Recent content by Dancelf

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    Learning pattern

    Beware Dunning-Kruger: until you are good enough to recognize that you are about average in your peer group, you probably shouldn't be skipping ahead. But the truth is most dancers advance faster than they should: when you can execute a pattern without thinking about it, that's the point at...
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    Trouble leading a WC Swing whip

    Another approach: learn to lead a pattern with more rotation. A whip starts with a right half rotation for the follower. If you over rotate the front of a whip, you get a spinning side pass (follower gets one and a half rotations of free spin, instead of only a half rotation).
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    Staying on beat

    Based on my experience, "many" is a dreadful overbid. The share of musicians in a class just isn't all that big, and the muggles have other problems. It is weird, but lots of American dances are weird the same way. Lindy, as noted in the Frankie Manning quote; Bronze Waltz (above); country...
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    New to WCS..

    (a) I haven't the foggiest idea who Trautman is -- which means he's probably not someone who is part of the National WCS scene. I took a look at a preview he has up on youtube. His movement isn't obviously "professional westie". It's certainly possible that he's an outstanding teacher anyway...
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    New to WCS..

    This is something I paid attention to a number of years ago, but sadly I'm no longer up to date. That said... The best instructional video I've seen for West Coast Swing was put together by Mary Ann Nunez (who is one of the gods of the dance). Most instructors at that time were making video...
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    WCS different from the 90's?

    In his intensives, Mario has claimed that "back in the old days", the competitive dance was driven by the social dance, whereas today the opposite is the case. There was a really big shift in the competitive scene, 1999-2001, as the younger generation of California dancers arrived. In the...
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    How to learn timing?

    That's a really good analogy, there.
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    How to learn timing?

    In my experience (other dances - NOT salsa), "losing timing throughout songs" is most often a footwork problem. The music keeps going even when the brain stops to think; which means that the feet are on auto pilot. This frequently means a step happens late, or sometimes that the foot moves but...
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    Ballroom WCS versus non-Ballroom

    Mild disagreement -- you want the follower's relative position AND momentum to be right. Sticking a little compression into an extension lead (a) produces a lead that feels a little like crap, because it keeps contradicting itself, and (b) is hard to do well if your initial lead was correct...
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    Ballroom WCS versus non-Ballroom

    Asked of Steve, our resident expert on "things people say about wcs (history) that aren't true". Epic. "One thing that our intermediate WCS teacher had to constantly correct our follows on is to wait for the lead on 1." Not sure if you are asking the question, or questioning the way it is...
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    West Coast Swing: Can all steps be lead?

    A few answers... Westies don't audible. Pretty much the only time you follow with your ears: when patterns are being called out by somebody other than your partner (ie - the instructor). I've heard rumors that Carolina Shag (a mid-Atlantic cousin to west coast swing) includes audibles for...
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    Ballroom WCS versus non-Ballroom

    My favorite was always "send your energy into the floor." Oh yeah, that makes a lot of sense.... At least nine times out of ten, when you say "tension", what you get is contraction in the bicep, and to a lessor degree the flexors(?). The result? Followers that feel heavy, that have trouble...
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    Ballroom WCS versus non-Ballroom

    Yup; you'll get a bunch of those. As I recall, another school of thought emphasized 1, but not 4. And of course there are still a few old school instructors who think that the leader should actually be... leading. Teaching lead follow is an inexact science. ps: the terminology I've stolen is...
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    Ballroom WCS versus non-Ballroom

    Not entirely sure that's an unreasonable question. I haven't been keeping up, but Michael Kielbasa is apparently teaching body flight, last time I checked Mario Robau was asserting that WCS has no body flight, Skippy Blair was teaching students to lead with their "power point", etc.