Ballroom Syllabi: The Places You’ll Go

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

Ballroom Lesson Etiquette

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.

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The Perks of Social Dancing: The Competitor’s View

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

Competition Presentation: Hair

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.

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Competition Presentation: Costumes

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