Swing Discussion Boards > WCS Amazement

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Spitfire, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    When you first learned to do WCS what was the thing or things that amazed you the most about it?

    For me, although I knew it was done to a variety of music I was surprised at the range to which it can be done.
     
  2. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Whoa, great question. This should get as many different answers as there are members that WCS.

    For me . . . it was how the Pros could hit every aspect of every song - the beat, the accent, the break, a quick glance to the audience at a particular tic in the song, the offbeat hit of a drum, a tap, etc., etc., etc. - even if they've never heard the song. I oft wondered if they had every song ever written and practiced to them everyday, all day.

    I've learned how to do this in the last few years . . . and sometimes, it still boggles me how some of the better Pros do this SO-O-O-O WELL! And I'm not talking routine stuff either.
     
  3. Dancelf

    Dancelf Member

    Heh, how many places am I supposed to answer this?
     
  4. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    On which forum you more often use. ;)
     
  5. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    The thing that amazed me about WCS is: Of all of the dances that I've learned -- ballroom, ECS, WCS, a bit of lindy, Argentine tango, etc. -- WCS is the only one that "came naturally" to me. Everything else I had to work at to learn the principles and apply them. But with WCS, once I develped some muscle memory for the basic steps, everything just worked. I was and still am stunned at the extent to which I can improvise and play with WCS and it all works. I sure as heck can't do that in waltz yet... :rolleyes:
     
  6. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member


    And for me it's the exact opposite. I felt very comfortable following pretty much all the other dances very quickly. On a basic, beginner's level, I understand the leads. WCS, on the other hand, just does not click at all. If something new is thrown at me, I've got no idea of how to interpret it or what to do with it. Despite private instruction on how to follow WCS, specifically.

    I. Just. Don't. Get. It.

    Which is a cryin' shame, because I like the way it looks and feels, and I like the variety of music.
     
  7. Ithink

    Ithink Active Member

    The thing that amazed, and still amazes me, about WCS is how important the female's role is, how unrestrictive it is for the follower, how fun it is when you get to play as a follow! As long as you don't interrupt the lead (which I'm still elarning how not to do), you are free to do whatever you want to the music, whether lead or unlead... It's still shocking to me sometimes how much dancing I do when I dance WCS:)

    Oh, yeah, and what Vince A said:how the pros dance is mesmerizing! The first time I saw pro Jack&Jill at a WCS comp I was stunned. It was incredible how attuned to music these guys are. No way have I ever seen this in ballroom. I went to a ballroom comp this past weekend to watch and it was just so boring in comparison. Everything looked just right but there was no dancing!
     
  8. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Yep. Now that I'm paying attention to it, doing WCS is teaching me a lot about how to give the follower "space" without the lead unraveling. Plus, WCS is one of the few dances that gives the lead some opportunites to play too! ;)
     
  9. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    For that exact reason . . . I don't do ballroom . . . I'd fall asleep before the song was over.

    I'm not knocking ballroom . . . it's just not for me.
     
  10. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Yep, yep, yep . . . makes all the difference in the world . . . and each dance, different!
     
  11. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    And for me here's another thing, with WCS you can mess up and not break the flow of the dance; or so it seems to me.
     
  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Heh...you haven't danced with me! ;-)

    I can mess up a WCS like I can't mess up any other dance. It would be impressive, if it was something to be proud of!
     
  13. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Have you any classes or privates?

    There are some super great females out there to take a few privates from - those privates could change your dance life!
     
  14. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member


    One 4-week class, a couple of private lessons. At this point it just frustrates me instead of interesting me, so I opt to focus on other dances instead. Given past experience (cha cha), I'm sure I'll decide at some point that it's time to just bite the bullet and learn the damn thing. Until that time, though, I'm content to sideline it.

    And for whatever reason, I just don't learn well from women. I've got to have a male instructor. I don't know why, but I've learned to just deal with it instead of fighting it.
     
  15. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    WCS is not easy, and it's very strict . . . to a point. It sounds like you didn't give yourself enough time . . . maybe expecting to dance perfectly by the time you finished the group class or privates.

    It is also a constantly evolving dance. What I learned 5 years ago, though the same dance, may look and feel entirely different today.

    A lot of people who have been doing the WCS, including me (WCS dancing for about 14 years) still take privates. There is always something to learn. Then once you think you have it . . . you take the harder classes, like Skippy Blair's "Intensives," or go back to the basics.

    There are some of the better female instructors, that I break my neck to get in their group classes (workshops at venues, etc.) . . . Skippy Blair, Michelle Kincaid (two of my favorites) . . . absolutely the best at instructions and just to see them social dance to "watch" what they do! My dancing skills grow while watching them.
     
  16. SuzieQ

    SuzieQ New Member

    I have been at the point of giving up on WCS a couple of times. It's really a difficult dance to do well--I can be totally horrid at it one day and the next be (for me) right on. A lot depends on the leader, also.
    We're starting a swing club at our studio, and I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to work more on it. I've decided to conquer it rather than let it conquer me!
     
  17. SuzieQ

    SuzieQ New Member

    I agree with your comments here, Vince.
     
  18. Swingolder

    Swingolder New Member

    I have to agree it was the music. I first took lessons from someone who danced a lot of CW. Not too interested. But the first time she put on something bluesy, my attitude about the dance changed.
    And I still think it is the most versatile dance. Just about where ever you go, they will play something that you can wc to.
     
  19. Lesh

    Lesh New Member

    Well when I first started West Coast I heard that it would be the hardest dance I would ever pick up and I just couldn't get it - the footwok seemed so fast and counter-intuitive.
    Then I saw a couple jack and jill comp clips online and was amazed at the ability that the dancers have to really make it their own and have fun. I stopped worrying about making my dance look exactly like the instructors and it just clicked. It's the only dance where I can really feel the music and get into it 99% of the time. I love that you're encouraged to play around and try different things, and I never get bored (even though I only know a handful of moves.) Sure I can enjoy a good cha cha or a nice tango, but give me a nice follow for West Coast and a kickass song and it will make my night.
     
  20. Bradamant

    Bradamant Member

    At first WCS scared the dickens out of me. It seemed so so so much more difficult that the ballroom/latin dances. Then somehow I clued in to the "fun" of it and everything fell into place. (I think also the connection particular to WCS finally sank in.)
    I love the play and the amount of independence beyond the good connection. (In other words, as long as you don't mess with the connection, a beginning lead can dance with an advanced follow - and the other way around - and they both can have a great time.) I primarilly follow, but I lead WCS a lot too and find the different roles fascinating.
     

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