RobinSmithSwing.com - Professional West Coast Swing Dance Instruction
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10 Things Good West Coast Swing Dancers Do Differently
The Challenge Of West Coast Swing
What is West Coast Swing ?
What is Swing ?
Perceptions and Expectations

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Choices
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Music !! could not have said it better myself.

More from Michael Kiehm....
 June 2nd. Music appreciation/interpretation; 
   Let's face it, we are not going to like every song played at an event. Instead... of complaining about the music choices, try challenging yourself to dance in a way that would convince anyone watching you, that you actually like the song. Yeah, I know, I am just as guilty as the next guy when I say comments like; "What the heck is that Dee Jay playing" or, "That song really sucks!". We've all said that more than once or twice :). It's easy to dance with positive engergy, embellishing the breaks and preparing for those awesome cresendos when your excited by the song, or you recognize the song as a current popular hit. Here's my tip, Every song has something within it that is not always obvious to listeners. Find that background musical instrument, vocal riff, or that subtle repeating rythm and bring it out of the song so that someone watching would say to themselves, "Hmm, I did not even realize that sound was in the song until that dancer projected it". When you put your focus on this concept, you start appreciating songs you don't usually even pay any attention to. To bring out the sound that you are hearing, you might make a small movement with your head, or you might press your foot into the floor to accent the sound. Try motivating your partner by being creative and inspiring. You never know, your partner might actually assist you in making the song more exciting once they feel motivated by your dancing. Give this a try guys. In the end, we are dancers first, so we should be able to make any song within reason come alive! Until next week, keep dancing from your heart! Michael Kiehm

Basics, Basics, Basics !!

Thought I would share this with students and dance friends everywhere...I teach this, and say it all in many different ways...This comes from my good friend in San Diego, Ca.  Mr Michael Kiehm... good stuff !! Enjoy.
 
Basics, Basics, Basics, You can't work on them too much! 
I'm sure you've probably heard this a million times, but lets face it, watch any advanced dancer and what do you remember??? It's HOW they danced, not what they danced. An advanced dancer can captivate you with nothing but basic patterns, simply because they have mastered their ability to maintain a consistent connection between themselves, the floor, the music and the space around them.

Choices

None of us are perfect in how we act or conduct business...least of all me....speaking for myself.. with over 25 years in the dance business....
Most of the established professional dancers/ instructors over 25 already go by an unwritten courtesy code...and there are teacher certification programs out there that teach proper conduct...as well as how to be a good teacher....however.. if one's ego is to large to go thru something like that or if they are too young to realize the importance of it.

Full Circle ?

 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.
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