You’ll probably remember from your time as a beginner, that there were always lots of higher level dancers taking part in the beginner class who were a great help to you.
Now that YOU are the intermediate or advanced dancer, how about you return the favour by using the beginner class as your warm up for the night?
Not only can it be your warm up, but you’ll be helping the beginners out, plus you might even still pick up some more tips and techniques that you missed when you were still struggling with your beginner moves.
Whilst executing moves that you can do with your eyes closed, you can be concentrating on your own techniques and styling, not to mention meeting a few new people.
So, beginner classes can still be fun when you’re not a beginner!
Progress from Intermediate to Advanced
If you’ve been at intermediate level for a while, and are looking for that next challenge, you have many options to improve your dancing:
- Check out our Teachers This Week page to see where your upcoming Intermediate/Advanced class is being held so you can participate in some more challenging classes (see below for details on how to get your I/A Card)
- Try some Private Lessons. Think about what you want to focus on, and discuss your needs with your favourite teacher.
- Workshops are also a great way to improve. Various workshops are held throughout the year – choose those applicable to you.
- Think about learning a choreographed routine – whether or not you’re a born performer, learning a routine is a great way to improve your dancing – check out our Routines page for details.
- Have you thought about choreographing a routine yourself? There’s an annual opportunity to enter your choreography in the Championships either as a couple or a team – so why not go for it? Talk to some of our choreographers about their experience and see if you can get some hints and tips from the experts.
- If choreography’s not your thing, how about just finding yourself a regular partner and starting to train for the Championships anyway? Whilst of course dancing with multiple partners is what Modern Jive is all about, taking the opportunity to work with one partner will discipline and motivate you to get to the higher level – not to mention bring you the thrill of competing!
- Maybe you think you’re ready to take to the stage by assisting with shows, class demonstrating and dance guiding, or even one day teaching? We can’t promise anything, but if this is something you think you could be good at, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Intermediate/Advanced Card
You can really improve your dancing by participating in our I/A Card system. Every dancer who has progressed beyond intermediate level may request, or will be offered the opportunity for, an appraisal from any of our I/A teachers.
Each I/A class is divided into I/A and intermediate level dancers and the I/A Card system allows you to really find out where you are at with your dance level, as each appraisal is conducted according to a set criteria. Once you have your I/A Card, you are entitled to join in the class rotation with other dancers at I/A level and above.
Of course there is also no pressure to get an I/A Card. As long as you have participated in AT LEAST 8 weeks of beginner classes and are a competent freestyle dancer you can join in the intermediate rotational lines in the I/A class and take on the challenge of the higher level class. Most teachers will provide a couple of alternative variations on the more tricky moves, to cater for the intermediate dancers.
Where and When are Intermediate/Advanced Classes Held?
I/A classes are held every week at Willoughby apart from on the first Thursday of the month when it is a standard intermediate class. I/A classes are also usually held at Concord on the first Wednesday of the month. Keep an eye on the Teachers This Week page for up to date information.
MasterClass Mondays at Club Willoughby are also suitable for intermediate and advanced dancers, and are scheduled throughout the year. Click here for details.
The Advanced Dancer
So, how to become “Advanced”? And how to constantly motivate and better yourself once you’ve become “Advanced”? What even is “Advanced”?! What difficult questions!
Firstly, remember that we all get what we want out of our dancing. For some, being the best is their goal. For others, just having a great social time on the dance floor is enough.
So, if you’re looking pretty good out there in the eyes of everyone else in the room, and you’re having a great time doing it – does that make you just as “Advanced” as the champions of the highest level Modern Jive competitions? Maybe so…..
All we can say is, apart from it being different for everybody, dancing at the highest level needs to involve some work from you, some work from your teachers and mentors, and a willingness to take feedback on board and to be self critical. Here’s some tips from us:
- Modern Jive is partner dancing – you’re only a great dancer if your partner can look and feel great with you.
- Advanced dancing isn’t necessarily about advanced moves.
- Dancing to the rhythm is no longer enough at advanced level. Musical interpretation and style adaptation according to the feel of the song is crucial.
- Improve your Modern Jive by learning other dance styles. Learning styles that involve a lot of body movement, such as Hip Hop and Latin, will help you dance with your body not just your feet. It will also help you find other rhythms in the music that will help with your musical interpretation.
- Watch, and learn, from the Champions.
- Ask for feedback from dancers who you admire.
- Never think you’re too good to learn from someone else – even if that someone else hasn’t been dancing as long as you have.
And one final tip, never ever forget that you once were a beginner, and that that new person starting tonight could be your future advanced dance partner or even maybe your teacher. We all started somewhere, and the journey of dance will never end…..