Competitions

Collegiate Jitterbug Championships

Win $500!

Be a Collegiate Jitterbug Champion!

The Overall Collegiate Jitterbug prize is awarded to the two competitors (one leader and one follower) that dance their hearts out and compete in the Open Strictly, Open Jack & Jill, and Open Slow Groove.

All participants will gain points for each contest. The two competitors with the most points at the end of the weekend will be declared the Collegiate Jitterbug Champions! They will receive passes to Beantown Dance Camp in Massachusetts, $250 each and the CJC Jitterbug Trophies!**

Collegiate Jitterbug Championships (CJC)

The Collegiate Jitterbug Championships represents an important stepping-stone on a competitor’s dance journey. Our focus on amateur competitions makes the Collegiate Jitterbug Championships like no other national event. It is a venue where competitors can hone their skills without the pressures or distractions of professional divisions. It is a platform where amateur competitors can shine. Our goal is to encourage competition in a safe and supportive atmosphere.

Dancers from all over the US travel to Des Moines to compete in nine dance divisions in the hopes of being honored as the Overall Collegiate Jitterbug Champions. Dance teams battle it out for the coveted Cutters Cup Trophy.

So grab a partner, get your team together or simply show up and join a contest. We want to see you in Des Moines!

Get Your Team Registered!

Dance Divisions

We have 9 contests. Take a look and find the ones that are right for you!

Jack & Jill Prelims will begin on Friday, April 7 at 7 p.m. so get there early!

Newcomer Jack & Jill

This contest is intended for competitors with little to no contest experience. To be eligible, competitors must not have made it to the finals in a Lindy Hop competition. This category is judged on leader and follower skill level.
Registration Fee: $10 per dancer

  • Participants register individually.
  • Jack & Jill may dance to a variety of tempos.

Newcomer Strictly Lindy Hop

This contest is intended for competitors with little to no contest experience. To be eligible, competitors must not have made it to the finals in a Lindy Hop competition. This is a social dance category and dancers will be evaluated on their technique, teamwork and creativity.
Registration Fee: $10 per dancer

  • Participants must register with partner
  • Length of performance is at the promoter’s discretion
  • Couples may dance to a variety of tempos
  • Lifts, air steps, drops are not permitted

Solo Vintage Jazz

Individuals will dance to at least two songs and will have the chance to showcase their individual technique and style. Competitors will be judged on creativity, quality of movement and authenticity.
Registration Fee: $10 per dancer

  • This is a tap-in elimination contest
  • Finalists will dance in a spotlight format

Team

NO entry fee for Team Competition. Teams must register before March 15th, 2017. This is a partnered lindy hop contest. Teams will be judged on entrance, exit, timing, teamwork, formations, music interpretation, and variety, as well as execution.

Get Your Team Registered Now

  • Each team must have a minimum of 6 dancers.
  • All members must purchase a Full Weekend Pass or Competitors Pass
  • No individual can be on more than one team
  • All routines must be original pieces
  • Music Time Limitations: No less than 2-1/2 minutes and no more than 4 minutes.
  • This is a Swing category and dance content must be 60% that style.
  • Any style of dance may be choreographed; however, swing dancing will be the basis of judging
  • There are NO music genre restrictions.
  • The Heartland Swing Festival values technique but we emphasize showmanship and creativity.
  • Eligibility for the Team competition is more lenient as we value the overall team performance rather than the individuals. Choreographers and instructors will be allowed to compete on a team with their students. The team must consist of a majority of amateur competitors. If you have questions about eligibility, feel free to contact us.

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Fast Dance Battle

This is an opportunity to show off dance styles other than lindy hop. Collegiate Shag, St. Louis Shag, Balboa, Charleston, Boogie Woogie, etc. All fast dance styles encouraged. (Lindy Hop is not allowed)
Registration Fee: $5 per dancer

    Competitors will be judged on their ability to keep up with rising tempos
    Endurance will play a factor
    Competitors will be judged on technique, variety of movement, creativity and personal style

Open Jack & Jill

This category is judged on leader and follower skill level. Preliminaries will be judged individually and competitors will have more than one partner. Finals will be judged as a couple. Partners are drawn at random. If by chance normal partners are put together – we will not switch partners. “Luck of the draw” will prevail. This is subject to change at the discretion of the Chief Judge.
Registration Fee: $10 per dancer

Open Strictly Lindy Hop

This is a social dance category and dancers will be evaluated on their technique, teamwork and creativity.Registration Fee: $10 per dancer

    Participants must register with partner
    Length of performance is at the promoter’s discretion
    Couples may dance to a variety of tempos
    Lifts, air steps, drops and breakaways are permitted

Open Slow Groove

This division will be danced in heats and/or spotlight at the promoter’s discretion.
Registration Fee: $10 per dancer

    Participants must register with partner
    Length of performance is at the promoter’s discretion
    Lifts and drops are permitted

Open Showcase

Couples perform a routine to their own music. Limited to 10 couples, but additional couples may be added at the discretion of the Head Judge.
Registration Fee: $15 per dancer

    Song length to be between 2 and 3 minutes
    Dance content must be 80% Swing/Vintage Jazz

CJC Mission statement

To provide an encouraging and inspiring environment to showcase the best amateur lindy hoppers from around the world while providing entertainment and inspiration for the spectators.

Requirements to Compete

The Collegiate Jitterbug Championships at the Heartland Swing Festival encourages all competitors, who believe they are eligible, to submit their registration. All who plan to compete must adhere to the following requirements:

  1. Must have amateur status at time of competition. (See below)
  2. Passes – All competitors are required to purchase a Full Weekend Pass or a Competitors Pass.
  3. Entry Fee – Registration isn’t considered complete until the entry fee has been paid. We will not hold spots.
  4. Waiver – All competitors are required to sign a waiver at the time they receive their wristbands at the Registration Desk.
Swing Cats

Amateur Eligibility

For all divisions (other than team)* competitors must have Amateur status at the time of competition. This does not mean you must be in College. It means you must not work primarily as a swing dance instructor. It also assumes that you have not won any major professional level contests. The following are guidelines to clarify eligibility.

Eligible

  • There are no situations in which you promote yourself as a professional swing dance instructor or performer.
  • You sometimes teach a lesson at a bar, nightclub or for a private organization as a student representing a dance studio.
  • You participate in a dance demo or performance for which you receive no payment.
  • You occasionally participate as an amateur performer for which you receive payment.

Ineligible

  • You are a full-time swing dance instructor for your own studio or some other studio.
  • You have placed in the top three in any of the following national swing dance competitions (excludes Amateur, Pro/Am, Solo and Team divisions):
    • ILHC – Lindy Hop Classic, Lindy Hop Showcase, Strictly Lindy All-Star and above, J&J All-Star and above.
    • ULHS – Showdown Lindy Battle, Jack & Jill
    • NJC – Open Classic Lindy, Open Lindy, Open Showcase, Advanced Jack & Jill
    • Lone Star Championships at Lindyfest – Strictly Lindy All-Star and above, J&J All-Star and above

*Team Division Eligibility: Choreographers and instructors will be allowed to compete on a team with their students. The team must consist of a majority of amateur competitors. If you have questions about eligibility, feel free to contact us.

**Please note: Winning a contest at the Collegiate Jitterbug Championships does NOT exclude you from competing in future contests.

If you have questions about eligibility, please contact us.

Contest Sponsors

We'd like to thank all the events that offered passes for our contest winners. Thank You!
  • Beantown
  • LIndy Focus
  • Southern Swing Challenge
  • Canadian Swing Championships
  • Camp Hollywood
  • Stompology
  • Midwest Lindy Fest
  • Uptown Swing
  • Atlanta Varsity Showdown
  • SwingIN
  • Cowtown Jamborama
  • LIndy on the Rocks
  • Nevermore Jazz Ball Ad
  • LIndy Diversion Logo
  • Greenwood Swing Out Logo
  • BULX
  • Rock Ya Body