Expectations for syllabus and open dancers


Active Member
Think you'd be talking about how we test out of syllabus levels at FADS. Have a list of expectations (haven't seen a score sheet in more than a year, so don't remember details, though I'll be testing again sometime this month. not sure when. :D).

But say for begginer to intermediate bronze. Was expected to know steps 1 and 2 in each of my dances danced with my pro. Was expected to be able to do at least one of them by myself. Was expected to be able to dance along to music, have some basic, frame, form, etc (started out tester just put on some music for each dance and had us dance to it, nothing in particular). Now at least some of these things of course have to be objective. But in end, comes up with numeric score. Also three levels of the test, if memory serves. NeilsenE broke it down in another thread. Normal test, honors, and double honors. Or something like that. First two are for students, top is what they expect of teachers (adds in everything, plus lead and follow parts).

Sorry I'm fuzzy on details, but yeah, in end they have numerical judgement of your dancing based on several points, and rate it against what a syllabus dancer of that level shoudl know. Allows for variations in focus (ie, I haven't spent as much time on styling as I have on technique. Not as flashy on floor, but, hopefully, cleaner dancing), while still leaving an overall framework to judge everyoen against. Certainly not perfect, but it's one solution.
I have an issue with this. That being, define excell? almost any physical technical skill can be improved on no matter how long you have practiced it, so at point do you decide you have "excelled"? By what criteria do we judge "excelled"? Its a subjective term and people with use it differently. I prefer either the point system or the system where after you take first you get booted up to the next level.
This way people can't stay in say bronze competition for 10 years, if they are doing that they need to be pushed on to the next level. Some people just want to win so they stay at a certain level and become essentially a ringer. This is both selfish on their part and unfair to the true beginners or intermediates or other that actually belong at that level.

Just my 2 cents,

I disagree here. One should stay at a level until they excell at that level. I'd hate to have some point system tell me I can't dance at that level anymore. Once I've excelled at that level, say if I win some major comps at a certain level, then I will start competing at the next level.

Open material is just steps and figures that are not in the syllabus. Anyone can do it, but unless you excell in the fundamentals, you can't make it look good.

When I started dancing I thought the syllabus stuff was boring and all I wanted to do was dance open material. I'm glad I had good teachers that knocked some sense into me because I trully feel that my dancing would not be as good as it is today if I had not focused on the basics for so long.

Last amateur comp I went to I saw many couples doing gold or novice open events that looked like they wouldn't even make it through a round in bronze. It was quite entertaining and comical to watch this. I'm sure this would have been me if I had not listened to my teachers.

And this is why when most collegiate dancers go compete outside of the college comps they are completely overmatched. if only they had focused more time and energy in bronze and silver...
Characteristics of the different levels (bronze, silver, gold)

Assuming the levels are based on a dancer's ability, and not the step patters, what would you consider to be the technical characteristics of a bronze level dancer vs. a silver level dancer? Or asked a different way, when judging, what things are you looking to see at each level?

Just wondering...
Dont know if this is of much help - do you mean competing or exams?? Where I am,definitely mostly technique but also new steps allowed at different levels.
The problem with B-S-G-like levels seems to be when they become barriers. For example, a bronze student ready for some "silver" technique who holds themselves back (or is held back) because they are "not out of bronze yet." Or, conversely, a "silver" student who ignores the basic (i.e., bronze) steps because they are "beyond that." Granted, the levels are indespensible for competition, and useful in a context for training, but I don't think they should build walls.
Wow it all seems so confusing.....

Dancer from New Zealand here, the way your grading works seems so confusing to me! Ours is completely different!

Firstly there are different age groups, all amateur:

Juvenile (under 12)
Junior (13 - 16)
Youth (16-19)
Adult (16 up)
Senior (35 up)

Dancers aged 16-19 can dance both youth and adult, and dancers aged 35 and up can dance both adult and senior.

In each age group there are 5 levels (grades) 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Level 1 is new/beginner couples, and Level 5 is the highest level excluding professional.

Every couple is allowed to compete in their current grade, the next grade up, and any open events. To move up to the next grade you must win your own grade 6 times OR win the grade ABOVE you (subject to their being at least 6 couples on the floor)

E.g. we are a level one couple and have won our grade 3 times. To move up to level two we either have to win level one 3 more times, or win a level 2 event. Open events do not affect levels.

Hopefully this makes sense!

Im guessing Level 1 is similar to your Bronze. You would expect to see couples dancing in time with the music, a tidy frame, a good grasp of action (e.g. bounce in Samba) and developing technique.

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