Ballroom Dance > In Smooth, how many times "should" you get around the floor at an open level?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by famfam, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. famfam

    famfam Member

    Referring to a 1:30 dance, around an average length competition floor? Is there an amount of times that would be too short for an open amateur / professional level round?

    My rule of thumb is that you should get around the floor once at least. That allows you time for both progressive parts, and parts that will stay in place, as well as makes sure everyone gets to see you up close (and from afar) all around the floor.

    Would that depend on dance? Would it depend on your style as dancers (meaning a lot of moving vs. a lot of stationary parts like standing spins? Does it not really matter too much as long as the dancing is good (better than the competition) and you move well when you have progressive parts?
  2. clumsy fellow

    clumsy fellow Active Member

    Do you travel around the floor in Smooth? Thought you just threw your arms about in the center of the floor. ;)
  3. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member


    I'll start by saying I don't compete, and I'm sure the frequent competitors/judges on here will give you more functional advice. However, I don't think you should make it a goal to make it n times around the floor. A more important goal is "be seen." Or "let your number be seen." No matter how scattered the judges may be.
  4. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    Agreed, but on the flip side, don't get stuck in the same place. My partner and I had our coach revamp our Waltz this summer, and we thought it was perfect after we finished the choreo. Then the next lesson, he realized that we were staying on a single long side and short side for pretty much almost the entire 1:30, which was no bueno.
  5. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    My pro believes in movement. We would get to the end of the 3rd wall by the time the music fades. I've watched some couples never get past the first wall. I think it depends on what your strong points are.

    If you watch the professionals, they get about one lap by the time the song ends.
    Egorich likes this.
  6. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    generally one lap sounds about right full size floor of course
  7. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    My pro routines usually did 1 and a half laps.
  8. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    rockstar!!!!!!! isn't open pro 2:00 min a dance ??
  9. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    I thought open pro was exactly 1:30. No more, no less. As an am the music length would vary and if I made it around the floor once I thought I was successful. But if I didnt then I know that our dancing would catch a lot if judges eyes. Got videos to prove it. Im pretty sure I have a video of one comp where we had christine harvey watching us for most of the video even though there were 4 or so other couples on the floor with us.
  10. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    I checked one of my old open smooth tapes. In that competition, we got 2:00 for each of the first three dances, but in the first 1:30 we did:

    Waltz - 3 long sides, 2 short sides
    Tango - 2 long sides, 2 short sides
    Foxtrot - 3 long sides, 2.5 short sides
    Viennese - 4 long sides, 4 short sides

    I think less than one full time around the floor is risky, as some judges just watch you as you go through a particular part of the line of dance. If you can't manage a full lap, it's probably better to start with a short side, since judges one one long side can see the other long side more easily than judges at one end of the floor can see the other end of the floor.
  11. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    All our routines have 4 walls, and we always get through at least one restart and maybe 1-2 more walls (depending on the dance and floorcraft issues).
  12. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    From the NDCA rulebook:

  13. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Yeahbut... is there someone with a stopwatch, and what is the recourse if the music is shortened?
  14. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    Especially at that level, couples will know if music has been shortened and probably raise heck accordingly if they don't get the full extent of what the rules mandate.

    Choreography can even be dependent upon it, and not just in Paso. Cf. Jonathan Roberts and Valentina in their Foxtrot at 2008 Embassy (they also have the same ending at 2008 IGB):

    I'm sure they had choreography beyond that point, but what a cool way to end a dance.
    Sania, ajiboyet and smidra86 like this.
  15. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    The person doing the music has a display showing how much has been played.

    That looks to me more like they are adjusting the timing of their movement to the fact that the music is fading, slowing what they are doing down and drawing it out to turn it into a line. Open level American smooth dancers normally have sufficiently good musicality to do that. If the music had been played for longer, I think they would have danced through that figure at full speed and done something else when the music ended.

    It's dangerous to rely too much on a fixed phrasing of the music. Most songs are written in blocks of powers of two, true, but many have some shorter transitional blocks - say, a four or six bar phrase among eight bar phrases - and some have very unusual phrasing, with phrases with odd numbers of bars and such. It's better to be able to adjust your dancing to the music that is playing.
    dlliba10 and Larinda McRaven like this.
  16. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    The COJ tells the Music Coordinator how long songs should be played, based on the pace they need to keep in order to keep the schedule on time.
    Warren J. Dew likes this.
  17. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    then what is the purpose of the music length "rule" if it can be shortened as needed?
  18. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    There's a minimum and a maximum. Anything in between is allowed.
    ajiboyet and Warren J. Dew like this.
  19. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    So if you're not Open/Champ, you're SOL if they feel like cutting the music short. Sorry to veer off-topic, but that blows. There must be other time-management areas that can be tightened to prevent this.
  20. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    Even if you are Open/Champ. It's happened where we were the only couple dancing on the floor, so they gave us a minute or a minute 10 rather than a full minute 30 or 2 (judging based on videotapes). Granted, this happened at a small collegiate comp, not a USAD or NDCA one.

    Fair enough. Just for fun, the IGB video (7:11 on):

    Sania and dancelvr like this.

Share This Page