We went American Smooth-ing yesterday after missing last week’s lesson due to bad weather. After the pace of the first session I was nervous about catching up, but it wasn’t a problem. The two routines were easy enough until the final move involved me walking sideways while spinning Lynsey clockwise. Couldn’t do it – I sent her anticlockwise every time. This is amusing once, then rapidly becomes embarrassing! I eventually managed it in the last few minutes, so hopefully it’ll stick until next week. There are some fun moves so far, although I’m waiting for the lifts 🙂
On the drive back we were discussing medals. I’d heard talk of them but never the details, and had assumed they were something to do with competitions. They turn out to be a little like music grades. The levels are Bronze, Silver and Gold, and you need to know a fixed list of steps and moves in all ten dances for each stage. I imagine that technique plays a strong role, too. You’re not tested in each dance, but aren’t told in advance which you’ll be asked to perform.
This definitely appeals to me, as it would be good to get some kind of ‘qualification’ after learning for two years. I was looking at the steps required for the Bronze level and we’ve covered a fair chunk of them, with the possible exception of those in the paso doble. The step list for this involves “Huit (cape)” which sounds very exciting 🙂 Once you reach Gold standard you’re allowed to enter competitions, although I’m not necessarily bothered about this: the words ‘fake tan’ appear way too frequently on competition websites…
Our current dance class is great and we’d certainly keep going, but I think that the current pace would be too slow for medals. I’ve no idea how long each would take to complete, but I think now’s the best time to start given that I’ve the inclination, the time and an excellent dance partner. Who knows where I’ll be in a few years. The only issue is whether faster learning would require prohibitively expensive private lessons, but I’ve emailed my teacher for his advice.