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
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 heard that song on the radio that makes us tap our feet and think, “I could dance to this.” And, generally, that’s true. However, competitive ballroom dancers are tied to the tempo of the music. Dance organizations such as the NDCA, USA Dance, WDSF, and others use music within particular tempo ranges for competition. Below is a list of the common dances and their general tempos. Note that tempos change from organization to organization as well as from year to year. As a dancer advances, it is common for tempos to slow to further showcase movement details.
Whether I am choreographing for a group performance, an individual couple, or a solo, one of the first things I consider is what looks good on the dancers. It may seem obvious but certain figures look better on particular people than other figures. A choreographed routine should highlight your strengths, not draw attention to your flaws. Continue reading
Congratulations all who attended WPI’s 2nd ballroom competition this past weekend. The Bates team had a great showing with all couples placing in multiple final rounds. A special thanks to the Hersh family for their photography and hospitality. For further details on recalls and placement, see o2cm.com. Results are as follows. Continue reading