Swing Discussion Boards > How do I take my WCS to that elusive "next level"?

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by SlowDancer, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    SlowDancer . . . gonna be a "swinger" this weekend?
     
  2. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Hmmm,
    Kayak, don't beat yourself up about missing stuff in the music.
    I had a couple of dances last night, with two different women, and I ended up wondering why things din't quite gel. Was it me?
    I also danced with another gal, who I think is the most musical of the three. Guess what? That dance went pretty darn good.
    What I conclude is that it can't be just you dancing musically. Your partner has to feel it, too. The leader is not solely responsible for how the dance goes.
    You will dance much better as a couple (it is a couple dance after all), if she hears the music, and understands what you are trying to accomplish.
    At least that's my opinion.
     
  3. SlowDancer

    SlowDancer New Member

    Don't I wish...no dancing at all for me this past weekend. My DH and I are presently living in two different states and are selling our out-of-state house (where he currently lives--it's a long, long story). We spent the entire weekend packing for the move. Next weekend should be better!:raisebro:
     
  4. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Wow . . . it's weird that you said that. Two couples - dear friends of ours - are doing the same thing . . . he's in one stae, and she in another. They're both talking about one or the other quitting their present job . . . etc . . . etc . . . etc!
     
  5. SlowDancer

    SlowDancer New Member

    Yes, we know some other folks in this situation as well...we certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone. In our case, it's the result of my husband transferring to another state for a new job, and I went with him, but we were both very unhappy with the new location, although for different reasons. I ended up moving back to our home state when I learned I could come back to my old job. He is trying to get transferred back here, too.
     
  6. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Same as our closest friends . . . moved to NM to buy a ranch for their horses. She hated it, moved back to San Jose, and has been here ever since - like more than a year! SHe now want sot move out our way to get out of the Bay Area, and she is trying to talk her husband into selling the ranch, and trying it here????????????????????????????????????????????

    PS . . . her husband doesn't dance at all, and there are many, many Pros out this way! Wonder why she wants to move back???
     
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Pick up this month's Psychology Today to read in full the bad news about improvising.
    I'll use dance instead of jazz as the example in this changed excerpt from the 1/2 page article.

    Dance encodes the pardox of intuition: the ability to improvise is born from a lifetime of discipline, including copying solos from favorite dancers to internalize the natural flow of movement to music.

    Darn!
     
  8. SlowDancer

    SlowDancer New Member

    Funny, my husband doesn't dance a lick either, and that's the one thing I really liked about the move...lots more CW dancing in Houston, TX than where I am now...but it's still good to be back "home."

    Besides, after spending a long weekend in Houston, I am reminded that it is just too darn big, too spread out, and too much traffic. Guess I'm just a small-town girl at heart. :)
     
  9. SlowDancer

    SlowDancer New Member

    Wow, cool...I've always compared good WCS dancers to jazz musicians jamming...I'll have to run by the bookstore and get a copy of the magazine tomorrow.
     
  10. SlowDancer

    SlowDancer New Member

    I am pleased to report that my WCS project is picking up steam. I went dancing last night and was able to get several dances with an excellent WCS leader, whose wife is also very good (she stayed home with a cold last night, so I got to reap the benefits). I told him I wanted to learn to be more expressive and dance to the music, like his wife. He was very encouraging and helped me find places in the music to "play" and offered a couple of suggestions of specific things to do. All in all, a very satisfying evening!
     
  11. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Sounds like you had fun. Did you feel like you made a big enough jump to be ready to dance with your pro? Were you adding playfulness inside some specific patterns or taking some time to freelance?
     
  12. SlowDancer

    SlowDancer New Member

    Yes, I've finally decided that I've just got to get out there and do it, with the belief that my dancing is OK as is, and the experience of competition will increase my confidence and make my dancing even better. Baptism by fire, ya know?

    However, there has been a snag in my plans and it looks like I won't be able to make it to the Oklahoma City comp after all. But that won't deter me from my mission to improve my WCS. :smile:
     
  13. SlowDancer

    SlowDancer New Member

    Had a great WCS night last night...danced with one of my favorite leads and he hugged me and told me how much he loved all my "great little embellishments!" Yay! I'm getting there.
     
  14. DancinAnne

    DancinAnne New Member

    Feels good, doesn't it. Congrats on your progress!!
     
  15. Silveralsa

    Silveralsa New Member

    I agree that letting go and playing is the way to grow! I love to play, and actually struggle with my technique cause at first I just wanted to have fun after crossing over from Lindy. You just change it up, tried holding a beat, or speeding it up and including a couple more beats, figure out ways how your body can show what you're feeling with the music and partner...

    If it's a little out of your comfort zone, you can practice a little of it in terms of your body movement in front of a mirror. In the comfort (and privacy :) ) of you own home, use a full-length mirror, put on some of your favorite WCS music, and just start dancing. See what comes out and what you do or don't like. Then, I also agree with going on youtube and searching for some of your favorite WCS dancers. Then see how they play, and try practicing the moves when you get to go out to dance. That way you have some ideas and the improv will start to become more natural :)
     
  16. Joy In Motion

    Joy In Motion Active Member

    This is definitely true. It seems contradictory, but from discipline comes freedom. This is a big theme I found in my research on flow.

    If you are the reflective type and enjoy reading, you may find inspiration from two books that I really enjoyed: Free Play (by Stephen Nachmanovitch) and The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music (Victor Wooten). Both have very eye-opening reflections and metaphors on artistry, musicality, and improvisation. It won't give you practical help when it comes to your dancing, but it may provide some inspiration and open up the intangible aspects of the dance for you even more. They also talk about practicing to be spontaneous.
     
  17. Silveralsa

    Silveralsa New Member

    Just wanted to add that video taping yourself (if you have a willing friend), can REALLY help you grow. Even if I personally cringe everytime I see myself on camera...
     

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