11 Secrets Of Medal Ball That Everyone Misses
1. They Won’t Ask
Summary: Your teacher will not ask you to participate in this event, if they didn’t believe you were ready, and could benefit from the experience.
Why: Your teacher would lose credibility as an Arthur Murray professional if you, and countless others, failed miserably at the Medal Ball.
Verdict: Your teacher has a vested interest in making sure you look good at the graduation.
2. Balance And Beyond
Summary: Working on your Medalist graduation teaches one of the most important skills in any dance style: Balance.
Why: Developing the ability to dance patterns with, or without, your teacher demonstrates great balance, control, and, ultimately, confidence.
Verdict: A dancer with great balance is someone that can make dancing look easy.
3. Build A Balcony
Summary: It’s easy to think that the answers are written on your feet sometimes. (They aren’t) Build your posture by finding the spot where the ceiling and the wall meet. Imagine there’s a balcony there with all of your family and friends.
Why: Going beyond “normal posture” will ensure that, even, under stress you look confident and well rehearsed.
Verdict: If your friends and family were taking pictures of you dancing from an actual balcony, make sure it’s of your face, and not the top of your head.
4. Dance Your Whole Body
Summary: When dancing the patterns for your graduation, use any part of your body that was covered in your level.
Why: Memory. When you have more of your body activated, even dancing on your own, your feet aren’t doing a solo – they’ll be in concert with your arms, rib cage, hips, or head position.
Verdict: Knowing your patterns is the first step in the refining process, but not the last.
5. When You Feel Ready
Summary: Arthur Murray students won’t realize they were ready for the event… until the event is halfway over, or even the following the event.
Why: Your instructor will always tell you that you’re ready 4-6 weeks before you realize you are.
Verdict: Treat “ready” as something in the past tense. You won’t feel that way until after the event has started anyway.
6. How It Feels To You
Summary: You improve in three different ways as a dancer:
1. How Your Dancing Looks
2. How Your Dancing Feels to Your Partner
3. How Your Dancing Feels to You
The hardest area to make improvement is “How Dancing Feels To You”.
Why: We are our own worst critics, so it’s important to know that you can still make progress in other areas, even if you don’t feel like you deserve it.
Verdict: You will never improve in all three ways equally or simultaneously.
7. The Catalog
Summary: You can achieve progress by watching the other students, different levels, and communicating what stood out to you to your teacher. It’s like a catalog for your dance program.
Why: If your teacher were your interior decorator, the better they understand your vision, the sooner they can deliver that vision to you.
Verdict: Every phase of this experience is a chance to make progress, as long as you communicate with your teacher.
8. The Flash Formation
Summary: The Flash Formation adds two incredibly important elements to this event that sometimes get overlooked: Fun and Teamwork.
Why: Rallying for a studio goal alleviates some of the pressure you may have put on yourself for your own graduation.
Verdict: What’s not to love about a group dance routine that gets you to scream, laugh, and generally behave like you’re in the middle of High School spirit week?
What Is A “Flash Formation”?
Several years ago, in an effort to build school spirit and enthusiasm, the Arthur Murray Bay Area schools began the Flash Formation. Each school in the area is given the same song for a group dance routine. The winning studio takes home the Flash Formation trophy with the studio name engraved on it… until the next Medal Ball. Read more about the Flash formation here.
9. Share Your Celebration
Summary: You may have attended countless piano recitals, belt ceremonies, and basketball tournaments.
Why: This is your chance to shine, and this dance milestone deserves an audience.
Verdict: There were plenty of things you overcame to get to this stage in your dancing. If there was one event that highlights that, it’s your graduation from one level to the next in your dance program.
10. Retrofit The Journey
Summary: Not only should your dance program expand vertically (moving up the chart), it should also expand horizontally (adding new dances or projects).
Why: Your dance program should always stay interesting, exciting, and should constantly expand your comfort zone.
Verdict: A customized plan isn’t a one time thing. It is an ongoing process that will continue to evolve to fit your ever-changing dance skills and interests.
11. Making Feedback Valuable
Summary: After the event is over, you and your teacher will receive feedback from a consultant. It’s what you do with that information that will determine if the feedback was valuable or not.
Why: The tips and strategies you receive will lose value, and meaning, without action.
Verdict: Apply the feedback with your instructor right away. Even better, schedule a lesson immediately following your critique – schedule permitting.
You’re making progress. That could not have happened without a team of Arthur Murray professionals carefully expanding your comfort zone and transcribing your progress.
There’s a reason we don’t refer to your Medalist graduation as a “Final”. There is still work to do, dances to explore, and layers of benefits that are just beginning to surface.
So here’s to your graduation, your metamorphosis: The newest version of you.
You’re not done yet… and that’s final.