WCS Changes In The Past 10 Years

kayak

Active Member
#1
I did not want to cause too much thread drift. However, the Champions thread going on has me thinking. What changes have all of you observed in WCS over the past decade? There is always an impression of a rapidly evolving dance. However, it seems pretty consistent to me. Even the champions seem to be mainly the same people. So I thought I would see what changes all of you have been observing?
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#2
I gave up watching other people a long time ago.
One thing I notice with the women is that there isn't much of an anchor. Is it them or is it the leaders who don;t pay attention to the music?
If I find someone who is so incompatible with what I've been doing since my Skippy Blair update, it's unlikely that I'll be dancing with them very much.
I DO feel, though, that the CW place where I dance has been pretty much immune to "popular music" influences with older shuffle based songs being the ones most danced to (and the only ones that get ME out on the floor.)
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
#3
In my area, the biggest thing I notice is that no one teaches tap footwork any more. Everybody teaches triple-step, triple-step, rock step. When I dance with newbies, I try to do the footwork that I know that they've been taught, but I keep drifting back to tap steps.
 

kayak

Active Member
#5
By the time I started, the tap was already out. Handy for some moments, but I always learned to do all the steps. Hand grip seems to adjust slightly, but the difference seems pretty marginal to me. There seems to be a bit of a movement to an hourglass slot, but that seems to have more to do with space than anything else.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#6
When I learned in the early 90s we did a tap when we went from the closed position East Coast like starter to an open position. And of course it's used for Sugar Pushes (still? is where I dance)
 
#7
If I find someone who is so incompatible with what I've been doing since my Skippy Blair update, it's unlikely that I'll be dancing with them very much.


Steve -

I'm very interested in this comment you made, but where can I find your Skippy Blair update? I know who she is but am just beginning WCS with my wife so I really want to know more.

Thanks so much.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#8
Hey!
My "update" was attending Skippy's "West Coast Swing 101" intensive - twice.
Let's see if I can provide you with some links...

This is a place to start, but if you could be more specific...
https://www.swingworld.com/

I don't really know what "current pros" are teaching, and I know that Skippy's dvds have materials that differ from what I learned back in the 90s... But I haven't gotten any negative feedback for a long time when I've pretty much stayed with with how she teaches things.

The thing that hooked me on her was when I heard her talk about how the music and dance go together. YOu might think, duh, of course, but I don't see it around me, and no one really covered it like she did.
 
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Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#9
I've had some really good dances the past two Saturdays. I'll say this about the younger women. I feel that they dance more assertively.
After one dance Skippy Blair's 1995 statement that, "West Cost Swing is literally a "High Tech" GAME played to music," came to mind and I had to bite my tongue to keep from sharing that with my partner. And she had even been the one to ask me to do the next West Coast with her.
 
#10
I've had some really good dances the past two Saturdays. I'll say this about the younger women. I feel that they dance more assertively.
After one dance Skippy Blair's 1995 statement that, "West Cost Swing is literally a "High Tech" GAME played to music," came to mind and I had to bite my tongue to keep from sharing that with my partner. And she had even been the one to ask me to do the next West Coast with her.
Steve -

Thank you! I will look this over after work.
 
#11
I guess measuring what has changed is no simple feat. I danced with a lady just last week that has even recently been competing (in ballroom) and only knows how to do anchor steps, and asks me to lead her in Chicken Walks. I know her teacher and he came from the franchises of yesteryear you might say. I guess my point is that some people don't choose to change. Ha
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#12
I know her teacher and he came from the franchises of yesteryear you might say.

I guess my point is that some people don't choose to change. Ha
I know it's easy to criticize past "ideas" about what should be discarded, and replacements are supposed to be better,but, are they ? .
"New " doesn't always mean better .

Changes in all dances over the years, have been brought

about primarily thru music, and a good ex is QS, that was 2/4 and became 4/4, affecting how the dance was "danced".

Same can be said about Salsa, in the more modern approach to the music .
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#13
It took a long time for me to decide that "chicken walks" are pretty much the same thing as swivels.
Haile listed them as # 13 Swivels in Silver Level of Western Swing (aka WCS).
a: under that item was Sugar Foot - actual Sugar foot is on the walk - walk
Her description sounds at lot like what I remember from early 90s, but haven't seen or heard from since.

Every now and then I've had a partner who threw one in there as a variation. I usually exclaim "swivels," but don't know what the partners would call them. Gotta think mostly about Jewel McGowan.
 

kayak

Active Member
#14
Tangotime's point about changes in dance are driven by the music changing is probably right. The changes in WCS happened as the music changed after the 90s. Things probably cruise until the next big music change.
 
#15
I think the music has been progressively slower since the late 2000s. Now we have these songs that probably should belong to Blues/Fusion dance scenes.

youtube(dot)com/watch?v=X8hXQ6WjBrI
 

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