How much is enough?
I was asked recently how many dance lessons are enough for a social dancer. How skilled should a dancer be to get comfortably around the
floor? The overwhelming logic is at a minimum take enough lessons to pass the full bronze level. However reading what professionals around the world say, there is a strong case made for learning through the silver level is best.
Historically in the early 1900’s when the imperial society of teachers of dance got together to standardize their teaching, they were looking to protect the social aspect of dance. With the rise of competitive dance their concern was that teachers were only going to teach the latest advanced competition step, and neglect teaching to what the new student needed to get around. Thus the first syllabus was developed to aid the new dancer with a systematic approach to learning to dance that progressed through more advanced levels.
Fast forward to today, and now we have a myriad of dances and styles to pursue. However, the most effective level to attain for social dance would be a silver level. Bronze style and technique is a great way to get around the floor, but does not provide the level of versatility and flair that silver does in a social setting. In smooth dance, a silver level allows the flow of continuity styling, in Standard, the spins on a dime, in rhythm & Latin the additional twists, swivels and spins, In club dances, the flair to draw the desired attention and favorable partners. In all these cases, this knowledge prepares the dancer with the most possibilities to navigate any situation.
One note in conclusion, is to notice that there are different technique requirements for bronze and silver level dancers. Anyone can pick up a technique book and walk through the advanced figures. However it is the technique applied to the figures that really sets dancers and the levels apart. This is where taking medal tests helps the dancer really reach their goals. Remember that whatever dance you love the most, the best of anything is good. Dance with happy feet!
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