In contemplating what to write here in my first post.. all that comes to mind is how much west coast swing seems to have changed thru the years... or has it. ?
My journey through the world of West Coast Swing has taught me many things about myself and life as well as the dance itself...
So I believe that it is not entirely true that the dance has changed that much.. but rather I myself have changed in my thoughts, perceptions and expectations of what exactly west coast swing is. The more I learn about it the more different it seems than my original perception. The more I learn the more fun it becomes.
My most profound discoveries have come from simply sitting down and talking to those that are still with us that are between 80 and 95 years of age that lived the dance as it was coming into it's own. Their descriptions of what we call west coast swing today versus what it was then...have boggled my mind more than once..particularly when they talk about the music and the rhythms they used and taught each other to do in the dance. Some times .. in order to understand the present..we must visit and even revisit the past...
They really danced the music as it was made. They adapted their timing and footwork to fit the changes in the music in 2 and 4 beat intervals... which allowed them to always hit the accents in the music as well as the minor and major phrase changes with ease..which ironically is exactly what todays very best west coast swing dancers and teachers are doing. So in some ways the dance has now come full circle. Teachers are getting better and the knowledge available to them regarding the dance is much more extensive than it was in the past. So.. full circle.. ? Or is it really just getting started ?