Swing Discussion Boards > stink at east coast swing

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by fascination, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. hepcat

    hepcat Member

    I think this is only a miscommunication issue. ECS and jitterbug are often used as generic terms encompassing all swing dancing, so when someone recommends WCS or lindy, in their mind, it's not out of bounds. The dances are often mixed too. You don't do just one on the dance floor. You'll often do a lindy swing out followed by perhaps an ECS basic, then maybe a boogie woogie move and top it off with a bal spin and a close blues connection into a dip.
     
  2. leftfeetnyc

    leftfeetnyc New Member

    The initial post wasn't clear that she HAD to dance ECS, to me it read that she just was learning it.

    I think the inital feedback was based on that. As has been said, most of us on here are swing dancers first and foremost, ballroom ECS is foreign to us so we're not much help on learning to enjoy it.

    Our suggestions still hold: if she's interested in learning swing and appreciating it, regardless of the one competition she's in, there are other options out there that she can pursue.
     
  3. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    Here's my guess, but Fascination please correct me if I'm wrong.

    I'm guessing that her pro has choreographed a ballroom style ECS. She cannot select the music, and she cannot select the steps. So she will go out on the competition floor, likely dancing to some music that does not have proper character for any dance other than ballroom style ECS. She will have to perform within the confines of the choreography which she has been given.

    So the challenge is, how to get into and enjoy this style when it doesn't come naturally to her. Different steps and different music are not an option. The steps she dances and the music to which she dances them are non-negotiable. So the question becomes, how to get into it while being restricted by those elements?

    And I agree, the ballroom forum would be a better place for this. Ballroom ECS is a different animal entirely.

    Although, going out one night to a Lindy or WCS social dance might not be a bad idea. Although it is a different animal entirely, perhaps it might expand your horizons and inspire a different way to move within the confines of your choreography.

    I am a ballroom competitor, and I danced Lindy socially for about 5 years. During those 5 years, I did better competitively in Jive than in any other latin dances. And I almost never practiced it. Even though they are quite different, getting the feeling for Lindy gave me a major leg up in Jive on the comp floor.
     
  4. leftfeetnyc

    leftfeetnyc New Member

    Yup, to people who focus primarily on swing outside of ballroom swing, it's an interchangable lot. There are a lot of dances that fall under the umbrella of "SWING" it's very common to see them mixed up and to see swing dancers grab moves and styling from other dances as well (Tango, Salsa, Cha Cha, Hustle, Foxtrot, etc.)

    When I hear ECS, I think of 6-count Lindy while someone else sees it as it's own dance. Ballroom swing to me is Jive. In the end it's really all swing. The wars that go on about different styles are nonsense, but people who do them tend to be entrenched in the swing culture, not the ballroom culture. Even our competitions have a different feel than a ballroom competition.
     
  5. hepcat

    hepcat Member

    I definitely agree. Even though you may not be able to change the steps or choreography, you might pick up the energy and dynamic and incorporate it into your routine as a sort of interpretation. The pure swing competitors that do well are those that invent new moves and or styles gleaned from other dances. Swing, like America, is one big melting pot of American back-street folk dance. I don't know how much style and interpretation contribute to the overall score in a ballroom competition, but it could give you an edge.
     
  6. hepcat

    hepcat Member

    Yes. Completely different, if I am to believe what I see on TV and in movies about ballroom competitions. Swing competitions are wild and in some cases are only half-serious. I've seen dancers (in a good-natured manner, mind you) mock and tease the judges who are their friends. They sometimes swap partners just for the hell of it. They will get down on the floor and squirm about. They'll role-play and do moves that are obviously only intended to get a laugh as opposed to get an "ah". It's basically a circus. Although note, I'm characterizing the extreme, but it's the general idea I'm trying to convey here. At comparable skill levels, I think the ones who appear to be having the most fun win, and to me, that's the essence of swing dance: fun.

    -Hepcat
     
  7. leftfeetnyc

    leftfeetnyc New Member

    Yup, make it your own and work with what you do have/like.

    Example, in the WCS world, it's a trend to be funky with a lot of hip hop influence. However, one of the top dancers out there (Blake Hobby) is by no means funky. It's not her personality. She's got a strong ballet background and has created this very elegant, flowing styling. She could have decided she's not got enough funk to continue with WCS, but she made it her own.

    She's got a distinctive enough style for people to pick up on and recognize within the scope of WCS.

    I definitly see swing comps as an excuse to push the limit. Technique is still very important, but the nature of swing is to be creative, so the further you can push that (whether it's mocking other dancers, acting goofy, attempting something insane) the better you're going to do competitivly.

    I mostly attend WCS events, but one of the best I've seen was an advanced division WCS jack & jill over New Years (Bill Cameron's Event). A show had been performed earlier in the weekend where hustle pro Arte Philips glided across the floor walking one knee to the next. The lead in the J&J managed to slide his partner out far enough to give himself time to emulate the move. There was such a strong connection mentally between the two that she picked up on what he was doing and worked in her own styling to enhance the entire thing. It was so creative and timed perfectly, of course they won.

    I doubt you'd see something so spontanious in a ballroom swing competition. (although I do have a clip somewhere of a ballroom rhumba where the partners are cut off from one another so he slides through the legs of the other couple to get back to his follow.)
     
  8. alemana

    alemana New Member

    hah! all of that stuff is happening in ballroom comps too, but completely passive-aggressively and with elaborately pointed toes.
     
  9. leftfeetnyc

    leftfeetnyc New Member

    In swing competitions, it's less about passive aggressive and more....friends ribbing on one another. Yes, people want to win, but it's very good natured and the more obvious the better.
     
  10. chandra

    chandra New Member

    Sorry fascination, cant help you, I feel the same way about ECS, I just cant get into the mood of the dance. I can enjoy it sometimes, but its just not my dance!
    Good look though, I hope you find what your looking for with ti!
     
  11. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    I can't help, only sympathize, though my problems were perhaps the opposite of yours. In fact, I stopped competing in ECS because I just couldn't get into the ballroom style. Swing is the only dance I knew a bit before I started ballroom and, to me, ballroom ECS is too prissy. I just don't enjoy swing with a ballroom frame. And I hated the arm styling my teacher wanted me to do. So I stopped competing in it. Unless you're formally entering 9-dance competitions, I don't think you HAVE to do any particular style.
     
  12. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I agree with some others that ballroom ECS is a different animal from the swing discussed on the swing forums. Just like ballroom cha cha and street cha cha cha, and mambo ballroom vs street style...on and on it goes....
     
  13. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    Now that I think about it, I do have one suggestion that might help. I was abke to make my steps more compact in both ECS and cha cha by thinking of doing them in one spot rather than moving to the side on the triple step. That is, I actually tried to dance in one spot, but that didn't really happen. I just ended up taking much smaller steps.
     
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    you are making me curious...how do you know I do a mean tango and how do you know I will be awesome if I just put my mind to it;) ?
     
  15. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I like this advice and am going to take it...besides I had a coaching with areally good latin instructor and watching her do the swing...had sexy all over it...she could make the hokey pokey sexy though...anyhow...am feeling better about it now that I see that there is room for some cuban motion in there...still dont have enough time to be where I wanna be in two weeks but am on a good path
     
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    this was my reasoning...as a mod on the ballroom forum I understand that some of the content is better addressed there...but I was interested in the passion for swing and how to tap into that...that is how I get motivated...that is all
     
  17. flashalee

    flashalee New Member

    Go to the Swing Film Clips link thread and click on Pensacola Swing dot com. There are great videos of kids doing ECS for the love of it, untrained. It is a great way to get inspired...seeing these kids EC for the love of it!! BTW, I am a little biased since I am their new intermediate instructor (lindyhop...we are trying to spread lindy and broaden horizens)
     

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