Monday, June 6, 2011

Random Ballroom Musings: Gold Rhythm?

For the Rutgers Dancesport Competition this past semester, my partner and I worked on the cha cha, rumba, swing, and mambo routines that we had used and built upon for MAC, NYU, MIT, and Harvard, but we'd always been missing a bolero routine. So, with the help of one of our coach's newcomer lessons, we started building our bolero repertoire and essentially did what we do for swing and mambo (lead and following, but having a bunch of codified figures to help make it not as much of a spur-of-the-moment sort of thing).

We spent hours working on those moves with the advice of friends ringing in our ear: "Silver is practically Open. Gold IS Open. And Open is Open, but everyone acknowledges that it is." We thought that that (plus, we found out afterward, a nifty provision of the NDCA Gold Syllabus that said that if a move can be led and followed, it's permissible) was our safety card for the Syllabus Bolero event, so we began the routine in shadow and included a cool picture line.

See the round here:

The chair of judges (another of our coaches) called us up after the event and informed us that she had to disqualify us because of the picture line. Both of us were disappointed, though I was happy that we at least got out there, had fun, and entertained an audience, which is really what it's all about anyway. Still, disqualification is no fun. And it's an experience I wouldn't like to repeat again.

So, as Claire and I prepare to compete in both Silver and Gold rhythm this fall, how would you guys recommend we prepare routines, especially in Gold? What kind of moves are permissible and what are not? Any videos you'd recommend or places to go for help with crafting routines, besides a lesson with our coaches?

- Daniel

1 comment:

  1. I know a lot of couples dance silver routines in levels silver and gold; so learn one routine and dance it in two levels. Just be sure that you're that much better than most gold couples that you could do well with simpler routines. You'd be surprised sometimes at home much better you can do with a simple routine executed well than lots of crazy moves that you aren't really ready for. My current partner and I are working on gold routines and plan to compete with them in Gold and Novice (open) levels. It's encouraging to hear that Gold is considered "practically open." Almost there!