Sunday, September 22, 2013

All of the Swingouts and All of the Swiveling!


Hi Everyone!  

I am writing this post for the follows in this month’s Advanced Beginner Styling and Variations series to help them practice swiveling, but I think it could be helpful for anyone (leads or follows) working on their swingout styling.  I’ve compiled a list of youtube videos showing a bunch of really amazing follows swinging out, and bookmarked them to start just as each follow is about to swivel.  This is by no means a complete list of all the great clips of all the great follows in the world (for that, I would need to write a whole book of links!) but it is definitely enough material to keep you busy for a while.  


First, check out how different and great they all look and then try the exercise below.  Also,  Leads!  I sneakily picked videos with a spectrum of great leads in them so you can do this exercise too with lead styling on the swingouts instead of swiveling.


~ Natalya


Exercise:
1) Pick one of your favorite swivelers, watch them swing out a whole bunch of times and try to pick out and copy what you like about them.  You might do this by focussing on a different part of the movement each time you watch - like hips, then feet and legs, then posture, then arms, then overall quality of movement… etc.
2) As a bonus, pay attention to their styling on other moves too (if you’re like me, you won’t be able to stop watching after just one swing out!)  
3) Watch the video again right before showing up to a dance or class for a few dances/classes in a row so their movement is fresh in your mind as you work on your own dancing.
4) Once you’ve done this for a while with one follow, pick someone else who dances really differently and repeat!


(In no particular order, and in no way a complete …)
LIST OF FOLLOWS SWIVELING:

Jo Hoffberg (with Kevin St. Laurent)
(Pro Showcase Routine at ILHC 2011)
I have bookmarked a spot where Jo does two fast swingouts in a row, but if you skip forward to 1:26 (here: http://youtu.be/pT2h5WiJ7Qc?t=1m26s), she does one more slow motion swingout with swivels.  Also, check out what the fringe around her hips is doing, imagine you’re wearing a fringe too and try to get it to do the same thing.

Frida Segerdahl (with Michael Seguin)
(Invitational Jack and Jill  at Lindyfest 2013)
I started a little before they start swinging out because I just couldn’t bring myself to cut out the beginning of this dance.  I would definitely recommend watching this spotlight all the way through - it is really a pretty magical.

Naomi Uyama (with Peter Strom)
(Pro Classic routine at ILHC, 2011)
Naomi only does one swing out here, but I picked this video because the music is not too fast and she is wearing pants so it is easy to see what she is doing.  Also, the variation they do right after the swingout is very similar to one we taught in class.  Finally, I'm going to sneak in a shameless plug - Skye Humphries (see below) and Naomi Uyama will be teaching workshops in Boston in November!  http://www.hoptothebeat.com/workshops/2013/11/skye-humphries-naomi-uyama

Ramona Staffeld (with Skye Humphries)
(Invitational Jack and Jill at ILHC, 2013)
Keep watching through to the third swingout for the swiveling pecks!  Really, you should just watch this whole spotlight.  And then watch all the other videos from ILHC this year, starting with Skye and Frida’s Pro Classic Routine and Ramona and Todd’s Pro Showcase Routine.  

Annie Trudeau (with Max Pitruzzella)
(Pro Showcase Routine at ILHC, 2013)
I have bookmarked this video at a swingout, but you will definitely not regret watching this amazing routine from start to finish.  Since this is a choreography, Annie’s swingouts at this spot are intentionally stylized 
and she is also playing with the rhythm to match the music
(i.e. this is not her ‘vanilla’ swiveling swingout).  If you keep watching, they do the double tuck turn we taught you at 2:15, shortly followed by an inspiring spin down the line at 2:20.


Nina Gilkenson (with Andy Reid)
(Instructor Jam at Lindyfest in 2007)
I picked this particular video because the music is just the right tempo to show off Nina’s magical hips.  For speedier, more recent Nina, check out this video of her dancing with Nick Williams at Lone Star Championships, 2013. http://youtu.be/DkkIkp5ESU4.

Virginie Jensen (with Steven Mitchell)
(during a class demo)
Virginie literally setting the floor on fire with her swivels.

Laura Glaess (with Mike Roberts)
(Pro Classic Routine at ILHC 2012)
Again, totally worth watching this video from start to finish, but it is bookmarked at a spot where they swing out three times in a row.  And to finish this post completely off topic, if you’re still with me, check out this mind-blowing solo routine with Laura Glaess joined by Mike and Faulty at Stompology in Rochester, NY  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ItmVVFFi_w - because working on your solo movement will do wonders for adding styling and variations to your partnered dancing.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Blog about the Beginner Blog Post Roundup

What's better than a blog post discussing what it's like to be a beginner in the Lindy Hop scene? A blog post compiling a bunch of other blog posts about being a beginner in the Lindy Hop scene. What's even better than that? A blog post about the blog post compiling a list of blog posts about being a beginner in the Lindy Hop scene.  I'm right now creating such an amazing blog post.  In fact, you're reading it right now.

Our very own Gina Helfrich compiled this list of relevant blog posts:  https://dancewithgina.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/beginner-blog-post-roundup/

Read it.  Absorb it.  Love it.  And then write a blog post about this blog post.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

NSS Curriculum Tree

Hey everyone!
Shawn had this great idea to put up a document that shows the path lindy hoppers take from beginner to ninja level at NSS.  This is our first attempt at such a document, a curriculum tree.  We welcome comments and discussion about whether this is useful to you and how we could improve it!
Thanks!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

In Pursuit of Fun


At a young age, the concept of having fun is almost eerily easy. Stepping in and out of a cardboard box can afford endless hours of amusement. However, as one gets older, getting dropped off at overwhelming and new experiences such as college or the first day of work also herald this injunction to "go have fun!"  It becomes a bit mixed in the psyche with biting the bullet and being uncomfortable for the foreseeable future until things fall into place and become, if not enjoyable, and least not actively causing discomfort.

Often when I tell students to just work on one or two things and focus on having fun while social dancing, this latter notion of fun appears in the wrinkles of their foreheads. "If *gasp* I *gasp* just struggle long enough, *gasp* this will no longer cause me active mental pain!"  Here are a few of the reasons that people provide when I ask why they appear tense or unhappy while dancing:

-I just want my partner to be comfortable
-I can’t find the beat in the music
-It’s hard to think of what to do next and be fully present in the dance at the same time
-I’m working on being musical so I’m listening really intently
-I’m trying to layer on some interesting variations without breaking the lead
-My partner is so much better than me / I don’t think they’re having fun
-We’re in a competition / performance, everyone watching is seeing all of my flaws

These reasons fall into a few distinct categories: a) worries that the individual’s partner is not enjoying the dance, b) worries about how the individual is leading/following the dance (rhythms, musicality, movement), c) worries about how external viewers to the dance partnership are viewing the dance.  Let’s address each of these in turn.

How to have fun when you are convinced that your partner is not
 
If you’re worried that something you’re doing is causing physical discomfort, then ask them! There’s nothing like a verbal check-in to see if your partner is alright. If they respond that they’re fine, take them at their word and move on.

If you’re worried that they’re bored, stop worrying. Nothing has the potential to snap someone out of their happy place like a partner concerned that they’re having enough fun in the dance. Stress is contagious. Stop it.  Even in the worse-case scenario where your partner is actually bored, that is their own attitude problem. Isn’t it better for at least one of you to fully enjoy the rest of the dance? I vote yes.  Most of the time, they are in fact enjoying themselves and maybe not very good at showing it. [Side note to Int/Adv dancers: sometimes it’s nice to be a bit more enthusiastic or smile a tad larger when dancing with someone new.  Helps mitigate this risk.]

How to have fun when you’re working really hard on ALL OF THE THINGS

This can be challenging. It’s easy to get caught up on the emotional rollercoaster of if-it-works-then-I-am-awesome-and-if-it-doesn’t-then-I-fail-at-life.  Of course, you want to be a better dancer.  Part of the joy of lindy hop is the ability to grow your skills and participate in the music more completely. Sometimes it’s healthy to take a step back and focus on the basics. See how musical you can be with simple movement by changing up how you relate to your partner, to the floor, the quality of how you step into and out of momentum changes.  Then go do something interesting. Then come back to the basics. Rinse and repeat.

Remember that dancing is not the equivalent of moves. Ingredients on their own do not a cake bake.  If the moves start to detract from your partnered connection and ability to enjoy the dance, take them out for a bit.  I’ve had some wonderful dances that involved staying in open position the entire time and messing around with footwork.

How to have fun when outsiders are watching / judging

This category is actually very different from the rest since it moves dance out of the “social” box and into the “performing” box.  Having fun may not be your primary goal at this stage. Winning, presenting an artistic statement, adrenaline, are all equally valid reasons to perform.  However, if having fun is still your primary goal, here are some thoughts.

Dance for you, not for the viewers. Most people have a conception of what the judges want them to look like. Often that is very different from what the dancer would do when having a fun, silly dance. However, shaping your dance to please other people not only detracts from the amount of fun you are having, it also makes the dance a bit more uniform and less interesting as a whole. Think about the dancers you enjoy watching the most. Often, they aren’t the perfect, technically sound dancers; they’re the ones that have Personality radiating from their fingertips.  At ILHC this year, it was interesting to see how the advanced dancers were more willing to be outrageously silly because they didn’t freaking care what other people thought. They know they’re good dancers and they don’t need to prove anything.  Soochan and Hyun Jung embodied this for me in their outrageous and fun Showcase piece. Todd and Ramona went out on a limb with their elephant moment in the Pro-Classic and the crowd went crazy.  Having fun may not always get you a shining trophy to display in the New School Swing trophy case, but it builds up the community’s spirit.


Your New School Swing instructors have been promoting social dance outings to try to get more students out of the classroom and onto the dance floor.  Many of the concerns listed at the beginning are the reasons students give for not coming out to social dances. Please remember that dancing is not about being perfect, it is about having fun to music on a floor with a whole bunch of other imperfect people.  Save me a dance!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Intermediate Acceptance Form Letter

Hey All,

A while back I mentioned to the instructors a while back that it would be cool if we had something to send to NSS students when they leveled up to the intermediate classes at the studio. Gina wrote the following (and Amanda edited it a little bit). I realized we should include it on our blog so that intermediate students who leveled up before we wrote this can read it. Additionally, it's good to look ahead and a lot of this applies to students of all levels.

Also, I cut off the initial greeting and the ending for the sake of the blog post because the point is to show what we want intermediate students to start thinking about.

-Shawn

Classes
As an intermediate student, you are now eligible to register for
intermediate level classes at NSS.  You can continue to take the
beginner and advanced beginner classes if you like, for added practice
of the basics.  If a class is listed as intermediate/advanced, you are
eligible to take that, too.

Social Dancing
Now that you're an intermediate level dancer, the #1 thing you can do
to keep improving is to social dance regularly.  If you're wondering
where to dance, check out our links page.  For optimal improvement, we
recommend that you go out social dancing 1-2 nights per week.

Dojo
Intermediate classes take place on Wednesday nights.  So what about
Dojo on Tuesdays?  Please keep coming to Dojo!  You probably remember
a few nice intermediate dancers who helped you when you were a
beginner - consider giving back and doing the same for someone else.
You can also practice your own dancing after the switch at 9:45.  Many
higher level students take part in the mock competitions, work on
choreography, or pick up new moves at Dojo to improve their dancing.
Which brings us to...

Private Lessons
At the intermediate level, you've graduated to a new phase of learning
where you should start to take ownership over your own progress as a
dancer.  One way to really improve is to take private lessons once
every few months.  A private lesson offers you focused one-on-one
feedback that helps to pinpoint exactly what you need to work on in
order to keep improving.  After taking a lesson, you should give
yourself between a few weeks and a couple months to work on what you
learned.  Practice while you are social dancing, or get together with
some friends and practice at Dojo or in someone's living room (the
Whistle Stop is also available for rentals if you want a dedicated
space).  Another option is...

Travel
Once you've reached the intermediate level at NSS, you should fit
right in at any major national dance weekend.  Many dancers enjoy
traveling as an opportunity to meet new people, see new places, and
experience different dance styles and approaches.  Dance weekends come
in three major flavors:  workshops, competitions, and exchanges.  A
workshop weekend generally devotes most of the time on Saturday and
Sunday to classes with prominent professional dance instructors, and
then there is social dancing in the evening (sometimes with contests).
For a more intense version of a workshop weekend, try a camp, which
is usually 4-7 days long.  A competition weekend will have many
contests in the afternoons and evenings, along with social dancing,
and sometimes also have some classes thrown in during the day.  An
exchange is a weekend devoted solely to social dancing.  It's possible
that there may be a class or a contest, but the whole point of the
weekend is to social dance as much as humanly possible.  To find out
about your options for traveling, browse the flyer table at your local
dance, look around on the internet (try Yehoodi on Facebook), or ask
an NSS instructor for their suggestions.


That about covers it.  If you have any additional questions that
weren't addressed in this email, feel free to contact us or talk to an
NSS instructor.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Thanks for All the Feedback!

Hello!  I really appreciate how much effort everybody is putting into providing us feedback when I send out the feedback forms.  It’s incredibly useful in helping us improve the studio.  Making Lindy Hop more fun for everyone is a community effort.  None of us teachers are full time so, just like y’all, we do it for the fun and we appreciate when everybody helps try to make it awesome and giving feedback is one way to do that.  Anyway, given that people have given us so much feedback through our feedback forms, I figured I’d write a blog with some responses. Sorry in advance, it's long!

Positive stuff

A lot of people wrote very positive stuff.  I’ll include just some of it here because it makes us feel good!

Everyone at New School Swing is very approachable and down to earth, and it makes for a comfortable learning environment."

Yes!  Overall, NSS has been an awesome addition to my life.  I am so thankful that we are blessed with such a welcoming, fun community here in Boston.  

I learned a lot in the intermediate classes last month.  It is always fun to "properly" learn a move rather than just learning by doing on the social floor.  Many of the moves covered were ones I had done already, but it's awesome to learn how to make these moves feel really good rather than just "getting through it."

Just thank you.  Learning / dancing swing makes me really happy and I'm grateful that I'm able to do it.

I'll keep coming until you throw me out.

Feedback About What Makes Teachers Good
I wanted to mention that it’s incredibly useful to receive feedback on why you appreciate certain teachers.  All the teachers read the feedback forms and use that information to try to improve their teaching.

Dojo
A lot of people said interesting things about dojo.  I want to capture that here and provide some thoughts and responses.



good as is, would be great if people actually practiced stuff they learned in class. Also would be great if it were next day after class instead of a week after ;)

A lot of comments about Dojo point out that it is not at the perfect time for intermediate students.  This is true and I wish it were perfectly positioned for all levels of students.  However, we want to convert as many beginners into lifelong dancers as possible and we consider Dojo critical to make it easy to transition from a beginner to a more experienced dancer.  

I wish we could actually teach *all* of our classes on Tuesday (we could if we had a studio with multiple rooms).

Some people suggested having a second night of Dojo.  This would be pretty cool, but Dojo takes a lot of time and effort for the helpers so I’m afraid if we added another one we wouldn’t necessarily get enough helpers.  Additionally, we would have to cover more rent if we had another Dojo, so we’d have to raise prices.  But, we should keep thinking about this.  It would be pretty neat to have a place for folks to practice after each class.


Actually, now that I think about it, when we run our performance groups we've been having an hour of guided practice after the choreographies, so this is much like a second Dojo.


I find dojo quite useful for practicing new moves with students at the same level and getting feedback from instructors and more advanced students. While I appreciate the desire to encourage students to try competition and to provide practice for more advanced students, the recent changes to the dojo structure seem to infringe on its original purpose for me and decrease practice time. It might make more sense to have something like beginner dojo on Tuesdays and advanced dojo on Wednesdays.

It’s true that it eats into time for the beginners and advanced beginners.  But we want to make sure to give back to the teachers, advanced, and intermediate dancers as well and this is one good way to do it. Also, we think practice competitions give beginners a chance to watch more advanced dancers to see all the fun things that they will be able to learn if they keep dancing.

I like the idea of dojo, but it can be cliquish where the advanced students stick together instead of trying to help the beginners, and many of the beginners tend to dance with who they came with (their boyfriend or girlfriend) so partners arent often freed up.  

From 9-9:45, the helpers and teachers are there and ready to help as much as possible.  Please be assertive about getting help.  After 9:45pm we want to make sure the helpers and teachers get to work on their own dancing so they are incentivised to keep coming out.  Also, helping others is incredibly rewarding but is sometimes exhausting, so helpers sometimes need a break to work on their own dancing or just to chill.



As a follow I think it would be nice in dojo or in lessons to have a brief structured rotation with the instructors so everyone has the opportunity to see/feel the new skills we are learning with an experienced partner.  There's a ton of value in trying to figure out each of the steps with student partners, but at the end of the day I think it would reinforce the lesson to know what each skill is "supposed" to feel like.

Yeah, there’s nothing like dancing with an experienced dancer to see how something is “supposed” to work.  Hopefully most of our instructors get in rotation.  And again, being proactive about getting help at Dojo is good.  Finally, private lessons are a great way to get one on one feedback.

I really like the social quality of it.  Since moving on to intermediate classes, I haven't been able to go to dojo as often, but I have missed it.  I attribute my somewhat quick advancement to practicing at dojo.  I will admit that I have been afraid to ask instructors to dance, but overall, I love catching up with people at the Tavern in between the classes and practicing parts of the lesson with my friends.    

Yeah!  I think it’s common for folks to be intimidated by teachers.  I have felt the same in the past and still do at national events.  Remember that at Dojo they’re there specifically to help you out so they really want to be asked for help.  I have more fun at Dojo when students ask me for help because then I know they really want it.  And yeah, the Tavern is a great way for folks to get to know each other, which is super important since this is a social dance.

It would be nice for there to be a practice after intermediate, or for dojo to alternate months.  I miss dojo after being in intermediate, but I can't really devote three nights a week to dance regularly.

If we grow the scene, maybe we can maintain two dojos!

"I really like Dojo.  Dancing with strong leads is really helpful.  Sometimes it can be confusing to get feedback from so many different people - because they all give slightly different feedback.  As I figure out who the instructors are, I know to give their feedback/ tips more weight than other people I dance with.  

Yeah, it was for this reason that we decided to get the buttons so people would know how to weight different people’s feedback.  That being said, Dojo won't be nearly as great without helpers of all levels so it's great to show appreciation to everyone for their feedback.
Also, in the beginning, many things can often seem contradictory that are not, so give all feedback a chance and try to figure out how two slightly different things might actually be the same. One of the things experienced teachers gain is the ability to efficiently diagnose issues and communicate how to fix them.

For our helpers, if you're ever uncertain about the feedback you're giving, try to grab an instructor. It's OK to show uncertainty in front of students if you're uncertain.

Maybe have a "progressive" night.  Not politics...but, a night where the practice music gets faster and faster with every 5 songs or so?  I love dojo.  It's great for those who are getting "hooked" on lindy.

Great idea.  We should do that more often.  Feel free to remind me.

Money

"I had wanted to spend a lot of time this summer on Tuesdays, but my budget is tight.

We want to make Lindy Hop accessible to everyone.  If you aren’t taking classes with us because of money, talk to me and we can try to figure out a work study so you can get a discount.  

Volunteering

I hope to get more involved.

Someone wrote that and I wasn’t sure exactly what they meant, but there are lots of good ways to get involved.  BSC often needs helpers and NSS certainly needs people to help in various ways.  You can also help by working on your dancing, social dancing, and then starting to help others at Dojo.  The more we all make people feel welcome and make it easy for them to learn, the bigger and more fun our scene can get.

Video

"Would appreciate consistent opportunity to video the instructors doing what was taught in class. This could either be at end of each class, or at the end of eachfour-week series.

Feel free to ask in class for a video recap.  I think it’s a good idea.  Sometimes teachers want to cram something in and then run out of time for a video recap.  If this happens, you can always do the video recap yourself.  It’s important to try to remember everything that was taught in class anyway.  Grab somebody to video tape you and another person to dance with you and demo the moves to your own camera.  I’ve done this many times at workshops.


Adv beg curriculum
Not sure if you do this already, but specify in the class description what exactly will be taught in advanced beginner lindy series that month.

We have a new curriculum (http://blog.newschoolswing.com/2012/08/new-school-swing-advanced-beginner.html) so this will now happen.



Class Size
This month's Charleston class was a lot of fun and just the right pace. One of the concerns I've had lately is that the classes are getting too large. It might be helpful to offer two sessions if it looks like there will be a large number of students for a given month. One other problem I've had is that it's difficult to get home from work, have dinner, and get to class by 7. Even moving back to 730 would be helpful.

I’d love for people to regularly give feedback on class sizes.  If they are consistently big, we can split into multiple classes.  Because there is some variation, we could potentially lose money if we have too many classes and not enough students and it’s important to us to compensate our teachers well for what they do.  Additionally, we have a limited number of teachers, all of whom have full time jobs, so we can teach too many nights of the week.  Hopefully the number of dancers, students, and teachers will grow with time.

Also, I know the 7pm start time can be rough.  I’ve often wished we could simultaneously run the beginner and advanced beginner classes.  But we don’t want the beginner class to run too late and we want as many classes on the Dojo night as possible.

The beginner sessions start pretty late so it can be an investment to not get home until midnight on a Tues. for an entire month.

Yeah, this is a related issue as above.  I guess it would be nice to be able to run both classes from 7:30-8:30 and then Dojo from 8:30-10, but we only have one room at the studio.

Talking and other Things Teachers Do Well (or could do better)
Like I said earlier, it’s great for folks to give feedback on what teachers are doing well and what they can be doing better.

A lot of people emphasized teachers efficiently using class time:

I think the instructors could have talked less and covered more material.

I like the classes a lot, but sometimes there is too much talk and not enough dance.  Class discussions are awesome, but I don't think during class is the right time for a 15 min talk

It is very difficult to rank instructors...I really feel as if each one has taught me a lot.  I think the best teachers are those who keep the chatting to a minimum during class and really leave lots of time for dancing.  

And this comment talks about the importance of teachers getting in rotation

But I will say the best instructors take the time to dance with each student and give individual feedback.  

This is interesting:

Also, it would be nice to see song lists on the website for the different instructors.  While there are lists, it doesn't reflect the diverse selection of all the instructors.

That would indeed be pretty cool, but it takes effort so I don’t know if or when we can prioritize that.  You could consider talking to various teachers about what artists and recordings they like.  Many of us like to geek out about that kind of stuff.  Maybe you can even convince a teacher to write a blog post about music.

On things someone likes about teachers:

"1) they give very clear instructions and break down the moves in an easy way to grasp.
2) they give a clear recap at the end to video.
3) they repeat things enough times."

Good ideas.

In regards to what they like about teachers:

they often emphasize learning by doing, rather than learning by exposition. I like the ""crash and burn, then fix"" approach: doing the moves over and over again and getting the feel for them, then refining. This approach works well for me.

I totally agree and is something I try to do in my own teaching and appreciate as a student.  Joe Demers from Denver takes this to an extreme where he demos the move several times and has people copy without giving any explanation.  Once people try it, he demos again.  After the second time people try it for a while he provides some verbal guidance to focus on things people missed.

Workshops
Any chance you could bring some folks to town to do workshops or a residency?  Stephen Sayer & Chandrea Roettig? Sharon Davis?  Kevin St.Laurent?  Evita Acre (I think that's her name)?

We haven’t yet organized any workshops.  Tony & Aurelie often organize workshops and Stan and July bring people in for Balboa.  It takes a lot of work (in additional to financial risk) to make this happen and we’re already working pretty hard at the studio.  But, if there’s someone you’d really like to see come to Boston, keep pestering us and maybe we can make it happen.  So kudos to Tony & Aurelie and Stan and July and others who bring folks in already!

Misc
Bring back name tags for the students.  It saves time when rotating and keeps the noise level down.  Since there are many who are repeat customers, you might consider some permanent name tags.  But keep them at NSS.

I’m so bad about remembering to buy nametages.  If you really want them, bring them and we’ll suggest people wear them. :)

Thanks again
Finally, I just want to say thanks again for giving us feedback! Even if we don't incorporate your ideas right away, they will influence us in the long term. And if you want to talk in more detail about this stuff, come find me sometime or email me and ask me to come to the tavern in between classes.

Friday, August 3, 2012

New School Swing Advanced Beginner Curriculum

For quite a while we've wanted to create a more defined curriculum for New School Swing. Finally, after working with all our instructors we've created something that we think will be great for both our students and teachers. (Thanks to Gina for organizing all of our ideas into a cohesive structure and thanks to all the instructors for contributing).


The goal in creating a curriculum is to provide focus for our students for improving as efficiently as possible while still having lots of fun during the process.  Our teachers will still have flexibility in all classes so no class will ever be taught the same twice.  Remember that how much you learn is on you as a student, so if you work hard and ask for a lot of feedback at dojo and/or in private lessons, you can easily get into the intermediate classes after taking all of these advanced beginner classes.  However, if you want to be more casual about it, you can take the advanced beginner class cycle multiple times before moving on to our intermediate classes.

Anyway, here's the class list:

  • Advanced Beginner Charleston: Hand-to-Hand and More
  • Advanced Beginner Vocabulary: Swingout Variations, Styling and More
  • Advanced Beginner Technique: Mixing 6s & 8s, Musicality, and More
  • Advanced Beginner Charleston: Tandem and More
  • Advanced Beginner Vocabulary: Turns, Breaks, and More
  • Advanced Beginner Technique: Momentum, Stretch, and More
  • Advanced Beginner Solo
The titles are a little bit vague but we'll eventually have videos summarizing the content of each class. In all of the classes we'll be working on connection technique and musicality in addition to all of the vocabulary. I'm excited that Gina decided to add a solo class to the advanced beginner rotation. Working on solo dancing is one of the best ways to improve your dancing as a whole.

Also, as students progress into intermediate, we love when they stick around for advanced beginner classes too. Having more experienced dancers in class makes it easier for newer dancers to learn fast. Additionally it gets people out to Dojo.