I have a question! Can anybody tell me something about the current IDTA syllabus in Latin (and also in Ballroom)? Where can I find it on the internet? I mean the ISTD syllabus is easy to find because it is puplished almost evrywhere. But the IDTA syllabus is kept secret I think or I find an older version. Is there a possibility to find out? Thnk you!
The Latin Technique adopted by IDTA is Walter Laird's, and the Ballroom Technique is Guy Howard's. Neither book contains the current syllabus, but you could not make a serious study of the syllabus content for professional examinations without these texts.
The current syllabus is not published online, as far as I know, but in a slim volume called "Profesional and Amateur Dance Syllabus". The current syllabus was revised in 2006, and copies cost 8 GBP, direct from the IDTA shop, and it is also resold through third parties (usually for more).
In the IDTA syllabus The Fallaway Reverse is not mentioned in the Tango or waltz, only in Foxtrott (Fellow). It is mentioned in the book but how do I know if the figure is a Gold figure or Silver figur and so on. Others are not even mentioned in the syllabus but mentioned in the book such as an Outside Change in Foxtrot. Same question: how do I know which level it is.
And what about the Supplement by Walter Laird? The IDTA does not mention it at all! Why? Is it not allowed to dance these figures? I think the figures in there are great!
The IDTA Amateur Syllabus for adults (Medal Tests), no longer specifies ANY figures at ANY level. If you make a comparison with the ISTD Syllabus, you will see that there you get a clear correspondence of figures at Bronze, Silver & Gold levels with the Professional Syllabus requirements for Associate, Licentiate & Fellow.
However, for IDTA Medal tests, the only actual requirement is that a minimum number of figures be presented, within the capabilities of the candidate. Five figures are required at Bronze Level, and six at Siler. By Gold, only a "selection of figures" is required - so not necessarily more than six.
It might be tempting to continue to match the IDTA Professional Syllabus requirements of Associate, Licentiate & Fellow with Bronze, Silver & Gold, and then find some small differences between the two Society's lists, but to do so would be missing two important points:
Firstly, the standard required in an Amateur Medal Test is nothing like that of the corresponding Professional Exam. If you get a "Highly Commended" in a Bronze Medal, you are NOT suitably prepared for the Associate Exam (although your dance performance MIGHT be of a suitable standard), and the holder of a Gold Medal, is in no sense the equal of the holder of a Fellowship in a Teaching Society.
Secondly, the association of the two systems might lead you to think that a Gold Medal is more than it is. It is not uncommon to think Bronze = Beginner; Silver = Intermediate and that Gold = Advanced. Actually, I think that Gold rounds off the beginner phase of dancing, the intermediate phase is represented by the Gold Bars & Stars, and perhaps the advanced phase, the President's Awards and beyond. The IDTA offers medal tests at twenty levels, Gold being the third.
The descriptions from the Amateur Syllabus bear this out:
All the way up to to 3rd Gold Bar (Level 6): "a selection of figures demonstrated to a higher standard of technique"(ie progressively higher than Silver); up to 5th Gold Star (Level 11): "... a higher standard of technique showing good poise, deportment and characterisation"; and for the President's Awards: "... a selection of figures ... performed with continuity, fluidity of movement and musical interpretation".
Can you be an advanced dancer without those things?
The 'Green Book' has been out of print for some time and is unlikely to reappear. I also understand that the IDTA have also acquired the copyright to the Laird Technique, and that a revision is in the pipeline. It remains to be seen whether the title lives on, but the recent revision to Howard (while mangling significant parts of the text to the point of absurdity) retained the name.
Fallaway Reverse and Slip Pivot is a Fellow (Gold) Foxtrot figure in Guy Howard's book. (On the page titled "Figures Common to More Than One Dance," Howard shows it for Waltz and Quickstep also.) But it is in the USISTD Silver Foxtrot Syllabus, in a figure called "Fallaway Reverse Turn Slip Pivot Curved Three." Is it easier for Americans to do, or is it just a matter of someone's difference of opinion?
On the other hand, I have not seen Three Fallaways (a natural follow-on to Fallaway Reverse and Slip Pivot) described in any syllabus. An instructor taught it to us in (what Americans would call International) Tango, and you can find it described on the Internet for other dances, such as Foxtrot (and it also works well in Waltz). My partner and I like this figure--in fact, she insists on doing it whenever possible. If someone can point me to a syllabus that lists this figure I would appreciate it.
The standard of the IDTA examinations is appalling as can be clearly proven by watching the standard of most dancers who take any, lierally any, of the examinations. It ssems that the only criteria is that those taking the exams can actually walk, but not necessarily very well. The standard of the examinations is a disgrace. It has to be seen to be believed and is highly insulting to those worthy of taking the examinations. Again, to judge for yourself, observe the standard of the dancing skills of those who have taken the exams. Usually it's a disaster.