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Blues /Swing /Rock 'n' Roll /Rockabilly /Aerials      


   
   

               
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Lesson Notes & Videos

Videos

Fundamentals





We aim to have similar videos for Rock 'n' Roll, Swing, and Lifts in the near future.


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Course Summaries & Routines

It is our goal to produce videos of the basic routines for all regular courses. These basic routines will be linked here for all students to revise as desired. Thereafter we expect to progressively video Tier 2 and Tier 3 routines, which will be available for purchase by those students tackling more advanced content. Meanwhile, the following course summaries and routine outlines are provided:

Kick-Step R'n'R
(A) Mechanics
(B) Pressure
(C) Timing & Harmony
Mix-Up #1
Mix-Up #2
4Beat Blues
(A) Mechanics
(B) Pressure
(C) Timing & Harmony
Mix-Up #1
Mix-Up #2 
Rockabilly
(A) Mechanics
Routine (Video) - Tier 1
Routine (Video) - Tier 2
(B) Pressure
Routine (Video) - Tier 1
Routine (Video) - Tier 2
(C) Timing & Harmony
Mix-Up #1
Mix-Up #2 
Swing / Lindy-Hop 
(A) Mechanics
(B) Pressure
(C) Timing & Harmony
Mix-Up #1
Mix-Up #2 




 

Lesson Notes

Why does Cool Cats go to the effort of creating lesson notes? It's simple - working to a defined structure helps establish consistency of method rather than an undirected or ad hoc teaching approach. This allows for the consistent reinforcement of common principles and skills across different styles of dance for students of all proficiency levels.

Our goal is to help students Take the Next Step and not only improve their execution and presentation, but also understand their dancing better. Comprehensive and descriptive lesson notes are one way that we can assist this process.

A summary of the course content for all styles  is provided here

Tier 1: Fundamentals

Tier 1 represents not only the core content that students new to dancing or a particular style need to know, but also the key elements of better dancing for students of all levels of experience. The Tier 1 notes therefore provide information relevant to mechanics, pressure, timing and harmony. While each course may focus more on a specific element, it remains important to address all components when considering the fundamentals of a dance style.

Kick-Step R'n'R           4-Beat Blues            Rockabilly            Swing / Lindy-Hop


Tier 2 & 3 lesson notes are in continued development - notes that are relatively complete are available upon request as pdf documents to students working on that content. A summary of the advanced content for all styles  is provided 
here.

At any stage students may pursue the more advanced content 
in general classes or private lessons. However, it is strongly recommended that students are confident with the content presented in the regular courses before pursuing this, as skills and concepts thereby introduced are foundational.
   

Tiers 2: Progression 

The content covered in Tier 2 of each course is selected to provide a progression from the basic figures or skills, focusing on the chosen element of each course (mechanics, pressure, timing & harmony). The lesson notes are written in a manner to highlight the relevant skills and concepts applied. They also serve as a useful reminder for key aspects of each figure to remember during practice.

In the course lessons the Tier 2 content is presented for dancers comfortable with the basics and thus basic skills and concepts are not explored in detail. For those seeking a greater understanding of what, how, or why certain actions through a figure are required the lesson notes will help provide further insight. 


Tiers 3: Advanced Skills & Concepts 

Tier 3 content is selected to demonstrate how skills and principles introduced in Tiers 1 and 2 develop and are implemented in more advanced dancing. Tier 3 content is typically taught in a lesson format where partners may work through the content together at their own pace. Consequently, Tier 3 lesson notes are provided primarily to assist ongoing practice and revision and are available by request only to those students who are learning the relevant content.

 Short Courses: Insight & Focus

These courses cover a lot of content and the scope of information goes beyond what we can cover in a standard lesson. The teaching elements addressed during a particular course or workshop will thus vary according to the composition of students. Consequently, the lesson notes provided are extensive and an essential tool for those students wanting to revise, refine, and enhance their knowledge and skills.

Presently most of short courses are not offered as weekly course option. Workshops, general classes, and private lessons provide the opportunity to work on this content and to follow the structured course approach to further improve your dancing.

Triples Rock 'n' Roll


Two girls, one guy - what's not to like?! Of course, there's also a fair amount of co-ordination and each dancer being aware of their role and requirements as part of the team. This course covers the 'rules of the road' for everyone involved, examining the inside/outside follow requirements and positioning and control for the lead. Just getting out there and mixing it all up is certainly fun, but there's more enjoyment for all when everyone learns how to work together!

Basic (& Progressive) Aerials


The Basic Aerials course is not just about running through a series of simple lifts, drop, and slides - rather it is designed to provide dancers with the essential skills to progress into more complex, sensitive, or physically demanding aerials both safely and confidently. The Basic Aerials short course (or equivalent content in general classes) must be completed successfully before we teach dancers more advanced lift-work and technique.

There is a lot of important information to cover concerning Aerials and we want to make sure we get it right. We will not be preparing full notes for this content until we can cover this with the necessary detail. Reminders of good form and practice in Aerials may be obtained from watching our short series 'Lifts Focus' on our YouTube Channel.

Lead/Follow


While we place a lot of emphasis through our structured courses and the general classes on leading and following, consideration is often specific to those figures or actions being examined. In this course we explore how the various components of leading and following may be brought together into a coherent and consistent system, with concepts and principals relevant to all nostalgia dance styles.

This course is designed to aid students in the development of their overall lead/follow skills, while also providing a deeper appreciation of the restrictions, needs, and issues pertinent to the other partner.

Timing & Technique


Many people find timing difficult, particularly in conjunction with the performance of various actions to lead/follow certain figures. In addition, as a dancer it is important to appreciate the ability to "play" with the music (musicality) and understand how variation to basic actions may be used to match and emphasise the light and shade in each song.

This course is designed to examine basic principals for good timing, build upon skills and concepts introduced in the Lead/Follow short course, and provide further background and insight on musical patterns, dance construction, and the relationship to footwork and body movement.

Footwork & Body Movement


Each dancer should be encouraged to develop their own style. This is achieved in large part by 
the selection of footwork and body movement variations (unique to the character and musical interpretation of each dancer), while maintaining good partnership connection and the fundamental structure and presentation of each dance style. In other words, everybody should be able to put their dancing together a bit differently to get the most enjoyment from it.

This course will review a variety of common footwork changes and body actions that may be used to match the music or alter the flow of dance. The course is also designed to explore how and when changes to the basic dance actions are appropriate and effective. It will therefore consolidate elements of the Timing & Technique and Lead/Follow short courses as footwork and body movement actions are examined as tools for timing and control.

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