Country and Western > Why is Country Western Dance Changing so fast?

Discussion in 'Country and Western' started by Social Dancer, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Social Dancer

    Social Dancer New Member

    I don't know because I am new to CW Dancing but I can tell you why the old time Social Dancing has vanished.

    The old time dances generally started with Quick Quick. Some did one slow after the two Quick's, some did a Quick Quick, &, Quick, some did Quick, Quick, Slow Slow. The old time Rumba was Quick, Quick, Slow. The old time Cha was 1,2,3,&,4. (You can bank on someday hearing someone teach CW Two Step as, Slow Slow, Quick, Quick.)

    The old time dances came down from generation to generation and the they were taught to
    people by friends and relatives so everyone wanted them to be easy to learn.

    When the for profit studio chains came they had to make dancing harder so they could make
    more money teaching it. They also wanted to say that they "Made Up" the dance steps,
    so they changed basic from Q,Q,S timing to, Slow, Quick Quick,. Still later they changed to have the dancers start on the 2ND beat. (Again to make it more difficult so they could make more money.)

    Back in the Eighties those who made these changes found that they could not get new dancers
    so they raided the old time social dances of their people. One of the tricks they used on us was
    to make fun of the way we looked. (We had never danced for mirror or a camera so we didn't
    look as good as they did.)

    Over the next thirty years the Competitive Instructors completely destroyed the old Social Ballroom Dance activity. They took all of our peopleand used them up,,,, but, now they have run out of us, so they are going after you guys. Once again they find themselves without enough dancers so they have come after yours.

    If you check it out, you will find that nearly all of the top people in CW Dancing are now taking
    lessons from the same International Instructors who killed the old Social Dance. (Exactly what happened to us in the late Eighties.)

    Why did West Coast Swing do so well for so long? They made it easy! Now they, as well as you,
    are following in our foot steps. I see that most of your top leaders are now pushing competition.

    I see lots of timing changes being pushed. I now see dancers taking International Ballroom lessons. (Your leaders will find out like ours did that if you are teaching International Ballroom, ,,, sooner or later your students will ask themselves why they don't take their lessons from the International Ballroom Instructor guy who teaches you!)

    I want to make it clear that I have no problem with International Ballroom as an activity for those who actually want to compete.

    I do have a problem with them raiding other dance forms and then causing those dance forms to die.

    That said, I fully understand that these Instructors need students to survive. I understand that they will go where ever they have to go and take whose ever dancers they need to take to make a living for them selves.

    What I don't understand is why everyone knells at their feet and hands their dancers over to them.

    In the end, after the Competition Dance leaders drain the swamp of all the dancers, they will
    die off because they simply can not exist without stealing other peoples dancers and there will
    no longer be anymore dancers to steal.
  2. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Where I dance nobody really gives a hoot about those people.

    And if people want to go ballroom, or go competition, I wish them a nice trip. There will be more room for the young kids that show up in droves here in Portland, and I won't have to watch out when they throw their arm out to "create a nice line."

    Um, that's the way it's been taught since the early 80s when it appears to have replaced the older step together step (qqs ), but maybe not where you are.

    Far a teachers go, I just ran across this item.
    "at the 1885 convention...two teachers wre discussing a new dance called the 'college polka.' "I dont like the slide," remarked one. "No," agreed the other, but it sells.

    That's well over a hundred years of "teacher" influence right there. They probably didn't work for profit studio chains, though, I'll give you that.
  3. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    How about this one?
    "by 1854 St. Paul, with a population of only a few thousands, could boast its own dancing academy."
    There was the Polka, Quadrilles, Mazourka, the redowa, and Spanish Dance to be learned, among others.
  4. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

    Any info or recommendations on CW dance places in your region? Thanks.
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Yup. Bushwhackers in the Portland suburb of Tualatin.
    There are 3 other places I can think of: Duke's on Division, the Ponderosa at the Jantzen Beach truck stop, and another place I can't remember the name of in Hillsboro or someplace out that way.
    Most people agree that Bushwhackers is the best of the bunch as far as dancing goes.
  6. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    But are these instructors really are to blame? Their job is hard and income small. They simply found a new target group.
    I fear the cw themselves are to blame. Some watched tv shows, got impressed by rhinestones and black patent leather and others run with the herd.
    A third reason comes to mind. Would it be possible that the cw instructors in your area were not competent and the crowd had to look for alternatives?
    As soon as there are role models no one voluntarily will give up his tradition.
  7. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    I think the wonder and curse of easy travel and video is communities are no longer isolated. So dance has progressed fast just like everything else in our society. In the past, every barn dance probably had its own slightly different polka. Now, it doesn't take long before we visit or see somebody dancing someplace else that is doing a move that looks fun. So we emulate their footwork, pattern or style until it becomes our own. Nationalization is a powerful force.

    There is really nothing wrong with doing something like 2-step with the hitch step and a over the shoulder hold. It just doesn't provide the opportunity for the fun patterns that lots of people like to do. If you and your partner are happy and not someplace with judges, dance and have a blast.
  8. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I'll keep these in mind if I get a chance to visit the area.

    I do think there's renewed interest in CW on the west coast, with a young crowd, based on some recent visit. But, we'll see if this continues.
  9. christine heinrich

    christine heinrich New Member

    It is no longer "country" it has become "global"...if you just look at Kick it or you will see how global country western dance has changed has become more varied rhythms and encompasses all different kinds of music which allows the dancer endless possibilities in fact it is no longer called Country Western.....the name has even changed...but one interesting fact remains; Europeans are really into the western wear and music but the Brits seem to be into the modern funk music and the Asians remain in the more romantic is really a conglomerate with the US divided up according to where one comes from; when I look at a new dance to teach, the first thing would be the it something I will like? if not, I move on..the steps are meaningless unless the music moves you no matter what genre it is!
  10. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Last night someone asks me to dance and we did a few different dances, including a two step. I got that now becoming familiar question about the hand over the shoulder thing.

    Nite Club hasn't changed here, yet, as far as I can tell, in spite of one lesson taught to beginners at a recent local festival.
  11. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Hi Steve, It has been a while since I had time to visit Dance-Forums. Do the ladies care that your using the old style? If your getting lots of repeat "customers", who cares which version of 2-step or Nite Club. If your getting turned down or skipped over, it might be time to modernize. There is a lot to be said for just leading a dance that makes both partners smile - regardless of styling.
  12. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Not being turned down much at all, although I've been through times where things weren't as good as other times.
    I try not to whine when things aren't as good as other times, and usually don't write much about when things go really well (feels like braggin'.)
    Not much interested in being like everyone else.

    In CW two step? I give them a heads up that I'll be putting my hand on their shoulder. Last week on of my favorite, but infrequent partners said, 'So you're a shoulder holder." Never heard that one before. Actually I'm kind kind of partial to "red neck style," myself.
    Danced several times with a gal who is a relative new comer and when I gave her "the warning," she told me we'd danced last week so she already knew and had no problem with it.

    "Old style" in nite club?
    If a woman doesn't want to do nite club the way I do it, so be it. There has only been one time in all the years I've been dancing that someone turned me down for this reason, and she had a pro am comp coming up.
    Staying on the music and being a "good lead" (been told this more than once, even "really good") usually gets my partners smiling.

    Oh, kayak, glad you stopped by.
  13. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    I agree ... with a good lead, dances just work out. As long as both partners are smiling through the dance, style is irrelevant.

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