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Ballroom Dance

J M (Mike) Nelson
Phone: 612-810-0157

Venues and Lessons

Dance Venues. In any environment, if you cannot converse without shouting, then you can be assured that if you remain, you will experience hearing damage. Insidiously, this damage begins well below the threshold of pain, and its effects are not generally revealed until years later; even so, the damage is cumulative and irreversible. Thus, as with many deliberately damaging activities of youth, selecting entertainment with high sound levels assures hearing problems for later years. Furthermore, the return of normal hearing a few hours or days following exposure should not be taken as evidence of recovery, only as indication that the cumulative damage has not yet reached a detectable level. If exposure continues, the damage will accumulate, and it will eventually be detected. Though there are safety standards mandating hearing protection for industrial workers, they do not apply to entertainment. It appears that gains in hearing health in industry are being offset by the folly of our leisure activities.

Dance Lessons. For those desiring to learn to dance, the most critical aspect of a dance lesson is the scope and sequence of the content. Psychologist have known for more than half a century that short-term memory can only hold 5 to 9 items of information. That limitation is a basic element of all subsequent theories of memory. Though continued research has explored nuances of this discovery, none have refuted the principle of limited capacity of short term memory. Unfortunately, this knowledge has had no influence on many areas of teaching, and essentially none on the teaching of ballroom dance, where a lesson can easily contain much more than any normal human can hope to remember.

Though not as critical as scope, the sequence from the known to the new is also a factor in retention. The wider the gaps in the sequence, the less efficient the learning. If you feel frustrated and excessively uncomfortably with your lesson, then there is likely a neglect of the sequence as well as the scope of information being presented.

A knowledgeable teacher will: establish a hierarchy of nominally seven items to remember from each lesson, connect these items to things you already know, and provide documentation for activities to reinforce these items. If they do not, then you are wasting time and money. I suggest that you go elsewhere. Dance Home Page Dance Curriculum Dance Articles

Copyright (c) 2006, J. M. Nelson. All rights reserved. Reproduction of contents prohibited without prior permission from the author.