There exists, in other street dance forms, a type of competition called a cutting contest. In case you haven't seen them done, picture break dancers or hip-hop dancers. The idea is straightforward: you watch your opponent dance, then you respond, building or improving on what they did. Essentially, you're trying to one-up your opponent.
Allow me to give a ridiculous example (I'm assuming their dancing is interpretive- I'm just un-interpreting):
Dancer 1: "I'm awesome. I ride a unicorn, and fire a bow and arrow."
Dancer 2: "Oh yeah? I ride not a unicorn, but a pegasus, and I rain snakes down on you!"
Dancer 1: "Nice- I think you've wounded me... Too bad for you I have a snake slingshot, and launch them back at you!"
Clearly, dancer 1 has won. How do you come back against snake slingshots?
Seeing the potential for interesting, entertaining, and challenging competitions, blues organizers have latched on to the idea of cutting comps. But I'm afraid I simply have to say it: we, as a community, just aren't mature enough to play that game. What usually happens? Here, let me interpret again:
Dancer 1: "I'm awesome. I ride a unicorn."
Dancer 2: "Well, I'm humping your unicorn with infinite sexiness."
Dancer 1: "Well, I'm in your face, and I have infinite sexiness plus 1."
Dancer 2: "Well, I have infinite sexiness plus 2, and I'm even more in your face!"
And so on.
There are a few notable exceptions- people who can make the game more interesting by (this is rare) yielding in a fun way, or paying attention to their opponents, and answering their movements. But most of our competitors, most of the time, don't have that particular skill; they go for intimidation, rather than cleverness; they wind up with frantic shouting for attention, instead of musically appropriate phrasing. So rather than good cutting, or even just good solo dancing in its own right, we get a competition of who can be the most ridiculous and aggressive. Our only entrance, it seems, is to get in our competitors faces. Or, failing that, wander up right behind them and shadow them until they notice it. Why? Because a cool entrance would never get noticed, or get the floor.
Interestingly, charleston competitions- which are never called cutting comps, and have structured solo time- often still result in cutting. Go watch for the interplay in top-level competitors; I like to think that when our community is ready, we'll get there. But until our solo dance competitors more experience, confidence, and flexibility under their belts, I just don't think they're ready to add another layer. So for now, let's just focus on good dancing. Let's build a community of awesome solo dancers, and see where they take things.