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What defines (or should define) a promotion to higher level in dance?

There are many a "Dance Schools / Academies" out there. Some who know their job, some who don't. Some who are conceptually thorough with what they teach, some who are not. Some who know what teaching is all about, some who don't know a thing about teaching, and so on...

Amongst all other factors, one of the ways to judge how good or bad a school is, is by seeing how and on what basis they send a student to the next level. A good school would normally consider the following factors (in the order of importance):

1. How regular & punctual the student is for the classes.

2. How disciplined the student is in the class.

3. How much focus and mental & physical effort the student puts in the class.

4. What kind of effort the student makes if s/he is not getting the steps, including clarifying with the instructor.

5. How much initiative the student takes in the class and how eager s/he is to learn.

6. Last but not the least, how much growth the student shows in that particular level.


Yes, point no. 6 gets the minimum weightage in comparison to the other criteria mentioned above!

A student who is very regular and puts a lot of effort but does not dance as well as a student who is very talented but skips half the classes and puts in very little effort, deserves to be promoted before the better dancing one (but having a certain minimum quality ofcourse that is required to go into the next level). The reason being that it is the first 5 qualities (from above criteria) that will utimately ensure at higher levels that the criteria no. 6 is fulfilled while talent alone is very unlikely ensure the same if one does not score well on the first 5 qualities.

Now, other than these 6 criteria, there is another very important quality to possess in order to for the student to claim to be of "intermediate" or "advanced" level. That is, the ability to learn faster and grasp the concepts & techniques quicker and better than they did when they entered the previous level. In a place where students are promoted arbitrarily or purely on the basis of dancing prowess is likely to produce mindless zombies who don't grow beyond toddlers! And the student (if an adult) who does not realise that within a period of few months & is only fascinated with getting promoted, needs to be sent back to primary school... maturity is clearly lacking! Hence, the place where students are promoted arbitrarily is not the place to learn from. Most likely, they have not trained themselves from the right places and hence incapable of doing any better!! Yes, it also requires that the course be structured in a way that if the student is made to repeat the same level twice, thrice or more, s/he does not get bored in the classes. There should be something new & exciting every time.

Promotion has to be earned with the right kind of approach & effort. This method of evaluation will also ensure that the overall quality of learning keeps going up all the time.
 
Be wise, choose right!

- Anuj

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