Ballroom Dance > Expectations for syllabus and open dancers

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by cantskiforlife, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. So far we have talked about the actual differences between am, pro-am, collegiate and why these differences exist.

    If we start with bronze, what do you expect a bronze collegiate dancer to know before he/she moves to silver? What about pro-am?
  2. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    Know, or execute? There are those that know they should be employing a certain technique but aren't able to do so yet, and those that have an uncanny ability to mimic others and "fake" it for a while without understanding (or sometimes caring about) the true mechanics behind what they are doing. Close inspection will reveal the truth, but on a crowded comp floor, it can easily sneak through and get marked by the judges.
  3. Both. Faking may take you to the final, but that is when it will show up.

    On another similar note - when judging, what are the pro's looking for and comparing between the couples?
  4. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i can't speak for collegiate or am, but i can say that being competitive in silver (standard) in the pro-am world requires the acquisition of pretty solid technical foundation. it requires a lot of advancement to launch out of silver to be competitive in open, so IME it tends to be the level where the greatest numbers of competitors congregate. so... i find silver to require the dancer to stabilize concepts learned at the bronze level. if one is too loose or sloppy, one can't be competitive at silver.

    and to jump from silver to open (gold being intermediary stop...or not), requires "more"... more movement, more consistency, more shape, more dynamics, more "breathing" in the connection.

    just my view. can't speak to latin.
  5. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    I've heard several judges say sometimes it's so bad that they'll just mark any couple who happens to be dancing on time. Yet I see some couples who keep making cuts when they are clearly OFF time. So....? :confused:
  6. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    mebbe being in harmony and having some other good qualities overrides, in their minds? dunno...
  7. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Then address that problem at it's source - the fallacy of the idea that you need silver material to compete in silver.

    With the possible exception of american foxtrot, it's not true.

    And the alternative is having the new dancers compete against those with twice their experience. The purpose of moving people out of the new dancer's division is to make room there for the new dancers.

    Uh, people who find that gold at the larger collegiate comps is "no competition" are not going to be embarassing themselves in pre-champ.

    People who've never fundamentally focused on solidifying their dancing of course will, but that kind of thing is a personal decision that's pretty independent of what level you compete in. Someone who really does not understand ballroom movement is not going to look any better in gold than they do in prechamp, because the problem is not the material but that they basically have not learned to dance yet.

    Relative to what? There are not standards to compare to except for the other people.



    Where are these comps where "more qualified" adult amateurs are beating the college comp people? The reality is that when under qualified college comp people loose out at meaningfully contested adult comps, they are mostly loosing out to other college comp people.
  8. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    How to cooperate with a partner in accomplishing a dance.
  9. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i agree. we competed with mostly bronze routines when we jumped to silver, with a few patterns thrown in which he had introduced the week before. it was more about feeling i was ready from a technique perspective to climb to silver. the figures were besides the point.

    same thing when we started dipping our toes into open (dancesport) events...we used our silver choreo. honestly, it's not the choreo that's the big deal. it's the technique & dancing, for sure.
  10. Here is my initial take on the distinctions. As this list could probably be expanded indefiniely, I have limited myself to 5 points. I am by no means an expert on the syllabus so feel free to disagree/ contribute pointers surrounding technique, etc...

    1) Are you dancing with the music?
    2) Are you taking the correct heel/toe combinations on each step?
    3) Is your frame decent?
    4) Are you enjoying yourself? Do you look lost?
    5) Is one partner shoving the other partner or dragging the other partner around?

    6) Do they have the correct rise and fall?
    7) Are they dancing or walking?
    8) Do their foot patterns match what the body is leading?
    9) Do they understand the importance of the head?
    10) Are they using their standing leg?
  11. hustleNflow

    hustleNflow New Member

    One year time limit in bronze? Really? Is this new? I was never aware of one when I danced in collegiate...then again, I haven't competed at collegiate in almost 2 years. We always just followed the proficiency point system - as team captain, I was responsible for entering everyone's points into a spreadsheet post-comp (yes, very, very tedious) and letting certain couples know when they had "pointed out" of a certain level. Seemed to work well enough for us...we only had two occasions where we thought a couple really needed to remain in a certain level, and many couples had already begun the process of "moving up" before they had pointed out (i.e. beginning silver syllabus lessons before being booted out of bronze).

    As for what we "expected" from our bronze level collegiate dancers, it was strict, but reasonable - clean basics (not perfect, but not sloppy, and not "confused"), good posture, decent frame, heel leads (in smooth/standard), toe leads (in rhythm/latin), the beginnings of cuban motion, and at least an attempt at decent rise and fall. Bronze dancers weren't allowed to try out for formation team without the coach's approval, and weren't allowed to do solo performances at call-outs and other functions.

    Beyond bronze, it got a little hazy as to what was expected from each level...for the most part, our silver-level dancers' routines were mostly (well danced) bronze material, with maybe one or two silver steps or a few bars of side-by-side. A lot of our couples skipped gold altogether, as many of the silver dancers began dancing novice at the same time, and by time they were out of silver, they had already learned many of the gold steps from their open routines, and would have rather just danced open. Those dancing novice usually also did a syllabus level (usually silver), but those in pre-champ and champ usually just did open...guess it was "assumed" that if you were dancing prechamp and champ, you were pretty well familiar with syllabus already and there was no need to dance it. Plus, dancing both syllabus and open would get to be pretty tiring, and I guess they wanted to conserve their energy for the open round :confused:
  12. wyllo

    wyllo New Member

    I think the 1 year limit for bronze is an East Coast thing. At least here in the Midwest collegiate couples are allowed to dance in a level until they point out. The only exception is newcomer and the rules vary by competition.
  13. hustleNflow

    hustleNflow New Member

    Yah, I knew that you could only dance newcomer for like, six months...I started in October of '03, so I was eligible to dance newcomer at OSB, but then at Michigan in April of '04 I had to dance bronze cause my six months was up. But yah, here in the midwest, I've never heard of a bronze restriction :confused:
  14. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    If memory serves, from what I was told the whole time limit in a level thing is a carry over from when YCN was trying to increase participation in the early 90's. It was explained to me that this was meant to be a short term solution to minimize the barrier to entry into competitive ballroom for college students who often only compete with their team for up to 4 years. This kept people from staying in bronze for the entire 4 years, thereby making bronze intimidating and frustrating to newer dancers.

    At the time, there were time limits put on every syllabus level, and after 3 years the competitors had to dance open.

    While this system certainly has its flaws, it served its purpose at the time and helped create the thriving collegiate competition circuit we see today.
  15. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    And you can continue to compete in USA Dance bronze (if elgible, which is likely) even after being time-limited into silver at college comps with such a rule (it's a comp-by-comp thing).

    I don't think I've ever seen a time limit for silver or above, though I suppose there might once have been one.
  16. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    IIRC it was up to 1 semester or 1 comp for newcomer, up to one year for bronze, up to 2 years for silver, up to 3 years for gold, and beyond it was required to dance open.
  17. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    I think there's only one collegiate comp over here with a bronze time limit: "Beginner events are open to couples where both partners started DanceSport training this year (after January 1, 2008 )."

    There's another that requires moving up after placing in the top 3. No mention of number of rounds.

    I think the rest pretty much go by YCN points.

    Aside - I think there was a similar discussion here:
    What does it take?
  18. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    It was first adopted in the Boston area by the Brown competition at the behest of their then coach, Christina Cryan. This was in the early to mid 1990s; it was after the Boston collegiate scene had already become big. I don't believe YCN had any part in the decision.

    As you say, it was adopted to avoid making the "beginner" level frustrating and intimidating for new dancers. I know that the MIT team recognized it as a good idea and adopted it for our next competition; some of the other competitions in the area adopted it as well.

    There was a two year limitation for the intermediate or silver level at some competitions for a while as well; however, this never became as standard as the one year limitation. I know of no competition ever pushing people into open in the fourth year.

    I don't think the time limit was ever meant as a temporary measure, at least not at Boston area competitions. Each year, especially in the college scene, there is a new group of incoming dancers; giving each year's newbies a level playing field is an ongoing concern, not a temporary one.
  19. reb

    reb Active Member

    Maybe we went to different comps - our experience is opposite - we placed out of categories quickly, and the comps were available to do it.

    Excellent question, and there was some great discussion here on DF as USA Dance was improving their rules not too long ago. There have been threads about this - avab had been helpful in the discussions I think.

    I'm personally glad (and agree with you about the challenge) that USA Dance increased the number because it was too easy to go up, especially the step from pre-champ to champ and that needed to be slowed down - in my experience.
  20. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Seems to me it takes quite a lot of travel to find 5 sanctioned comps with semifinals at each level in syllabus, and win them all. The only real shortcut was to win a level at nationals.

    I don't believe any tweaking of the pre-champ/champ divide will improve the situation - as long as the youth programs feed directly into champ and the main focus is on the youth track, there is going to be a very big step between what is required to place in competitions that include the youth program alumni (champ) vs those that don't (prechamp).

    Probably what will improve the situation for non-youth-alumni is one or both of:

    1) Going up against the youth alumni, discovering what it will take, and reorganizing a life around doing that

    2) Substantial numbers of collegiate alumni aging into senior I over the next 10 years making that a highly competitive alternative

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