Why is there such a disconnect between the way west coast swing is taught and the way the advanced dancers actually dance? For years, women complained to me that I just led patterns and wasn't actually dancing to the music, i.e., my dancing lacked musicality. Yet, all the classes I took just taught one more complicated pattern that was suitable for a choreographed routine, but was quite difficult to lead and follow socially or in a Jack and Jill competition. I also noticed that the advanced dancers and those in the finals of the Jack and Jill competitions weren't doing the complicated patterns that I was learning in the group classes. Instead, they do the 5 basic patterns (sugar push, underarm turn, left-side pass, tuck, and whip) with accents, hesitations, breaks, body isolations, and extensions that rely on connection, leverage, and compression. Yet, when I asked teachers (both locally and at national conventions) to teach me to get away from patterns and dance the way the advanced dancers do, they would act all mysterious, as if I didn't know the secret handshake to get into their club, and would give vague, meaningless responses, such as "I just dance the way the music moves me" or "it's important to listen to the music." Now, I've scaled way back on my wcs classes. Instead, I buy video tapes of Jack and Jill competitions, and take them to my ballroom instructor. We watch them together and imitate the competitors. It is a completely different way of dancing from the way I was taught in the wcs classes. But, it is not unusually difficult to learn or to teach, so I don't get what all the mystery and reluctance was about. Frankly, I am resentful of all the wcs teachers who refused to teach me what I now believe is clearly a teachable skill, and I am reluctant to give them any more of my money.