Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by spatten, Apr 28, 2005.
We're syllabus am-am.
Am/am makes it easy and cheap to compete a lot. Every comp moves you forward I knowledge and experience, and as max said, lets you dance more in the moment. We see in hindsight that every comp was valuable, even the ones with bizarre placements or strange situations - you learn from them too.
Our coaches currently say monthly competition works best for us...
How often you compete is completely personal preference, and I like to compete about once to twice a month. Recently, I haven't been and I find that not competing as frequently makes me lazy. The more competitions we have scheduled, the more we practice and take lessons and take our dancing seriously. When there isn't a competition looming on the horizon, we have a hard time motivating ourselves to really push to improve.
Additionally, frequent competitions give me time to get used to the floor and give me a chance to get to know my fellow competitors.
One alternative is to do rounds with other competitors - in the ny area they are run just like a comp, with a full round separated by a few minutes to recover. Every time you do a round you are forced to finish the dance, go on and off the floor bow, keep that copy look, etc, so it soon becomes part of your body.
If you live in the D.C. - Boston corridor or the Bay area. (Other hotbeds I'm missing?) Where you'll also find all those couples to run rounds with. Not trying to be snarky, I swear. But the density of competitive dancers varies hugely by location and makes a big difference in the dance experience, so that such generalizations aren't really all that general.
One way to get folks to do runthrus is to ask them, and have them ask their friends. Many times your coach could put one together and their students could participate...
If you live in an area sparsely populated by dancers, then you should obviously move.
Haha, I'm kidding here. It's not going to be reasonable for you to compete that often especially when you're doing syllabus am-am. It doesn't make sense if you have to fly out, rent hotel rooms, etc. However, perhaps you could find a college team nearby that does mock competitions? Or you can encourage your studio to do mock competitions? Getting more comp experience under your belt is always a good idea.
or at least a dancesport night at the studio a couple of times a month
"Our studio" is 2 1/2 hours away. They do mock competitions twice a year, which we go to, but that requires a hotel, too, since we're not comfortable driving through those big empty spaces at midnight after an evening event. There exist no competitive college teams in the region, but there is a college club in town, and we do their social events, plus those at the (social, with one or two pro-am competitors) studio an hour and a half away. I've been thinking of encouraging the local college club to develop a team, but then of course they'd need to find the money to travel. I did hear that a school a few hours away is working on it, so maybe they can encourage each other into competition. Hmm, possibilities...
In any case, I'm really not complaining, and I don't mean to knock down all your good suggestions. I've been quite pleased that we do tend to dance to our potential when we make it to the comp floor -- no major floorcraft failures or obvious effects of nerves. So, yeah, we're improving more slowly than we would in other circumstances, but as long as there's improvement, I'll take it.
Bia, I'm glad you're taking it in stride. Sounds like you have your bases covered.
I've done anywhere between 3 and 6 pro-am comps a year, and I find 3 to be too little and used to think that 6 was unmanagable given the type of improvements I wanted to make between comps.
Because I get so little comp floor time, pro decided to start running rounds weekly with me in addition to my normal instructional work in my lessons. It's not something a pro with a lot of open students can afford to do bodywise if he/she has a full teaching schedule. But it was needed in this instance, and it helped my dancing and preparation for being on the floor astronomically. I literally felt like a different dancer on the floor.
I can see doing more comps a year would be easily accomplishable (if financial resources were less limited) if you could run rounds with your pro like you might with an am partner.
latingal, she's doing am-am and the pro is at the studio which is 2.5 hours away. Although rounds with an am partner is great, too. I always assume people include doing rounds in their regular practice. Yes, rounds are a great way of getting ready for a comp and getting comp-like experience without one.
LOL...actually Jana, I was answering the original post question for myself. Sorry I wasn't clear on that, was just a new thought I had after my last comp experience....
Haha, either way it's a good suggestion on how to get more practice in.
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