar category at another competition.

Students may enter if they have placed three or fewer times in a similar category at SummerJive or at any other competition.

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