Archive | The Learning Curve

Tactical Social Dancing: Part 1


“What should you do if…”, “What happens when…”, “How can I handle…”, “How do I deal with…” These are all questions that students of all levels batter their teachers with. They are tactical questions – they ask for circumstantial advice, or recommendations for particular situations that have to do with not just the physical side […]

Drills Gone Wild


It’s nice to see students all over the world taking the initiative to practice on their own. Practice of personal movement skills is part of a balanced diet of partner dance learning and skill development, regardless of your ambition level.  We are strong advocates of “homework”: once you learn your skills in your lesson, you […]

How to Use YouTube to Learn WCS


YouTube is a great source of inspiration, but for the most part, a horrible teaching tool. It requires too much conversion, and there is no substitute for hands-on learning. But since many of you insist on it, let’s offer some observation strategies to get what you can out of it. Our Shared History with YouTube […]

How to Run a Peer Practica


Do you live in a community where there’s not a lot of dance resources? (dancers/dance parties/instructors) Do you want to supplement your existing lessons with extracurricular practice? Do you want to make sure that you are not reinforcing bad habits? Do you crave feedback to know that you are on the right track? Feedback: The […]

It’s Not Like Wine


I had a student say to me recently, “I so badly want to take private lessons from a Champion like you. I hope someday soon I will be good enough.” “Pardon?” I queried, confused. “Good enough?” He stared at me with a blank expression, baffled about why I was questioning his apparently obvious reasoning. I […]

The Mystery of Private Lessons


After all the positive feedback on this summer’s article, How Does ProAm work, I received several requests to give private lessons the same treatment. Private lessons are a mysterious phenomenon to many dancers, not just the newbies. Veteran dancers tend to forget this valuable resource that can help guide them through the tough phases in […]

20 Things I Learned from Role Reversal

Role Reversal

Once your dancing stabilizes in one role (leader/follower), you might consider learning the opposite role. West Coast Swing is increasingly encouraging of ambi-dance-terity, channeling the teamwork aspect of the partnership rather than the relationship aspect. People venture here for a variety of reasons; 1. There’s a gender/role imbalance at their local dance scene and they […]