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Michael, Jonathan and I have been very blessed to travel the world over the past few years, before this whole Corona virus thing happened, and to share our passion for the Smooth style and to promote its adoption worldwide.

Overseas Questions

The two big questions that we were asked were first what is Smooth Style? and then how do I teach it/ how do we judge it? so these questions are what we have tried to answer with the Global Smooth System.


A bit of background first. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to team up with Lori Woods Gay when the NDCA invigilation committee tasked us with a big project, which was to define how the differences between the Bronze and Silver and Gold levels in Closed competition should be categorized, and to come up with revised rules for determining what material should be danced at each level.

Lori and I decided that in accepting this challenge, instead of writing a list of patterns that were based on Social dancing, big long patterns that started and finished with the left foot, what we wanted to do, and Eddie Simon was a big inspiration for me on this, was instead to look at the Elements that made up the steps. So we devised the Syllabus Elements Chart, which is a concise list of elements that progressively build and expand from Bronze, through Silver, through Gold to Open.

Lori and I also decided that, whenever possible, we would use International dance terminology. This did not involve throwing away the original American Smooth terminology, but to add an alternative description of the step using the Hold or Position Elements. So for example the Waterfall in Smooth for us is handshake hold Promenade and Counter Promenade twinkles. Basing the name on a descriptive approach means that anyone can understand it based purely on the name, and it makes it a little easier to identify and execute the step for the international community.

Our overriding objective regarding rules for the Closed syllabus material was to ensure it was very lead and follow. We wanted to have obvious progression building blocks from Bronze through Silver to Gold and our main goal was to have a child who learned their Smooth say in Russia or England to be able to pair up with a child who learned their Smooth in Asia or Australia and to easily be able to communicate with each other and dance together beautiful syllabus Smooth by using the common descriptive language and understanding of the style.

So that was setting the scene for the Global Smooth System.

Global Terminology

Nick Cheremukhin and Viktoriya the current World Smooth Champions, and I have done a huge series of videos of translating what is American Smooth into International Smooth language. So explaining for example change steps are danced in line but twinkles are a change step that change position into for example outside partner or promenades so we are trying to communicate clearly and easily with the global community what is international Smooth


With Yegor Novikov and Alexandra Smirnova, World Smooth finalists, we broke down each part of the Chart to show the building blocks from Bronze to Silver to Gold so that the Open was obvious.

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