Defining beginner/intermediate and advanced

At this time we don't have any criteria required to move from one level to the next with the exception of moving from "beginner/Intermediate" up to advanced.

When we decided to combine beginner and intermediate as we grew and had fewer scheduling options, we implemented a multi-level program as you are enrolled in now. Although we will likely always have some sort of multi-level program, it will have several varieties of classes in the new program.

Levels 1-6 (starlet through Goddess on our sign in sheets) is from our previous program, although we never really had 6 levels at any time.

As you've seen there is a series of moves which we divide up each week which have many different versions. The concept is, no matter how easy it may be to work on more than one new move at a time, that students will only learn one new move from each series so that they perfect that move both right and left sided AND with proper/safe form and alignment.

Also we do not necessarily cover all moves within each 5-8 week session as there are more than 8 series of moves which we cover. Because of this a student may be on different levels for each move.

For example:

  • A student is in their 3 session


    • She may be working on the level 3 version of the fireman spin
    • But she is working on the level 2 version of the cradle spin because we didn't include it in her first session but she first tried it in her second session.
  • Also, if a student is still struggling with level 2 version of the cradle spin she may continue to work on level 2 during her fourth session


    • However if she does well on level 3 of the fireman spin, she will move on to level 4 of the fireman spin in session 4.

So technically, you could be learning the beginner/grounded version of one move, yet moving up to an intermediate version of another move.

What do we consider intermediate?

OK… I know that's what you really want to know. 🙂

There are several things I would look at to consider a student of the "intermediate" skill level.

  • First and primarily, is consistently using the bracket grip during spins.


    • there may be a few spins when first introduced in which the bracket hold eludes the student, but for the most part she can apply it to new spins within 1/2 classes.
  • Engaging the shoulder consistently during spins and lifts.


    • This means the same as above…applying it to most new moves/spins without struggling.
    • What you'll see is proper form:


      • space between the pole and the body
      • pointed toes (not requiring a clutched back foot in order to hold onto the pole because the bracket grip is strong enough on it's own)
      • top arm is in proper position – usually straight and not sliding down to create a bent elbow
      • bottom hand is not "gripping" the pole but creating the bracket and pushing away
  • Able to learn/perform most aerial spins (both feet off the floor) without a lot of difficulty
  • Capable of a clean/controlled basic climb of at least 3 steps with proper form and alignment
  • Capable of sitting on the pole either at the lower end by "lifting" legs up into position or by limbing up and lifting legs into position

What are you working on at the intermediate level?

  • More spins – simply there are many more to learn
  • One-handed spins
  • Combo spins with aerial transitions – combining two spins without touching down to the floor between them.
  • Climbing with different styled grips and leg positions
  • Planks
  • Laybacks
  • Basic inverts

What do you need to do to move up to advanced?

  • Be adept at all of the above intermediate level moves like climbing, planks and laybacks
  • Be able to do a clean basic invert without any verbal corrections and without hesitating to have to think through it
  • Be able to do a clean outside leg hang without verbal corrections or hesitating through it
  • Be comfortable with freestyle dancing