Swing Discussion Boards > 10 Tips for Improving WCS -- Fast

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by pygmalion, Dec 13, 2003.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I found this interesting article on westcoastswingamerica.com. I especially like the idea that screwups are always the man's fault, unless the woman steals the lead! :evil: :lol: Thoughts, anyone?

  2. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Well pygmalion wrote that it always is the leaders fault and that caught my attention. I prefer the article where it says
    . Follows often anticipate leads!!

    I actually like #s 8-10 the best, as people often don't do this....

    I also liked:
    - make sure your basics are great, and hit the counts on the right beat. Never can go wrong by going back to basics. I periodically do that for all the dances that I'm learning.

    - limit the # times you say that you are sorry

    - dance with many different people

    - leads be follows too -- makes a world of difference, and I want to do more, but too few people are willing for to entertain me :( I actually got my second/third time being a follow at a study break dance on Wednesday night, when there wern't enough follows. (Thanks dnquark!!) I was really nervous as I had to reverse my steps and switch my dance attitude, and probably was a horrible follow, but after that I definitely want more.
  3. darkoff

    darkoff New Member

    Some screwups are the follower's fault

    I have been helping a dance teacher teach West Coast Swing, East Coast Swing, country, and salsa dancing off and on for over 7 years, and I have often heard people say that it is always the leaders fault, but that isn't really true. It is USUALLY the leaders fault, but there are many things that the follower can do wrong that can screw up the dance.

    Some things the follower (here assumed to be a lady) can do wrong:

    1. Not dancing in rhythm to the music, when the leader IS in rhythm (if the leader isn't in rhythm, then it isn't the follower's fault). Being SLIGHTLY BEHIND the beat is okay for a follower, but being AHEAD of the beat or being way behind the beat screws up the lead.

    2. Not stepping with the correct foot (such as the follower stepping forward on the left foot on the first beat of a west coast swing pattern).

    3. Not placing the foot in the correct place on a step (such as the follower stepping out of the slot to go around the leader in west coast swing).

    4. Not making her free hand available for the man to connect to it when he indicates that he wants it.

    5. Not giving the proper resistance with her arms and body.

    6. Pulling her hand away from the man's hand before he has let go.

    7. Pulling her hand away from a place on the man's body where the man has placed the lady's hand (such as pulling her hand away from a man's shoulder after he placed her hand there to duck his head under her arm).

    8. Losing her balance because of her bad posture and/or technique (but the leader is often to blame for the follower losing her balance).

    9. Not following the lead.

    There may be other things that the lady can do to screw up moves, but these are the only ones that I can think of right now. But the leader is USUALLY at fault for screw ups.
  4. chandra

    chandra New Member

    I get the reasoning for leaders responsibilty, I do.
    Here is how I see it:
    There is always something each person could have done better... I feel like if both people take responsibility, neither has to apologize, and the dance goes on.
    All responsibility, no blame.
  5. It's Wonderful

    It's Wonderful New Member

    Not to split hairs, darkoff, but isn't that entire list things the follow would do if she isn't following? If she is following 100% all the time, then (hypothetically, I've never seen such a follow!) it would always be the leads fault. This is implying however there is a perfect follow and imperfect lead, and don't believe that's ever the case. So, when they say it's the fault of the lead unless the follow isn't following, that's is correct, but a rather confusing way of saying it could be either's fault :roll:
  6. yola

    yola New Member

    hm no don't agree at all!! if you say that, imo you underestimate the follows roll in the dance ánd radically undervalue the various techniques a follow has to learn.
    as if being a good follow consists only of one technique: to follow. :mad:
    Than the same can be said of leaders: he just has to lead perfectly, and that's all there is to it. :-?... blah imo!
    'follows: By concentrating on the sensitivity of your follow, you will never be at fault'
    pfff... rubbish, you can still be off-beat, losing your balance, step with the wrong foot, miss a cue.... and loose the lead because you're not familiar with a particular step or lead.. (because believe it or not: some steps háve to be taught/practiced/experienced, in order to be able to follow them. otherwise, with a perfect lead, a good follow, who never before danced swing, would be able to follow perfectly well, without any classes. and that's rubbish - although she can do a lot (as i experienced, dancing with Ryan Francois...:raisebro:)...
    Putting the responsibility (for the most part) on the leader's shoulders, has lead to classes being taught only from the lead's perspective. It's the easy way out for male teachers: love, the only thing your pretty little head needs to know is to follow properly. Just follow my lead, and everything will turn out nicely..
    (and yessss 'some' slight frustration with fellow teachers may be noticable in this reply...hehehe...:p)
  7. It's Wonderful

    It's Wonderful New Member

    Oops, I was thinking of "Follow" in my post, as in the capital-F Follow that isn't just doing what you're lead through but doing the whole Follow half of the dance. I consider "to Follow", to include all the technique that prevents such mistakes as missed signals, poor balance, poor connection, etc. When people say it's the leads fault whenever there's a mistake, it bugs me to no end because that's saying the follow is performing the Follow part perfect, no mis-steps, no balance issues, no mis-read leads, everything perfect for the follow and the lead's imperfect. Obviously not true!!!
  8. yola

    yola New Member

    I think we agree, it's wonderful, it's just that i would like the various techniques the Follow has to learn/practice, to become a good dancer, be named. other then just 'following'.
    I consider some of the techniques you rank among the 'following technique', not purely part of following, but of good dancing.
    Balance, rhythm, knowing the do's and don'ts of a particular dance, being able to execute the right steps, improvising while not loosing the connection, being able to execute the right steps although the leader may indicate something the wrong way (and i DON'T mean BACKLEADING!)... it's all techniques that make a Follow a better dancer, and probably more fun to dance with, but are not per se part of following technique.
  9. Swingolder

    Swingolder New Member

    [Dance with lots of different partners. Experience is the best teacher.]
    Wish I could do this more. My dh doesn't like to dance much with anyone else so we generally dance most dances together. Therefore, I get very little chance to dance with other leads. My dh doesn't mind if I do and if he wants to sit one out, I will ask another guy (only if I know them, however) but seldom do I get asked back since I am usually with my dh.
    I just don't know how to get him to realize that he can have fun dancing with others too.
    If we go to a dance with way too many women there without partners, I will tell him he should ask "her" or "her" or "her" to dance. He gives me that "I don't want to" look and then doesn't!
    That is just a small gripe about an otherwise great guy.
  10. yola

    yola New Member

    Well.. guys are sometimes just as shy to ask others, as women are. Is he a nice lead? than maybe you can hint to some of the other ladies present, to ask him? in stead of him making the first move?
  11. Swingolder

    Swingolder New Member

    Our instructor even has had other ladies ask him and he will dance with them but then never ask them back.
    And it always pleases me how good he looks when he dances with someone else.
  12. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Swingolder, your husband might be like I used to be. The main reason why I started learning to dance was to be able to dance with my wife. In my mind, she was the only person I ever wanted to dance with. I had absolutely no interest in dancing with anybody else.

    I was cured of that attitude, but you don't want to apply it to your husband: the divorce and the years of abusive neglect she inflicted on me. When she dropped out of the WCS class (the instructor was too gruff for her) I continued the class anticipating her return, but then also dropped out since she was forgetting it already and I would never have anybody to dance with. I got her back into a Lindy class, which she dropped because it was the only time I ever got to hold her anymore and she couldn't allow me even that little. After another year of Lindy classes (mainly for the therapeutic value), I finally realized that I had to start going out and dancing with others if I was ever going to learn those things that you can never learn in class but only by going out and dancing.

    So maybe you're too special to him for him to want to dance with anybody else.
  13. Swingolder

    Swingolder New Member

    I know, I should be please that he only wants to dance with me...that is a lot better than wanting to dance with everyone else instead of me! I just think he would get a little more confident (maybe he doesn't have the confidence since I don't tell him how well he is doing often enough) or maybe try harder if he did dance with someone else.

    Anyway, no drastic cures to this like your situation. And it really isn't much of a problem. We have a really good time out dancing together!
  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Wow. :(
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I think that, sometimes, dancing can be scary for guys. Especially guys who are relatively new. There's a lot of risk of feeling stupid, which guys almost never want to do.

    Your husband sounds pretty normal, to me. Especially if he started dancing because you asked him to.
  16. yola

    yola New Member

    Have you told him this? That you love to watch him dance, because he looks so good dancing and giving the other ladies a great time. and that you're proud to be his wife, to be the one to have landed such a handsome catch and be the one he goes home with after? :D

    Or maybe he really just loves dancing with you, and watching you dance with others....

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