I recently came across an article that tested if you could really become an expert in a particular activity or field in 10,000 hours. Assuming a 40 hour work week, completing these 10,000 hours would take approximately 250 weeks or 4.8 years. In the experiment, the writer was learning to golf and interviewed professional golfers of different ages, as well as pros in other fields and the statistics held up. It took around 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery level.
What does this mean for your dancing? First of all, cut yourself some slack! It would be really hard to work 40 hours of dancing into your busy work week and family life. BUT, imagine how much further ahead you would be if you took an extra lesson or a group class or two a week?! Getting in those extra hours of practice will help you build up the repetition you need to develop muscle memory. As you progress in your dancing you will find that your earlier levels like Bronze 1 or Bronze 2 becomes almost like breathing. It feels so natural! The more you practice the quicker your newer techniques and amalgamations will become second nature too.
Keep practicing and we will see you on the dance floor!