It’s September and we have had a flush of registrations in the past few weeks! We have also had lots of questions about levels. It can be hard it know where to put yourself, but getting this decision right will make your weekend so much more enjoyable, and you will progress faster if you are in the right track for your experience. Check out Team BBB’s top tips for choosing your level.
Be clear about your goals
Do you want an intensive weekend of learning, or something more laid-back so you can enjoy the socials? Are you hoping to get the big picture, or are you working on finessing the details? Think about what you want from this weekend and choose the track that will help you achieve this. If you are a strong lindy hopper with little blues experience, working on fundamentals and aesthetics will help you become a great blues dancer faster than learning a lot of moves. If you want to improve your body movement, the solo track will have the strongest focus on this. For those who want to focus on the art of lead and follow, the yellow track offers plenty of opportunity to work on moves and dynamics.
Read the track descriptions
They are there for a reason! Did you know the BBB red and yellow tracks are of a similar level? Most students think red is a beginner stream, but the red track is actually pitched similarly to the yellow. If you read the descriptions closely you will see one focuses on moves and vocabulary, the other is more about movement and aesthetics. Of course you will still get plenty of both whichever track you choose – so why the difference? Dancers learn in different ways – some prefer to jump in at the deep end with moves and vocabulary, and will think about quality of movement further down the line. Others like to go slowly, perfecting aesthetics as they go along. Read the descriptions, and know what you’re getting in for!
Be realistic about your experience
If you underestimate your skills, you will probably find the pace of the class too slow and the level of other students frustrating. If you overestimate your level, the other students and teachers will be frustrated by you! Think about your skills objectively and how they match up to the class descriptions.
Our favourite London blues teacher Adamo Ciarallo says, ‘As a dancer you should go with your instinct and register for the level you think you belong to regardless of your friends’ level. Put yourself wherever you think you belong and be responsible for it.’ Remember that it takes time to create a dancer, so go at a pace that suits you. ‘My suggestion for every student is to enjoy the learning experience without rushing to become an “advanced” dancer. Enjoy the journey and every single step you take. So cheesy but so true!’