Kellese Key

By Kendra Zara

Interview with Kellese Key! Thanks so much for taking the time to let us get to know you better!

1. How/Why did you start dancing? Specifically WCS

I grew up in a dance studio called Bruce Lea Dance Factory in Fort Worth TX from the ages of 2-18. At 19, my Mother introduced me to "Push", which was basically Texas' version of Jitter Bug / Swing.. as I understood it. I felt like it was all old people (my age now..grrr) and did not want any part of it.. UNTIL she brought in the BIG GUNS and introduced me to BARRY JONES!!!!! That was IT!!!! He is BEAUTIFUL and WONDERFUL and HELL YES. I'M IN!!!!!!! Thank God he wanted to dance with me too and put up with me for so long!!! What a blessing straight from God!!!! I've been in since and will never leave, good Lord willin'!!! Amen!

2. What if any other dances do you do? And which do you feel helps you with your WCS the most?

I studied, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Clogging and Theatre for about 12-13 years... after WCS, I learned Carolina Shag and other than that, I have not studied any other form. ALL of the dances help me to be a better dancer all together.. for West Coast or anything I choose to dabble in.. I have seen other dances that also influence me.. just by watching them.. Salsa, Zook, Argentine Tango.. SYTYCD.. hahahahahahaa I get inspired by different things and those things push me continually!!

3. What do you love most about your job? Is WCS your primary job?

WCS used to be a hobby for me. I have always worked full time parallel to WCS until Swank! I traveled so much teaching WCS that all of my sick time, vacation time.. heck, family time.. was taken by teaching WCS all over the globe.. a blessing yes but also a curse to our family! So, upon hearing the news of my Dad being taken by cancer soon, I decided to spend every last minute by his side. How can I do this and still possibly make money? Our expenses require double income! I KNOW!! Create my WCS DVDs!!! I have been in this community for 20+ years and I do not have any DVDS out!!!! What is wrong with me?? I need to GIVE BACK!!! While I CAN!!!! So, what started off as a simple DVD to help us, turned into a Business with Big Plans... Plans I wanted my Dad to see!!! My Dad was an Entrepreneur and an Inventor.. a VERY SUCCESSFUL ONE!! I wanted to show him that I could do this BEFORE I lost him... Unfortunately, Swank turned out to be a HUGE JOB physically and financially!!! I lost him in the making of... So I have dedicated "Swank Dance Fitness" to my Dad, Douglas Lee Chilton!

4. What advice would you give those who strive to make it in WCS?

WCS is the greatest dance of all time.. in my humble opinion. I love the freedom it provides!! I love the friendships that you gain all around the globe!!! I love to DANCE!!! I love to hear GREAT MUSIC!!! I love to drink socially with friends!!!! I LOVE that I never have a day where I say... "I'm bored, what can we do?" I love that we travel!!!! West Coast Swing is AMAZING!!! Do not get discouraged by some of the creativity that you see!!! USE IT as Inspiration to push yourself!!! I truly believe WCS is a Universal Dance.. One that EVERYONE CAN DO!!! If you are interested in getting better at WCS on your own but do not have time to go to Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Clogging, ETC... you should try SWANK!! It teaches you individual movement.. LEVEL 1.. WEST COAST SWING... you get musicality without realizing it.. styling which people pay BIG BUCKS an hour for... and all of the basics in one package.. for Guys! for Girls! for Partners! Swank Dance Fitness is Brent and Kellese Key's style of West Coast Swing!!! I have traveled all over the world and get asked THE SAME QUESTIONS!!! Everyone wants THE SAME THING!!! When I finish with a private lesson, I get the SAME RESPONSES.. "You have changed my dance"... "I totally get it now"... "thank you so much".. "I'm winning competitions now".. "I wish I would have learned WCS this way from the beginning".... TRY IT!! If you have questions, that's GREAT! Contact me! I truly CARE about this dance and everyone in it! This is my biggest down fall... I truly CARE!!!

Robert Royston

By Kendra Zara

Interview with Robert Royston! Thanks so much for taking the time to let us get to know you better!

1. How/Why did you start dancing? Specifically WCS

I started with e/c swing when I was 15, but everyone in the country dance world started to switch over to WCS because there was more music you could do it to. Then I took an all day workshop with Carrie Lucas and I was hooked! Then Top of Beardsley's on Wed nights with Phil and Ed and boom I was hooked.

2. What if any other dances do you do? And which do you feel helps you with your WCS the most?

Um... lots of other dances! They all help! Always cross train!!

3. What do you love most about your job? Is WCS your primary job?

I love watching people learn! I love MC'ing and feeling like I help bridge the gap between the dancers and the crowd. No teaching WCS is not my primary job but it was and I feel blessed.

4. What advice would you give those who strive to make it in WCS?

Never stop learning, respect where we have come from, know where we are, and have insight into where you think we are going!!! lastly as said earlier... always cross train!!!!

Jennifer DeLuca

By Kendra Zara

1. How/Why did you start dancing? Specifically WCS

I fell upon WCS by accident. My Mother worked for Disney and knew another Cast Member who's brother (Mark Traynor) taught WCS classes locally in Orlando Fl. I started WCS when I was 15. I had came from a Ballet/Ballroom background. Was thrilled to come across a partner dance so musically diverse and artistic. It was love at first triple. :)

2. What if any other dances do you do? And which do you feel helps you with your WCS the most?

My background in dance training was mostly in Ballet. After 7 years of training to be a "Prima Ballerina" I was faced with some bad news. A bone tumor began to grow under my big toe nail. After multiple surgeries, the doctor claimed it to be on of the most aggressive growths he had seen. Due to a removal of bone in the big toe, I had to put away my point shoes and move onto another passion. As sad as it was at the time .... I would do it all over again to be where I am today.

3. What do you love most about your job? Is WCS your primary job?

I absolutely LOVE what I do. While my inner artist cant get enough of the stage, The teacher/student experience is what I value most. There is nothing better than sharing your seeds of knowledge with others, then watching them blossom to create seeds of their own. Rewarding .... over & over again.

4. What advice would you give those who strive to make it in WCS?

WCS is one of the hardest dances to pick up. While the basic patterns seem "not so basic" at times, the sheer freedom of movement within the patterns tend to intimidate MANY. We all know that learning the steps is necessary, but few take the time to learn the movements WITHIN the basic patterns. Its the magic that "connects the dots" Through the understanding of overall body movement, one can TRUELY get the most out of this dance. Wether it's attending workshops, booking privates or practicing on your own .... Show the dance some love and it will love you right back!

Pulled from: https://www.facebook.com/groups/195063670552098/

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