What is a Practice Session?
While the format of a practice session is much like a typical social ballroom
dance, the purpose is different. As the name implies, the purpose of a practice session is to give dancers a chance to practice on a spacious dance floor.
The instructor hosting the practice session will play pre-recorded music he or she has carefully chosen for the correct tempo for each type of dance and for the characteristics that make each dance unique.
• If the session is titled “International Standard,” music will be played only for waltzes, foxtrots, tangos, quickstep and other “smooth,” usually traveling, dances. The tempo of each song will be the correct tempo for International style dances.
• Likewise, if the session is titled “American Rhythm,” music will be played for rumba, cha cha, swing and other “rhythm” dances, each dance in the correct tempo for American style.
• If the session is only titled “Open Practice,” expect a variety of dance music to be played.
The host instructor may repeat the same song several times in a row so that competitors have an opportunity to practice their routines. Requests for songs specific to a routine may be taken toward the end of the session.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
“Open Practice Sessions” means that all dancers are welcome and encouraged to come. You do not have to be a student of the hosting instructor. You can be at any level of dance experience; you can dance either International or American style. Host instructors are always happy to see dancers take advantage of their sessions.
You can come to just enjoy dancing. You do not need to have a particular move or routine that you are practicing. It is a great opportunity to dance on an uncrowded dance floor.
The dancers who frequently attend practice sessions can be very serious dancers. Many routines, especially in traveling dances, have couples moving quickly around the dance floor. Therefore, it is very important to follow the rules of dance etiquette, especially observing the line of dance (moving around the dance floor in a counter-clockwise direction).
Unlike a social dance, dancers either come with a partner, plan to meet someone there, or plan to practice solo.
THE ROLE OF THE HOST INSTRUCTOR
The host instructor is responsible for the dancing environment of the session, including providing appropriate music.
Instructions/lessons are not included in the practice session. However, instructors hosting the practice session are often pleased to make suggestions when asked.
“Supervised Practice Sessions” means that the hosting instructor will be present in the room, monitoring the music and watching the dancers.
“Practice Sessions with Assistance” means that the hosting instructor is happy to help if you request help.