All India DanceSport Federation

FAQ

Welcome to the AIDSF Dance FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). This is a collaborative effort for dancing information. Hopefully it will continue to grow as people contribute thoughts and ideas. Anyone can contribute to this FAQ. The FAQ will be continually updates, with answers

Q. What is AIDSF?
A. All India Dance Sport Federation (AIDSF) is a nonpolitical non-profit organization. It is set up in 2003 with the objectives of popularizing dance sport in the country, under the initiative of a team of well experienced, professionally qualified and service oriented persons in different fields of sports development. Most of the team members have been engaged in the sports field since the past ten to twenty years and presently they have formed in to an active work team to promote Dance Sport in India.

AIDSF is involved in promoting dance sport in the country by way of conducting coaching camps, holding inter-state bouts and sponsoring participation of dancers in international championships.

AIDSF affiliates with IDSF, the world dance sport body for participation in world dance sport championships and enforce its rules and regulations in the country.

Q. What is Dance Sport?
A.DanceSport is a competitive or exhibition style of dance and is the most physically demanding and mentally challenging form of ballroom dancing. As in any sport, the requirements of fitness, discipline and training are the keys to ultimate success, yet the learning process is fun, and the resultant skills can be used with confidence on any dance occasion

Q. What is ballroom dancing?
A. Ballroom dancing is a form of partner dancing in which two people move in harmony with each other and with the music, usually on a crowded dance floor. The presence of other dancers provides a major challenge to the couple, and the best dancers are able to move spontaneously but synchronously through the actions of leading and following. There are many types of ballroom dances These dances can be divided into two major classifications: Standard (smooth) and Latin (rhythm) dances

Q. What is Latin dancing?
A. Latin dancing is characterized by rhythmic movements and syncopated or percussive Latin beats. Latin dances are usually danced in place. The movements are compact and expressive. Latin dances are popular and fun party dances. Examples include salsa, cha cha cha and meringue.

Q. What is social dancing?
Asocial dancing is a form of ballroom dancing, which occurs at social dance events such as dinner dances, fund-raisers, weddings, and holiday parties. The most popular social dances are swing, waltz, foxtrot, cha cha, cha, tango and rumba.

Q. Why should I join the AIDSF?
Dance Sport has been around for awhile and now we are have a national governing body that will maintain the integrity of the sport and promotion for future generations. If you love this sport as much as we all do, please become a member by clicking here.

Q. What are the benefits of dancing?
A. Dancing is a great way to meet new friends, maintain fitness and develop body awareness. In addition, improved weight control, flexibility, heart health, and stress reduction are all benefits of ballroom dancing.

Q. How We Teach Our Students?
A. The AIDSF Studios teaching is on a scholastic basis, and degrees of dancing achieved are varied. Instruction progresses through: Student Introductory & Variety Programs, and Associate or Full Programs in Bronze, Silver, Gold, Gold Bar and Gold Star Standards. This system is called the Medalist System and is used worldwide. Courses are designed for people desiring instruction in either Social or Competition Styles. Our goal is to help you get out on the floor dancing as soon as possible.

Q. Our Instructors?
A. Our instructors are carefully selected and trained to bring you the finest in dancing instruction. Working together they help you reach any dancing goal through individualized teaching utilizing the latest techniques and styles.

Q. How do I choose a teacher?
A. Choose a teacher whose is friendly, patient, and who can communicate clearly. A good teacher should recognize your learning style. Some students learn best through their sense of touch, and a good teacher will be able to show you how a step should "feel". Some learn best through visualization and physical examples. A good teacher will be able to paint a "word picture" which describes how a step should look. Also, look for a teacher who has enthusiasm for learning. For a teacher to teach well, he must continue to learn himself!

Q. What kinds of dances can I learn?
A. Examples of popular smooth dances include the foxtrot, waltz, quickstep and tango. Salsa, swing, rumba, meringue and cha cha cha are examples of rhythm dances.

Q. Is a background in dance required?
A. No previous dance experience is necessary to be a successful ballroom dancer. Over time students develop skill and grace, improved posture and sharpened reflexes. Q. Where do people go to dance? A. Weddings, parties, fund-raisers, black-tie events, corporate functions, night clubs, ballrooms, dance studio social parties, cruise lines and supper clubs all provide opportunities for you to practice your fancy footwork.

Q. At what age can my child start dancing?
A. While many schools will start at age 3, we know that a child cannot really learn a specific dance-form at such an early age. We start beginners after age 4 and a half. Before that age, any Pre-Dance class offered by a general dance studio will be just as beneficial. Once a child reaches age 4 or 5 they will be ready for a real Indian dance class.

Q. Do you teach teens and adults?
A. Yes, we have beginner programs for all ages including adults at most of our locations.

Q. Do you offer dancing competitions?
A. Yes, however we allow students to choose whether to participate in competitive activities.

Q. What kinds of supplies will I need to start?
A. Proper shoes & socks with comfortable clothing. Dance-gear is optional

Q. What do you wear to class? Do you need a costume?
A. Ballroom dance class is essentially an exercise class; you should wear something comfortable that allows you to move, and the instructor to see your movements, easily. You only need a costume if you want to perform.

Q. Are the dresses really hundreds or thousands of dollars?
A. They can be, but we discourage it. Our beginner through advanced uniform is an authentic 19th century dance school uniform. It costs less than Rs.3, 000.00. Competitors wear more elaborate school dresses that can cost up to Rs.30, 000.00 but these are only for older advanced performers and competitors. We do not encourage the elaborate solo dresses that can cost thousands of dollars.

Q. Where can I buy dancewear?
A. There are stores that specialize in dancewear. Try the Yellow Pages; look at the ads in a Dance Magazine; or look at the dance related sites on Internet for information on ballroom related material.

Q. What kinds of shoes?
A. There are two kinds of shoes used in step dancing. Hard and soft. Hard-shoes make noise but are not tap shoes. They have heavy nylon heels and toes that produce sounds. Soft-shoes are more like Ballet slippers and are used for the more graceful "light-dancing" Each of these dance-forms compliment one another and can not be taught exclusively of one another. Usually, Soft-shoes are worn for the first year or so before introducing students to the expensive hard-shoes.

Q. What's with the Wigs?
A. We are not really sure. This is a very new development that has nothing to do with any sort of "Tradition". Many schools are requiring students to wear very expensive wigs. We do not allow this. Other odd trends in dancing are chemical tanning and heavy make-up. Our students are not encouraged to wear wigs.

Q. What is competition?
A. DanceSport competition is an organized event where people of all ages and levels participate in the sport of Ballroom dancing. It is usually held at a hotel near an airport so dancers from all over the country, even the world, can attend. A competition is usually a two or three-day event, running from morning until midnight, and consists of competitions, professional shows, and general dancing.

Q. Why should I dance in a competition?
A. Dancing in a competition has many benefits for the dance student. The biggest advantage is that is creates a goal for you. Students who participate in competitions tend to learn faster and dance with more technique and style than students who only focus on the social aspects of dancing. Competitions are also a great place to meet people with similar interests. Everyone at the competition, from the newest dancer to the seasoned veteran has worked hard to get there. This builds great camaraderie and confidence with everyone rooting for one another. By the end of the weekend, most people feel a sense of accomplishment and are inspired to learn more.

Q. But I don't like competition?
A. Most people who participate in a Dance Sport competition are not in it to win. Our approach is to focus on your progress. You will have the opportunity to work with your teacher, to set goals and work hard. Then, when you are out on the dance floor, you will dance your personal best!

Q. What if I am just a beginner?
A. Competitions are set up to include dancers on all levels. The newcomer division is especially designed for students who have only been dancing a few months.

Q. Who do I dance with at competition?
A. Most people do not have a partner when they first start dancing. These students are able to dance with their teachers in a Pro-Am (Teacher-Student) entry. The student has the advantage of dancing with an experienced professional partner. These entries will be judged solely on the ability of the student. You may meet a student in school that you would like to practice and compete with. You may dance together in an Amateur (Student-Student) entry.

Q. What is the format of the competition?
A. Competitions are divided into two categories, Solo Routine entries and Group (freestyle) entries. Each of these is further split into age groups and skill levels. In Solo Routine events, you will dance a choreographed routine to a specific piece of music, with an entrance and an exit. You and your partner will be on the dance floor by yourselves. You will receive written critique and score from the judges. You will receive a plaque for participating in the competition. Top routines may receive other awards, depending on the competition. In Group competition, you will dance on the floor with other couples at your same level. While you will know the dance, you will not get to pick your own music. You will receive a placing (first, second, third, etc…) As with Solo routines, you will receive other awards depending on the competition.

Q. What is the cost?
A. The entry fees vary somewhat with each competition. Generally it costs $75 - $85 for a Group competition entry and $120 - $140 for a Solo routine. In addition, you will need to purchase tickets to the event.

Q. Okay, how do I participate?
A. Great! We are delighted you have decided to participate. Your teacher will tell you all the details of the particular competition coming up: dates, what you will dance, what you should wear, when to show up, etc… We know you will have a wonderful time and we are excited about how much you are going to learn! Enjoy preparing for the competition!

Q. How can I build a proper floor for dancing?
First, the reason for this question: A hard, unyielding surface like concrete is a killer. To avoid injuries, you need a resilient floor. These floors are termed "sprung floors," because the construction makes the floor springy. Our opinion is that this is a job best left to professionals.

Q. What is the difference between State Association and a recognized Academy?
A. Dancing in India is divided into two different world. On the one side the dance studios or academies that are run by professional dance teachers. This system is quite clear; pupils have courses in a studio and pay for it. On the other side are State associations are formed in each state run by amateurs. People who join such association do pay a yearly membership fee that is not too exorbitant and many of those people do a lot of work for their associations without or with little payment. Teachers in dancing associations are either professional dance teachers or licensed amateur dance trainers from any specialized organization. Normally both organizations are working hand to hand together for developing Dance Sport in India.

Q. I am a journalist. How can I interview a Indian DanceSport athlete, coach or staff member? How can I get more information ?
A. All Indian DanceSport media requests should be directed to Biswajit Mohanty, Secretary for Indian DanceSport, at (91) 674-6542212 or indiadance@rediffmail.com

About Ballroom Dance Music


Q. What is the difference between International Style and American Style?
A. International style is danced throughout the world and is the standard for all International competitions. There are ten International style dances which are: waltz, slow fox, tango, quickstep, Viennese waltz, rumba, cha cha, samba, jive, and paso doble. American style, which is danced primarily in the U.S., includes much of the above dances in addition to the meringue, bolero, swing, and mambo. While the styles are similar, International style is more disciplined and technical.

Q.What do you mean by Standard/Modern, and Latin? Is that similar to Smooth and Rhythm?
A. In International style ballroom dancing the ten dances are broken down into the five modern dances (also referred to the five standard dances), which are the waltz, quickstep, slow fox, tango, and the Viennese waltz. The five Latin dances are the rumba, samba, cha cha, jive, and the paso doble. In American style the dances are broken down into similar categories often referred to as Smooth instead of Standard, and Rhythm instead of Latin.

Q. What is BPM?
A. BPM stands for beats per measure. More information about the timing of our music is available in the following question.

Q. What is strict tempo?
A. Every dance feels its best at a certain speed of music. This is 'strict tempo.' Despite the word 'strict' the tempo can vary by 1 or 2 bars per minute. Here are the most common tempos for the ten dances. Slowfox: 29 - 30 Waltz: 29 - 30 Tango: 32 Cha Cha Cha: 32 Quickstep.: 50 Samba: 52 Rumba: 26 Jive: 44 Paso Doble: 60 Viennese Waltz: 60

Listen up: We did not write most of this stuff; we have just collected it from different sources. If you have additional questions or comments about these answers, send an e-mail to indiadance@rediffmail.com