Ballroom dance group classes with a difference
If you’ve been dancing for a while and want to get more out of your experiences you should consider the Level 3 advanced ballroom dance classes. This group class that doesn’t follow the approach used by most ballroom dance studios. Instead, classes are focused on mastering each dance we cover rather than just teaching a pile of new steps that you may not even understand.
Teachers George and Wendy Pytlik believe that dancing is way more enjoyable and more beautiful when people do things well. Rather than try to teach an huge number of fancy steps, they teach fewer step patterns with lots of technique so that you understand the principles of how to perform them well, how to lead effectively and how to match your partner as effortlessly as possible.
In every class you benefit from having both teachers demonstrate the steps and technique, rather than having one teacher try to show both sides of the partnership. This way you get to see how the couple is supposed to move together in every step grouping.
Watch a championship couple in a solo demonstration and you’ll see basic steps performed so beautifully they look like fancy steps.
In terms of the steps covered, the Delta Dance Level 3 Ballroom Dancing program is equivalent to the Silver or Gold classes taught at many ballroom dance studios, but we teach a single dance over several weeks. Most dances have six weeks of lessons, while Viennese Waltz has three weeks. We occasionally intersperse dances with special workshops on things like musicality, partnership skills, or exercises to improve your dancing.
In each case, the emphasis is not on cramming a ton of steps into the program, but helping you dance with quality. You are given advanced steps with plenty of information to help you understand how to make them look good so that you don’t end up looking ridiculous when you try them on the dance floor. You’ll also learn how to put the steps together so that you can dance effectively around the room.
Step groups, not routines
George and Wendy seldom teach a rigid routine like most dance studios do, because when couples learn group class routines they end up just dancing the same group of steps in the same pattern over and over again. In no time at all they forget where the actual steps start and end within the routine, and have no easy way to combine them into a different order.
We take a different approach, the result of being mentored by legendary Andy and Wendy Wong of the Grand Ballroom, which was Canada’s largest dance studio until it closed after Andy and Wendy retired at the end of 2013. Our mentors taught more group classes than anyone we know of — more than 15,000 classes over their 20-year professional career.
We learned that teaching step groupings rather than rigid routines was far more enjoyable for students, as they could now put their own routines together as they danced. George provides a series of groupings that can be joined to one another in any order, so that the leader has a selection of things to choose from to create variety in his dancing.
Some dances, such as Paso Doble and Samba, are best covered with a routine, but all the others are taught in step groupings.
In the Level 3 program, George also shows students how to string the different groupings into one another effectively.
Where and When
The Level 3 program is taught at both Kennedy Recreation Centre in North Delta and KinVillage Community Centre in Tsawwassen. Both programs are similar in content and continue throughout the year, though the dances will be different at any given point in time.