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What is a Ballroom Dance Syllabus?

# Beginner Guides

You may have heard the terms Bronze, Silver, and Gold thrown around in the studio...but no one seems to be talking about the Olympics. 

A ballroom Syllabus is a categorization of the basic ballroom steps, organized by level: Bronze (Beginner), Silver (Intermediate), and Gold (Advanced). It serves a few purposes…


1. A General Consensus for Teaching and Learning

The Syllabus is a systematic approach to teaching and is broken down into Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels for each dance and style. Generally, it is universal, so that a teacher in Texas will teach the same Cha Cha Basic as a teacher in Iceland. While teachers may have their own teaching methodologies, the fundamental figures in a ballroom curriculum remain the same—and when dancers know the same figures, social dancing with anyone becomes fun and easy!

With a specified framework, dancers also know where they stand in the bigger picture of ballroom dancing. They can look forward progressing and evolving their basic actions into more skillful dancing as they learn more technique.




2. A Foundation for Technique


While the Syllabus divides figures into levels of learning, the division is not arbitrary. The figures in a Syllabus were categorized based on necessary techniques that dancers can build upon incrementally, to increase their knowledge of figures and technique at the same time.

A Gold figure may require the same footwork that a dancer initially learned in Bronze, however it is also assumed that the dancer can now perform it at a more advanced level with nuances involved in the leading of the figure, unique foot positions to perform, musicality, and more.


3. A Categorization for Competition


If you’ve read our guide to competitive ballroom dancing, or dancesport, you may know that dancers can enter competitions in Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Open categories (such as the Emerald Ball and United States Dance Championships). This allows dancers to compete against other dancers who are performing the same figures and should be relatively in the same spot of their learning journeys.


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