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Thread: Ceroc Advanced Lessons

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    Commercial Operator Gus's Avatar
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    Talking Ceroc Advanced Lessons

    OK ... enough of the dismal scaremongering elsewhere ... a positive thread awaits!

    I believe (and I think this is fact rather than speculation) that Ceroc are seriously looking at delivering advanced lessons through the CTA network. WITHOUT entering into a debate about how CTA teachers will be trained or competency levels ... what would YOU the target audience for such lesson wish to receive?

    The Oracle has already pointed out there is no definitions to what an advanced lesson should comprise of ... so this is an opportunity to feedback to CTA HQ what you think should be delivered.

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    I don't know that I would go to a Ceroc teacher for 'advanced' lessons . . .

    The big change they need is to teach seriously - at that level people do not need jokes, suggestions or other things to keep them motivated and amused. they want instruction - they expect the teacher to know what they are teaching and to get on with it, not have some fun little sharing session.

    Based on the teachers they've got however, they are more likely to be advanced/intermediate. You have to have the material and the techniques, and it's more about having those than being competition winners (reminds me of teaching a post-graduate class - which I've done on occasion - most of the students were better qualified than I was but I still had a job to do imparting kowledge they didn't have. And it wasn't my job to 'motivate' them - at that level they have already developed listening and attention skills.)

    The best thing would be to do what other dance genres do - have guest advanced teachers (non-ceroc). If you use existing teachers it's going to be very expensive I would think to train them now.

    The other hurdle is the old 'what is advanced', as Amir and James have pointed out elsewhere - unless there is some understanding of what people should be able to do and understand at intermediate level it slows things down for anyone teaching advanced. A prep 'moving up' class would be good first, so that dancers could be made aware of what they should be capable of before attempting an advanced class.

    Having said that I'm sure they'll come up with something that will work fine for most people - my own view is biassed as I like the NZ model (long may it endure), but that wouldn't go down well here.

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    Commercial Operator Gus's Avatar
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    OK ... so what I would like:

    simply a balance between more complex moves and dance style/timing being taught. Most people know more moves than they will ever need to use ... what most dancers need is to be taught how to dance better.

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    The Oracle
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    This is what I'd like to see offered.

    A list of topics they are going to teach over the course of 3 or 6 months , eg
    - musical interpretation
    - how to spin
    - creating your own style
    - what looks good, and what doesn't
    - Latin movement
    - hip-hop movement
    - lead/follow
    - ceating complex moves from simple ones
    - choreography for routines
    - choreography for freestyle
    - competition technique
    - complex moves (because it will still appeal to a lot of dancers)
    etc

    A realisation that you can't teach an entire topic in one 30 minute class. So each topic should evolve into a series of individual workshops, each covering one or two ideas.

    A breakdown within each topic, describing what they are teaching, who it should appeal to, and any requirements for the participants

    A timetable listing when each topic is going to be taught. Not everyone is interested in learning everything.

    Useful information on the teachers. "X has been teaching Ceroc for 8 years" is not relevant to anyone. "X has a background in Ballroom and Latin, and will be bringing some of these ideas into the lead/follow workshop" is useful.

    A balance between theory and practice. This could involve teaching a new move that illustrates an idea, a series of exercises, or opportunities to do freestyle. But you have to let people know in advance if they aren't going to learn new moves - that is all they usually expect from a class.

    A 5 minute recap at the start of each workshop, covering any relevant previous workshops in the topic.

    Above all - teaching people what they need to get better, and not just what you think won't put a few new intermediates off. Trying to pass of the Hammersmith masterclasses as advanced workshops would be a joke.


    Never mind Ceroc - I'd like to see something like this done at Camber or Bognor. A third set of workshops running alongside the existing ones, concentrating on just a few topics in more detail, eg:
    - Sat am - Lead & Follow
    - Sat pm - Musical Interpretation
    - Sun am - Dancing with a hangover and sore feet!
    - Sun pm - Style
    Get the best teachers there to put together a series of advanced workshops in these topics. The advantage of Camber & Bognor is that there is plenty of other choices for dancers who aren't interested.

    David

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    Forum Bombshell - Our Queen! Lory's Avatar
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    And now I know why David is called the Oricle, he has said everything I would have liked to have said but didn't know how!
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    Forum Bombshell - Our Queen! Lory's Avatar
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    - Sun am - Dancing with a hangover and sore feet!

    and while I'm at it, book me up for that one!
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    Well said Lory. David has hit the nail on the head. I also agree with Gus though. Most dancers need to be taught how to dance better.

    Good to hear that Ceroc are looking into advanced classes. It get's mentioned so very often that it surley couldn't be ignored much longer.

    Can only imagine how popular the classes will be. Which makes me think... how do you know if you're capable of doing an advanced class.

    Having said that.. it'd be a great challenge.....

    .....bring it on

    James

  8. #8
    Daphne
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    Smaller classes would be essential. Not the regular teachers (no disrespect intended). How would you define 'advanced' anyway? There are many regular ceroc dancers in Scotland whom I would class as advanced. Very few people seem to be both advanced dancers and good teachers, but we've been there before.......

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    Nice list David, but it's either an advanced class or it's not, or a taster of other styles. Most 'advanced' classes have been doomed to be classes that should be taught at intermediate level tarted up with a tiny bit of extra style or footwork, or tired combinations of existing intermediate moves passed off as advanced. This might well be what people want, but it's not advanced Jive IMO (only IMO as there's so many - I've heard a teacher at MJC say that his advanced class was mostly Lindy - since advanced jive is Lindy - not an opinion I share, especialy after seeing MJ style and MJ moves taught at advanced (and at intermediate) level in NZ or by teachers from down under.)

    The lack of definition means it often comes down to a battle of the egos among experienced teachers - and the ones with the biggest CV will be believed, whether they can teach advanced jive or not. At least with your idea of getting teachers who introduce themselves on the basis of experience in other styles dancers will get a broader appreciation of dance per se and maybe go outside MJ in order to improve their dancing generally. But this is IMO an upgraded version of the 'taster' classes already offered at Cambers.

    Personally I think there maybe is not much of a market for advanced jive in the UK - you have intermediate teaching and a more advanced, more professional and structured version of intermediate teaching. If that takes off you could pave the way for advanced classes though.

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    Commercial Operator Gus's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Jive Brummie

    ....Which makes me think... how do you know if you're capable of doing an advanced class.
    Oh .... thats EASY! Its totaly dependant on the size of the dnancers ego! To explain, we teach 'advanced' lessons on a monthly basis ... I've stood on stage and stated very clearly that you should have been dancing for 6+ months to do the class .... and I STILL get numpties just out of beginners who insist on doing the class .... and I still get other who have totaly failed pick up the flow of the moves or style yet still have the audacity to claim the class was TOO EASY

    Personal opinion, advanced lessons have no place on a club night. By defintion, its advanced techniques or style you have to teach in a smaller focused group in a workshop environment. Why do I get roped into teaching advanced lessons on a club night?? ... purely a competition thing ..... people want the classes so Blitz provides them, even if in the long term it is detrimental to the attendees dancing advancement

    [rant over]

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    Re: Ceroc Advanced Lessons

    Originally posted by Gus
    The Oracle has already pointed out there is no definitions to what an advanced lesson should comprise of
    No, but the content and and level experience required can be defined and so distinguish it from an intermediate class.

    Intermediate ceroc, (and the same for intermediate cerocshops and styleshops) for instance, assumes that dancers attending the class understand the names of the 16 basic ceroc moves and how to do them. That way the teacher can build on them.

    The same goes for advanced (or what I would call advanced). The teacher needs to be able to assume that the dancers attending have a knowledge of certain techniques, style principles and moves.

    In an informal setting, this will often mean checking before each section. "Do you all know . . ." (such and such)? and if not, teaching the requisite intermediate component move, technique or style variation that is used as a building block for the advanced section.

    It is not about how long someone has been dancing, it is whether they have acquired the requisite knowledge to participate in an advanced class - and that might vary according to the advanced class in question. And it would be helpful for dancers to have some indication of whatever a particular class leader for an advanced session will expect the student to have covered.

    (I'm using the word 'student' as I think it is reasonable to expect a greater degree of attention in an advanced class - eg less talking on the dance floor.)

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    Originally posted by DavidB
    This is what I'd like to see offered.

    A list of topics they are going to teach over the course of 3 or 6 months , eg
    snip...
    Never mind Ceroc - I'd like to see something like this done at Camber or Bognor. A third set of workshops running alongside the existing ones, concentrating on just a few topics in more detail, eg:
    - Sat am - Lead & Follow
    - Sat pm - Musical Interpretation
    - Sun am - Dancing with a hangover and sore feet!
    - Sun pm - Style
    Get the best teachers there to put together a series of advanced workshops in these topics. The advantage of Camber & Bognor is that there is plenty of other choices for dancers who aren't interested.

    David
    sounds great, but I don't agree
    not sure if it would work in the 'fast food' format of teaching we seem to use and is liked by the dancers.

    Amir does this at Hipsters (I think) yet many of the advanced dancers arrive after the class.
    An advance class must have a target group of dancers they are trying to attract - I would assume these are intermediate dancers still hungry to learn anything and find most classes to easy. (frequently these guys need to focus on style not moves)
    A number of your pointers spinning, music interpretation style can be covered in the existing class format - every class could start with 10mins spinning lesson.
    Moves from alternative dance styles are commonplace - Nigel = Lindy, Viktor = Salsa, Amir = Tango I am sure this is not exclusive to hipsters

    In my experience advanced classes range from
    Loads of moves that just boggle the mind
    Seriously complicated arm twisters that cant be led in freestyle.
    Mixture of alternative dance styles, some of which work others are to contrived
    The true advanced ceroc moves that look good and work, but are limited in number.

    I would like to see advanced teachers proficient in more than one dance style and smoothly build that style into the lesson.

    Publicising the classes in advance sounds great, but what if the dancers don't like the format - how can you change it
    or
    Certain classes could be avoided - I would not bother with say hip hop
    A re run of previous class could be a nightmare as not everyone would have been in previous class
    .
    There has already been mention on this forum that Viktor is dumbing his Hipsters class down - yet Hipsters is perceived as the Mecca for advanced dancers.
    Hipsters Tuesdays offers MJ & Lindy, Bisley Tuesdays offers MJ/Salsa (shame they are same day), this seems a successful formula.
    In my experience if you go to an advanced class at Salsa and are not up to scratch they ask you to move down a level - the system does work, but would cerocers like it.

    I think Ceroc could/should offer dance alternatives at advanced level, but to say to 200+ this is advanced class when over half may not be able to keep up is wrong, if the dancers don't enjoy it they vote with their feet
    these organiser needs those 200+ dancers at his/her venue.
    I think a venue with split classes would be my favourite approach and the final format will be devised by the teacher to suit the dancers.
    That is why they are trained to an advanced level. But there is no point in training the teachers to advanced level if the format does not lend itself to genuine advanced classes.

    Camber ideas - I don't think it would be that popular but it may be possible - I raised the 'games room' on another thread - this is suited to small classes of 50 dancers.
    At MJC this is covered and works but Cambers popularity/strengths seems to be with big classes and dance moves
    Peter
    Last edited by Lounge Lizard; 6th-December-2003 at 07:27 PM.

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    Originally posted by Chris
    Personally I think there maybe is not much of a market for advanced jive in the UK - you have intermediate teaching and a more advanced, more professional and structured version of intermediate teaching. If that takes off you could pave the way for advanced classes though.
    If I understand you correct Chris you feel that there is no market for advanced MJ in the UK but there is in NZ is this correct?

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    Originally posted by Lounge Lizard
    If I understand you correct Chris you feel that there is no market for advanced MJ in the UK but there is in NZ is this correct?
    I wouldn't particularly like that quoted out of context, but to an extent yes, because there is not the structure for it here (as evidenced by some of the problems you and others have pointed out) and there is a lack of teacher training on anything that is specifically advanced jive (rather than intermediate that has been made more complex etc).

    In saying there's not the market, I mean not the market to make it viable. That's not to say there won't be pockets or various attempts called advanced jive; and it's not to say there aren't many superb advanced dancers in the UK that are on an equal level with those at the top end of the NZ system - I'm talking about the difference in structures, not saying NZ is 'better' (if this makes sense).

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    Maybe it might come down to the teacher paying a little individual attention to each couple.

    When I did Ballet, tap and Jazz the teacher taught us all as a group, then watched each person in turn and gave each person personal pointers.

    Pointers on style for instance.
    The other couples in the group would learn from these pointers too.

    You couldn't do this on an average Ceroc night as people would loose confidence and feel like they are being picked on but the people that would be going to an advanced night, obviously want to take it to the next level so would be more open to positive criticism
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    Originally posted by Chris
    I wouldn't particularly like that quoted out of context, but to an extent yes, because there is not the structure for it here (as evidenced by some of the problems you and others have pointed out) and the lack of teacher training on anything that is specifically advanced jive (rather than intermediate that has been made more complex etc).

    In saying there's not the market, I mean not the market to make it viable. That's not to say there won't be pockets or various attempts called advanced jive; and it's not to say there aren't many superb advanced dancers in the UK that are on an equal level with those at the top end of the NZ system - I'm talking about the difference in structures, not saying NZ is 'better' (if this makes sense).
    Sorry Chris I think you need a new pair of rose tinted glasses they are bluring your vision IMHO
    How many cerocers/MJ dancers in NZ compared to UK
    PLEASE SOMEONE ANSWER THIS ONE

    Perhaps IN THE UK we have focused on big numbers so this may outweigh the comparative number of advaced dancers out there.
    In london area the advanced dancers can be spread over dozens of venues in any given week.

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    Originally posted by Lounge Lizard
    Sorry Chris I think you need a new pair of rose tinted glasses they are bluring your vision IMHO
    How many cerocers/MJ dancers in NZ compared to UK
    PLEASE SOMEONE ANSWER THIS ONE

    Perhaps IN THE UK we have focused on big numbers so this may outweigh the comparative number of advaced dancers out there.
    In london area the advanced dancers can be spread over dozens of venues in any given week.
    Well, Liz my old' reptile, if you look at what I say you'll see I'm talking about the structure, not the numbers. NZ, I would guess, has about as many ceroccers as say, Glasgow and Edinburgh combined. Max.

    Is it possible for me to mention NZ without people going into a 'who's best'??

    The structure in NZ has grading, so it is an easy matter to introduce advanced classes. And, although teachers have great freedom on what they teach, there is a ready made tidy segment of dancers who have covered a specific syllabus. Intermediate dancers are not admitted.

    Here you would need a different formula. I think that the formula needs to be developed. The market isn't to do with the number of dancers, it's to do with the composition of the market - and the point JiveBrummie made about how do people know if they can do the advanced class.

    Keep up Lizard, my dear amphibian, and don't see arguments where I'm not making one - I get into enough scraps of my own making!

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    Commercial Operator Gus's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Lounge Lizard
    Sorry Chris I think you need a new pair of rose tinted glasses they are bluring your vision IMHO
    How many cerocers/MJ dancers in NZ compared to UK
    PLEASE SOMEONE ANSWER THIS ONE

    I'm not sure what Chris is basing his assesment on (I'n NOT saying he is wrong ... just I have a different view). Chris could you, for reference sake, explain where you taught and trained because this may have a big bearing on things.

    My own experience of NZ is attending a number of classes and teaching at advanced level at their big teaching weekend (the NZ equivalent of JiveSpree/MJC). Now, I'm obviously not an A list instructor in the UK, but I did teach at advanced level alongside their top teachers and I didn't embaress myself or find that the NZ standard was outside my skillset. What I trying to say (maybe clumbsily) is that the attitude to Advanced workshops is NO DIFFERENT in NZ than it is here! We do more musical interprestation and UCP, they do more arials and drops .... no refelection on standard.

    The ONLY difference I would agree with is that they have advanced classes (on a single night they may have a beginner 30 mins, intermediate 30 mins and a advanced 30 mins). This works well in some cases, less well in others. But please dont get the impression that NZ is way ahead of us. That said ... they do have some awesome dancers/teachers ... especially the legendary Paul Tavanasau (respect!)

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    In answer to Gus, my experience of NZ Ceroc is based solely on Auckland, and mostly The Studio. But many people who are far better placed than I am have commented on things like the length and format of classes there or the grading system. Again, as I said to Lizard, the only thing I'm comparing is the structures - it makes no sense to argue about 'who's best'. And if this is too fine a distinction for some people then there's no point in my mentioning that even, but it was meant as a constructive contribution. No offence to anyone intended at all.

    And although I'd agree on many of your earlier posts about New Zealand I think I'd differ with you on inasmuch as I believe lack of style and musicality is a misconception - I'd base that not so much on what I've seen there but on discussions with Ange about her style classes (her specialty) and the evidence of style and musicality in the championships tape I have. If you want to turn this into a NZ vs UK discussion I'm outa here. there's things that can be learnt by NZ from UK and things the other way round. As NZ has a well established structure for advanced classes I think that is one thing where we could usefully put ego aside and see if there's something to be gleaned and adapted.

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    Registered User JamesGeary's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Lounge Lizard

    How many cerocers/MJ dancers in NZ compared to UK
    PLEASE SOMEONE ANSWER THIS ONE
    OK, i'm curious about this myself so I'm going to work it out. I can't add up the entire number doing classes in NZ, because in NZ franchises pay a fixed fee rather than a fee per person attending a ceroc class, so there are no fixed figures on numbers, unlike uk. I can estimate for the main city though.

    Auckland 1 Million Population
    Approximate proportion of Aucklanders that have heard of ceroc 50%. Approximate proportion of Aucklanders that have done ceroc 5%, ie a couple of people at most house parties. Ceroc is banned at almost all Auckland nightclubs because cerocers take up too much space on the dance floors. Although every couple of years they let you, then it gets too crowded and is banned again.

    central - 60 people per night 4 nights. 240 per week
    west - 100 people per night, 2 nights. 200 per week
    east - 50 people per night, 2 nights. 100 per week
    north 1 - 50 people per night, 2 nights. 100 per week
    north 2 - 50 people per night, 2 nights. 100 per week

    Approximately 700-800 people per week do ceroc in Auckland including the suburbs.

    Lonodon 15 Million Population
    Approximate proportion of Londoners that have heard of ceroc 4%. Approximate proportion of Londoners that have done ceroc <1%. There are maybe 18 nights in Lonodon including suburbs of 200 per night.

    That makes 3500 people doing ceroc in London per week. (wild estimate, i've never counted or been round all the venues)

    So with 15 times as many people in london, there are 5 times as many people dancing, or a third the level of penetration. Hmmm, it doesn't explain why no-one you meet in London seems to have heard of ceroc or done it, even though its been running longer there. Maybe the poplulation is much more transient.
    Last edited by JamesGeary; 6th-December-2003 at 09:28 PM.

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