Agreed. The team aspect also provides a good safety net in case of a missing pair of pants or tie or somesuch. With regard to level of dedication, it's a club sport; not everyone is aiming to be in the open [insert style here] final by the end of the year. Yes, there is some amount of minimum standard of appearance to be taken seriously, and you should educate your team on that (perhaps hold a hair and makeup workshop before a comp), but you should not expect everyone to be as serious as you are. Regarding sloppiness in hair/makeup/costuming: some of this will boil down to level of dedication, especially on the costuming front. Costumes are expensive; if you are not super dedicated, buying a costume that fits you properly may well turn out a waste of money, so dancers who are not sure how much time and money they are going to be able to dedicate to dance are unlikely to spend a lot of money on costumes. With hair and makeup, the aforementioned workshop idea can help. You can also offer to help do your teammates' hair and makeup if they need the assistance. This is a legitimate concern, and one that extends beyond costumes to all rules. It all stems from a lack of centralized organization on the part of most college comps. Every competition decides what the rules will be for that competition- will costumes be allowed in bronze? What is the policy on dancing in the opposite of one's normal role (that is to say, can a gold smooth follower lead in silver smooth?) How many levels can a dancer span across styles? While keeping track of which comps do not allow costumes is definitely important, especially if most of your schedule allows costumes, in the event you find out that costumes are in fact allowed at such and such a comp, and your dancers have none, it's not the end of the world - they'll still be able to dance, and they still have the chance to make recalls and finals. Yes, a uniform policy would be helpful, but if they publicize incorrect rules (or none at all), that is a separate problem. As one of those people who was kicked into the silver level by the calendar, I think there are benefits and there are pitfalls. Regardless of where it is, there is going to be some point at which the flow stops, and people tend to stagnate. If only newcomer had a time limit, that level would be bronze. If all of syllabus had a time limit, that level would be prechamp. Ultimately, the benefit of making bronze a competitive field, I feel outweighs the issue of it often bumping people into a higher level then they are perhaps ready for. After all, a point-out system like we have (especially one as fast moving as the YCN system used in the Northeast) does not tell you "you have 7 points in silver foxtrot; you are good enough that you are ready for gold". It tells you "you have 7 points in silver foxtrot; you are too good to continue dancing silver." Note the difference between "too good for silver" and "good enough for gold". I am seeing more and more comps go the route of Facebook groups for TBAs to congregate and find partners before even arriving at the comp. This is really useful, as it can allow couples to actually register together, minimizing the number of TBA listings. I know my first year dancing, due to internal communication issues within my team, the entire bronze cohort had the International events at MIT fill up before we could register, meaning that we were on a waiting list. Having no partner for those two styles, I needed to match myself up with a TBA follower in order to secure my spot, so I went down the list of ladies registered without a partner, and ended up finding a partner by connecting with her on Facebook. I have been on the other end too, where someone has seen my name registered TBA and asked me to dance with her. When push comes to shove, when you arrive at a competition in hopes of finding a partner, you are not so much dancing TBA as you are dancing on standby. It's not ideal, but c'est la vie.