Blues Blast features two kinds of blues dancing contests: the Cuttin' Contest and the Jack and Jill Contest.
A Cuttin' Contest is a solo dance contest, meaning you dance without a partner. The goal is to feed off other people and explicitly "one-up" their dancing. The concept of "cutting" is strongly rooted in African-American tradition, but similar traditions exist across the world wherever dancing is a part of the culture. An important part of "cutting" is how you relate to the other contestants. Usually one dancer "calls out" another dancer in a challenge, and the way that the two dancers interact is what makes the contest exciting!
Jack and Jill contests showcase partnership by matching dancers with a series of randomly chosen partners, to see how they adapt and work together to dance well as a couple. This matches the spirit of blues dancing which is a very social form of dance. The best Jack and Jill dancers are able to express themselves and interpret the music while cooperating with their partners, and inspiring their partners to dance even better!
Photos courtesy of Norman Lansing.