Ballroom Dance > Has anyone ever achieved gold status on most of the 10 styles in 1 year?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by carlosyabrudy, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. carlosyabrudy

    carlosyabrudy Member

    I'm just curious about progression and how other people have obtained the progress they have. How many years does it normally take via the average dancer to be proficient enough for them to compete openly rather than bound by syllabus competitions?
  2. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    To memorize the steps is certainly possible, but I might compare your question to this one:
    "Has anyone become fluent in Chinese in one year?" Of course it can be done, but to really understand the true depth of the dance (or culture) cannot be achieved in one year. As for competition, you can enter open gold at any time, but you won't beat people who have been trained for many years by top coaches. It will take a lot more than one year.
  3. rels77

    rels77 Active Member

    Getting to gold or open competitively takes years- I've been taking 5-8 private lessons a week for 4 years and just got to open in one style. And I moved quickly.

    It also depends on what you define as dancing competitively. Are you talking am-am or pro-am.
    carlosyabrudy likes this.
  4. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Somebody somewhere here has advocated for going straight to Open rather than working through syllabus first. That violates my sense of an orderly universe, but...
  5. flying_backwards

    flying_backwards Active Member

    I suspect you really want to hear the maximum rate, not the average rate.

    An imprecise guesstimate would be the maximum progression rate to expect for a young, fit, talented, dedicated leader in an am-am couple would be one syllabus level per year, if they take frequent (ie weekly or more) private lessons and practice regularly with feedback both solo and with partners. That's 1 year each for Newcomer, Bronze, Silver, Gold before entering Novice, the first of the Open levels.

    The average (the mean) is heavily weighted by the bottom of the pyramid. Very few dancers gain silver level proficiency. So, the average dancer never reaches Open. The median dancer never reaches Open.

    Maybe you mean of those dancers who do reach Open, on average, how long did it take them. I was curious about this myself so I mined the data of o2cm (a place where results are searchable) and saw that the intercollegiate dancers tend to move up faster than the senior dancers. Not an earth-shattering conclusion. Applied to yourself, judging from your photo on DF, you might progress faster than average due to youth.

    I will take it you mean "to be competitive at the Open level", since anyone is allowed to enter a higher level than their proficiency.

    But the real question here carlosyabrudy is "Why would you want to pass thru the syllabus levels rapidly?"

    Enjoy the journey. Syllabus was designed to guide and measure learning. If you think dancing Open will allow you more freedom to express yourself, be aware of the required prerequisite skill: ability to execute intended action.

    I'm so glad you asked! Another chance to climb on my favorite soap box and howl. :)
  6. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    It's going to depend on a lot of factors. Previous dance experience, natural mastery of coordination, balance and control, grace. Competing in open isn't about the steps. It's the quality of movement, musicality and artistry, partnership... things you learn while doing the syllabus.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    as others have said, this depends upon entirely too many factors to answer....

    what country are you in?
    are you talking am/am?
    how often are you taking lessons?
    what is the calibre of your instruction?
    what are your goals?

    I have seen plenty of folks move fairly rapidly...some to good effect, some not....

    as a pro/am dancer, I have danced for 12 years, taking 6-8 lessons a week 3/4 of the time, with average to excellent instruction most of the time, dancing 4 styles (19 dances 3/4 of the time)...I am now dancing open in two styles and making the finals often enough to feel some measure of reassurance.....
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  8. SwayWithMe

    SwayWithMe Well-Known Member

    Corollary question (and I do understand that progress depends on many factors):

    Do am-am dancers progress through syllabus faster than pro-am, as far as placing decently in competition? It would appear so, but my experience is that it is easier to know what's my own fault in pro-am.
    carlosyabrudy likes this.
  9. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Am-am you can practice together more because it doesn't cost so much. And you're sharing expenses, so you can afford to do more.

    Unless you're doing pro-am with an unlimited budget.
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  10. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    You can practice am-am together much more IME, but as has been said, you better be practicing things correctly.

    Former partner and I practiced 3 or more times a week together, but there were times when we stopped a session b/c we just weren't sure about something. No point building incorrect muscle memory. And frankly now and then we were quite sure we had something right only to get spanked by Teach come next lesson.

  11. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I am going out on a limb here and assuming he is dancing am/am in the UK.

    He used the word "whilst" in another post. There is only one country that uses that word... and since he just started, he is not a pro. And there is zero to none pro-am going on there. So am-am in the UK for the win!!!
  12. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Just my experience, but I've seen that am-am dancers here in the States tend to progress through syllabus faster than pro-ams. *But* ... that that has more to do with the competition structure than anything else. That is, that the overall strengths of field aren't wildly out of whack, but the fact that most pro-am comps only have bronze, silver and open scholarship levels really encourages students to not rush through bronze and silver. Whereas when you have events in gold, novice and pre-champ, there's more room for incremental advancement.

    All imo, ymmv and other applicable acronyms.
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  13. carlosyabrudy

    carlosyabrudy Member

    I attended an ISTD event this weekend and got to speak to a few of the guys regards progression including Simon Cruwys who also joined in on the figure combination lessons taught by a few of the professional couples who came to lecture.

    I am dancing in the UK in London.
    I bombard myself with all materials available in DVD form and Youtube for help with seeing different people speak about the figures eg Egils Smagris and the rest... I find them helpful for learning some of the steps on my own in the open room I have. Just to go armed to class/lessons with more in my head.

    Reason for question for timing is that I believe in the extra-ordinary being possible with a mixture of intelligence, self awareness, very high energy levels, processing information and translating into movement, music background, dance experience from previous and sky high determination without pressure or frustration if a figure is not danced correctly the first attempt around. Whether it takes 1 or 50 attempts in a row it is all done without any hesitation to immediately try again until it is right. Repetition = muscle memory and same with playing music, if something is done correctly and slowly it can THEN be sped up to be correct and quick.

    Goals are to compete in the same leagues as Arunas Bizokas and the other guys out there. My mind is set on this and the only way this is changing is death.
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well...okay...not going to be a dream crusher here....but um, if your plan is to run with the big dogs, you may need to consider a few things...many of those guys were dancing as soon as they could walk ....and, you are going to need QUITE a bit of money and some equally determined partners
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  15. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    I believe it is possible to do things a good deal quicker than most... but going from zero to gold in multiple styles in a year seems extremely unlikely. Even in one style is likely a reach, unless you're dancing full time - and not working or having to worry about things like housekeeping, making rent, etc.

    If you want to do things quicker - FOCUS. Pick one style, a good private instructor who you trust, and practice the fundamentals correctly and ad nauseum... alone, then with a partner. A partner who is more advanced than you will also help accelerate the process (and as a gent, you might get one of those). Take notes after practices and lessons, and review your notes often. Watch those that are better than you, and try to pick out why they are better.

    Try to keep in mind that it's one thing to expose yourself to great and varied sources of information, it's quite another to internalize and be able to integrate it with what you already know. IMHO, you'd be better served by spending practice time consolidating and mastering what you've learned... then add more, then rinse and repeat.

    (<< Gets off soapbox.)
  16. carlosyabrudy

    carlosyabrudy Member

    Mr. Fascination... money is not an issue....
    AS for those that dance from the day they leave the womb, time is entirely subjective.... there are guys who have trained in sports like mixed martial arts for 3-4 years who are beating guys who have fought for 20 years at different styles. I appreciate the difference but the two options are:
    1. Do everything possible and devote as much mind space and time towards learning efficiently and march forward continuously. If one fails then at least one did everything they could to achieve and no regret can come of this..
    2. Be pessimistic and limit development via one's own self doubt or other negative qualities... which only leads to thoughts that include the words Should have and Could Have....

    I choose number 1 :)

    I was just curious about any phenoms that exist in the sport... or are there any pro couples who also have not been dancing for an equally long amount of time compared to those around them and do well? I am not saying that it is necessary to win 1st place as judging on the day relies on the opinion of the judges and performance on the day... but to achieve being in the semi-final or final is an achievement within itself I think. As long as I do everything that I can do and right.... then obtaining higher placing is an outcome of the hard work.

    Just speaking from the mindset of an athlete...
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  17. carlosyabrudy

    carlosyabrudy Member

    Thank you Fancyfeet.
    This is the advise of my teacher also. I will do :)
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  18. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    I have watched a very dedicated "natural" athlete progress significantly faster than one would think possible. You need to remain very open to input because at the moment, and for a long time, you will not understand the depth of what you do not yet know.
    Dean, SwayWithMe, FancyFeet and 3 others like this.
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I appreciate your passion and your determination...I would still maintain that dance at the highest levels is far more nuanced than you might imagine, particularly within a a way that is somewhat different than athleticism
    Dean and IndyLady like this.
  20. carlosyabrudy

    carlosyabrudy Member

    I want to thank you all for your responses. I however don't want anybody to think that I am trivializing the depth and detail and intricacy that is involved. The more I advance through this exactly as RiseNFall has said... the more that I realise that I do not know yet (More known less understood)... I have a lot of hard work to go through and know it will take a while but nevertheless.... It's exciting to say the least...
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