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Language is, and always has been, important to me. I try not to argue with people how words should (or should not) be used but it is difficult to suffer through incorrect usage.

The word “level” is square dance land is the worst. (The word egregious is what comes to mind but, I’ve been told not to use fancy words. It means “outstandingly bad.” It’s why I love it as a word.)

The word, level, implies ability. This means that, when people call the Plus *program* the Plus *level* they are saying that that Plus dancers have a higher level of ability.

Yes, it is possible to imply that this is not the case. However, that is lazy speech. The Basic and Mainstream programs have dancers that dance at a high level of ability but, because people use the word level inappropriately, the recognition of their skill is diminished. This makes me sad.

Had I continued in a leadership position of the Mainstream Committee, I would have put this on the agenda, long term. While I cannot make people use correct language, my idea was to create a description for levels of ability in a dance program.

I could ask what program you dance or call. Then, I could ask what’s your level of ability, Student Level, Club Level, or High Precision? (Or something like this.)

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