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Thread: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by robd View Post
    I think Gadget is correct to a certain extent. I would disagree with the phrase 'The best way' in his quote
    This is the bit I disagree with and what makes him wrong. Practicing getting it right is good if you are getting it right. If you do not get decent tuition you are probably practicing getting it wrong. Therefore Gadget's advice is probably counter-productive and I stand by my assertion that it is wrong.

    However, dancing is a great way to improve your dancing.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Thank-you again everyone, - advice overload! Not that i'm complaining at all.

    I feel much better about things after venting and reading the constructive advice here.

    Ant - i will certainly get in touch if i'm at a loose end that night (Nov 29th) - cheers



    To clarity, my desire to drip feed my repetoire, doesn't automatically mean to say that I do not consider technique/execution as more a more important aspect to master.

    I'm a little suprised that a few of you have suggested to stay in the beginners lesson. To clarify, I presume that you are refering to the second refresher lesson, as I had no intention of skipping the first.

    It was the main class instructor, after a freestyle dance last Friday who said that I should really start the Intermediate class. If that's not the best way to go about things and I need to improve upon the beginner moves further, that's fine, - I will do whatever I need to do. However - I am unsure of how I can improve my skills in the refresher class? I certainly do not recieve any tips from the tutor during this time, - they're usually too busy dancing themselves to be watching anyone enough to comment, I could be doing the funky chicken for all they know.

    I just presumed that participating in the first beginners class would suffice in terms of continuing to hone my core moves (as well as workshops, possible future private tuition, asking for feedback during freestyle etc).



    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    The best way to improve your dancing is to get some coaching or training and then practice what you've been taught. To dance and dance without training is a sure way to develop bad habits. As they say, it's ten times as hard to shift a bad habit compared to developing a good habit - do not let yourself get bad habits.
    I'll see how much I get out of this week's workshop. Beyond that, I presume you're refering to private tuition. If i feel i'm not getting enough i'll investigate 1 on 1 - i have no idea who offers that via the venues I attend as it's not something that i've seen advertised.
    I know exactly what you mean, - once a habit becomes muscle memory...


    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    Some of the best advice I can give you is to ignore the well-meaning but unqualifed and amateur advice of untrained dancers who think they have the answers.
    I have no idea to know who is qualified or not (i'm not talking about anyone here - I mean in general).
    Last edited by Phil_dB; 19th-November-2008 at 08:59 PM.

  3. #43
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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_dB View Post
    I have no idea to know who is qualified or not (i'm not talking about anyone here - I mean in general).
    I think I can clear this one up. Here is the list of people who have given you advice who are qualified dance teachers;

    Andy McGregor







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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by ant View Post
    I don't know about you but I went five times a week (Finchley twice, St Albans twice and the Casbah) and did two, four hour beginner workshops as well.
    Blimey.

    So I guess that's about 60-odd classes. Fair enough, that's a reasonable grounding I think.

    Certainly better than the 6 classes Ceroc pushes.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_dB View Post
    It was the main class instructor, after a freestyle dance last Friday who said that I should really start the Intermediate class. If that's not the best way to go about things and I need to improve upon the beginner moves further, that's fine, - I will do whatever I need to do.
    To be fair, none of us have seen you dance, we're not qualified to give you too much advice. No, not even Andy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_dB View Post
    However - I am unsure of how I can improve my skills in the refresher class? I certainly do not recieve any tips from the tutor during this time, - they're usually too busy dancing themselves to be watching anyone enough to comment, I could be doing the funky chicken for all they know.
    Find another refresher class.

    Where are you based?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_dB View Post
    I have no idea to know who is qualified or not (i'm not talking about anyone here - I mean in general).
    Very few people are "qualified" in that sense - frankly, most MJ teachers aren't much more qualified than the typical experienced dancer for things like technique, IMO.

    Maybe if you gave some idea of your location we could find some recommendations?

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Hi David,

    I'm based near Leatherhead, (not far from Guildford) Surrey.


    I'm not saying I'm too good for the beginners class (!), - I'd love to improve upon the moves I already "know". I can appreciate that the teacher has got a class to teach as opposed to pointing out certain details to individuals (i've had about 4 different teachers in various refresher classes, and i've never had anyone offer me individual advice.

    At the workshop last week, however, the instructor managed to point out a couple of things to me in regards to my technique whilst he was dancing himself, which was great

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Blimey.

    So I guess that's about 60-odd classes. Fair enough, that's a reasonable grounding I think.

    Certainly better than the 6 classes Ceroc pushes.
    I don't agree with the 6 classes line. Leaders definitely need more than this. I would say more like 10 to 12 assuming you also do all the review classes. Followers can get away with less, especially if they are confident and have some previous dance experience. That said, however many weeks of classes might be suggested, it can only be a generalisation. The actual number depends on a range of factors such as;

    - natural ability
    - confidence
    - previous dance experience
    - fitness
    - whether you have done one or more workshops
    - when you personally feel you are ready

    A follower who is fit, confident, naturally gifted at dancing and with experience in another related form of partner dancing such as Salsa could probably cope pretty well in the intermediate class after just 4 or 5 weeks, especially if they also do a workshop or two. On the other hand a shy leader who is unfit, completely new to partner dancing and with little or no natural dance ability might well still struggle after a dozen or more beginner lessons and refresher classes, even if they have done a workshop or two.

    The difficulty of move taught at intermediate level also varies - some intermediate classes are harder than others or you may simply find the type of move generally taught are ones you find difficult. What is taught generally reflects the style of dancing of the teacher and there is certainly more than one style of MJ dancing out there. You will find it easier to progress if the style of dancing being taught is in tune with your own style of dancing and the type of moves being taught are ones which you can generally pick up and would be likely to use in free-style - unless of course you want to get into competition dancing and choreographed routines.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_dB View Post
    I'm based near Leatherhead, (not far from Guildford) Surrey.
    Hmmm.... don't really know much about the scene round there.

    Anyone else want to suggest some teachers / classes?

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    I think I can clear this one up. Here is the list of people who have given you advice who are qualified dance teachers;

    Andy McGregor






    hey, I'm a qualified teacher

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadful Scathe View Post
    hey, I'm a qualified teacher

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by ant View Post
    The only reason I moved up was because they said I couldn't go to the review class anymore.
    who on earth told you that?

    I would hope you mis-understood what was said to you
    as taxi manager in a couple of metro venues i know that we let people stay in the beginners practice session until they feel ready to move up
    We will sometimes recommend they move (as they are ready) but never tell them they have to
    In the end you are paying your money to have fun it doesnt cost a venue any more to have you stay in the practice session why would anyone tell you that you must move up when your not ready?

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by martingold View Post
    who on earth told you that?
    It was a lot more sympathetic than just being told. The taxis felt that it would be good for me to move on. At Finchley especially they do try to have a good ratio of taxis to beginners and at the time they had alot of men beginners. When Tezi and I spoke about me moving up she said she would arrange these bridging classes as there were other guys feeling the same way I did about attending the intermediate lessons.

    It was a combination of all these things that led me say what I did in my post.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_dB View Post

    To start off by telling you where I am; iíve done 9 beginner lessons, 1 workshop, iíve been told I have a smooth lead, I donít bounce, I have good rhythm and the potential to be a good lead. Iíve covered the core 19 beginners moves, but to be honest I am bored of repeating those same old moves during freestyle.

    I donít feel confident enough at the moment to mix in with an intermediate class. (I speak to girls who have done 1 Ė 2 beginner lessons who happily join in the intermediates, - they tell me Ė ďoh itís fine, I just follow the manís lead.Ē !).

    I have attended 2 intermediate classes, the first one was a bad experience (due to some rude woman), and the second I stayed fixed with another beginner at the back of the class.
    In the short period of time that you have been dancing you have done really well to have covered the 19 core beginners moves. To be quite honest if you can take these into a freestyle and dance them in any order you want, you have more than enough moves to keep all your dance partners happy. Please remember that to be able to dance using these to different types of music is a real skill, this is probably why CEROC X was brought in as a category in the Ceroc dance champs.

    Make sure you are really proficient in dancing your basic core moves before moving into the Intermediate section, as these core moves are basis for the more fancy moves. I was always told that you should have been dancing six months before moving into the intermediate lessons

    Good luck on your dance journey

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by ant View Post
    It was a lot more sympathetic than just being told. The taxis felt that it would be good for me to move on. At Finchley especially they do try to have a good ratio of taxis to beginners and at the time they had alot of men beginners. When Tezi and I spoke about me moving up she said she would arrange these bridging classes as there were other guys feeling the same way I did about attending the intermediate lessons.

    It was a combination of all these things that led me say what I did in my post.
    oh ok i am glad thats cleared up i was a bit shocked when i first read it as i know that in ceroc and especially metro we try to look after and do our best for people especially beginners as they are the life blood of the dance which is why we atempt to put on a much larger crew than some of the other franchises and indipendants
    Personally i think if Tezi suggested it then she was almost certainly right as she is a really kind person with a huge amount of experience
    As i said in my earlier post you pay for your entertainment there would be no point in a taxi pushing you to go up if you really were not in a possition to do so

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agente Secreto View Post
    ...many of the follows will tell you that they'd rather dance with someone that can do a 6-10 beginner moves well, in time to the music and with some feeling than the 'moves monster' that drags them around the floor with his arms flailing all over the place doing complex moves badly.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_dB View Post
    I have no idea to know who is qualified or not (i'm not talking about anyone here - I mean in general).
    I think I can clear this one up. Here is the list of people who have given you advice who are qualified dance teachers;

    Andy McGregor
    I really do need to complain to Franck. The Notworthy Smilie has disappeared and I felt that I needed to use it in this post to pay the proper homage to Andy as the embodiment of perfection in dance teacher terms. So I'm having to make do with this

    Phil, the fact is that on the forum we're all qualified to give advice, because we've been there and done it ourselves - often helped of course by teachers who may even be as well qualified as Andy. As time goes on you'll develop your own knack for decidiing which of the posts you pay attention to.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agente Secreto View Post
    The Notworthy Smilie has disappeared.
    No it hasn't

    (I assume you mean ?)

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    As usual Gadget has got it wrong. Does he do it on purpose? The best way to improve your dancing is to get some coaching or training and then practice what you've been taught.
    Let me qualify that by saying the best free way to improve... Some of us do not have the luxury of spare time and money to sacrifice to the alter of the dance gods. Feel free to line the pockets of some of the well deserved teachers - you will no doubt improve, but without the time spent actually working on the advice given, it's pointless.
    A good workshop (or set of workshops) will normally give you concepts, advice and things to work on that will take you a long time to fully integrate into your dancing.

    So I'll reiterate: The best way to improve your dancing is to dance.

    Some of the best advice I can give you is to ignore the well-meaning but unqualifed and amateur advice of untrained dancers who think they have the answers.
    I agree whole-heartedly. And ignore all the well-meaning advice of qualified trained teachers who think they have all the answers. None of us have all the answers. It's advice. Guidance. Tips and aids others have learned and pass on. Take what works for you and discard what doesn't. There is no 'right' and 'wrong' (unless you hurt yourself or your partner... or anyone else on the dance floor - that's wrong) only better ways of achieving the same goals.

    Most of us are still learning, even about the beginner moves. I'm still not 100% comfortable with my turn and placement of my feet on the step-across. There are a few variations I can't lead properly. But I'll keep dancing and work it out. What I've found is that once one "problem" area of my dancing is sorted, it opens up about three or four other areas that could be improved upon.
    Last edited by Gadget; 20th-November-2008 at 02:54 PM.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in Notts View Post

    ....... I think it is great when a lead incorporates one or two of the intermediate moves into their freestyle dancing as it feels like they are challenging themselves. ........
    I'm pretty guilty of not doing this. After the class I usually, very gratefully, retreat into my comfort zone.

    But it's not only leaders who are guilty of this. One of last nights moves was a followers' sabotage - ducking and backing out of a basket. Rather contrarilly, I threw several opportunities for such sabotage into the ensuing freestyle session. And each time I had to initiate the 'duck out of' myself. Perhaps the followers' feared a 'bad hair' moment.
    Last edited by Whitebeard; 20th-November-2008 at 02:59 PM. Reason: Tags

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    I will certainly takes what works for me, - this thread is a minefield of great advice - and i'm certainly appreciative of everyone who has taken the time to post.

    If I may sway the conversation a little, - if I am to stay in the beginner class, - what should I be looking to get out of the beginner refresher lessons, - and how should I go about getting it? As I said earlier, but I don't actually feel like i'm learning anything new during this time.

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