Swing Discussion Boards > Just started learning WCS

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by sync, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. sync

    sync New Member

    I had my first group lesson the other night and we learned the basic 6 count step. I've been practicing (lead) and one thing keeps tripping me up. Three of the walking steps take a full count and one of them takes a half count (the first step forward). My tendency is to give this half-count step a full count because it feels too rushed and awkward otherwise.

    I want to making sure I'm doing the count right. If I am, do I just need to keep practicing it until it feels natural?
  2. sync

    sync New Member

    I was practicing some more this morning and noticed that I tend to rush the first two steps in the first triple step in order to have more time on the forward step on the 4 count.
  3. jon

    jon Member

    Often people have trouble with triples due to taking big steps, or completely transferring weight and letting their body fall back on the receiving foot. Both of those make it hard to complete the triple in time. Possibly useful reminders: small steps, and keep your weight over the balls of your feet, not the heels.
  4. Swingolder

    Swingolder New Member

    When I first started taking west coast lessons, everything was giving me problems. The wc basic seemed so tricky to me. After a couple of lessons, however, things started falling into place. So don't give up, when you go back for lesson two it will help clear up lesson one.
  5. sync

    sync New Member

    When I practice with a metronome the timing is fine. With music the timing changes slightly and and the forward walk is slower.

    I'm practicing alone and holding my arms and hands as if I was with a partner. I like to move my arms and hands slightly in time with the music. Will that confuse a partner who is trying to follow?
  6. heartgrl2k

    heartgrl2k New Member


    Your arms should remain still unless you want your partner to go somewhere. If you're moving your arms to the music, you lose your connection and become a 'weak' lead. It also takes away from the look of WCS. It makes it look bouncy and West Coast should look as smooth as possible.

    What helps me is to look at video of competitions and advanced dancers. There are threads on the swing forum that have links. Check these out they really help!
  7. sync

    sync New Member

    I guess I like bouncy. Is ECS more bouncy?

    I downloaded some video clips but I found them frustrating to watch because they are so short. I do realize though that watching good dancers will be really helpful.
  8. heartgrl2k

    heartgrl2k New Member

    Try looking at some of the clips here. There are quite a few and they should be longer to watch.

    ECS is definately more bouncy. I would say ECS is ALL bouncy and WCS is NO bouncy. Just depends on what you like!
  9. dTas

    dTas New Member

    when learning WCS don't get too caught up in the moves and try to understand the feel of the dance. what are you trying to achieve?

    in the basic:

    the 1-2 are to initiate movement
    the 3&4 are to stop the movement and go back
    the 5&6 are to stop the back movement and setup to go forward again.

    think of your partner standing on a skateboard...

    you pull your partner to you - stop your partner - and send your partner away from you and stop again.
  10. sync

    sync New Member

    Thanks for the link. :) Those videos are much longer than the ones I downloaded before.
  11. heartgrl2k

    heartgrl2k New Member

    That's a very good analogy! Thinking that way will keep it smooth, and keep the lead from yanking your partner around. It should also keep her in the slot!!
  12. sync

    sync New Member

    That's a good point. I'm not familiar with WCS style and I keep trying to turn it into something I am familiar with. I'm going to start watching the videos I'm downloading to get a better feel for this style of dance.

    I like the skateboard analogy.
  13. sync

    sync New Member

    Watching the videos from swingdiego.com it's difficult for me to see what they have in common. I guess that's because I'm just starting out.

    I don't really enjoy watching competition dancing. It's so flashy and stylized that it doesn't seem to have much in common with social dancing, which is what I want to learn.
  14. heartgrl2k

    heartgrl2k New Member

    I know what you mean about competition dancing, but I think WCS is really different from ballroom or lots of other competitions you may have seen. In a strictly swing competition, you know who your partner is but not the music. In a Jack & Jill Competition, you don't know either your partner or the music. Jack & Jill is basically social dancing (granted these dancers are highly talented).

    WCS is extremely challenging (but so much fun!) I like it because you can dance it to lots of popular music, and it never gets boring. If it doesn't appeal to you right now though, ECS, Hustle, Cha-cha, Night Club 2 Step are all great social dances that you can pick up pretty quickly and get out there on the dance floor! Once you start learning some of these, West Coast might come a little easier to you.
  15. sync

    sync New Member

    That's very interesting. I had the impression I was watching dances that were highly choreographed.

    I eventually would like to learn a variety of styles. I live in a very small town and will just have to take whatever becomes available.
  16. dTas

    dTas New Member

    WCS comps are nice because of the Jack and Jills.

    its great to see what "really talented" dancers can do when given the opportunity to cut loose.

    i don't like choreographed WCS Comps. i like the Jack and Jill comps much better. much more impulsive like watching a sporting competition. lots of unknows. seeing the competitors deal with those unknowns makes it more exciting.
  17. leftfeetnyc

    leftfeetnyc New Member

    There is something to be said for J&J's watching the clip of Jordan and Sarah at the Open is incredible, she pops off so many turns.

    But I do appreciate the classic competitions too. They are lead follow and the elements, for the most part can be translated into social dance (side by side steps not so much). Watching the SwingDiego clip of Jordan and Tat is amazing. Little nuances they catch in the music, you can see their amazing connection as well. I know people who watch clips of theirs over and over in slow motion to learn Jordan's footwork.
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hi sync. Welcome. :D
  19. Dancelf

    Dancelf Member

    If what you are after is social dancing - which is to say the kinds of things you could achieve on a crowded floor - then keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to watch the lower divisions in Jack and Jill's. These couples are a lot less familiar with each other than those in the top divisions.

    Of course, there aren't as many clips of them on-line.
  20. sync

    sync New Member

    Hello pygmalion. Thanks for the welcome. :)

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