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- Top Ten West Coast Swing Videos
West Coast Swing Resources
- Written by fbobe
- Written by fbobe
Benji Schwimmer & Heidi Groskreutz's First Place West Coast Swing performance in the Showcase Division at the 2005 US Open Swing Dance Championships www.USOpenSwingDC.com Uploaded on Jun 15, 2006
Canadian Champions Myles Munroe and Tessa Cunningham based in Vancouver, BC. This is improvised (not choreographed) social dancing. For info on classes, videos, and choreography, please visit www.canadianswingchampions.com Song playing in the background is Come Back by Josh Rouse. Uploaded on Aug 17, 2006
A West Coast swing demo from Parker and Jessica & Jordan and Tatiana at the Sea Sun and Swing Camp 2005 in la Grande Motte (France) Une d�mo de West Coast Swing par Parker et Jessica & Jordan et Tatiana au Sea Sun Swing 2005 � la Grande Motte (France) Source : http://www.seasunswing.net/ Uploaded on Jun 22, 2006
Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollmann's First Place Classic West Coast Swing performance at the Classic Division 2005 US Open Swing Dance Championships www.USOpenSwingDC.com Uploaded on Jun 15, 2006
Canada's West Coast Swing Champions, Myles Munroe & Tessa Cunningham based in Vancouver, BC. For info on classes, videos, choreography, and more, please visit www.canadianswingchampions.com Uploaded on Jan 15, 2007
Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollmann World Cup 2009 in Moscow, Kremlin Uploaded on Nov 1, 2009
Ben Morris and Tessa Cunninghamin the Champions Jack & Jill Improv competition at Reno Dance Sensation, 2007. Song is "Cause I love you" by Mike Morgan & The Crawl. See more Tessa at www.canadianswingchampions.com. Video credits: DougSilton.com Uploaded on Jun 19, 2007
Michael Kielbasa & Jennifer Deluca win 1st at America's Classic Uploaded on Jan 22, 2007
Max Pitruzzella & Jessica Cox 1st Place,Invitationa Jack & Jill Uploaded on Aug 22, 2006
Ben Morris and Jessica Cox, 2nd place West Coast Swing dance in the Champions Strictly division at Halloween Swingthing 2007. Check out http://benandmelina.com for instructional DVDs, tour dates, and local Southern California classes. Also visit http://centralcoastswingdance.com/ & http://parkerandjessica.com Uploaded on Jan 2, 2008
- Written by Colin
As we dance, we inevitably pick up habitual movements. Whether it is a tap step on an front tuck or an arm movement that you always do on a side pass, habitual movements creep into your dance because they feel comfortable.
The problem is that habitual movements can easily become the default motion, and in fact it may become difficult to do the movement the standard way. Mario Robau, Jr. describes the problem by noting that a variation that you choose to do is styling; a variation that you always do is wrong. Just like ballet dancers regularly reinforce their basic foot and arm positions to keep the essentials of their movement clean, we west coast dancers likewise need to practice dancing our basics cleanly.
Nota Bene: This drill is intended for dancers who are already comfortable with their basics. If you are still learning your basic footwork, this drill won’t be helpful to you yet. That’s ok—just bookmark this page and make a note on your calendar to check back in a month. When you’re ready, it will be here.
The Drill: With a partner, put on any WCS song. For the entire dance, you should do nothing but neutral basics. No fancy moves, no footwork variations or syncopations, arms in neutral at all times. Make note of any movements in which you accidentally put in a variation (such as replacing a triple rhythm with a single rhythm).
After the song is done, practice doing the movements where you subconsciously changed the move to a habitual movement, without music. Do enough repetitions that you can comfortably do the standard movement while carrying on a conversation with your partner.
This drill works best as preventative maintenance; spending ten minutes cleaning up your basics every time you meet with your partner will keep your basics much cleaner than trying to do a marathon cleanup session once a month. If you have a regular practice time with a partner, this is a great exercise to build into your warm-up routine.
Pulled from http://practice-wcs.com/wp/the-bare-bones-dance/
- Written by DJ Mineh Ishida
When you first start playing west coast swing music as a DJ, one of the most important things to learn is how to read the crowd. This article is a starting point. I will be teaching you what I call the West Coast Swing Music Litmus Test ™.
Here is the situation. You just started your set. You’re playing in a new town and have no idea what kind of music they like. You’re the first DJ up, and the other Dj hasn’t arrived yet. Lets also pretend that the dance instructor won’t arrive for another 30 minutes and the event director is no where to be found. You’re on your own, playing west coast swing music on a deserted island for 100 dancers. What should you play? (Cue jeopardy theme)
Now, this is an extreme scenario, but as DJs it’s not unusual for us to be faced with the prospect of playing for an unfamiliar crowd with no advice from someone who knows their song preferences. What do you do in that situation? This is where I whip out my handy West Coast Swing Music Litmus Test ™.
At the start of a set with an unfamiliar crowd (and often with a familiar one) I will play a series of 6 songs designed to give me a read of what direction to start moving my music set.
The WCSMLT (West Coast Swing Music Litmus Test) is composed of the following:
Mid-tempo Blues (100-110 bpm)
Mid-fast Pop (110-120 bpm)
Mid-slow R&B(95-100 bpm)
Mid tempo Classic WCS Song (105-110 bpm)
Mid-fast Soul Music (110-120)
Slow Acoustic/Rock Song (90-100)
There are a few more things to consider for song selection. Each song must be an established song for the genre. These should be songs everyone knows and have been proven over time to be good for dancing. Each song should sit in the sweet spots tempo wise for West Coast Swing (see tempo guidelines above).
The key to this is after you play each song, PAY ATTENTION. Now remember, people came to dance, so more than likely, they’re going to dance for the first few songs regardless if they like it or not. That said, pay attention to the following clues:
1. How fast are they partnering up? If it’s a song they like, there will be an intensity to their partner hunting.
2. Expressions on their faces. Are they smiling? Connecting with their partners? Or are they just autopiloting through the songs?
3. Who is sitting? Who is not on the floor for each piece of music? Did any of your songs get them on the floor?
4. What is the energy level of the room? You can generally tell if the energy level of the room is good or bad by surveying the dance floor to each song.
5. What level are the dancers? Do you have a more advanced or more basic level of west coast swing dancers?
Based on these observations, on each of the 6 songs you played, you should have a good feel for where to move your playlist. Of course, you would also want to make sure you vary your music throughout the evening, and that this is just a way to get a feel for the general tastes of the crowd. If you feel like at any point in the night you’re losing your crowd, try repeating the WCSMLT and see if the mood has changed!
Of course in the end, nothing beats experience and a DJ that pays attention, but when you’re faced with a difficult situation with no previous knowledge of the crowd, using this technique can give you a general heading and a broad read of the music tastes of your west coast swing dancers.
Do you have any questions about the West Coast Swing Music Litmus Test? What techniques do you use to read a cold crowd? Let us know in the comments!