Swing Discussion Boards > ECS as a gateway drug

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by JoeB, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. JoeB

    JoeB Active Member

    Took a woman who "can't dance to anything" to a $5 lesson and dance over the weekend, because "if you're going to waste money trying to teach me to dance, at least it's only $5." She was a little shaky during the lesson, and for the first couple of songs afterward, but was getting the hang of it pretty quickly, so I handed her off to one of the smoother leads there and went to get some water.

    I ended up chatting in the hall for about 2-3 songs, and when I went back in, she looked like she'd been dancing for years. Definitely found the feel of it, caught on to following smoothly, and impressed a few of the regulars with her learning curve.

    Afterward, she was asking what else we could find cheap lessons in, so I guess I'll be trying to schedule a trip to the WCS lesson and dance in Dallas, then one of the places that does free two step lessons.
    twnkltoz, j_alexandra and raindance like this.
  2. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Did they teach triple steps in that East Coast Swing lesson?
  3. JoeB

    JoeB Active Member

    No, but one of the other dancers was starting her on them about an hour in.
  4. leee

    leee Well-Known Member

    As a lindyvangelist, I'd suggest looking up various Lindy Hop venues, since IME they're priced at a much more affordable rate than, e.g., ballroom venues. I know that Austin has a flourishing Lindy scene, too, if that's in your neck of the woods.
  5. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Sweet! Another convert...well done!
  6. JoeB

    JoeB Active Member

    Austin is about 3 hours for me and close to 5 for her. I know there is the Tanglefoot Dance Club in Fort Worth that might be a good opportunity for us, though. Looks like DSDS also does Saturday Lindy Hop workshops in Dallas for $17 that we could try to get to.
  7. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    That's great!
  8. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    Don't forget the $2 cash discount (so actual price $15) for DSDS! Also note that it's the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Saturdays of every month - I've been burned by not remembering that (thankfully, it's a 5-minute drive for me - I understand yours is a bit farther).
  9. JoeB

    JoeB Active Member

    2-3 hours, depending on traffic. Haven't had the chance to get up there and check it out yet.
  10. JoeB

    JoeB Active Member

    Well, I got asked to the Tanglefoot dance on the 26th by a woman I'd asked out several months ago.
    She has no ballroom experience, and I've done one foxtrot in the last decade. This could get messy.
  11. Bradamant

    Bradamant Member

    I have what I suspect is a monumentally stupid question: isn't ECS by definition triple-step swing? I know I'm missing something really obvious here . . .

    I'm guessing that my circle of dance acquaintances over the years has been too . . . narrow (?) in that all of them without exception have used "ECS" to mean only triple-time swing, and said, rather, double-time swing or single-time swing when they meant something other than triple-time.

    I take it is common for club dancers to say "Would you like to dance ECS?" and the answer to be, "Sure, single-time or triple-time?" Yes? Kind of like ordering a "Coke" in some places and being prompted to further specify . . . a Sprite?

    Ah, I bet it is a club/street vs rhythm/competitive Country difference in common usage. I guess I muddled my way through to answering my own question. Huh. I am pleased to have broadened my horizons today.
  12. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Nope. It's considered ECS in single time, too.
  13. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I learned East Coast as slow, slow, rock step.
    1 2 3 4 5 6
    Your weight changes, (aka steps) are on the bolded "counts."
    This is probably the most simple form of the dance.

    Another form would be to mark each beat with a tap or a step as in
    step tap step tap rock step
    1 2 3 4 5 5

    Then you have the triple step form, which to my way of thinking is the most difficult, so I don't understand why people teach it to beginners.

    In practice you can often mix the different ways to do "two beat increments" in your dance, while your partner is doing something different during the same two beats.

    Actually not simple at all, but only if you're interested in details.

    Consistency is good, but "East Coast" and the earlier "Eastern" refer to a none slotted dance, as opposed to the slotted West Coast, "Western" swing.
    In 1953, and earlier, Arthur Murray steps sheets had students dance patterns in all three rhythms for West Coast Swing after learning the first 5 patterns.
    Before that there was New Yorker, Smooth Swing, and Jitterbug, Lindy Hop...

    Naming things in "Swing," and even what is a swing dance has always been pretty much unstandardized.
    In 1971 Butler's Encyclopedia of Social Dance listed "Swing (American)" (Single time!), "Swing (American Triple)," and Western Swing.

    So, I don't think it's this
    , but more, this is what teachers are telling people. And, it just seems to me that using the triple has become a standard in East Coast, but maybe not based on anything in the history of the dance.

    I liked it when I danced at Rusty's Rhythm Club, and the now moved Portland event at Boas Nova, where you just did "swing."
  14. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    BTW I just found this while looking for that scene where a bunch of people dance "in the rain." Is that one in The Powers Girl?

    Swing (East Coast Swing) is the basis of all of the many styles of Swing. This is a fun and energetic Big-Band dance. East Coast Swing (single time) is essentially the original swing, also known as the jitterbug. Students learn single time Swing first and then triple time Swing. If you enjoy Big-Band music, learning East Coast Swing is a must! This dance is great for beginners.
    Huh. These people are in Sherwood, OR.
  15. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    There are 3 different timings that may be used for ECS.. Single.. Double .. and Triple .

    Single and Triple, were devised to accommodate slow and fast music . Double time, is the "tap" that's used in some instances , in Single time ..
  16. JoeB

    JoeB Active Member

    Ran into the original lady at a church dance last night...that happened to start with a foxtrot lesson. She's definitely got some natural talent for dancing, because it was her first time to even try foxtrot, but about three songs in, I started leading a few things that weren't covered in the lesson just to see what she would do, and she had them down by the end of the song.
    Really thinking I need to find an instructor near her and sweet talk her into a lot of lessons.
    ocean-daughter and twnkltoz like this.
  17. JoeB

    JoeB Active Member

    I did make it to a Denton swing dance a few weeks ago...fun place, but it was more like a sumo free for all after about an hour; the floor was just too crowded. Better problem to have than an empty floor, but I did pass up several opportunities to dance because we couldn't find anywhere to wedge in.
  18. JoeB

    JoeB Active Member


    Here's Miss Natural Talent, and I've got another one who took that lesson committing to learn five moves in a different dance style each month. Thinking about trying to turn that idea into a challenge for the church singles. Just need to get the couple who taught the lesson to come to the monthly singles dances.
  19. JoeB

    JoeB Active Member

    And yes, both the 3 piece suit and the gold shirt were Goodwill finds. The shirt was $5 and the suit was $17. The leather soled Cole Haan oxfords I was wearing were also a $6 Goodwill find. Uppers are like new, so very well maintained, but they've obviously seen heavy use, and I'd guess the soles will last to the end of the year but not much beyond. Luckily there are a couple of boot repair places in town that should be able to resole them to pretty much any spec I want.

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