Ballroom Dance > Independence Day Ball for Bronze Dancer?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by ballroomdancer1211, May 18, 2014.

  1. ballroomdancer1211

    ballroomdancer1211 New Member

    Hey Guys,

    I'm a bit new to ballroom dancing and am currently a bronze dancer. I decided to sign up for this year's IDB camp, but I'm feeling a bit anxious as it seems that most of the dancers that typically attend the camp are advanced (silver, gold, pre-champ etc) dancers.

    For those who have attended the camp in the past, are there any bronze dancers there? Will I be completely out of place and behind/have the lessons go over my head?

    Can anyone also give a description of how the lessons are formatted ? I know that the camp is primarily focused on technique but I'm assuming you need to know certain figures for the technique to be applicable--- so in the case of dancing and rotating with other dancers during lessons (which I've heard is how it's typically done), should I be expected to know certain figures going in?

    I'm really hoping the camp will help me improve and ideally be a high bronze/silver dancer. I'm just a bit worried as I don't want the camp to be more discouraging if I'm not well prepared.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

  2. Dr Dance

    Dr Dance Well-Known Member

    During my dance weekends, there is often a wide disparity of dance levels of students within the group classes that are labelled A B C (translation: all levels). Teachers have ways of dealing with this issue. The instructors at the Independence Day camp should be no different.

    All instructors tend to start their lesson with basics to warm up. Then they will move on to more advanced concepts. One of the best comments that I've ever heard came from one instructor, (addressing the beginners in the group) "Please just take what you can from my lesson. If a section becomes too frustrating, separate yourself from the group to go and work on what I have already taught that you could understand." That is a demanding request because some students will just try to plow through too advanced material anyway and end up frustrated despite themselves.

    Try to get a flier from the camp that lists all of the classes for the week. Some classes may be labelled something like "bronze on up" or "silver on up." Choose accordingly.

    Your flier may also have a phone number to call to make reservations or answer questions. Call and express your concerns to a camp representative. I'm sure that they can help!
  3. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Loki likes this.
  4. 5678dance

    5678dance Active Member

    I attended my first IDB camp as a bronze dancer (I think..... either bronze or low silver) and there were certainly times when I thought to myself..... oh, i wish i knew that move...... but honestly, the benefits FAR outweigh those thoughts and feelings. You will be more than fine! I learned so much, and the camp definitely made me a better dancer-- and you will learn so much, too!!! Have fun, don't worry about your level, just enjoy it :)
    Bailamosdance and dlliba10 like this.
  5. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    With regard to class structure, that will depend largely upon the instructor. Some have you do rotating partner work, some do solo exercises, some lecture, etc. But there's usually a large variety, and there is definitely a lot of benefit for a bronze dancer!
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  6. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    Like the two above, I attended my first (and only) IDB as a bronze-ish dancer (realistically, I was closer to a newcomer in my understanding and application of technique). I found the technique-oriented classes really helpful for getting different verbiage explaining the same things my coach was telling me, because some of them stuck a lot better with a new approach. Almost every class that worked with a move I had never done before did at least a demo or two of it before we started working on applying a technique or dynamic to it.

    You'll definitely benefit, though I will qualify that there were some definite dud classes when I went...not every class will give you something you can immediately apply in your dancing, and that's ok, because you'll leave with way more information than you can hope to apply in the next year-plus (and I only went for two days!).
    5678dance likes this.
  7. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    I don't think anyone has mentioned this yet, but here is my one piece of advice. Though I have yet to attend a workshop at IDB, I have been to many other workshop type events in the WCS community. BRING A NOTEBOOK! You will not be able to remember everything from every single workshop you attend. It is not possible. Try and right everything done right after the class, that way you will remember 90% of the information that was presented in the workshop.
    s2k, Dancing Irishman and 5678dance like this.
  8. Mengu

    Mengu Well-Known Member

    I thought there were plenty of bronze dancers at the IDB (and even some pre-bronze I think), the year that I went. There is definitely a wide array of levels. My recommendation would be to make sure you do know your bronze syllabus, so during the foxtrot workshop, when they start doing feather step, reverse turn, feather finish, three step, you're not wasting time trying to learn choreography, and can jump in and start trying the technique. You may want to avoid workshops that specifically say "advanced" as they may go a bit beyond bronze, but you always have multiple options in each slot, so scheduling around those workshops shouldn't be difficult, especially if you dance more than one style.

    As mentioned, instructors have different styles, some do more of a lecture, some get you dancing right away, it can also depend on the topic. There is no set format.

    Five days of immersion in dance lectures and workshops certainly helps dancers of just about any level, though you won't necessarily go from "bronze to silver" over one week. But the week will certainly implant new ideas and concepts into your head that you can work on, to get you there.
  9. ballroomdancer1211

    ballroomdancer1211 New Member

    Thanks so much everyone for all your replies. I'm feeling a bit better. I've been meeting with a few advanced dancers in my town to get more experience with new figures/steps and just get a better idea of what it may feel like to dance with higher level dancers, so hopefully that'll help.

    Thanks again!
  10. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    That is also a big plus for this Camp in particular - the 'vibe' and atmosphere is very conducive to making friends and hanging out - the Camp-ers are supportive and you will find they will be very helpful to you. Also, there are a number of events that are very social as well, and the 'downtime' will give you lots of time to discuss and enjoy...
    dlliba10 likes this.
  11. Ruslan Wilder

    Ruslan Wilder New Member

    Hey, guys me and my wife Katusha are the new organizers of 2017 Independence Day Ball Dance Camp! If you have any questions about IDB. Pleas feel free to write your comments or questions! We will do our best to answer. Looking forward to having you at the largest DanceSport Camp in USA! Thank you.

    Ruslan and Katusha Wilder
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  12. IlyZislin

    IlyZislin Active Member

    Hey there - I'm the former organizer of IDB for many many years - so my response maybe a bit bias :) But the structure of the camp we created and Russ and Katusha are continuing is to enable dancers of all levels to benefit from the information that instructors of the highest level provide. I would echo and earlier comment about treating this as a very serious educational experience, taking notes, etc. Additionally, definitely think about having comfortable clothes and shoes (dance sneakers). 5 days is a lot of dancing!
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  13. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    No problem. I hope some of those notes will be posted on dance forums. Dance knowledge is most valuable when it is spread! :)
  14. Ruslan Wilder

    Ruslan Wilder New Member

    We will do the best we can. So please ask away any questions. Thank you Ily and Elena for originally creating such fantastic camp and giving us an opportunity to continue and grow this camp into the Biggest DanceSport Camp in USA.
    DanceMentor and Bailamosdance like this.

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