We would like to answer one of the most frequent questions that interest both the public and the dancers alike. What are the principles of the evaluation of a couple’s dance?
The criteria that could be used by the judge are too many to be able to apply them all in the short period of time during the duration of the dance, and at least six couples are judged at the same time. So the judge is guided by the general impression left by each couple. An expert judge sees the dance as a whole and can quickly assess all the factors.
POSITION WITHIN THE COUPLE – is one of the most important moments. A good position gives the couple the panache and lightness, improves balance, facilitates driving and allows the dancer to maintain contact, especially in swing dances. The result of the competition often depends on a correct posture. Hence the old saying is born – “The constant work of the posture is the basis of perfection”.
RHYTHM – if the couple does not dance according to the music, their mastery in other aspects will not be able to mask or compensate. Music is everything!
LINE – here we talk about the length and extension of the body from the tips of the feet to the head. Beautiful and well-executed lines directly or indirectly increase the volume of the figures.
FRAME – is the correct and immobile position of the arms established for closed dances. The line of dancers’ arms should be straight from elbow to elbow. The arms must form a certain oval which, when changing the volume of the frame, has to maintain its form so that the dancers within the couple stay in a correct position with respect to each other, that they do not get out of that position. The couple must look pretty.
BALANCE. There are two types of balance, neutral and central. In the central balance the weight of the body is distributed between the two legs equally. In the neutral balance, the weight is on one leg. The whole dance is a constant change between the central balance and the neutral balance. If the couple is not balanced, their dance becomes heavy, the lines are broken and the dancers can even fall.
DISTANCE BETWEEN DANCERS – the distance should be enough so that the dancers do not get in the way of each other. But do not forget that with too great a distance within the couple, it is difficult to keep the balance and the dance can lose its lightness.
MUSICALITY – all the movements of the dance must coincide with the peculiarity of the music – the strong times must be marked, the weak ones must be worked with softness. For example in the Rumba, the step coincides with the strong blow, and the length of the note (the time “and”) – are the descents, the work of the hips. The longer the time “and”, the more expressive the dance is. In the Tango, the legs move with a lot of viscosity, while the movements of the head are very active. This achieves speed and smoothness.
EXPRESSION – Does the couple dance with emotion, showing the audience their connection with music, or simply try not to forget the choreography, with serious faces and without smiling?
ENERGY – Dance energy catches the audience. I have noticed that in Jive there is always a couple, the most alive, who wins that dance. But the energy must be controlled. For example, a powerful movement is very useful in Waltz or Quick step, but only if it is achieved thanks to the swing and not only based on a long step. The movements must be in accordance with the music. For example in English Waltz, the accumulation of energy occurs thanks to the descent between times “three” and “one”. And the release of that energy in the “one” must be controlled (so as not to waste time “two”) and stay in the flood in the “two” and the “three”. The same happens in the rest of the dances.
WORK OF LEGS AND FEET – a sliding movement (as on skis) of the foot along the track in Slow foxtrot gives smoothness; an intentional lifting of the foot in Tango underlines a staccato; Correct knee work in Rumba gives a certain “fashionable” image, and the stretching of the tips is not done to support the leg, but to prolong the line. The use of these four tricks and the correct work of the foot of support allow to achieve a fast and powerful step.
SHAPE (FORM) – is a separate element. The shape is needed to show the dancer in the best way to the judges and the public (for example, in the classic Pasodoble figure “the cape”, or after the pivots in Tango, there are many examples). The shape is achieved in several ways. In the Standard it is achieved thanks to the stretching of the girl up and to the right of the boy.
DRIVING – Here I think it’s all clear. The only criterion – is that the girl should be light. With an incorrect driving it is impossible to achieve that lightness. Each person is different, so the study of your partner is a long and difficult work, but highly necessary. It is very rare that the couple reaches a complete mutual understanding (those couples become great), in most cases the dancers simply adapt to each other.
FLOORCRAFT – “The vision of the track”. It is not only the ability to avoid shocks, but also the ability to dance without stopping being surrounded by other couples when it seems that there is nowhere to move. Here the rapport of the couple is revealed – the boy must know how to choose the right direction and lead his girl, and she must understand what her partner wants from her in each situation.
COUPLE STYLE – How the dancers look together, their costumes, their behavior on the track. That is also an important criterion of valuation.
Judges meet the mentioned criteria in different ways. One is more interested in technique, the other choreography, the third will be fixed on the composition or the artistic component. All these factors matter and should be valued. In practice, sometimes a couple gets very different grades, from first to last place. The dancers who wonder what the judge saw that put him in the last place, must understand that any of those criteria could have the greatest influence. Sometimes a correct work of the feet does not score as high as the recollection of the feet in the sixth position.
The judge only watches the couple for a few seconds. At that time a strong couple can make a mistake and get low notes, while a weak couple can perform several elements in a clean and correct way, and get high marks. Here there is an element of roulette.
Dancers, you can be sure that all qualified judges value you only for your work. Most judges appreciate their reputation and perform their duties in good faith. Of course the judges try to pull theirs, but the professionals do it within reason. Either way, no judge can clearly place you in the first or last position. The use of the evaluation criteria described above usually guarantees an objective result.
source: Dancesport Dancers Group
THE SPEED AND THE “SPECIAL EFFECTS” ENEMIES OF ADVANCEMENT IN DANCESPORT. ANALOGIES PIANO vs TENNIS vs DANCESPORT
Go ahead the recognition that, even enthusiastic follower and apprentice of this our magnificent discipline, the DANCESPORT, I do not pretend because I can not teach anyone. But I can collaborate, I think, promoting reflection.
In other disciplines that I do know more thoroughly, such as Piano and Tennis, share the same basic principles to which I am going to refer for DANCESPORT: the PRECIPITATION at the time of proceeding to the stage of making the movements in a FAST, EXPLOSIVE way, without -not much less-, being the chosen moment mostly the appropriate one.
I see in Dancesport what I see also in many pianists and tennis players apprentices or in delevoping process They want to be fully employed immediately, and play as a professional.
That is precisely the seriuos mistake of which I humbly claim attention. SPEED -for developing athletes- is the ENEMY not only of PERFECTION, but also of PROGRESSION.
With the SPEED, EVERYTHING is PRECIPITATIVE, and the technique is “DIRTIED AND DAMAGED”.
In the learning of a movement it is necessary to take to the limit the CONCEPT OF NEAT REPETITION, knowing what one does, controlling the movement deforms slowly and mentally “recording in the mind its execution”. For this it is necessary to develop the movements in a SLOW, PAUSED manner and NOT PRECIPITATE THE QUICK EXECUTION PHASE UNTIL YOU HAVE SET THE MOVEMENT TECHNIQUE TO THE SACITY AND BEYOND, THROUGH THE REPETITION!
Speed can only and should arrive at Dancesport as a result of control and mastery of the technique.
DIDACTICS AND METHODOLOGY IN THE PIANO´S WORLD
I will start by trying to explain using what happens with the practice of piano.
Imagine a piece of high speed. For example, the Revolutionary Study of Chopin, in C minor Op. No. 10.
It is an EPIC piece, highly complex, mainly due to its high speed. The composer said that Tempo should be ALLEGRO CON FUOCO !!! Alegro with fire! (It is called Revolutionary because the author transmitted in the piece his willingness to support the Revolution of the Polish Cadets against the Russian authority in which he could not participate because of his health problems).
The complexity of the piece is to play it at such speed, taking into account also that the protagonist of the piece is mostly the left hand that has literally “to fly” with millimeter precision playing dozens of notes in fractions of a second.
The Musical Tempos marked by a composer in a musical work, from slow to fast, may be the following:
Largo 40-60 beats per minute (usually black (quarter) note).
Chopin’s piece, being ALLEGRO CON FUOCO, is within the maximum range of ALLEGRO, that is, over 168 blacks (quarter) per minute.
Normally a Pulsation is equivalent to the duration of a quarter note in a compass. The Revolutionary Study of Chopin is written in a Compass 2/4, that is, each compass lasts 2 blacks. And if we look at the Score almost all the notes are SEMIQUAVER (Semi-eighth notes)
In one minute of ALLEGRO CON FUOCO, 84 measures, 168 blacks, 772 SEMIQUAVERS notes.
This means that approximately 11-12 different notes per second are pressed with different fingers!
For their learning, good connoisseurs of the learning methodology know that not only do they have to learn at low speed. You have to “FASTEN” the learning also at low speed and repeat and repeat hundreds of times until you generate “an independent finger memory” in the fingers of each hand, an “automatic and precise automatism”.
Low speed is for example half, 168 would be 84 blacks per minute.
Evgeny Kissin, great russian concert pianist, always betting on the best technique refined since childhood, when he already gave concerts and highlighted
(Piano: Evgeny Kissin. For me one of the best perfomances of these piece).
In the second phase, that speed must be increased slowly:
The next week’s trials at 90 speed always starting at 84 the first few times.
The next week to 96 always starting at 84. And so on until reaching 168 several months later.
But the piano players know that even if they are able to play the piece at maximum speed, they should always try it at low speed and play it only a couple of times at maximum. Why? Because the repeated practice at maximum speed messes up the interpretation in the medium term.
DIDACTICS AND METHODOLOGY IN TENNIS WORLD
Not willing to extend too much.
But I am going to refer here to another important collateral aspect in the development of children as future tennis players and we are going to draw an analogy with the development of dancers in Dancesport.
The importance of the technique at early ages.
Tennis is a technical discipline, but in my opinion less than the Dancesport. The difficulty of tennis is to “adapt” body to an external element: the ball. Although for different types of hits (drive and backhand) and subtypes (cut, flat, topspin), and several kind of grips, finally only 4-5 are the “hinges corporations that have to adjust to accommodate the ball and perform the chosen hit”.
I sincerely believe, however, that in Dancesport the number of “body hinges” is much greater. Even some of those “hinges” are almost unknown in the movements of a normal life. The Dancesport BIOMECHANICS is extremely complex.
Therefore, I consider that DANCESPORT is the most technical discipline of all the sports I know.
Like all competitive sports, children want to win, parents want their children win, but coaches want to train future champions. However, they are pushed by the “resultadist dynamics”. And many of them give in and allow the young players away from the technical purism in order to get good results instantly: win the games.
In fact, until 10-11 years playing competitive games, at least very often, it is worse than better, because to win you end up hitting the ball in a less orthodox way, moving away from the technique that is less still entrenched in the boy.
-Bread for today, hunger for tomorrow-.
The purified Technique is the only KEY or GUARANTEE that the advance in a discipline is infinite.
Only the refined technique will allow the more you train the better you play.
When a tennis player for the sake of winning forgets to hit with the correct technique even if he fails, he will win that match and many more in the next few years, BUT A MOMENT WILL ARRIVE AND THERE will be no evolution.
However, other players who lost but who continued to invest in PURISM Y TECHNIQUE, will reach that level and surpass those who bet on RESULTS and will see them years later “through the rear-view mirror”.
In the present, International Dancesport has recognized worldwide the dedication to the refined technique naming Latin World Champions to Armen Tsaturyan & Svetlana Gudyno (main trainer Ilya Danilov) and in Standard dances to Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova.
Both couples are from Russian school, strongly characterized by betting on the most refined technique and working hard from early ages. That’s where the quality of dance and results comes from.
DANCESPORT & TECHNIQUE
In DANCESPORT, in my opinion, the same thing happens.
In early phases it is ESSENTIAL TO BET FOR THE PURISM, BY THE TECHNIQUE.
Since you start dancing with 4-5-6-7 (Juvenile) years until you are at least 16 years old and you reach YOUTH the priority should be “sow and then collect”.
However, in most cases it is not like that.
As DANCESPORT is a competitive sport and you want to win, young dancers tend to perform movements with great energy and speed, without realizing that SPEED MASKS TECHNICAL FAULTS AND PROVIDES THEM AT A TIME.
We see many parents excited about their children seeing “the amount” of dance but not the “quality”, because not only do they not understand it, but as a consequence, they are not able to see it. And they encourage their children to make an effort by dancing “loud” “fast” and if it is with “special effects” then better yet. “Bread for today, hunger for tomorrow”.
At early ages it is impossible to combine speed and energy, with technique, quality and precision in movement. And it happens just like in the world of tennis. There comes a time that no matter how hard you train, for many hours that you dedicate to it, you will reach a level from there, there will be no possible evolution: bad technique makes further progress impossible. You have reached the border of your capacity because of your lack of technical qualification.
Other dancers in their initial stages, perhaps pressured by the parents or environment, before learning the basics begin to exaggerate the postures and gestures (special effects). It is something that anticipates what is substantial and what makes the focus lose.
I have to admit that I have fallen as a father in that temptation sometimes, but I have the great good fortune to have a son´s teacher who has even more clear than me the principle that I am proposing.
I am aware that in some competitions we have won some couples who danced with a lot of energy (Latin) or that fell more than us but they dismounted up and we did not (standard) and I have not gotten it well, but thanks to our coach we are beginning to collect the fruits of these appropriate didactic and methodology. Be patient, run away from the speed of the moment and bet all the chips of the casino by the Technique. So the future can be yours. Thank you Valera Zaiko for having it so clear and so methodical with my son!
Alex Gascón & Alexandra Zaiko, several times Spanish juvenile and Junior 1 champions and several International Open WDSF Latin & Standard champions.
If you are parents and want the best for your children as dancers of Dancesport, my advice is that you invest everything you can in good teachers and classes.
by Frank Gascón
Next article I will try to investigate and write about “The Ages Learning; Phases”.
WDC vs WDSF: DIFFERENCES
DANCESPORT/BALLROOM AND THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATIONS WDC-WDSF
DANCESPORT – is one of the modern currents of dance whose roots go deep into the distant past. It brings together the cultures of different nations, continents and social strata. They are as much the passionate dances of poor neighborhoods and rhythms of slaves coming from Latin America, as the ones arrived from the dances of the European nobility or the golden youth of the USA. from the 60s. The rhythm, history and spirit of the dances taken as a base, were perfected by the masters of choreography throughout the 20th century, and polished by the dancers in multiple competitions and festivals. At the moment it also follows the incessant task of the development of that current of the dance that is the Dancesport. As a result, we can observe the work of the best choreographers, coaches and dancers from around the world. The sports dance is multilateral and logical, it is suitable for all ages. Everyone can find himself in that huge world of sports dancing.
Historically, Dancesport includes two programs, Standard and Latino. Standard program includes the English Waltz, the Viennese Waltz, Tango, Slow foxtrot and Quick step. Latino program is composed of Samba, Cha cha chá, Rumba-bolero, Pasodoble and Jive.
In Standard specialty, women dance in classic dresses. Fashion changes continuously. Around 15 years ago, voluminous dresses with tutus and ostrich feathers were fashionable. Nowadays the dressmakers found the union of lightness and panache in the costumes of the Standard program. Men traditionally dance in tournaments with fracs. The bow ties and chest with neck are traditional details of the costume of the dancer. In tournaments, only fracs of black or dark blue colors are allowed. The dancer’s hairstyle is classic. Dancers often use shiny stones in their hairstyles.
In Latin specialty, open dresses are worn for women and sets of trousers and shirt or T-shirt for men. In the decoration of suits, stones, sequins, feathers, beads, fringes, etc. are widely used. The costumes are called to emphasize the beauty of the body, the lightness and the plasticity of the movement. With the help of creams or UVA rays, the skin of dancers acquires a tanned look. The hairstyles are modeled with lacquers, gels and foams. The dancers try to look successful to the maximum in the tournaments, that helps to improve the valuation of their dance.
Dancesport is learned in special clubs. You can start dancing at any age. Learning objectives may include participation in competitions, body improvement, general physical development, understanding the nature of movement, acquiring new acquaintances and friends, etc.
In competitions, dance couples are divided into groups depending on their age and category. There are six recognized international categories: Е, D, С, В, А, S. The age groups are the following: “Juvenile 1”, “Juvenile 2”, “Junior 1”, “Junior 2”, “Youth and adults” “,” Senior and Grand Senior “. Thus, it is possible to start practicing sports dancing at any age and with any physical preparation, each dancer will have the opportunity of personal growth, participation in competitions of the same level and fair valuation in the tournaments.
There are two organizations in the world that coordinate the process of competitions, they are WDC (World Dance Council) and WDSF (World DanceSport Federation).
WDC historically brings together professional dancers of the highest level.
WDSF was created much later to bring together amateur dancers of all ages. However, both organizations currently have professional and amateur divisions, which led to direct competition and a clash between them. Both organizations can boast of coordinating world-class tournaments.
WDC business card is the oldest tournament that has been organized for more than 80 years in England, in the beautiful city of Blackpool. It is the most representative tournament, the victory in that competition means the indisputable leadership in the category. The distinctive feature of that tournament is that it is judged by the English judges known throughout the world, who in the past were also champions or finalists of dancesport world championships.
WDSF can boast of the official European and World Championships, which always attract the special attention of the dance community. WDSF Dancesport Championships are held for all age groups starting from the “Junior 2” group (14-15 years old). Each member country of the WDSF can send two couples in the Standard and Latino programs, or a couple in the 10-dance program. In order to participate in the World or European Championship, it is necessary to be a champion of your own country and be nominated by your country. And of course we can not forget the traditional Stuttgart Dance Ball tournament. The results of that tournament are a just cause for pride, because all the best couples in the world aspire to participate in it.
Both international federations work in the development of the Dancesport in the world, however the vision of the essence of the dance in the WDC and the WDSF is different.
WDC advocates the naturalness, beauty and fullness of the dance. It should be emphasized that within the framework of this organization there is the ProAm movement. In the ProAm tournaments the students (mainly elderly people) participate as a couple with their teachers. In addition, WDC promotes dance, using a commercial approach to event management for the World Champion title. Involving sponsors in these events and attracting media, all this increases the interest in this fast-growing sport.
WDSF puts the accent on the sports component and tries to promote the Dancesport to be an Olympic discipline. For the next Olympics of 2020, it seems that a Discipline coming from the world of Dance will be accepted, but it is not yet known if it will be the Dancesport, Hip Hop or whatever. In any case, if the Dancesport is chosen, the organization that will govern the regulation for the Olympics will be the WDSF. The WDSF organization works actively in the transparency of evaluation by the judges. As a result, we have the appearance of the valuation system “Skating” and the new valuation system 2.0.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE WDC – WDSF
Ballroom competitions have existed for more than 100 years, and in 1950 a group of people gathered to try to find a way to organize a world championship. In doing so, this group founded the World Dance Council (WDC).
In 1957, a distinction was made between professional dancers and amateur dancers, which is why the International Council of Amateur Dancers (ICAD) was founded. This organization would run all competitions for amateur dancers, while the WDC would run all professional competitions.
In 1990, this organization would be renamed the International Dance Sports Federation (IDSF), and in 2011 it would become what we now know as the World Dance Sports Federation (WDSF).
These two organizations were developed within their own specialties, one tending only to professionals (WDC) and the other only to amateurs (WDSF). This was a mutually beneficial agreement, and everyone was happy, until THE GREAT CONFLICT occurred!
On September 4, 1997, the WDSF (then IDSF) was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (when presented as a SPORTS discipline), accepting to test its athletes, develop a more objective judging system and comply with numerous Olympic regulations . Due to this recognition, if the “Ballroom Dancing” is ever added to the Olympic Games, only the WDSF dancers can participate.
WDC in its struggle, in 2007 opened its own league “Amateur”. Since the WDC had all the professionals, it could attract many fans to its competitions, and it hoped to expel the WDSF out of business. The WDSF responded in 2010 by opening its own “Professional Division”, and now both organizations are fighting for one part of the “pool” of dancers.
Today, it seems that it has something more prestigious to be the World Champion of ADULT PROFESSIONALS of Latinos or Standard by the WDC, while it has more prestige in AMATEURS (and lower age categories such as Junior 2, Youth, etc.) the WDSF.
The special characteristics of the WDSF are: 1. Its origin and majority of members is in Europe (while the WDC has its origin in Great Britain and the United States and its members are more numerous there and in Asia).
The number one country as a world power of the Dancesport is Russia. There, the presence of the WDSF is majority, we could encrypt it in about 70%, and the presence of the WDC of 30% approx. But due to the clandestine struggles within the WDSF in recent years among the Russian federation of the WDSF, the current trend in Russia is that the WDSF decreases while the WDC is growing.
This trend is also occurring in Asian countries: China, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, etc. In these countries are opening in the last 3 years high performance macrocentros with hundreds of children in boarding school to incorporate them into the world of competition very soon.
So right now it is difficult to make a still picture of the situation of how the cake is distributed.
We could say that approximately each World Federation has a 50% presence in the world of Dancesport.
Both organizations hated each other so much, they often punished the dancers for supporting the other organization, just as divorced parents can use their children to harm themselves. There was an important clash with the holding of an amateur Championship by the WDC at Disneyland Paris on December 4 and 6, 2009, which was rejected categorically and not recognized by the WDSF.
Until 2012, for example, WDSF dancers were prohibited from competing in WDC competitions. Recently in America, the judges of the WDC member organization (the NDCA) are prohibited from judging any other contest, under the threat of revoking their NDCA trial license.
The situation is currently unfavorable for dancers and competitors, but due to the policy stated here, the fight can continue for a long time. Many people are unhappy with the situation, but few have the power to change it.
The WDC organizes its championships more closely. Each country can only send two of its dancers (leaving many exceptional dancers out of the competition) and in the grills of judges there can only be one judge per country. However, and this is important, another unexpected result has occurred due to this division or struggle between the two organizations. The WDSF has developed its own style of dance. While the WDC remains more conservative, in STANDARD especially, the WDSF has begun favoring more athletic and extreme executions.
So that you can understand what we are saying, see the difference in the 2 videos attached to this Article in styles: firstly, the WDC Professional World Champions, Arunas & Katusha and in second place the WDSF Mirko & Edita Professional Standard World Champions.
WORLD CHAMPIONS OF WDC PROFESSIONALS:
Arunas Bizokas – Katusha Demidova, USA, Final Quickstep
Posted by Sandra Duarte on Sunday, July 23, 2017
WDC World Ballroom Professional Championship 2013 Kremlin, Moscow, Russia
WDSF PROFESSIONAL WORLD CHAMPIONS:
Gozzoli – Daniute, LTU | 2013 WDSF PD Super GP STD Q
Posted by Sandra Duarte on Sunday, July 23, 2017
Mirko Gozzoli – Edita Daniute, LTU, dance the Quickstep in round 3 of the 2013 WDSF PD Super Grand Prix Standard in Stuttgart, Germany on 13th August.
Escaping from this dispute, we must focus on our discipline, There are many people involved in the Dancesport, professionals from different areas. Couples have coaches, choreographers, psychologists, stylists, clothing designers and many other specialists. Year after year the dance technique becomes more complex, which brings with it the need for continuous improvement not only of the students, but also of their professors and judges.
The practice of Dancesport gives health, physical and spiritual development, beauty and aesthetics. If you have decided to learn to dance, do not hesitate to enroll in Dancesport schools to start with this beautiful and spectacular discipline.
Note- We have tried to make a judgment as objective as possible, but this topic has a lot of controversy and it is not easy to receive approval with what is reported here from all parties.
There are affirmations that are estimates, and therefore subjective, but, the drafting team has spoken with many people from both Federations with the intention of making a story as neutral and real as possible, admitting that nobody is in possession of the absolute truth.
source: article from DANCESPORT DANCERS CHANNEL