Competing is a fantastic way to improve your dancing, regardless of whether you're a complete beginner or have been dancing for years.
In competition, couples are evaluated by a judging panel. Before competition, every couple is given a number, and judges use this number to mark whether or not they think a couple should be called back to the next round of dancing. This process continues until all but a few couples remain, whereupon the judges rank these couples first, second, third, and so on -- their choices are then averaged to determine the placing of the top couples.
While the idea of competing may seem daunting at first, couples are separated such that they compete only with others of the same level of ballroom experience. Thus, many track their growth as a dancer through competitions.