Development of STEP

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History of the Teaching Concept


Problems with the system as it was before STEP were:

  • Beginner's classes are too long (1 year and longer)
  • Cuers teach different things (different rhythms and figures)
  • there is no common dance level for graduated dancers => this means disaapointment on dance events for the dancers, Problems (for cuers) concerning programming e.g. on Jamborees, Tanztreffs
  • there is no beginner's level for dancer's freshly graduated, that can be danced by those dancers => this is frustrating to the freshly graduated dancer's, may drop out of the activity, they do not keep on until they are out of the woods
  • Phase II as basis of a class s 1. too extensive and 2. too boring (only 2 rhythms: TS and WZ)
  • old and partially unmodern Musik for many dances that are usually taught in class (orientation: Repertoire dances)
  • there is not sufficient material for cuers and dancers for supporting class (dances, step descriptions and the like)

aims of the new teaching concept (STEP):

  • a common curriculum for a class, so that one can proceed from a common basis for graduated dancers (this first teaching module - the beginner's class - it is called Teaching List A)
  • it should be possible to finish a Class in about 20-25 evenings (about 1/2 year), therefore: the number of figures taught is reduced and fixed to about 25 per rhythm in 4 rhythms) )
  • early experiences of success for the dancers

Structure of the concept

  • 1. A common teaching module for a beginner's class has been defined. It is calles Teaching List A or Level A.
    • 4 Rhythms: TS, RB, CHA, WZ - the sequence of these rhyhtms in class can be varied, each rhythm is treated independently and can be taught as first rhythm. Of the Class.
    • The Teaching List A has been voted on an accepted at the Fall Round Up 2009 in Darmstadt
  • 2. The Figures of the Teachinglist are put into a suggested teaching order and for this suggested teaching order there will be written dances that build up on each other.
    • the first dance will cover around 8-10 figures
    • each following dance includes the figures, that have been new last time (more practice) and at least twice the figures that are new in this dance.
    • for each position in the teaching order there can and should be written sisterdances - dances with the same function in class covering the same figures), so that there will be a diverse and hopefully modern variety of music availabale (that can be bought legally)
    • the dances for class should have no gimmicks and should be danceable to cues
    • At the momend headcues are sufficient for these dances (since they can be danced to cues)
  • 3. There should also dances be written, that cover the whole of Teachinglist-A-Figures (and only these without extra gimmicks). Level A should be offered at dancing events as beginner's level.
  • 4. additionally written material is to be produced: figure lists and step descriptions
  • 5. Building on Modul List A there should follow other Modules of similar sizes (B, C) - until one has a well-educated dancers that can dance on normal Events (without getting frustrated) and is able to further educated themselves through workshops.


  • The Level A is not supposed to replace the Roundalab phase rating system. It is just a defined subset of Phase II and III in the most important rhythms that will be taught first. After a dancers has finished A and C? he or she may be able to dance Phase III of the most played rhythms. The whole concept is aimed only at a more didactic structuring of the material.
  • The goal is not to teach less figures, but to make the material for dancers and cuers more easier to handel (in smaller units/modules) and to make earlier in the learning phase successful dancing possible by offering these transitional levels on dancing events.


(not complete yet, please fill in; Links don't work anymore)

  • Discussion in Cham 2008 (documentation) and 2009 (slides from the meeting
  • concept of Michael Schmidt (2008) Englisch
  • suggested lists as basis for discussion: Cha/Rumba, Walzer by Michael Schmidt, Twostep by Regina Kolshorn and Susanne Geiger
  • 2. draft of the List (April 2009) Lehrkonzept.xls.htm draft
  • Decision to implement the concept. (when? where?)
  • Introduction of the draft list for Twostep and discussion of the Conzept (ECTA Convention 2009)
  • Discussion of the Lists in the ECTA-Forum (there some contribution of the Meeting of Cuergroup North and the Meeting of Cuer-Group Rhein/Main)
  • Voting and decision of the consolidated lists (from suggestions in the forum) at the Fall Round Up in Darmstadt 2009

please confer also the corresponding Page of Michael Schmidts Homepage and the documents there:


All three levels A-C are defined and in used for several years now. They have proven useful. The last update is from November 2019.

What comes after STEP Level C?

  • Starting 2019 teaching lists for each rhythm are being developed by ECTA cuers
  • for rhythms, that are introduced by STEP A-C, the teaching list builds on Level C.
  • for all other rhythms the teaching list start from the beginning
  • the teaching lists include the dances from the ECTA repertoire of the given rhythm and provide short learning steps up to these dances. If the distance to the next repertoire dance on the list would be to far, also non-repertoire dances are included into the list to arrive at a small-step sequence for teaching.