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Urbankiz Jack & Jill Competition
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Last updated: June 15, 2024

What is a Jack and Jill competition, and how does it work?

A Jack & Jill is a social dance competition. You do not need a partner, costume or routine to enter. In a Jack & Jill, you are paired with a random partner and dance to music selected by the competition’s DJ.

What do you win for competing?

The Neo Kizomba Festival will provide cool prizes for the top 3 placements in each division.

Here are the finalists from last year!
Preliminary Round

In preliminary rounds, you are judged on your own (rather than as a couple). You will rotate a few times, so that you have a chance to dance with multiple partners.

Each judge gets a certain amount of “yes” votes that they can give out. The dancers with the most “yes” votes move to the next round.

Once the final positions are assigned (the number of finalists will depend on the total number of competitors in the division), the next 2-3 dancers will be named as “alternates” to take the position in finals of any dancer who is absent for the finals.

Final Round

In finals, you are judged as a couple with the person you draw as a partner. The judges will rank all the couples. Then, placements are calculated using relative placement scoring.

Which division should you compete in?

The divisions for Jack and Jill competitions are leveled by experience.

It's recommended you compete in Novice if:

- You do not teach urban kiz, or do not get compensated to teach locally/nationally; OR You have been dancing for less than 2 years.

It's recommended you compete in Intermediate if:

- you are being or have been recently compensated to teach urban kiz locally/nationally
- are able to lead/follow hook steps, syncopations, and a variety of partnership orientations (standard, shadow, reverse shadow, & double-blind with confidence
- are regularly recording yourself to train and have several posted demos and/or video projects on social media

If you have any questions about your placement, feel free to contact Charles Ogar by messaging the Neo Kizomba Festival page directly!

What are you being judged on?

Timing & musicality

All songs played will adhere to 4/4 time music.
Timing must be consistent.

Competitors should take care in the manner they interpret the selected song. Use appropriate breaks and holds, being rhythmically in sync with the music.

Competitors must demonstrate basic timing for a minimum of 60% of each song. This can be reflected in foundation movements, saidas and other steps.

Song selections

For Novice, DJs will play medium (80 bpm to 90 bpm) speed songs with a clear consistent beat. Ghetto Zouk songs, Tarraxo songs or Top 40 remixed songs are allowed.

For Intermediate, DJs will play slower douceur (80-90 bpm) songs and faster (95-100+ bpm) speed songs with an “Urban Kiz” beat. Ghetto Zouk songs, Tarraxo songs, and Top 40 remixed songs are allowed.

Note on douceur: Douceur songs should be danced dynamically and not in a closed hold the entire part of the song. Please refer to the sensual category of the Olympiads of Kizomba competition. Here are some examples: Video 1, Video 2, Video 3.

All songs for all levels will have a consistent “urban kiz” beat.


Urbankiz motion and posture – how well the competitors execute the movements.

Proper use of urbankiz foundation movements:

- Touch Steps, Saidas, Turns, Change of Tempo, Leg Lifts, and Lines.
- Correct footwork in all foundation movements and clean footwork during patterns
- Individual fundamental dance technique (e.g footwork placement, frame, balance, how well steps are executed)
- Proper use of timing (accordingly to competitors' level)


- How well the couple works together
- Appearance of lead/follow or action/reaction between the partners
- Partner compatibility – adjusting personal styles to compliment the partnership
- Ability to work together as a team musically with phrasing, one partner ignoring or out-dancing the other indicates poor teamwork.


- The complexity of the foot work
- The complexity of overall improvisation
- Originality and musicality of patterns and expression


- It is compulsory to wear shoes for safety reasons (dance shoes or other comfortable shoes for dancing that won’t affect your technique are allowed)
- Wear clothes that you would wear if you were going to a social dance party – and also consider you want to stand out to the judges.
- Clothing should not interfere with the dancers ability to move or with the judges ability to see movement.

Other Rules:

There are a few extra rules for competing:

- You can only compete in one division
- No lifts are allowed
- This competition is de-gendered meaning any gender can compete in either the leader or follower role.

Being on time

Make sure you pick up your bib number when you arrive and check in for the festival. Bibs will be handed out 15 minutes before the competition.

You should arrive to check in for the competition at the check-in time on the schedule. If you are not present at check-in, your name will be scratched from the list and you will not be allowed to compete.

If you are late for finals, your place in the competition will be given to the next available alternate competitor. You can check our schedule to find the latest updates on when the competitions will take place.

What do you win for competing?

The Neo Kizomba Festival will provide cool prizes for the top 3 placements in each division.
We are adding a Switch Jack & Jill to Neokiz!

What is a Switch Jack & Jill?

For a typical Jack & Jill competition, competitors will sign up and indicate which role they will dance while they are competing (lead or follow). In a Switch Jack & Jill, the intent is to display your skills dancing as BOTH a lead and follow.

There is no selecting to dance as a lead or as a follow, everyone competing will be switching between both roles.

Rules & Process

Switch Competition Rules
This competition will be a challenge for our ambi-dancers at an open level, there will not be a novice or intermediate category. We believe that dancing both roles is something that our more experienced/intermediate dancers can handle confidently.

Note: There is a separate entry fee to enter for the Switch J&J that would need to be purchased to compete in this division.

The finalists (1st, 2nd, 3rd couples) will also win passes and receive a medal as the standard Urbankiz J&J does.

Judging Criteria:
- Ability to dance both roles well.
- Musicality, teamwork, and overall dance technique.
- Clean technique and footwork
- Fluidity and creativity of transitions between leading and following (only in the 3rd & 4th songs).

Preliminary Round

Group Selection:
Competitors will be randomly divided into two groups: Group A and Group B.

Song 1:
- Group A dancers will follow.
- Group B dancers will lead.
- Partner switching rotation to a random number!

Song 2:
- Group B dancers will follow.
- Group A dancers will lead.
- Partner switching rotation to a random number!

Song 3:
- Active switching between roles is expected throughout the song.
- Aim for a 50-50 split in roles for each dancer.
- Partner switching rotation to a random number!

Song 4:
- Active switching between roles is expected throughout the song with a new partner.
- Aim for a 50-50 split in roles for each dancer.

Final Round
The top dancers from the preliminary round will compete. The format will change to spotlights. Everyone is on the same list, and you write pairs of numbers for people to draw. For example: if we have 10 finalists, write the numbers 1-5 twice and put them in a cup.

Everyone draws and whoever has their matching number is their partner. Active switching is required in every song, ensuring as close to even split between roles as possible.

Additional Elements:
- Song Selection: More challenging and diverse music to test versatility.

Judging Criteria:
Same as the preliminary round with additional emphasis on:
- Adaptability to different music styles.
- Creativity in transitions.
- Overall performance and stage presence.

General Guidelines:
- Dancers should aim for smooth, natural transitions between roles.
- Judges will look for an even balance in the performance of both leading and following.
- Communication and connection between partners will be key factors in scoring.
Sign Up To Compete!