Improvers level in Line dancing appeared as an in-between level for dancers moving from Beginners to Intermediates. Some called this level Easy Intermediate but today it is a separate level.
Why do we need Improvers in Line dancing?
I believe that Improvers came into being because Intermediate dances got more complex and faster. The mix of these two things means it is difficult for a beginner to make the leap from Beginner straight to Intermediate.
Easy Intermediate is a level used for Intermediate dances that some view as easier than other Intermediate dances but it is rare to get a class for Easy Intermediates. So Improvers came along to fill the gap.
Benefits of Improver level
Experienced beginners are getting their confidence on the dance floor so when they move up a level we don’t want them to have this confidence shattered. One minute are feeling good about what they can do and the next they move up a level and feel that they are back at the beginning struggling to pick up steps and dances.
Improver level is a great way to help experienced beginners to improve on the skills gained in the Beginner class, add to them and learn slightly more complex dances to various speeds. In and ideal world, Improvers would not be doing Intermediate dances because they are building up their skills to move into an Intermediate class. But often Improvers are doing Intermediate dances which really defeats the purpose of Improvers. There are Improver dances out there – although levels on dance scripts are very subjective and so are not always right for the level claimed. You can look at Line dances and consider the level of your Improver class and decide if the dance is the right level for your dancers. If you are teaching your Improvers Intermediate dances most of the time, ask yourself why? Are you choosing the right content to teach your Improvers or are you teaching what is in the Line dance charts?
The foundation that a beginner leaves the Beginners class with is developed in the Improver class. So adding new movements and steps that are just beyond the basic beginner level is what to aim for. Also building up the Improver’s confidence is important so that he/she can comfortably do what they are learning – aim for a bit of a challenge but not so much that it is too difficult.
At this level using a variety of tempos or speeds is important because it lets the dancer practise steps and footwork at the various speeds. And you can see what speeds they cope with easily and what causes the most challenges. Don’t be surprised if the slowest tempos are very challenging. Dancing slowly requires good control, strength and technique. It is much easier to fudge the steps when dancing faster. There’s nowhere to hide when dancing slowly.
When an Improver can cope well with Improver dances of various rhythms, tempos and styles then they are ready to move to an Intermediate class.