Thank You Brian B. from West Coast Swing online for writing this. Good Stuff !!
10 THINGS GOOD WEST COAST SWING
DANCERS DO DIFFERENTLY
There are a lot of things that
separate good dancers from poor dancers and great dancers from good dancers.
Background, physical talents and years in the game are all factors that come
into play. As a teacher I live in a world where I’m consumed by getting
the most out of what I have without making excuses. That being said here are 10
things that you can and should be doing if you want to take your West Coast
Swing dancing to the next level.
1. Commit to getting better
Nothing starts without a goal and the
commitment to follow through. You have to know where you are going and be
willing to stay the course. Committing to getting better is a both a mindset
and a process.
2. Learn to dance by yourself
Too many people in West Coast Swing
are limited by ‘needing a partner.’ Hogwash! Learn to dance on your own and
practice on your own. All serious dancers do.
3. Take music seriously
There is no way around this one in
the West Coast Swing world. We are so driven by different kinds of music that
if you don’t become a bit of a music nerd you are giving away a step to the
dancers who do.
4. Learn to love drills
Learning to isolate techniques to
drill them is a fast track to better learning. I personally use drills before
most lessons and practices and have for almost 10 years now. They are very
5. Develop a relationship with a
Notice I said relationship? Too many
people in WCS run around taking random lessons from random coaches. While each
coach has something to offer I think this process is flawed. I don’t have time
to fully cover my thoughts on the subject but does Tiger Woods take lesson from
different golf coaches ever week? Right! Find a coach that you can develop a
long standing relationship with and it will pay off in spades.
6. Develop a work ethic
You have to develop a consistent
approach to practice if you want to gain momentum. Just like going to the gym
or eating healthy, it doesn’t really show results if you only do it once in a
7. Learn to cope with self doubt
There are ABSOLUTELY going to be
periods of self doubt. Know that they will come and do your best to work
through them when they come.
8. Take overall physical fitness
Sometime it shocks me why people want
to move like high level dancers yet they let their basic physical fitness get
away from them. Things like Yoga, Pilates are great for dancers. As we get
older some form of resistance training is helpful as well. Combine these with a
healthy diet and you’ll be in much better shape to take your dancing seriously
9. Realize that learning curve is not
a straight line
Bad dances, bad competitions, bad
lessons and crummy days are just a part of doing business. Learn what you can
from them and come back smarter the next day. Don’t get discouraged. Learn the
lesson and move to be better next time.
10. Learn to dance with different
One of the best things you can do is to cultivate the
ability to dance with a wide range of partners. Not only partners that are
brand new but also partners that are far ‘out of your league’ Its good to
develope the skill and courage to dance with everyone on the spectrum of
abilities. Its the essence of social dance, the essence of West Coast Swing.