Dance Home Page Dance Curriculum Dance Articles

Ballroom Dance

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

Value of Ballroom Basics

The rationale for the development of the six-lesson series that I call Ballroom Basics was to apply the principles of systematic instructional design to beginning ballroom dance. The result was a course that used the most versatile ballroom step pattern as a vehicle for teaching the fundamental knowledge and skills requisite to partner dancing.

Students of Ballroom Basics also learn the skills and reasoning associated with most of the variations taught in beginning and intermediate level dancing. Thus, they can not only replicate these skills and variations, but they also gain the cognitive ability that enables them to deduce rather than simply memorize them.

That knowledge and insight also enables them immediately to master styles within the same cadence family and to apply their fundamental knowledge to other cadences; essentially, needing only to learn the cadence and general styling of a dance in order to incorporate many, if not all, the variations already within their repertoire. In general, students who complete Ballroom Basics dance rumba, foxtrot, and waltz at the intermediate level.

With, at most, a simple reminder, they can apply all their variations to the one-step dances. With a lesson on cadence and styling, they can dance chacha, salsa, mambo, and bolero at the intermediate level. In addition, they easily transfer their basic knowledge to the six-count cadences of foxtrot and swing.

Such efficiency and insight are absent in the traditional ballroom dance curriculum, where the emphasis is on recall and application rather than the higher order cognitive skills associated with insight, reasoning, learning transfer, and discovery. 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.