At some point in your ballroom journey, you’ll likely hear someone reference “the syllabus” or maybe a level like bronze/silver/gold or beginner/intermediate/advance. The ballroom syllabus exists to define a standard set of moves that may be expected at each syllabus level in every dance. It provides dancers with an idea of what they can do on the competition floor or their level of social dancing. The syllabus encompasses bronze through gold. Continue reading
Your partner went abroad, transferred, moved, lost interest, or had the nerve to graduate before you. Maybe you were the one to graduate or move elsewhere and begin a new life in a new place. Whatever the cause, you’re searching for a new partner because, let’s face it, ballroom can be addictive. Below are a few thoughts and strategies to guide your partner search and selection. Continue reading
Let’s talk about class! Whether a competitor or social dancer or an amalgam of the two, there’s a good chance that at some point in your ballroom experience, you’ve attended a lesson or regularly attend lessons. Following are a few thoughts on lesson etiquette that may be applied to group or private lessons.
Check out Bates Ballroom’s 2016 annual Gala dance below!
Video by Kathleen Morrill
As a competitive ballroom dancer, I frequently find that I put on my blinders. In the studio I want to train with my partner(s) in our routines with as little interruption as possible. It’s one of my ideas of a good time. However, that focus 24/7 basis would mean missing out on all of the awesome things that exist outside of competitive partnership, which is where social dancing comes in. Many believe that a competition is worth multiple practices and, in my experience, a social dance holds similar value but without the pressure. Below are a few of the perks of taking off your blinders and mixing it up on the social floor. Continue reading
Competitive ballroom hair is the polish on top of gorgeous dancing and a great costume. Messy hair on the competition floor tends to draw attention in the worst way possible. In comparison to other couples on the floor, it can come off as sloppy and unfinished. On the comp floor, you want to present the judges with the full package: technique and artistry as well as the presentational details like costuming and hair. For all, hair is an important detail. It really does finish off the look. You don’t have to go all out and create an elaborate sculpture–let’s leave that to the pros–but you can easily do a tidy look.
We’ve all done it. We’ve been halfway out the door or at the actual event, and realize that we managed to leave behind something crucial. At a ballroom competition, the solution can range from a quick trip to the convenience store or a full-out catastrophe. Here is a handy checklist to help you pack for your next competition.
Entering a ballroom competition is like entering another world. The floor is awash in a sea of color and sparkle and everything is designed to catch the eye. Other than the face, a person’s apparel is probably one of the first things that is noticed. This goes especially for a ballroom competition where the judges and audience are actively looking at participants. As such, costuming is a very important aspect of presentation. Continue reading
Presentation is defined as “the manner of style in which something is displayed” (Oxford Dictionary). In competitive ballroom, you are that thing on display. By entering a ballroom competition, you have agreed to be put on display and judged. While what you wear is not as important as how you dance, visual presentation is a serious consideration.
We’ve all experienced those dance practices that end and it seems as if nothing has been accomplished or, equally awful, those practices where you leave more frustrated than when you entered. Here are some tips to guide your dance practice and hopefully leave you with a sense of satisfaction. Continue reading