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It’s your first day of class.  Your teacher smiles and shows you a syllabus, just like any other class, but it looks different than a normal syllabus.  Where’s the homework? The quizzes? The tests? And, what are all of these dance steps? Today, we’ll explore the world-famous Arthur Murray Medalist System of ballroom and social dancing.

Here is an example of a college syllabus, our syllabi don’t look anything like this, though!

Why do we use a syllabus?

A syllabus in a normal school is there to tell you what material is going to be covered in the course and when.  At Arthur Murray Dance Studios, we use syllabus in a similar way, to help guide our clients through the medalist program, which keeps track of their dancing journey.  

Each dance has its own page in our syllabus which lays out all of the different steps you can learn as well as some extra fun facts about the history and music. The steps are broken down into two categories, school figures and variations.  School figures contain the most critical skills for each level and ensure that you are prepared to move to the next level of your dancing. Variations, on the other hand, are there for fun additions to your dance repertoire and improve other skills.  

As you learn not only the steps, but how to dance them, your teacher will keep track on your syllabus, giving you a visual record of your progress. Once you’ve been dancing for a few months, your syllabus will be a personalized representation of your dance journey that you can look back on with pride! 

What is the medalist program?

The medalist program is designed to take our students through checkpoints in their dancing, making sure their progress is smooth and steady.  The program was designed by some of the best minds in ballroom dancing, and it is revised every few years to ensure that there is an easy stairway from beginning concepts through the most advanced. Whether you’ve never danced before or you’ve been competing for years, there is always a place for you in our system. 

Our levels of dance are labeled Bronze, Silver and Gold, each with four levels. You can think about these as your high school, college, and masters of ballroom dancing. Each provides its own feeling of achievement, but also prepares you for the next. Graduating Bronze (or high school) means that you are an accomplished social dancer, able to dance comfortably and confidently in any social situation. Silver (college) takes everything you learned in Bronze to the next level, making ballroom dancing a skill-based hobby, like golf. And by the time you reach Gold (the masters level), you are probably the standout on any dance floor! 

Here is a picture of our board that shows where our students are in the medalist program!

Checking Out

To move from one level to another, your instructor will let you know when you are ready to check out. There is no need to be nervous, though, checkout is not a test!  One of our advanced instructors will visit your lesson and watch you dance to give you some projects for the next level. Then you get to receive your graduation certificate at our Medal Ball celebration! 

Medal Balls 

Arthur Murray Dance Studios have been holding Medal Balls for their students for more than fifty years. Medal balls are our graduation ceremonies to celebrate those that have moved from one level to another over the previous year.  They include dinner, lots of social dancing, staff dance demonstrations, and presentation of the graduation certificates. Stay tuned for more details in a separate post!  

If you are interested in learning more, contact us today!  

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