Don't want to look like a "ballroom" WCS dancer

#1
So what are some things I can make sure I do or don't do so I don't look too "ballroom"? :) (I'm dancing the man's part). I understand the tap step is not too common, right?
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Found some complaints about "ballroom" styling.
Guess you don't want to be doing these:


Ballroom style West Coast Swing, god I hate that arm flapping lead and follows jumping the 1. At least they didn't do the stereotypical ballroom WCS swivels.

dude tried to lead some of those ballroom WCS swivels

arm wavy style of lead in some "experienced" ballroom dancers, including Ron Montez on So You Think You Can Dance. It's part of the style, I think it looks silly, contrived and distracting.


Turns out that "swivels" WERE a part of WCS in the early days. I always remark favorably when a partner does them as a variation; but, they are not something you lead. Don't think you'll have to worry about swivels a whole lot; just don't try to lead them. lol

WCS was at one time about footwork variations ie "syncopations." A tap step isn't a syncopation, but is IS a variation. I think it's still pretty common in the Sugar Push / Push Break.
People complain that "the pros" don't do enough triples. I'm not sure what they are doing instead of triples, but a "tap step" or a "step tap" done to 2 beats of music puts you on the same foot as a triple step done to two beats of music.
But, see, folks expect triple.

There is also the stereotype of the "ballroom" dancer who doesn't pay attention to the music, but I expect that won't be a problem for you.

"Ballroom arms" and a too expanded, rigid, "frame" when you are in a closed position, are places you probably don't want to go.
 

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
#4
Focus on the connection to your partner and the music rather than showing off for the spectators. Downplay your styling-no big, flamboyant arms, steps, or motions. The tap is fine, but keep it mellow and under stated. Don't get all latiny with your body action. Focus more on basics and playing with your partner to the music rather than complex, showy steps.
 

Zhena

Well-Known Member
#5
Don't get all latiny with your body action.
This is a big one for me. If I see a lot of hip action, especially from someone struggling with basic WCS moves, I think "ballroom". It looks appropriate only as an embellishment or styling accent, not as a core movement.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#6
Found some complaints about "ballroom" styling.
Guess you don't want to be doing these:


Ballroom style West Coast Swing, god I hate that arm flapping lead and follows jumping the 1. At least they didn't do the stereotypical ballroom WCS swivels.

dude tried to lead some of those ballroom WCS swivels

arm wavy style of lead in some "experienced" ballroom dancers, including Ron Montez on So You Think You Can Dance. It's part of the style, I think it looks silly, contrived and distracting.


Turns out that "swivels" WERE a part of WCS in the early days. I always remark favorably when a partner does them as a variation; but, they are not something you lead. Don't think you'll have to worry about swivels a whole lot; just don't try to lead them. lol

WCS was at one time about footwork variations ie "syncopations." A tap step isn't a syncopation, but is IS a variation. I think it's still pretty common in the Sugar Push / Push Break.
People complain that "the pros" don't do enough triples. I'm not sure what they are doing instead of triples, but a "tap step" or a "step tap" done to 2 beats of music puts you on the same foot as a triple step done to two beats of music.
But, see, folks expect triple.

There is also the stereotype of the "ballroom" dancer who doesn't pay attention to the music, but I expect that won't be a problem for you.

"Ballroom arms" and a too expanded, rigid, "frame" when you are in a closed position, are places you probably don't want to go.
Hi Steve... the "tap " step is taught as double time ( using a beat with no weight change ), also used in ECS.

And yep, Swivels, stationary and travelling, were very common back when.
And, does a specific step really identify its source ?, surely its "style "..its the old saying.. "its not what you dance, but HOW "
 
#11
a lot of ballroom dancers import a 'jive' look into their WCS by lifting their knees instead of keeping them the same distance from the floor. brandi tobias describes it and other things pretty well in the following video:

http://branditobias.com/walks/
Interesting. It's been my impression the past several years, however, that forward walking steps have moved away from ball-flat to soft heel leads. (I've had to retool my brain from how I learned it in the dark ages.)
 

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