A thriving student medal program can be the cornerstone of your ballroom dance studio. Medal exams are a wonderful opportunity for your students and instructors to push their dancing to new heights. Preparing for the exams provides a structure and focus to private lessons, a sense of community among Medal candidates, and increases the level of seriousness, dedication, and professionalism of your instructors.
In student Medal exams, students dance a routine of syllabus figures with their instructors and are "graded" on their performance by a DVIDA® examiner. If students successfully complete their routine, they are awarded a certificate and are eligible to move up to the next level of Medal testing.
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DVIDA® student Medal exams must be given by a DVIDA® examiner. This ensures an objective standard of fairness and rigor on all student examinations. A list of examiners and their contact information is located on the ProDVIDA® website under the Member Directory. If this is your first round of Medal examinations, it is a good idea to schedule the exams at least six months in advance.
Once you have contacted a DVIDA® Examiner and have schedule your Medal examinations, you should contact DVIDA® with the list of the candidate's names and the types (styles and levels) of examinations being administered. This will enable the DVIDA® staff to determine the total cost of your examinations and also to prepare your certificates.
Students may dance any dance at any level they choose; For example, if they want to dance just one dance at Full Bronze, they may do so. Or they can dance one dance at Full Bronze, and another at Bronze II. Or they may want to dance just one dance at a Bronze III level, etc.
If a student dances Bronze II or above, they must include in their routine the figures from all the other levels below. So, their Full Bronze routine must include all the figures of the Bronze. If they are dancing a Bronze III, they must dance all the figures of the Bronze I and II, etc. Students will be issued a certificate with the names of the dances and the levels they have accomplished.
If a student wants to go directly to a Silver or Gold Level, they must still dance the previous level. For example, if a student wants to dance a Silver Waltz, they can only do so if they have previously danced a full Bronze Waltz, otherwise they will need to dance both a Bronze routine and a Silver routine. These will be counted as two separate dances.
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DVIDA® will mail the official certificates and the original exam forms to your studio after it has received the examiner's student evaluation forms and all payments.
Consider your student as the examiner will. Here are some of the categories the examiner will consider. Be sure that your student is dancing well in all of the following areas.
Posture: long, stretched, upright spine, engaged abdominals, head held high and slightly left (for Smooth dances).
Frame: follower offset slightly to the right, energy in the connection, leader's frame unbroken and held high from elbow to elbow, shoulder blades pulled down.
Footwork: heel leads on forward steps and toe releases on back steps (for Smooth dances), feet in contact with floor (for Tango — staccato placement), feet well-articulated.
Musicality and Timing: starts on phrase, stays on time, movement expresses, and interprets the music Lead/Follow: leader leads with whole body and not just arms, partners are in synchronization with each other.
Knowledge of Routine: routine is correct and performed confidently.
Knowledge of Figures and Technique: proper alignment and amount of turn, proper foot positions, especially closing the feet, proper dance position, and proper technique (CBM, sway, rise & fall).
Movement Quality: Smooth: strong, powerful movement across the floor; Rhythm: Rhythmic body action, isolations and correct hip action.
Pizazz and Performance Quality: exuding enthusiasm to the audience.
Entrance and Exit: strong presentation, graceful lead into dance position, graceful under arm turn and bow, graceful exit.