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More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by MsCardella
6/7/2007  5:23:00 PM
Hello, you're website has been an invaluable tool for me, as I am a instructor in training. How can I view the entire video syllabus' for each dance, in not only beginning bronze but the other bronze, silver and gold levels too? Is this a premium membership to the sight? Thank you soo Much
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by Ellen
6/8/2007  12:32:00 AM
The administrators can tell you if there is more available on this site, but videos of the whole syllabus are available at dancevision.com. Of course, they are not free, so you should ask if your studio has them. Many studios, especially those that train instructors, do.
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by Administrator
6/8/2007  1:32:00 AM
Hi Ellen,

We'd appreciate it if you'd recommend our online store for the purchase of DanceVision videos. The shopping link is right at the top of this page.

The cost is the same no matter who you purchase them from. But if you send people straight to the source and bypass us, we don't make any profit, which means we can't stay in business. And if we don't stay in business, there will be no more great free services such as the video clips mentioned by MsCardella, or for that matter, this message board.

If you like our website and all the free services that come with it, please recommend our web store whenever the topic comes up. We appreciate the support, and so do the thousands of users who visit us every day!

Regards,
Jonathan Atkinson
www.ballroomdancers.com
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by Ellen
6/8/2007  10:34:00 AM
Oh, sorry! I forgot you sell them. I'll send people to your store in the future.
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by Administrator
6/8/2007  1:43:00 AM
Hi Ms. Cardella,

More video clips are on the way. We have filmed the entire bronze syllabus... Now it's just a matter of editing and processing all those hours of footage.

We hope to have intermediate bronze, and possibly even full bronze completed by the end of this year. They will be available for a premium membership rate, which has yet to be determined.

Please check back in a few months to see how it's coming along. Updates will be posted to this message board.

As for silver & gold, there are no immediate plans. Whether or not we add more levels will depend entirely on the success of the premium membership program when we release the bronze level. Only time will tell.

Regards,
Jonathan Atkinson
www.ballroomdancers.com
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by anymouse
6/8/2007  10:48:00 AM
"I am a instructor in training. How can I view the entire video syllabus"

Yes, and watching a video will be great preparation for giving your students their money's worth.... NOT
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by Ellen
6/8/2007  8:34:00 PM
Ms. Cardella never said that was her only training. Videos can be a useful review tool.
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by JB_Locke
6/8/2007  11:23:00 PM
"Yes, and watching a video will be great preparation for giving your students their money's worth.... NOT"

So, let me see if I understand you correctly. If someone purchases and studies a video, they are not good enough to pass that information on to another person. Be it a teaching situation or a male/female watching the video and teaching their partner, you are saying that is isn't good enough. Please explain...

Just what do you think videos are used for if not a "teaching tool"?

You are fond of quoting books, why should they be any more of a teaching tool than a dancer performing steps and exlaining them on video? What is different from purchasing a video of a professional coach and learning from it versus paying hundreds to get the same information?

You are also fond of watching competition/showcase videos and critiqing every single step, is that not learning from video?

I support the use of videos 110%. Not only do they provide monetary compensation to websites like this AND the dancers, but they are readily available to view at any time, anywhere.

I've met two people since entering the ballroom scene who, by their own choice, learned EXCLUSIVELY from DVD/VHS. They are just as good as the person next to them, or in front of them.
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by CliveHarrison
6/9/2007  12:29:00 AM
Dance instruction books or video/dvds are a useful and cost-effective way to study the principles of dance, but they are no substitute for the feedback and constructive criticism which a good teacher/coach can provide.

Of course if your coach was only watching the dvd himself the night before the lesson, and hopes he can get away with "teaching" the steps without his memory failing, and can block your question over a more advanced variation by saying that the answer to that question depends upon you buying $10,000 more lessons, then you must be in the US, and in a franchised chain's studio.
no subject
Posted by terence2
7/14/2007  10:30:00 PM
That was a totally inappropriate remark !!--- Your views, like many, are generally way off base , and predjudiced .

What practical experience have you personally had with chain schools in the states ?-- from your remarks-- probably none.

Let me remind you of a world famous english dancer ( and partner ) that far excelled , financially, a large contractual pre paid lesson situation.that went awry .

There are bad apples in most barrels-- that does not meant to say we have to throw them all away !!

As far as learning from and by videos-- they are a tool that can re inforce ideas already in place . The many nuances that exist in dance , are virtually impossible to attain from any video or book .
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by anymouse
6/9/2007  7:33:00 AM
"You are fond of quoting books, why should they be any more of a teaching tool than a dancer performing steps and exlaining them on video?"

Yes, and I'm also fond of telling people to go take some lessons with a REAL teacher. Especially if they have this idea of claiming to be a teacher, and intended to charge others money for their alleged knowledge.

"What is different from purchasing a video of a professional coach and learning from it versus paying hundreds to get the same information?"

About as much difference as there is between watcing Strictly Ballroom and entering a competition yourself.

In short, there's just no comparison. Videos and books are a supplement only, and cannot replace in-person experience.
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by slowfox
6/9/2007  10:33:00 AM
Unbelievable! You people embarass me...someone asks a simple, polite question (which is NONE of YOUR business), and you all jump to criticise her. Just get over yourselves! I too am a competetive ballroom dancer, and I CHOOSE to use professional coaches...but dancing is for EVERYONE! People can learn however they choose, and if they can pass on what they know...more power to them. Who knows what they might inspire. And stop knocking the U.S.! There are plenty of studios which are NOT franchised, and plenty of opportunities for people to accomplish their goals (whatever they may be...and don't ASSUME they are the same as yours) Everybody starts somewhere, you know? Don't be so smug...a little kindness goes a long way.
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by CliveHarrison
6/9/2007  10:58:00 AM
Embarrassed? Why?

Are you SO insecure that you cannot bear to hear or read an opinion with which you don't agree? I suspect that you are living in just the right country. Have a nice day.
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by slowfox
6/9/2007  12:26:00 PM
Embarassed by your obvious snobbery, of course.
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by anymouse
6/9/2007  1:41:00 PM
"Embarassed by your obvious snobbery, of course."

Well I'm embarassed to be associated with an industry in which minimally trained people are paid a pittance to teach students who are paying a small fortune for the privilege of "studying" with them.

Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by anymouse
6/9/2007  9:41:00 PM
"Unbelievable! You people embarass me...someone asks a simple, polite question (which is NONE of YOUR business), and you all jump to criticise her. Just get over yourselves! I too am a competetive ballroom dancer, and I CHOOSE to use professional coaches...but dancing is for EVERYONE! People can learn however they choose, and if they can pass on what they know...more power to them."

If they were seeking knowledge for their own interests, or to give away, that's one thing. If they are charging to teach a subject they learned off a video, that's in moral terms getting very close to fraud.

And yes, as members of the dance community, the opposing the proliferation of clueless "teachers" is very much our business.

Do I expect this potential teacher is going to be learning only from videos? No. But the way the question is asked, makes it clear they aren't receiving enough in-person guidance to be building real teaching qualifications.

A potential teacher should either be focusing on the bronze material to build the quality of their detailed understanding (if they are going to be teaching soon... which is unfortunate but happens - this is all they will be teaching. The fraction of students working beyond bronze is miniscule, adn the new teachers won't get them), or they should be out gaining experience as a student and amateur competitor themselves, then start over from the basics in 5 years or so and review everything for purposes of teaching it, seeing it all again, only through eyes that now have enough experience to know what they should be looking for.
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by mlh
6/9/2007  7:55:00 PM
Jonathan,

Please stop them.
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by Administrator
6/9/2007  10:26:00 PM
I don't think there's any reason to stop anybody here. This is actually a great topic for discussion. It's compelling, and both sides present a reasonable argument. What better a topic could there be for a message board?

This is one single thread with many different participants, so it's not the same "hijacking" problem we've had in recent months. Everybody involved has stayed on topic and presented reasonable arguments. So no matter how frustrated you might be, it's still your business to counter their argument; It's not mine to block them simply because they disagree with you.

This is a perfect example of why I was so hesitatnt to start taking a more proactive role in moderating the message board in the first place. I don't regret having done so... It was a necessary step to purge the garbage that was clogging our pipes. But now that I've taken that one small step, I fear a slippery slope in the expectations of our participants. Now every time someone posts a message that might be construed as arrogant, snotty, angry, crazy, wrong, etc., I'm sure I can expect to hear pleas for complete expulsion of the offending author.

Here's the bottom line: I intend to continue to moderate the message board as little as possible. Spamming, flaming, hijacking and other offensive activities will not be tolerated. Occasionally certain topics or users may be banned in order to deter such activities. But differences in opinion do not qualify as offensive. Even when those opinions are different than my own.

Regards,
Jonathan Atkinson
www.ballroomdancers.com
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by anymouse
6/9/2007  11:21:00 PM
Well said Jonathan, it has been an interesting debate/discussion.

Something that regrettably got lost in the argument is the diminishing marginal utility of the higher syllabus levels.

Having examples of the basic actions available to look at and discuss is great. But given those, students who are at a level to seriously work on the more advanced figures almost don't need to see them, because they have the ability to apply the lessons apparent in the basic figures to most of the problems of the advanced ones.

There is one notable gap in the coverage though: the basics of the american continuity style. That's different enough from the bronze forms to be very nearly different dances, and so its inclusion might be of more benefit than anything else. Some of the necessary ideas are on display in the international vidoes of course, but the promenade ideas and open turns aren't there, and having them would be a good reference for both styles.

Still, the first handful of basics that is there is of more benefit than the majority of variations that are missing, because in the end it's about ideas not figures, and most of the key ideas are represented.
Re: More Acces to Advanced Dances
Posted by Administrator
6/10/2007  12:04:00 AM
You may be right. Unfortunately, however, what may be "best for the public" is not the primary decision-making factor. First and foremost, it's a matter of money.

We dropped a huge amount of money into the filming of the bronze syllabus. This came out of our own pockets, and was a one-time investment. If there are to be any more web syllabus film shoots in the future, the profits derived from the premium membership program will need to be strong enough to make a future film shoot not only finincially feasible, but financially comfortable. "Financially feasible" means we generate enough revenue to recoup the cost of the original bronze production, in addition to covering the cost of the proposed production. "Financially comfortable" means enough income left over after covering these costs to pay us back for our own time and effort. Even at minimum wage, that's a significant sum.

More than likely, the web-based footage for the upper levels will come from material filmed for DVD. With DVD, profits are more immediate and typically pay for the cost of production within a month or two of initial release. The production therefore pays for itself, and the footage can double as web-based clips. This is a much smarter approach to acquiring web footage.

There is one catch, however: DVD's are much slower to produce. The current set of web clips are simple demonstrations, which allowed us to fly through the syllabus in just 3 days of filming. To produce a quality DVD, you need to add complete instruction for each figure, as well as fundamental principles of dancing. This slows things down to a snail's pace. Instead of 22 dances in 3 days, we'll probably require 1 day of filming per dance per level. That's 22 days of filming for bronze alone.

Since we are quite comfortable selling DanceVision's DVD's at 50% profit, it makes it that much more difficult to commit to the kind of time and effort commitment it will take to produce an entire syllabus of DVD's. Factor in all the other projects I want to pursue (including continuing my own dance education), and it's not looking good for the DVD prospect.

That's not to say we will never sell our own line of complete syllabus instruction from bronze through gold. It's just too difficult right now to predict how long it might take, or for that matter, what form it will take. By the time we're able to do it, it might be much smarter to forget DVD's and jusgt focus on web-based delivery methods. Who knows. Whatever the case, I think it's safe to say that silver level is still quite a ways off.

But I do agree that continuity Waltz & Foxtrot are so unique that we should probably try somehow to add video clips for them, even if we can't do it for any other silver dance. Since that can probably be done in just a couple of hours, we might be able to piggyback the project at the end of some other DVD-related film shoot. I'll keep it in mind.

Regards,
Jonathan
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