Ballroom Dance > How many hours of practice is needed?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by soulfire12, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    Good points. By those criteria, we should be OK for a while. I'd say that the practicing is moderate rather than minimal, and we're good on the ratio of practice time per lesson. It's just that the lessons are quite widely spaced due to driving distance. I have great confidence in the quality of our instruction, based on our own experience and on observation of our teacher's more advanced students. While DH's visible dance level has been improving faster than mine (with the experience gap, he's still getting more attention at lessons than I do, so that's both unsurprising and a good thing), I think that my dance knowledge has continued to improve with our forced independence, which helps with the effectiveness of our practicing. And, yeah, a decade is about what I had in mind. So, USA Dance Nationals 2023 Senior II prechamp standard -- here we come!
  2. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    By open, do you mean any of the open syllabus levels (novice, prechamp, champ)? Or specifically adult champ?
  3. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    I mean any. I'm not even daydreaming of champ (though, you never know, maybe in senior III...), and we're already older than "adult," though still dancing down in it. However, I've seen a wide range among senior competitors in the open divisions -- some who are just plain good (I've identified a few specific role models), but some who seem to have made it there in large part because of lack of competition in their age group at the comps they go to. (I hope I'm not offending anyone -- I'm sure there are none of the latter on DF.) So that's what I meant by "legitimate" -- not that I expect to be contending for an adult amateur title, but that when we're competing prechamp, say, we wouldn't look out of place on the floor with prechamp dancers of any age.
  4. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    I've seen so much variation in lesson/practice time and rate of improvement, and little correlation. The bigger factor is whether you're training in a way that facilitates *genuine* (regardless of magnitude) improvement.

    Are you getting accurate information (you're not learning anything that would need to be unlearned when you're in champ)?

    Are you practicing frequently enough to absorb that information?

    Are your lessons frequent enough that you are gaining things faster than you are losing things?

    One suggestion. When you're in:
    Bronze - train and compete with bronze figures
    Silver - train and compete with bronze figures
    Gold - train and compete with bronze figures
    Novice - maybe start to add some silver figures
    Adult novice is probably closer than you think. Getting out of it is the hard part for a lot of people.
    smidra86, Gorme and bia like this.
  5. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    My pro said it takes 3 tries before one can win novice at Nationals.
    Terpsichorean Clod likes this.
  6. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    adult novice smooth.. may be

    other disciplines have less dancers so the odds go up adult rhythym is less full

    in senior divisions its "easier " from a numerical standpoint but still gotta beat whoever is out there
  7. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    adult novice anything but rhythm ;)
  8. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    yeah those divisions are big and a lot of good peeps

    glad when i started dancing i was a senior
  9. Whoopedazz

    Whoopedazz New Member

    As mentioned earlier it really depends on your skill set and your ambitions.
    For one I prefer quality over quantity, but with that said it really takes a lot of hours to train technique, performance as well as 'dance cardio'.
    My partner and I are tendancers and spend an est. of 22 hours a week spread across 5-6 days.
    I know people who train more hours a week than myself.. I did once.. But with a full time job it's not possible (for me) to keep the concentration and focus at the level it needs to be if you go quantity>quality.
  10. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    Are we talking amateur novice or pro-am novice? Because there is a significant difference. Also, what nationals are we talking about? NDCA amateur nationals in Provo? USADance (which changes locations, which also changes the level of difficulty depending on where it is located)? USDC (which I won't say much about because I don't actually know the level of dancing there)?
  11. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    the really isnt a pro am novice novice prechamp and champ are reserved for am am

    i suspect usa dance as the other two am am events are undercontested generally esp usdc am am
    Gorme likes this.
  12. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    Actually the ndca amateur championships in Provo utah are way more populated in all categories more so than usa dance. I danced novice smooth for the first time there this year and danced against about 50 other couples (and won, surprisingly, because those couple live way and breathe dance practically )
  13. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    only in adult... the senior latin was two couples!!!! and i have seen variance in adult attendance as well

    its ( BYU)more of a glorified collegiate comp than usa dance is
  14. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    22 hours a week??? That is about 4 hours a day of practicing. I think only the pros practice that much on a daily basis!!
  15. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Interesting... I talked to a couple of pro am students who compete quite successfully in closed syllabus divisions. They take 4 lessons per week and practice roughly 4-6 hours per week, and they each do 4 styles though they alternate the styles per comp. I wonder if what you practice becomes more important than how much you practice, because these two ladies are doing amazingly well and are not putting in some of the time that others do. 4-6 hours per week is doable... 20 hours a week on top of a full time job... yikes!
  16. randomaeiou

    randomaeiou Member

    in my personal experience, about 2 hours of floor time per week per dance (i.e. excluding lesson time, breaks, warm ups, random chitchat time, etc. etc.) for practice results in a satisfactory (yes, very subjective term, but it's generally quite visible to any third party observing from week to week) rate of improvement, whereas 1 hour of floor time per week per dance is necessary to maintain a certain level of skill and not de-condition. however, I do supplement this by thinking through stuff that bothers me about my technique when off the floor. 2 hours of floor time generally equates to anywhere from 2.5-3.5 hours of "actual" scheduled practice time, depending on an individual's tendency to procrastination/work avoidance - some people say they practice 3-4 hours a day, but spend more than half of that sitting down, warming up, cooling down, generally fooling around or chatting.

    caveat: information is regularly (i.e. 1-2 lessons per week in a style) being acquired from coaches/teachers/any other sources which contributes to improvement. some professionals can dance amazingly, but cannot effectively transfer their knowledge to others (i.e. poor teaching skills)

    results wise, since ballroom is about competition, it really depends on who you are competing against. a straight 6 couple (or less) final might not be less competitive than a 50 couple event, if those 6 couples are good/equally matched for their level, although the chances of finding 6 good couples are much higher in a 50+ couple pool than a 6 couple pool. also affected by local rules regarding levels - some places allow dancing up but require qualification to be properly in a higher level, other places allow dancing down and level is up to an individual's declaration - each produces a different pressure to dance up/down.
  17. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Perhaps it depends on whether one is at the open or closed levels? As Bia asked in her post, as one advances to open, perhaps one has to increase their practice time?
  18. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    yes you do!!!!!!!!!!!
    smidra86 likes this.
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I don't know about that....I have always practiced a great deal but I don't feel that the open work requires more than the closed if one is striving to do all of it at a high least as regards individual practice...I do feel more of a frustration in open pro/am because I find it more of a disadvantage to not be able to have practice on partnering and musicality without him...
  20. LordBallroom

    LordBallroom Member

    I know few pros that are legit regional contenders. Two hours a day five days a week is what they say to shoot for. By practice, we're not counting studio parties or any other kind of social dancing event. We're talking about two hours of WORK every day doing "drills" that aren't necessarily fun.
    Gorme and Bailamosdance like this.

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