I have only been dancing for about 8 months now but almost every time I dance with an experienced follow they seem really impressed with my leading ability when they find out how long I have been dancing. Everything I have learned so far has been through group classes and videos, I have not taken any private lessons. However, I have a very strong athletic and musical background which has provided me the ability to lead well and has given me a great sense of rhythm. I usually go out dancing 2-3 times a week and dance two step, east coast swing, west coast swing, hustle, waltz, and cha-cha with a variety of people. I have also learned some lindy, salsa, blues, balboa, and nighclub two step. I am interested in competing and learning more about competing for a number of reasons. I have done group lessons at several places with a number of people and almost every time I have been the first person to pick up on what they were teaching. I am a very quick learner and it is my understanding that competing a great way to push yourself to see just how much you can learn. It also seems like these competitions are a great way to meet new people and I would love to meet some new people to dance with and learn from. Lastly, since I have been in sports for most of my life I am competitive by nature and would like to see how I "stack up" against other people. I would be going there first and foremost to have fun, but I do have a competitive spirit. So I looked online at the UCWDA site and noticed they have a competition coming up in the beginning of November in Harrisburg I could make it to. I saw they have a novice jack-and-jill division for two step and west coast swing as well. So this raised a couple of questions for me: 1. Are jack-and-jill events a good way to introduce a virgin competitor into the competitive dance world? 2. What is the general skill level of the novice jack-and-jill competitors? 3. Am I skilled enough to keep up with the other leads in my division so I don't tick off the follows I dance with for my lack of skill compared to the other leads? I also downloaded and read the UCWDC pdf rule sheet and had a couple of questions about that as well. 1. Do they require "country" dress for the jack-and-jill competitions (i.e. boot and hat)? 2. Do the jack-and-jill competitors all dance to the same song or are they different for each couple? Do the competitors get a chance to hear the song before the take the floor? 3. Do the couples get a chance to warm-up with each other before they take the floor to be judged? 4. Are there any skills that are required or not allowed for novice jack-and-jill competitors? I know this is a very long-winded post but I have never been to a dance competition before. I am very excited about the possibility of competing and I would just like to get a better idea of if I am ready and what I am getting myself into. Thank you!