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Thread: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

  1. #161
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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    I was thinking about this thread after teaching the intermediate tonight. We have a guy in the lesson who is going through the process of moving up to intermediate. He's been doing line dancing for many years but is finding Modern Jive quite difficult. Much more difficult than his wife who is taking to it like a duck to water.

    With this guy and many others like him it's always that they do more than is required to make the move work. Never too little. When you're doing the intermediate moves it's really difficult not to do other things which ruin your chances of making the move work.

    Remember, less is more.

    Andy - Zen Jive Master

    p.s. If your teacher is saying "circle to the left and both step back" he is not from the Zen school of Modern Jive. He is from the Hoover school of 'It beats...as it sweeps...as it cleans'. There's a lot going on. The difference is that beating, sweeping and cleaning all had a purpose ...

    .. erm

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    There are two golden rules which, once I learned them, have done more to improve my dance learning than everything else put together. Rule 1 is actually quite difficult to follow, UNLESS it's combined with Rule 2.

    Rule 1) Try to do everything the teacher says, exactly as the teacher says it, to the very best of your ability.
    Rule 2) Be happy with everything you succeed in doing, and do not worry in the slightest about anything you do not. In short, relax and don't sweat it. If you get it great! If you don't, great! You'll get it next time. In either case, smile.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by straycat View Post
    Rule 2) Be happy with everything you succeed in doing, and do not worry in the slightest about anything you do not. In short, relax and don't sweat it. If you get it great! If you don't, great! You'll get it next time. In either case, smile.
    This is absolutely true. Remember, it's only dancing, it's not even in the real world and nothing that happens on the dance floor is going to bring the world to an end*.

    *Mr & Mrs Hitler met at a dance** and the world didn't end, did it?

    **I'm making this up. I don't know where they met, but it could've been a dance

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    Remember, it's only dancing, it's not even in the real world and nothing that happens on the dance floor is going to bring the world to an end.


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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveL View Post
    I so wish I'd been brave/lucky enough to have discovered Ceroc 25 years ago, and I am optimistic that if I can get over this invisible but crippling hump it will be great, but right now I'm feeling slightly sick with worry about making such a pratt of myself again at the next class.
    Children have no fear of getting anything wrong: They will give anything a go and don't really mind the consequences as long as the 'having a go' is fun.

    Dancing tries to capture this innocence and lost youth - most "problems", "anxieties", "worries" and "crippling humps" are because the grown up has been taught and conditioned that getting stuff wrong is BAD.
    If you can get into that childhood mentality - drop all the "what if?"'s - and just dance for the moment, then you will get much much more out of it.

    Personally I really like making mistakes and having my partner do something unexpected: it drops me out of my comfort zone and into somewhere I have to think and act quickly and I learn loads. Maybe I just have never grown up.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Cederic,

    Do what I did. Grab your Ceroc teacher and say to them, you want to move up but you're unsure about making that leap. My teacher was more than happy to check when I wanted to move up and she did an easier lesson that night. It was about 2 weeks after I asked her and she announced it the week before and that night as well so other beginners who might want to move up could do it. (It was really helpful - thanks Bex)

    Other teachers structure their nights so they do an intermediate routine but base one of the moves on a beginners move they did that night.

    Most teachers and taxis are happy to run through the routine if they are asked. Although bear in mind that taxi's will have been in the beginners review session and may not have seen the routine.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget View Post
    Children have no fear of getting anything wrong: They will give anything a go and don't really mind the consequences as long as the 'having a go' is fun.

    Dancing tries to capture this innocence and lost youth - most "problems", "anxieties", "worries" and "crippling humps" are because the grown up has been taught and conditioned that getting stuff wrong is BAD.
    If you can get into that childhood mentality - drop all the "what if?"'s - and just dance for the moment, then you will get much much more out of it.

    Personally I really like making mistakes and having my partner do something unexpected: it drops me out of my comfort zone and into somewhere I have to think and act quickly and I learn loads. Maybe I just have never grown up.

    Congratulations on your 7,000th post!

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by rtwwpad View Post
    Although bear in mind that taxi's will have been in the beginners review session and may not have seen the routine.
    I've been trying a different approach recently to get around this. I've been having the beginners review lesson after the intermediate lesson. The disadvantage is that the beginners have to sit through the intermediate lesson. But the advantages are that the crew are in the intermediate lesson to help people who are moving up and the teacher can take the review lesson.

    The other disadvantage is that the teacher has to take 3 lesson and it's a bit tiring in one night.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Thanks all, and particularly Gadget

    "....conditioned that getting stuff wrong is BAD." You're absolutely right of course, and I 've spent 40 years at work where it does literally kill people if we get it wrong (Starting not many miles from you - Dyce Heliport).

    And I know this is different (maybe that's why I love it even when it hurts), but the mind is an irrational tool sometimes (mainly when I'm on the dancefloor ) and it's sooooo frustrating to be able to do the basic moves easily right up to the point where it's down to me what to do next.....

    Hey ho - nil carborundum illegitimi .....t'ain't gonna beat me

    Thanks again for understanding :-)

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    This thread brings back memories of starting intermediate classes and how difficult it seemed. As others have said, it really does all work better if you can enjoy it - human nature allows negative feelings to creep in from time to time; I think nearly everyone has the occasional moment.

    One minor thing: if the beginners class seems mundane then it probably means you've got the move mechanics to a fairly good extent. If you wanted to, there is still a lot to get out of doing beginners classes even after years of dancing. e.g. If you have been to a workshop including style points or picked up something new on style from a good teacher it can be hard to practice in freestyles and opportunities to practice away from that can be limited. So, the beginners class offers an ideal time when your brain space is not swamped by the moves and you have the capacity left to indulge other things. I used to be very hunched and with a concentratey face all the time and so found it useful to think about straightening up and smiling. Always be sure to lead as well as you can to be fair to your partners in the lesson but the luxury of time to think and practice non-moves stuff is something I have come to appreciate more and more.

    [That was a party political broadcast on behalf of the beginner lesson party ]

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    At a different venue tonight, learned two new moves in the beginners' class (Wurlitzer, which I don't like, and Hatchback, which I love) then got grabbed by the teacher during the freestyle.

    So I asked if she thought I should try the intermediate class, and she was quite firm that I should. So I did.

    It was taught at a slightly slower pace, and I managed to get through all four moves, and even managed to complete the routine twice at the same pace as the rest of the class. (Eventually).

    Still not sure about using any of those moves in Freestyle (although one of them - no idea what it's called - was fantastic so I'll replay it in my head and give it a go another night) but didn't feel out of place in the intermediate class and enjoyed it far more.

    So thanks again to everyone for your support and suggestions, and I'll continue doing intermediate classes at this venue at least.

  12. #172
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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Mark, I'm not sure your point is a minor thing... in fact it may be the key to reducing the fear factor - simply stay with what's comfortable until it becomes automatic and frees up some RAM so you can process auxiliary tasks (maybe thinking what to do next?)

    If that sounds like giving myself the advice you have so tactfully proposed, all I can say is it's so piggin' obvious it never ocurred to me

    Domestics have enforced a 2 week break, but once the gal gets back I'm going to take your advice and work at it.

    Thanks again
    Cross-post with Cederic.....sounds like you've broken a hump... well done!.....if you can, maybe so can I..... :-)
    Last edited by SteveL; 28th-March-2010 at 10:36 PM.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkW View Post
    So, the beginners class offers an ideal time when your brain space is not swamped by the moves and you have the capacity left to indulge other things. .....
    Always be sure to lead as well as you can to be fair to your partners in the lesson but the luxury of time to think and practice non-moves stuff is something I have come to appreciate more and more.
    Mark, I think thats a great idea.. I think i may have subconciously used some of that time on occasions...but to use it pro-actively would be good, cheers.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    I'm 2 months in on my Ceroc journey so am at the point where beginners is getting a little boring and I am dipping my toe into the Intermediate class.

    I'm finding at the moment that I can survive the class but am not necessarily learning much to add to the repertoire. The thing that tend to stick are moves that I recognise from my past salsa classes. For example half nelson moves (the teapot etc) are second nature to me. Charleston type moves on the other hand are not.

    Personally I wish that organisers split the Intermediate class into Improvers and Intermediates. Then newbie intermediates could work at the appropriate - "Improver" - level - while the Intermediates could get properly stretched.

    Still, the problem is nothing new. It happens in salsa classes all the time.

    What I do like in ceroc is that the moves come with names and they are categorised (left to right, right to left, double handed etc). That means at least I have a structure to work with. It's completely different from salsa where the moves are just given you and you have to try and work them into some sort of framework.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Jack View Post
    The thing that tend to stick are moves that I recognise from my past salsa classes.
    This is a good thing (in a way). I have found that after 9 months (rather than the nine lessons my first post in this thread came after) I'm still not learning all of the moves in the intermediate class well enough to do them in freestyle - although joyfully it's a rare move that I fail in the class now. But I am now getting taught the same move a second or third time, several weeks after the first time, and at that point the recognition and reminder tends to be enough to get me up and running and using the move.

    One thing that I did find helpful was a bridging workshop that taught a few beginner moves then filled in with a bunch of moves that are rarely taught in beginner or intermediate moves but that help a lot in the intermediate class - the pretzel being the most useful. I've been taught pretzel variations in over a dozen different classes, only one of which actually checked whether people knew the vanilla move first.

    But to get started on Intermediate classes, find 2-3 venues, and keep going back - different lessons by the same teacher will vary in difficulty so don't let one difficult class put you off. You'll soon find 2-3 moves you like doing in freestyle and that'll give you the confidence to progress from there.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Hi Cederic.

    Thanks for the support. Yes I'm keen to do a bridging workshop. No luck so far finding one. I've tried to book on two (one local and one further away) and both have been cancelled! I guess I'll have to wait until after Christmas.

    Sounds like you're making good progress yourself. I've found in other dances that doing variations may not help you to learn the variations, but it definitely helps you get the core move they're based on!

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Rather than split the classes into intermediate and improvers the three to four moves im the intermediate class are intended to cater for most. There will be a variation on a beginners' move, a classic intermediate, and a more advanced move of the teacher's choice. Don't feel under pressure to master them all.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by daveb9000 View Post
    Rather than split the classes into intermediate and improvers the three to four moves im the intermediate class are intended to cater for most. There will be a variation on a beginners' move, a classic intermediate, and a more advanced move of the teacher's choice. Don't feel under pressure to master them all.
    That sensible structure was supposed to be the plan but was never applied in these parts.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    For many years (though they stopped in the mid/late '90's), Ceroc used to run "double beginners" classes at least twice a week. Like usual they began at 7.30 with 4 beginners moves then a 15min freestyle, followed by adding another 2 moves of varying difficulty.

    Those were fantastic nights for me. Granted I was newish but all the same there was a great atmosphere because everyone was at a similar level. Everyone danced with each other and attended for months at a time instead of doing 6 classes then moving to intermediate and never dancing with a beginner again. Indeed many who moved to intermediate level at other venues still came to these classes.

    Has there not been any thought given to resurrecting these classes again?

    Prian

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    I just moved up to intermediate myself. I figured out I was getting bored of the beginners' revision so decided to sit and watch the intermediate class instead to see what it was like. I didn't feel I was ready to join until I had a few more freestyles under my belt, even though I was bored of he revision, I'm probably not as confident as I could be, but the teacher saw me watching the class and asked why I wasn't joining, so the next week I did join intermediates.

    My 1st intermediate lass I found to be quite easy, not noticeably harder than beginners, which was a good boost to my confidence. My 2nd intermediate class on the the hand was a different story. I didn't get the moves at all during the class and had to go over them with the teacher a few times before performing them near-correctly once or twice. Hopefully my next intermediate class goes over more like my 1st than my 2nd.

    In any case I'm glad that I moved up so I can learn some new interesting moves and see what sticks while I'm trying to iron out any beginner mistakes I still may be making.

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