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West Coast Swing for ‘dummies’

This heading is truly a misnomer, because WCS will never be aimed at “dummies”. If you are not interested, tenacious or committed enough, you will not want to try, and will never succeed at WCS. For those in this category, I recommend you move on to find something else that brings joy to your life. Unlike many partner dances, WCS does not have a “basic step” – salsa, fox trot, rhumba, Night Club Two Step, Country Two Step, East Coast Swing, etc., all have a “basic step” – WCS has basic “patterns”, and you cannot do the dance unless you know your role in the 6- and 8-count patterns. Additionally, WCS is a slotted dance that is totally lead / follow.

Although WCS fundamentals can be learned fairly quickly and danced at a basic level soon after familiarity, to dance WCS at the level that both inspires and fulfills, requires time and work. You might ask the valid question of why you should “give a damn” about WCS. There are a few very powerful reasons: 1) you can dance WCS to the largest selection of music on planet Earth … top 40’s, old standards, blues, cha cha, fox trot, rhumba, hip hop, rap – you name it, if it’s 4/4 timing, there’s a great chance you can WCS to it; 2) it is the perfect balance between structure and improvisation: you have to be fluent with the 6- and 8-count fundamental patterns that comprise WCS, but once that’s achieved, you can create anything and everything inside that structure. 3) the music tempo and “feel” allow each dance to seem like a different world; 4) you can have fun with dancers of many levels.

Fitness Wizard

I adore ballet and know that the dancers in this arena are physical superhumans. One look at a professional ballet dancer is pure evidence that it’s just not possible to” perform” ballet without certain physical gifts and a lifetime of dedication. However, classical ballet is also appropriate for almost everyone as a FOUNDATION to all kinds of physical movement. Think of it as training for any sport or activity requiring any of the following:  strength, elevation and safe landings, quickness, balance, flexibility, body isolations, endurance, integrated body movements, and control at all levels of physical motion.

As a matter of fact, any physical element you can think of which is required for soccer, wrestling, baseball, hockey, basketball, ice skating, etc. is part of EVERY ballet class. So, can you tell me why this fitness wizard, ballet, isn’t a required training facet for all sports?

Take a leap of faith

Who's the leader and who's the follower?

As a lover of all things “dance” throughout my life, I have more than a few thoughts and scars related to the subject. First of all, please know that I consider dance a birthright, not just something for those who are talented by God.

Are you human? Then, dance is also your birthright!

Experiment. Try different dance forms. See what gets you interested in learning more. And remember one critical rule: You will never get to being  cool and fun if you’re not willing to go through awkward and dorky! It’s just a fact of mind/body coordination, so embrace it, and enjoy the journey.