Ballroom Dance > Closed syllabus vs. open in Standard

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by mxmx, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. Laura

    Laura New Member

    From your coach.

    Yes to both!

    There are a lot of commonly used non-Syllabus patterns that are sometimes called "named variations."

    I don't think so--it's definitely a lot for a newbie to take in and understand. And we're happy to answer your questions!

    These levels are for Pro/Am Syllabus-level dancers who want to start using steps that are above their Syllabus level for that dance, or even not on the Syllabus at all for that dance. Say, for instance, you were at Bronze, and you wanted to learn and use in competition some cool move that was either Silver or Gold or even outside of the Syllabus. You couldn't use that in a regular Pro/Am Bronze-level event, but you could dance it in a Pro/Am Open Bronze event.

    That depends on what you, your partner, and your coach decide. Obviously if you were just to take your Closed Gold routines and teach them to your Amateur partner and enter an Amateur competition, you would have to enter Gold Syllabus and/or Novice, because you can't dance Gold steps in a level below Gold. However, perhaps you and your partner and your coach would prefer you to "back up" a bit and work on fundamentals. It really all depends, but in the US you can start wherever you like, so long as you don't choose a proficiency level (i.e., Bronze, Silver, Gold, Novice, etc.) that you have already become ineligible for by earning too many points in. If you've never competed in Amateur events, then you won't have this issue, as you have zero points in any and all levels.
  2. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i would think that a good foundation in all the syllabus figures, and how to combine them across the genres, would be indispensable as a base for tinkering... i would be afraid of somehow undermining the dancing (from a comp perspective) without having that knowledge first. just speakin' as a newb. :)
  3. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    it's not just above but also from another dance at the same level, correct? so... adding a viennese waltz step into tango, that sort of thing...
  4. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Yes. "Borrowing" like that amounts to going out-of-Syllabus, and is allowed in the Pro/Am Open Bronze/Silver/Gold levels.

    For all intents and purposes, as far as I can tell, anything and everything is allowed in Open Gold.
  5. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    so open gold is like novice/pre-champ/champ in that regard.
  6. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    I definitely had same worry before I tried any of this, samina. But I asked pro before I tried it, and she encouraged me to go ahead and try, so trusting her to know if it's a good idea or not. and to shoot me down if I try one she doesn't like. ;)

    Most of them time it's nothign big yet. Rumba step that is going forward to end, I'll throw in two sets of rocks to extend the step, then finish it up. Obviously, not much of a change from original syllabus step, but let's me start playing around so I'm not just doing the 10-20 memorized syllabus steps, but playing with it some myself. I still do the syllabussteps of course, and find them indispensible to work on technique with more people than just my pro (as there are more people who know exactly how technique shoudl be on the syllabus steps), but I try to have some fun with thigns too.
  7. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    you must have lots roaming around in your head from pow-wowing with your dancing family members, too... :)
  8. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Heh, yep, that's for sure. :)

    I think in some respects, while making up your own steps will help anyone, it will help leads more, esp at a syllabus level (and ESPECIALLY at bronze level). Because when I'm making up my own steps, rather than using syllabus steps, whether I'm dancing with pro or another student, I sure as HELL have to have a firm lead. Because I can't expect them to know step and be able to guess what I want when lead isn't clear. I have to make sure I am VERY clear about what i want them to do.

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    Yes, I think you have it Samina, open whatever in NDCA is close to Novice/pre-champ in AM comps.

    I though I will disagree that you are just "making up" steps. They are just varations or alternative endings that you can add to a standard published step.
  10. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    The transposition of one variation to another dance, should be in context-- for e.g.---- you would not dance a from Tango , in Waltz. -- Point-- all figures are NOT transposable .

    As to the differences between American comp. categories and" English based " --the American style breakdown, to "levels " within a level, for e.g.-Prelim Br. etc., was done to acommodate more students , for the teacher who had several students wanting to compete in the same division ( somewhat of a sales tool )

    The comps in the UK are are similar in nature, in as much we " grade" the levels . For beginners , 1 dance Novice, is a popular category offered. mostly in Waltz and Quickstep, and sometimes a 2 dance event for beginners .( NO Pro./ Am. )

    Also, there are levels above Gold-- Gold Bar and Gold star .

    The variety in Intern. style, is staggering, There are dozens upon dozens of variations beyond the medal test system. There is a book named " Popular Variations ", which lists , by name ( no technique ) the many available, and that is not the complete total .

    As to " making up " something new ?-- I doubt that anyone can come up with anything, that has not already been done in the past.

    ( Although, I must admit, some of my students, can come up with things that defy explanation !!!!! )
  11. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

  12. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Actually it's done quite often... it just has a different feel and a different name ;-)

    If anything tango is a better donor than recipient for patterns - most inline natural CBM actions common in the other dances are avoided, especially where the leader would be going forwards (exception would I guess be pivots)
  13. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    I think the point of the comment,was that certain steps, retain identical structure , and make easily identifiable comparisons , as in open Tele. for e.g.. whereas others will not .
    Of course, it is possible to make comparisons from a different perspective .
    My point was, that not ALL steps are , or could be assimilated , into other dances ( Tiller girl locks in F/ Trot !! , to name but one )

    I might concede, in a " show routine ", far more leeway would be acceptable .
  14. swan

    swan Member

    I'm confused. Does this mean a routine with all Bronze steps mixing in open variations that are not in syllabus book, but no Silver or Gold syllabus steps in the routine? Like wise, Open Silver would be all Silver steps w/ Open steps. Then Open Gold can be anything?
  15. Laura

    Laura New Member

    That's one possibility. Swan, this is easy: imagine any person who usually competes in Bronze Syllabus. Now imagine that they decide they want to do "fancy stuff." Meaning anything at all outside of the Bronze Syllabus. They can do that in Open Bronze. I've been told that in the Open Bronze/Open Silver/Open Gold categories in Pro/Am there are no syllabus restrictions at all, that it's more of a kind of proficiency thing. Like, someone dancing Open Bronze would be a Bronze-level person who just wanted to start incorporating Silver/Gold/non-Syllabus work, but wasn't ready to dance in Open Gold or Advanced or Open Pro/Am yet.

    Truthfully, the Open Bronze/Open Silver/Open Gold categories strike me as contradictory and therefore kind of silly, but that's just me (and I know I'm being hypocritical here because I dance in Open Gold). It's just having a category with no step restrictions and then putting a Syllabus level name on it seems mutually exclusive: either the category is Open, or it's a Syllabus level, so how can it be both at the same time?
  16. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    huh... that's different from how i would've thought. don't the comps or the NDCA define these categories specifically somewhere? i woulda thought open bronze allowed incorporation of other steps from other dances, just only at the bronze level.

    would seem to me best that these categories are strictly defined & not mysterious. :: making note to check NDCA rulebook this weekend ::
  17. swan

    swan Member

    This was why I was confused. If Laura's info is right, I'd agree it's pretty silly to have Open Bronze, Open Silver & Open Gold as category names. Basically there's no syllabus restriction. It's more like difference between Novice & Prechamp - merely the proficiency differentiation. Might as well call it Beginner Open, Intermediate Open, and Advanced Open :)
  18. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    I agree, unless there's something else I'm missing.

    In franchise comps, at least FA, I can see the name making a little sense, as there's rules about how long before you can test into next level, etc, but even there, seems strange to me.

    I know at our local comps, the open heats genearllly serve two purposes: One, lets pro/am competitors who have paid for having a routine choreographed use this routine without paying the extra fee for a showcase (or in addition to doing the showcase), and second, it simply lets dancers who want to get more competitive time add one more (or 4 more, or 7 more,however many open heats they enter) heat.
  19. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    if that's the case, i agree

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    I absolutley agree with Laura, doing NDCA comps for 10 years now I can say with some certainty that "open" allows you to do any steps in any category..... That is why I stay away from registering open syllabus and stick with the closed. At least in the closed it is clearly defined, you know what both "you"(as in couple), and what your competitiors are permitted to do.

    LOL ept...
    We dance FA comps 2-3 times a year and have never tested out of any category. Our instructors just register us based on the "steps" we have planned to do. Trust me, no one will stop you from entering any category based on testing! This may be of course that at FA comps we are usually the exception to the rule, an AM/AM couple dancing beyond bronze. Not once in our 2 years with FA have we had any competition at these comps. We go because well, they are just so much fun!

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