STSV squad concept – versatile into the future

How can the diversity of skills and needs of the Swiss dance couples of the national squad be brought together in the best possible way? What unites them, where do they have common interests? Where are there issues that have not yet been optimally resolved by the majority?

The STSV strives to increase all the competences needed in dance sport, to bring more structure and focus into the overall organisation of training and competitions. The national squads should be better guided and supported so that they can work more consciously towards their own goals and achieve individual progress every year. The squad concept is the basis.

Concept Squad Development 2021

In our STSV mission statement we have defined our understanding of dance sport
“as performance-oriented dancing in competitions in which the athletes effectively combine the elements of technique, physical performance, mental strength and emotionality”.
set out.

Based on this concept, the cadres of the Swiss Dance Sport Federation are promoted and continuously assessed in the following areas:

  • Technical skills
  • Physical skills
  • Mental skills
  • Emotional skills

These areas cover the actual sports sector. In addition, there are the points that influence the general conditions:

  • Organisation
  • Nutrition and recreation

All areas together result in a coherent support concept, which is to lead the athletes to success in a balanced way over several years. The prioritisation of the individual topics was done with the participation of the athletes of the national squad.

Technical
The association wants to use top-class trainers for workshops. The subject of these workshops can be classical dance technique, but workshops on expression, musicality and choreography are also planned. These workshops complement the personal training with the respective coach of the couples and are not meant to replace or correct it.

Physical
It is important for the federation to know the current fitness level of the athletes. This is used for selection and confirmation of the squad’s inventory. At the same time, the athletes are supported with specific training plans. This part of the squad programme will be part of the long-term planning.

Mental – Competition Performance
In addition to technique, physical fitness and reliable planning, other areas are important for athletic success. In the area of mental preparation, the right attitude towards competition must be taught. This should direct the concentration to the essentials. Strengthening self-confidence will enable athletes to perform at their best. This can be promoted through the targeted use of a mental coach.

Emotional
In order for the couples to be able to implement the artistic aspect of our sport more intensively, their general knowledge must be worked on. Music theory, music history and the importance of music in our sport must be understood so that the performance at a tournament can also be in harmony with the music.
Also in this area, the couples should be given a “toolbox” for personal expression and their presentation.

Career, annual and training plans
In order for the annual and training plans to produce their benefits, these plans must be drawn up according to recognised standards. The planning for 2022 at the latest should be carried out accordingly. In 2021 this is difficult – due to the pandemic – and serious planning is hardly feasible at present. As soon as reliable tournament calendars and travel conditions are available, the issue will be addressed with the couples.

Nutrition and recovery
The athletes should eat consciously so that they remain healthy and able to perform. In workshops, the couples should learn how to eat a balanced diet. This should be done before, during and after the competition. After training or an intense competition, it is often crucial to recover quickly. What to look out for? Neglecting stretching can prevent the muscles from relaxing and recovering overnight. In addition, every athlete should have a healthy work (sport) – life balance. Recovery can also mean taking a few days off as a couple.

Supplementary
Another point is styling for the perfect tournament outfit. In recent years, styling teams have proven their worth by offering on-site hair and make-up services at major tournaments. The couples have thus lost the ability to take care of this themselves. If there is no styling team on site or all the dates are fully booked, there is no plan B. This should be remedied by means of appropriate training. The athletes should be able to help each other out in pairs; basic knowledge is required for this, the craft must be learned. With this “Plan B”, the couples should be able to enter the dance floor with a good feeling.

Other dance styles
Individual workshops in other dance styles are to round off the concept and broaden the couples’ horizons. Ballet lessons, Pilates and Spiral Dynamics will give the athletes a better understanding of their bodies. Boogie-Woogie, Charleston or Lindy-Hop give an understanding of other dance concepts that influence our dances. This also includes Son, Salsa or Flamenco.

 

General conditions
The squad concept does not only consider the national squad. The needs of the junior squad should also be included in the planning. As the STSV also has very successful senior couples, the provisionally formed senior squad will be continued in 2021. In the revised squad regulations, the conditions for future admission and retention in the senior squad will be defined. The senior couples should thereby also have access to the activities of the existing squads and be promoted accordingly. The federation is thus fulfilling its responsibility and obligation to promote athletes of all age categories.

With the planned activities, Switzerland will have a strong team in all age categories in the future. The athletes should feel comfortable in the squad, experience mutual support and only compete fairly on the dance floor as competitors.

Another aspect of the squad’s work deals with the time after the active career as a dance athlete. Today, the STSV and the dance sport clubs complain about a lack of coaches. On the one hand, this is due to the rather bad mood in the dance scene, but on the other hand, it is also due to the fact that the squads were not already prepared for a coaching diploma or something similar during their active career. As soon as the corresponding training pathway has been initiated by the federation, the squad activities are to be timed to the corresponding offers. As many training units as possible for coach education should already be completed during the active career so that the transition afterwards is only a small step.