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Well, I have lots of stuff I feel I need to write about. But… - Sally's Journal
January 3rd, 2005
09:06 pm

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Well, I have lots of stuff I feel I need to write about.

But instead I will ask a random question, to those of you who know about ballroom and CDC and such things (and John I know you read this, so do comment!).

Inspired by lark_ascendings recent plans to start ballroom dancing, and the dancing at the VOLES new years eve bash, I was musing over how to get back into dancing once more. But I have no idea what level I'm at.

I first started dancing in Michalmas of my first year. I did the CDC beginners course in michalmas and lent, and did resonably well in cuppers :-) Then in my second year I danced lots (well, that was when I was going out with David!) Beyond Beginners, occassionally staying for Intermediates, and the odd bit of Squad. Lots of other stuff like acro rock and roll etc etc too.

Then I split up with David and kind of avoided CDC for the year. I went along to the balls, and could still dance reasonably, but I started to forget lots of stuff. By Michalmas of my forth year I was dating Matthew, and persuaded him to start ballroom lessons. He went to the fast track beginners course, and I went with him, but by lent we were too busy with other stuff. Since then I haven't really danced, and I haven't even made it to the last few balls.

So what level am I? What class should I go to, without feeling woefully incapable and lonely in a clique that have been dancing together for ages, or slightly patronising to people who are just starting to learn? I'm fairly good at following anything, but don't really remember anything anymore, and the stuff I do know are things Robin and Glenis used to teach years ago that noone actually dances anymore.

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From:nlj21
Date:January 3rd, 2005 09:41 pm (UTC)
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Sounds to me like Clive's Intermediates B class on Monday could be a safe bet (although maybe slightly cliquey). Or possibly one of Crystal's classes on Wednesday (Dancesport A or Intermediates A), although I don't know what she's like as a teacher as she is just starting to teach for us this term....
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From:pw201
Date:January 3rd, 2005 09:46 pm (UTC)
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Hmm... I don't think it's cliquey, which either means I've not noticed or that I'm in the clique. Go me!
From:nlj21
Date:January 3rd, 2005 09:58 pm (UTC)
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You're right, cliquey probably isn't the correct description. I think more of the idea I was getting at was that there are a number of people in the class who have been in it for a number of years! But then there are a constant stream of new people also.
From:neonchameleon
Date:January 3rd, 2005 09:42 pm (UTC)
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Simple question: where are you (geographically)?
From:neonchameleon
Date:January 3rd, 2005 10:42 pm (UTC)
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*realises it's Cambridge and leaves the answering to local experts*
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From:pw201
Date:January 3rd, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC)
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What do you want to do? If you want to improve your technique, go to the Dancesport lessons. If you want steps and a bit of a laugh, Intermediates is fun and has a nice crowd (I go to Intermediates B & C on Mondays). The site does mention a course specifically for refreshing your knowledge, but it's not on the timetable, so perhaps only ran in Michelmas. GD (now in the Grad Pad during term, which is nice as it's a lot bigger) is still the social hub of it all, so is worth it if you can stand to see your ex.

There are various groups of people who've known each other for ages, but the lessons aren't the place where people dance in those groups, because there's so much turn over from one year to the next. Probably governs who sits with whom in the pub afterwards.

I still dance Robin and Glennis's stuff!
From:nlj21
Date:January 3rd, 2005 10:03 pm (UTC)
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The site does mention a course specifically for refreshing your knowledge, but it's not on the timetable, so perhaps only ran in Michelmas.

Yep, that class was only for Michaelmas term, I think people from it are expected to merge into Intermediates A.

Probably governs who sits with whom in the pub afterwards.

And whether those people are sat with in the Plaza or CB2!
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From:lisekit
Date:January 3rd, 2005 09:52 pm (UTC)
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I wouldn't worry too much about cliques - a new term always brings new people to classes, and you won't be the only new joiner whichever class you choose, I am sure. If you're comfortable with an Intermediate level class (or want a bit of a stretch), there's really no reason you shouldn't go to one.

Clive, I find, is a very accessible teacher, and I really enjoy his choreography. From memory, the group in that class aren't too cliquey.
Crystal has led some workshops before, I believe, and used to teach Shell, who describes her as "lovely". Is Erin not teaching anymore?

When people ask which (CDW) class they should attend, my advice is always to try a couple for the first week or so, and see which level you find suits you. You may find you fit "naturally" into one level or another, you may find that you prefer to have a slightly slower class that covers things thoroughly, or you might prefer a class just slightly above your current level to stretch you and give you something to work towards. Which suits you best will depend partly on your temperament, partly on your goals, and partly on whether you have plenty of time to practise between classes (it's not a good idea to go to a faster class if you can't do your homework!) You may also find one class suits you better this term, and another at a later date.

Just have a little experiment with different classes, find a teacher whose style you like, and there you go!
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From:lisekit
Date:January 3rd, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC)
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Oh, and of course, there are lots of other marvellous opportunities for dancing in Cambridge outside of CDC! Some are:

CUCDW

Queens Contemporary Dance

Ballet (drop me a line if you're interested in ballet, I have more info)

Tap and Jazz (warning: this site not regularly updated, but the society are still operating! Contact Natalie on nylm2 for more info)

There's a list of Non-University Dance Schools here, and here is PaulB's Super-dooper list of dance organisations in Cambridge.
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From:bluap
Date:January 4th, 2005 06:12 pm (UTC)
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But none of them are as fun!
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From:lisekit
Date:January 4th, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC)
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I respectfully disagree with the learned gentleman on this point.
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From:bluap
Date:January 4th, 2005 06:12 pm (UTC)
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Here is PaulB's Super-dooper list of dance organisations in Cambridge

Which is super-doopering out of date...
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:January 4th, 2005 01:02 am (UTC)
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I was in much the same position, except not having got as good before I sort of let it lie fallow (and not having dated David :) ). What I *wish* I'd done was gone to a beginners, technique or fast-track to make sure I hadn't forgotten any of the original things, and also gone to beyond beginners or intermediates to learn something new. And most of all to concentrate on it and try out the new steps at GD, since I actually didn't much, partly due to flitting from partner to partner and not knowing who was at the same stage, and never really got back into it. I probably should try again some time.
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From:bluap
Date:January 4th, 2005 06:11 pm (UTC)
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You're certainly good enough for Intermediates B (which is the new name for the Intermediates class). Intermediates A might also be suitable - it's being taught by a new teacher not Clive, so there might be some overlap in ability.

If you intend to continue dancing for a couple of years, then you'd probably benefit from going to a Dancesport class (though would you be the same bouncy Sally afterwards?) - Dancesport A is split between Latin (on Wednesdays, just before Intermediates A), and Modern (on Fridays, and taught by Paul Walker, who taught the fast-track you went to a year ago). I'll warn you that you'll probably go over steps you already know, but you'll learn a lot about style / technique / poise etc that you wouldn't otherwise learn. If you ever intend to go to Intermediates C, then Dancesport A would be recommended (unless you've danced for as long as David Brown)...


The so-called clique really isn't one - it's very inclusive, and consists mainly of people who go to GD and/or are on committee. We just take a bit of getting used to ;-)
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From:atreic
Date:January 5th, 2005 12:10 pm (UTC)
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*me double takes*

Do I know you? I have a tendency to just friend people who friend me, as the only reason most of this is friends locked is so it doesn't scare my mother one day :-) It's disturbing when they turn out to be real people...
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From:bluap
Date:January 5th, 2005 12:39 pm (UTC)
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Yep, you do know me.

You friended me before I friended you, so I assumed that you had seen through my barely disguised pseudonym :-)

Look at my email address, and stand on your head...
From:anoushkamalfoy
Date:January 5th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
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I have absolutelty nothing useful to add Sally - sorry about spamming your LJ but I remember Robin and Glynis - especially Glynis' sparkly stilletos and the fact that every mathmo under the sun seemed to do ballroom dancing!
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From:mostlyacat
Date:January 11th, 2005 07:18 pm (UTC)
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Yay, nice to meet you this weekend. Hugs.

I did ballroom dancing for a bit during my first year (old entry about it). I found it quite difficult but definitely fun. Good luck.
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