Levels and Prerequisites

Appropriate Skill Policy and Pre-Requisites

The UCBDC believes that the best learning environment is created when students are taught in a manner commensurate with their abilities, so that they are capable of improving gradually while absorbing and learning the material without undue stress.

Our teaching method relies on switching partners during class. This allows singles to join the club yet still be assured of dancing with a partner of comparable skill level. In order to do so, students in each class need to be at a more or less the same level of skill and expertise. This will allow the syllabus to be designed to benefit each level to the maximum possible extent. Instructors will be able to focus on skills needed by the average student in the class.

The appropriate skill policy was therefore established to ensure that classes are made of students who are at the same or close to the same level of abilities. To that end, a list of pre-requisites was developed to help students evaluate their skill level and prepare for the AUDITION required for everyone who is applying to be a student in Social 2, 3 or 4; Country 2; or Silver and Gold International.

The only exemption available from the required AUDITION is granted to those students who are RE-REGISTEING in classes that they have attended in the previous Session (2016-2017).  Attendance must be proven by being on the list of registered students for that session. Drop-ins are not recorded as full attendance or as a registration, and are therefore not eligible for being exempted from the AUDITION.

In the Autumn of 2017, Level 4 is new and as such all students wishing to register in it MUST AUDITION.

As an example: If a student was registered in level 2 in 2016-2017 and wishes to register in level 2 in 2017-2018, he/she will be exempt from the requirement to audition. However, an audition would be required if the student wishes to apply to join level 3.

The implementation of many aspects of the Appropriate Skill system started in 2016-2017. Students registering in that session, were evaluated and appraised and were asked to join the appropriate class. Prior years did not have the same system and it would not be fair to our members of 2016-2017 if students were granted exemptions from auditioning, on the basis of registration in classes prior to 2016-2017.

Starting in 2017-2018, students returning after an absence of a year or more from being registered in classes with the club will be required to audition for any level higher than level 1.

Auditions will consist of 1 to 4 couples dancing the core dances in front of the Club Professional. Those without a partner will have a partner provided from the Teaching Assistant ranks. The Audition will take place on the specified day of the schedule listed elsewhere on website

The pre-requisite skills will consist of general requirements and figure/pattern requirement. The figures and patterns may or may not be altered from year to year, depending on what was taught in the previous year. Any changes will be announced through email and on the website.

The required pre-requisites that need to be demonstrated in an audition are listed below. The patterns are an indicator of what is required and expected. It is understood that an audition may not allow sufficient time to demonstrate all the patterns. The ability to lead and follow, displaying the character and movement of a dance, is expected at the appropriate level (noted below) while executing any of the patterns.

General Prerequisites Social/Country  Level 2

  • You are a good, basic social/country dancer
  • You have an understanding of the basic character and movement of each dance taught in level 1 (eg. Waltz floats and Two Step smoothly travels around the dance floor, while Cha Cha is a more stationary, latin influenced dance)
  • You have the ability to dance the MAJORITY of the basic figures of EACH dance taught in level one with such elements as:
    1. correct timing
    2. good posture, frame and tone and the ability to use these to effectively lead/follow
    3. good basic foot work (heel lead verses toe lead etc.)
    4. the ability to apply line of dance and general floor craft rules
Basic Social Figures expected before moving to Level 2
Waltz Rumba East Coast Swing Foxtrot Cha Cha
Box Step Box Basic in open position Basic Side basic
Left Turning Box Left turning Box Basic in closed position Rock turn to Left Progressive basic
Progressive/Change steps Side basic Basics turning right and left and simple transfers between open and closed positions Sway step Crossover breaks
Balance steps/Hesitations 5th position breaks Lady’s underarm turns to (her) right and left Promenade Walk around turns
Box with underarm turn Cross over breaks Cuddle/Wrap Promenade underarm turn Outside partner breaks
Balance/Hesitation and box Outside partner breaks Hammerlock/ Wringer Backwards basic Simple chase (progressive basic with no hands)
Balance steps with underarm turn Back hand change (man’s turn) Box step Lady’s underarm turn to (her) R

 

Basic Country Figures expected before moving to Level 2
Two Step Night Club Triple Two Step Cha Cha
Basic Basic Basic Side Basic
Promenade Flat spin – lady’s underarm turn to her right Lady’s flare (zig zagging basic) Forward and back basic
Lady’s outside turn Side travelling basic Lady’s flare with underarm turn to her right (outside turn) Cross over breaks
Lady’s inside turn from promenade Left turning basic Right turning loop Outside partner breaks
Wrap and walk out Left turning basic with lady’s inside turn (to her left) Right turning loop with lady’s underarm turn to her right (outside) Fifth position breaks
Wrap and check turn out Right turning basic Basket Walk around turns for man and lady
1/2 couple rotation R Right turning basic with lady’s outside turn (to her right) Left turning loop Open break and underarm turn
Couple rotation R Walk around underarm turn Left turning loop with lady’s underarm turn to her left (inside turn) Underarm turns for man and lady
Sweetheart and free spin out Lace Wrap 3 cha cha chas forwards and backwards
Grapevine Cross body lead

 

Prerequisites Social Level 3

  • You have mastered your basics and a variety of figures in multiple dances and are now an intermediate level social dancer.
  • You have a more in-depth knowledge of the character and movement of the various dances taught in level 2 (eg. Waltz uses rise and fall, long strides and rotations to portray the couple elegantly swooping and gliding across the floor)
  • You have the ability to dance the MAJORITY of figures of each dance taught in level 2 in addition to the basics from level 1 (see prerequisites for Social 2) with such elements as:
    1. correct timing
    2. good posture, frame and tone and a more in-depth application of these with regards to leading/following
    3. enhanced footwork (use of supporting foot, elevation etc.)
    4. beginner level of various expressive elements such as: cuban motion, rise and fall, arm styling etc.
    5. effective floor craft and pattern combinations
Figures expected before moving to Level 3
Waltz Rumba East Coast Swing Cha Cha Foxtrot
Simple twinkle Cross body lead Double face loop Cross body lead Zig zags inline
Face to face and back to back Cross over and side rocks Back hand change with “swim” variation Chase turns Zig zags outside partner
Face to face and back to back from box with underarm turn Cross body lead to open Cuban walks Tuck and free spins with L to R or R to R hand holds 3 cha cha chas Rock turn to right
Turn return Open break to lady’s underarm turn Hand slide Double cross overs with flick/check and walk around turn Simple twinkle
Right box Shoulder catch Sugar push Chase challenges Promenade twinkles (promenade to counter promenade and back to promenade)
Cradle circle Double overhead

 

Prerequisites Social Level 4

  • You are an seasoned, intermediate plus level dancer who is ready for a challenge
  • You have refined the characters and typical movements of a variety of dances and now easily use elements such as cuban motion, rise and fall, and arm styling to express yourself on the dance floor
  • You have the ability of dance a variety of intermediate level figures (see also prerequisites for levels 2 and 3) in multiple dances with such elements such as
    1. correct timing and perhaps some basic phrasing abilities
    2. very good posture, frame and tone and effective lead/follow skills
    3. refined footwork and improved balance and settling of weight
    4. intermediate level of expressive elements such as : cuban motion, rise and fall etc.
    5. good use of pattern combinations and good floor craft
Figures expected before moving to Level 4
Waltz Rumba (pieces of much longer figures) East Coast Swing Foxtrot Cha Cha
Open left box/turn Crossover breaks to cuban rocks Double face loop Promenade pivot Crossover flick to side break
Open left box/turn with lady’s inside turn Crossover breaks to cuban rock and syncopated ending Face loop and pivots, simply ending in closed position Open basics (passing feet) – box rhythm and basic rhythm Crossover flick combination
Open twinkle Lady’s underarm turn to her L, with man’s side break Wrist spins with regular timing Open left box/turn Cross body pull back
Flip flops/passing twinkles Lady’s underarm turn to her L, with man’s side break under Man’s R and her L arm AND into 5th position break keeping the R hand to L hand hold Wrist spins with additional hold ball change timing Twinkle and open finish Shadow positon (cross body leads to left shadow position)
Open right turn Open break to lady’s outside swivels and man’s cuban rocks, lady’s spiral to cuddle position and then turn out to box Sugar push to double overhead and hand slide Promenade twist Shadow position with crossbody pull back action

 

Prerequisites International Silver

  • You are an intermediate level dancer. You have experience and knowledge of many of the figures in the International Bronze syllabus OR have completed a year of level 3 in the social program and are comfortable using closed (body contact position) in the ballroom dances
  • You have refined the characters and typical movements of a variety of dances and now easily use elements such as hip action, rise and fall, and arm styling to express yourself on the dance floor
  • You have the ability to dance a variety of intermediate level figures in multiple dances with such elements such as
    1. correct timing
    2. good posture, frame and tone and effective lead/follow skills
    3. refined footwork and improved balance and weight transfers
    4. intermediate level of expressive elements – hip action, rise and fall etc.
    5. good use of pattern combinations and good floor craft
Figures expected before taking Silver
Waltz Rumba Foxtrot Cha Cha Tango
Natural turn Basic movements Feather step Basic movements Walks
Change steps/ closed changes New Yorks Three step New Yorks Progressive side step
Reverse turn Spot turns/Underarm turns Natural turn Spot turns/Underarm turns Progressive link
Natural spin turn Shoulder to shoulder Reverse turn Shoulder to shoulder Closed promenade
Whisks, forwards and backwards Hand to hand Closed impetus and feather finish Hand to hand Rock turn
Chasse from promenade position Progressive rocks Natural weave Three cha cha chas Open reverse turn, Lady outside
Closed Impetus Fan Change of Directon Fan Back corte
Hesitation change Alemana Alemana Open reverse turn, lady inline
Outside change Hockey stick Hockey stick Left foot and right foot rocks
Progressive chasse to right Natural opening out movement Natural opening out movement Twist turn

Prerequisites International Gold

  • You are an seasoned, intermediate + level dancer. You have have taken the Silver class, preferably for a minimum of 2 years AND feel confident with the material presented OR you have other dance experience and are confident with the majority of the figures in both the International Bronze and Silver syllabus (see also Silver prerequisites)
  • You have refined the characters and typical movements of a variety of dances and now easily use elements such as various hip actions, rise and fall, sway and arm styling to express yourself on the dance floor
  • You have the ability to dance a variety of intermediate level figures in multiple dances with such elements such as
    1. correct timing and some basic phrasing
    2. very good posture, frame and tone and effective lead/follow skills
    3. refined footwork and improved balance and settling of weight
    4. intermediate level of expressive elements – hip action, rise and fall etc.
    5. very good use of pattern combinations and good floor craft
Figures expected before taking Gold
Waltz Rumba Foxtrot Cha Cha Tango
Double Reverse spin Opening out right and left Open impetus Cuban breaks and split cuban breaks Progressive side step reverse turn
Reverse pivot Closed hip twist Closed telemark Closed hip twist Open promenade
Weaves, basic and from promenade Open hip twist Open Telemark Open hip twist Natural promenade turn
Open impetus Fan (Development) Hover telemark Fan (Development) Promenade link
Closed telemark Natural top Natural telemark Natural top Four step
Open telemark Reverse top Hover cross Reverse top Four step change
Cross hesitation Aida Outside swivel Aida Brush tap
Wing Spiral Weaves, basic and from promenade Spiral Back open promenade
Turning lock Curl Top spin Curl Fallaway promenade
Outside spin Rope spinning Reverse wave Rope spinning Outside Swivels

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