NDCA American Style Bronze syllabus?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by RiseNFall, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    The following was posted in another thread:

    I'm new enough to competition to not be sure what is a change and what went over my head when I read it last summer. I found the list of approved figures and restrictions at the end of the NDCA rulebook. Is that what Larinda is referring to or is there something even more detailed that I'm not finding?

    Is the change that it used to be "you can use the bronze syllabus from A, B, and C" as long as you don't do x, y, or z" and now it's "here is the list of steps you can do and in particular be sure you don't do x, y, z"?

    Thank you!
  2. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    The list at the end of the Rule Book is what you want to go by now. Invigilation is a requirement at all competitions now. So make sure you follow the list!!

    The change that has been creeping up in NDCA events is that they used to accept all "approved" syllabi. Now they only accept the NDCA syllabus.
  3. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    I've been wondering when the NDCA was going to pull this trigger. I don't know how many "approved" syllabi there were, but for a while now the practical effect was that, with the exception of passing feet in bronze waltz/foxtrot, invigilation of anything was darn near impossible.
  4. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    The bronze was put into effect three years ago. The silver was solidified and put into effect this past January.
  5. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Where do I order my Jackboots from ?:rolleyes:.

    I kinda understand where they are coming from, but,that really places the subject matter in the hands of the "few " and not the " many".. I would hope by this time in dance, that, pretty much all teachers/studios, know the ground rules ,for the Bronze division .

    I , like many, judged that level, from all walks of the dance world for many years, and pretty much all, DID restrict themselves from straying into more variety, that was in-appropriate .
  6. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    Actually, I think the Bronze level might be the most difficult for the franchise pros, just because from what I have seen, the majority of students that they take to non-franchise events are silver or higher. It's pretty easy to "overstep" the NCDA bronze syllabus if you use a different one 99% of the time. Not justifying the errors, just saying that it's understandable how they happen even when somebody is well intentioned!

    Thank you for the information, Larinda!
    Dancing Irishman likes this.
  7. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    So true. There are definitely some steps (zig zag twinkles are an easy example) which are bronze on some syllabi and definitely not allowed in bronze on others. I'm wondering how much of a barrier to entry the myriad different American syllabi create for ams considering the styles (assuming they even realize what's on the syllabus if they get their routines from coaches).
  8. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member



    Well, having been a D.D. for many studios in Freds and A,M. I can tell you this..... Use of steps outside of their level of learning, was never sanctioned.

    Did it happen ? probably.. in Comps, Ive judged many and never saw any flagrant examples .

    In matter of fact, any chain school that I worked/coached in ,always had the DD vet the comp material.

    And, lets not get into isolated incidents ,that may occur ,and dont represent the "norm " .
  9. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Most studios I have been to don't have or even now what a D.D. is anymore. Only the chains. And I am going to venture to say independent studios outnumber the franchises, right now. So I think there are very few rules among teachers, also considering the entire new generation coming up are amateurs with no formal teacher training. They are just kids out of the am circuit that are being hired up by studios and paid to teach, while still retaining their amateur status. They are simply teaching whatever comes across their plate.

    And with so many independent syllabi to choose from the bronze and silver have been a complete mess on the competition floor for many years now. I see it every time I judge and invigilate. So these are not isolated incidents.

    As for the power being in the hands of a few, well that is why there was an syllabi committee that was formed about 5 years back. And with their round knowledge of not only the franchise American syllabi but also each and every independent including DVIDA and USISTD, as well as some of the common violations that seem useable... they have come up with first a bronze and now a silver that actually is usable.

    Irish, the nice thing about the NDCA syllabi is that is isn't expected to be all that is taught in a studio. Is is simply a competition list. I think studios/teachers SHOULD pull teaching and social patterns from all syllabi they have access to! And then when it comes time to compete, just scale down the material and use only what is allowed. But the coaches are going to NEED to know their stuff so they can help the ams choose appropriate routines!

    Getting the info out is the hardest job. Many teachers have "heard" there is a syllabus but they don't know where to get it, or what even some of the pattern names mean. I know what a gancho is, but I have no idea what NDCAs idea of a gancho is. So until the videos are produced some of us (even judges and invigilators) are still just guessing. But it is a wonderful step in the right direction.
    stash likes this.
  10. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    As a student, I appreciate definitive resources. This is standard rather than smooth, but y'all may remember a post I made several months back asking about the syllabus legality of a waltz amalgamation. It had been put in my routine by my quality, experienced pro. I had had another high end pro from another studio insist that everyone danced it in bronze waltz. I asked about it here, and was told that it was definitely not legal, and I was going to get invigilated for it eventually. (For the record, I told my instructors that "this is what Larinda says, so I think we probably should go ahead and change it. Which earned me not one, but two "wait, Larinda McRaven? How do you know Larinda?"s. Good times.) I found the whole process very frustrating, and I appreciate anything that will reduce the chances of that sort of thing happening.
    cornutt, raindance and j_alexandra like this.
  11. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    The hard thing about "that" situation is that the patterns are both bronze and so when one ONLY looks at the list of steps they see two legit steps. It is only if someone actually delves deeper into the syllabus that they see proceeds and follows have restrictions too! It is not enough to just memorize a list of steps.

    It is very hard to invigilate my pro friends when they are so adamant the amalgamation works, and considering who they were told by that the amalgamation is legal!! And yes "everyone dances it in bronze." But that doesn't make it a bronze amalgamation. Tough on everyone!
    JudeMorrigan likes this.
  12. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    My comments ,were more directed to the chain schools, as they did dominate entries in many if not most comps. And yes, I know the landscape has changed.... also.. there was a meeting and collaboration of all of the major players in the 70s ,when a syl. was eventually put in place. The main problem ?... many chose to ignore it ,and the cost of the books didnt seem to help matters ! .

    As to reference books in the current climate ? i believe they may suffer the same end as the past attempt. The people that need to read them , possibly ,may never have that opportunity .

    The states , have the most diverse cross section of studios than possible any other country, and reaching all the studios ,would be a mammoth task .
    Which begs the question.. when does one implement the changes ?.
    I do, by the way ,agree with the decision .
  13. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Oh, sure. I get that. I realize they're not entirely parallel situations. (I assume that you don't need comparable procede/follows lists for American since the patterns are more self-contained?) It was more just a general statment that while I can understand how tangotime might feel it's constraining, I actually appreciate the extra order. I like having single, definitive sources for things.

    (And it was an excuse to thank you again for your input on that other matter. I was never entirely certain that I properly conveyed that I did genuinely appreciate your chiming in on it.)
  14. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    On the contrary, I do NOT feel any constraints.. to remember, I grew up with the English system ,which is/was very rigid !.Would certainly make my and other judges lives , much easier.

    I dont know if you, or others on the site, are aware that there has been a move afoot, to introduce Pro/Am in Europe for the past few years. seems to be underground, but does exist.

    My concern is primarily with enforcement. Major changes will take quite a long time, I suspect.
    JudeMorrigan likes this.
  15. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Gotcha. That makes sense.
  16. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I feel the NDCA has gone to great lengths to implement the bronze and silver competitive syllabus. Requiring invigilators in ALL syllabus divisions and producing and mailing out the videos FOR FREE to all registered pros, and making it easily available to download from their site. If you are competing at an NDCA event and DON'T know that there is a required syllabus you will by the end of the weekend after meeting with the invigilator lets you know in no uncertain terms.

    It has taken only a few short years to get the whole system in place and churnning forward. And no one has complained, except the people that say it didn't happen sooner.

    I talk to LOTS of teachers who have no idea what is going on. But they are the ones that don't really frequent the competition arena.
  17. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Well.. thats good to hear..
  18. billman

    billman Active Member

    Will these videos be available to competitors as well? We have been training for a NDCA event and do not wish to break any rules.
  19. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    The syllabus is easily viewable on the NDCA website at the bottom of the rules page.
    They haven't updated it yet, which I think is a shame, it has been over a month since the silver was approved, but whatever.

    At the bottom of the rulebook there are step lists. There is bronze along with some silver restrictions. The bronze is fine but the silver restrictions are no longer true. Scroll down even further and you will see the silver. It is "mostly" true as there were some amendments that took place in January. So hopefully SOON the webmaster will update.

    if you email me privately I can send you some scans of the papers I have which are up-to-date and correct. Actually LOTS of scans... it is rather lengthy.
  20. billman

    billman Active Member

    I do wish there were actual videos of the allowed steps. With the differing names of steps from studio to studio I would fear doing some steps that are on our studios Bronze list.

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