Jack and Jill bachata competition

If you need to decide which festival to go to,
one of the key elements to pay attention to is the J&J competition.

A J&J competition normally means a high level of both leaders and followers.

And you may wonder,
what the F#ck is a J&J competition,

If you do not know what a Jack and Jill (J&J) competition is about,
this post is for you

What is a Jack and Jill Competition

To put it simply,
Jack and Jill is a bachata couple competition.

Both the leader and the follower are matched randomly,
dancing together for around 1.5-2min
and rotating to the next partner.

The rules to sign up for the competition may vary from one festival to another,
however, the structure of the competition itself tends to be very similar.

Where is the name of Jack and Jill coming from

In case you are curious,
the name of this competition was created in the early 1950s in the US by Jack Carey.
The idea of allocating the couples was to encourage a variety of dancers to enter competitions

Discover here the best festival with J&J competition.

Common structure of a J&J Competition

A Bachata J&J Competition is normally held in 3 stages

Qualifying stage

This is the first stage.
All participants who are admitted into the competition are taking place in this stage.

Dance couples are created randomly.
One Leader will be assigned to one random follower.
Each couple will be dancing for around 1.5-2minutes.
After this rotation leader will move into a new follower.

Normally the structure is people dancing in a circle,
after the time is over the organizer will shout “Rotate”.
Time to move on to the next partner


The structure is very much the same as in the Qualifying Stage.
The only difference is that only will make it here the people who were selected by the judges.
There will be an equal amount of leaders and followers,
rotating every certain time


The big final.
The top of the top is making it here.

If there are artists invited to the event,
they will be dancing with the finalists.

Leaders who made it to the final will dance with the follower artists.
The same for the followers,
the ones who made it to the final, will dance with the leader artists.

After that,
same as the Olympics.

There will be a gold, silver and bronze medal,
and most importantly the recognition and admiration of the whole community

Elements evaluated during J&J competition

If you wonder what it is evaluated,
these are the four main elements evaluated during a Bachata J&J competition:
Technique, Musicality, Leading / Following and Artistry


– Basic step
(you know it right, One, Two, Three, Four…)

– Fundamental bachata elements (turns, waves, rolls, frame etc)

– Variety of elements and complexity of compositions (leaders only)

– Ladies / Men styling


– Highlighting the “strong” beat

– Matching the mood of the music

– Following the music structure, rhythm and musical elements 
( e.g. accents, breaks, syncopations, etc.)

Leading / Following

– Leaders leading skills and quality / Followers following skills and quality


– Emotional interaction in a couple

– Participant emotions

Detailed process of a J&J competition

A step-by-step guide
of how a J&J bachata competition could look like:

1. All leaders are invited to the dance floor. 

2. All Followers are invited to the dance floor to join random leaders.

3. Music starts and couples dance bachata for 1.5-2 minutes (1 round)

4. Music stops and partners rotate.

5. A new song plays and another 1.5-2 min dance round starts

6. There are x rounds in the Qualifying stage. (for example 5 rounds)

7. After some time (let’s say 10 min) judges introduce participants (same number of leaders and followers) for the semi-final.

8. Semi-final is x rounds (1,5-2 min each) (for example 3 rounds)

9. Dance partners rotate after every round

10. After some time, (normally within 10-15 min)
judges inform participants (both leaders and followers) who make it to the Final.

12. For the Final.
if there are artists,
leaders will dance with follower artists, rotation every 2min.
Same for the followers,
with the leader’s artists

13. Judges will announce who are the winners and the silver/bronze medal in the competition.

How a Jack & Jill Competition looks like

As the saying goes,
an image is worth a thousand words.

Here you have an example of PRO competition

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