The Beginner's Road to Intermediate
Many new dancers question if they’re ready to move on to the intermediate class. Here’s what you should know before you do. If there’s something you don’t recognize, something you need to work on, or if you’re unsure if you’re ready, please let the instructors know (preferably before the lesson). However, also keep in mind that dancing is about fun. If you aren’t having fun, we’re doing something wrong!
You should be comfortable dancing each of the following patterns socially with strangers.
The beginner class will not cover every one of these patterns each week. Instead, it cycles through them. If you come continually for a few weeks, it will cover what you need to know.
Beyond the Patterns
Patterns are a tiny part of being a good dancer – even for leads. We try to make the beginner class accessible to newcomers each week, so there will be some repeated patterns. This is not a time to be bored or to feel like you’ve mastered everything the beginner class can teach you – it's a perfect opportunity to work on higher-level concepts. Here are just some of them.
Important for Everyone
- Basic rhythms – Walk-walk (1 · 2) and triple (1 · & · 2).
- Up and down beats – Break the music into 2’s.
- Stretch and compression – Connect to your partner using your body position over your feet.
- Maintaining frame – Connect the movement of your arms to your back.
Important for Leads
- Creating safe space – Know what space you're asking your follow to fill.
- Creating momentum – Send and catch your follow with deliberate direction and speed.
- Clarity and specificity – Be clear and specific with your movements.
Important for Follows
- Filling space – Feel where the lead is creating space and move into it.
- Momentum – Accept the momentum given by the lead and maintain it until redirected.
- Patience – Wait for your lead to move and don’t anticipate.
Bonus for Everyone
- Rolling through the feet – Smooth out your dance and fill time.
- Using the floor – Use the floor instead of falling through space.
- Styling with angles – Adjust your body angles while dancing without changing connection.
Don't forget to have fun with all of this and don't be intimidated. We were all new once. We also love to discuss dance, so if you feel you aren't improving, we are here to help.