The best articles you may have missed – you’re gonna wanna share these!
It was one year ago that the agonizing wait was over – we finally got the keys to our shiny new website, a much larger than anticipated project due to the sheer volume of content. (If you haven’t yet, browse through the immense WCS resource section of our website and share links with your communities and studios!)
But we’ve curated that resource site for almost 8 years – that part was just a renovation. The two *new* additions were the Coach’s Corner blog and the Swing Literacy Development Method. At long last, we had a vehicle to present more than just workshops and videos! The SLDM teacher training we have been doing for the past 4 years was finally modernized into online format, which is a far superior educational modality in so many ways, both for us and for our trainees. We are loving the multi-media flexibility, the ability to make instant changes and updates, and the logical assignments that allow students to work at their own pace. It truly is a game-changer!
The Coach’s Corner blog allowed us to discuss common topics our students asked, published in a format that dancers worldwide could learn from and respond to. We enjoy “talking shop”, but we decided to draw the line at skill development: physical skills are better discussed in private lessons. But there are so many topics that dancers all over the world are uninformed or confused about – information that should be free and discussed publicly, no lesson required. The Coach’s Corner targets these topics.
Help spread the word!
Our biggest challenge has been spreading the word. Facebook only allows us to have 5,000 “friends”, which I maxed out years ago. The “overflow” friends get filed as “followers” by Facebook. We try to encourage people to “like” our fan page instead, and follow us on Instagram, so we don’t have to reject friend requests. But the Facebook gods don’t display the Coach’s Corner posts on all 5,000+ friend’s news feeds. Which means a few thousand deserving dancers never get a chance to access this rare and thorough informative articles.
So, we call upon you, dancer, to think as you read, “Who do I know this would apply to?”, “Where can I share this that it will make an impact?” and click the share button, make a comment, or ask us a follow up question. Hashtag it, re-tweet it, or put a link to it on your community’s or studio’s website for more people to take advantage. For those of you who have done this already – thank you for your support and helping us contribute to the worldwide WCS community!
Going forward, I plan to start including outside sources. There are a few other blogs that regularly post robust, quality content on WCS or partner dancing. My intention for 2016 is to occasionally repost the ones that I think are worthy, relevant, and our fans would enjoy, so Coach’s Corner turns into a more universal resource of rich advice for WCS dancers. Got any requests for topics?
We are always open!With that, here are a few of your favourites from 2015! Send us your requests for 2016!
Shoe Review: WCS Footwear Trends Dissected
West Coast Swing is a very natural, ergonomic dance. It really is close to stylized walking. Which means that the heel height you would wear in your street shoes on a daily (as in, all day long) basis is most ideal. Anything higher than 1.5 inches or 4 cm, and you’re going to have issues stepping functionally, both forward and backward….Read full article
So You Think You Wanna Do a Routine?
There is no doubt that dancers who do routines enjoy a boost in their skill level, status, and passion for the dance. The physical and mental processes of learning choreography transform your brain and body in positive, permanent ways. By assigning specific movements to accents in the music, your brain tunes itself to hearing subtleties and instruments it used to ignore….Read full article
Are You Winning Yet?
“Winning” is not only about the final placement. You don’t even have to be competitive to be “winning”. In our WCS competition scene, while many dancers ambitiously chase points, others are kicking their butts in other aspects – winning games that have no trophies or prize money, but are invaluable nonetheless….Read full article
What “Levels” Really Mean
The dance community is full of distinctions, divisions, labelling…ways of defining dancers and splitting groups up. This is not a negative thing – it’s an organizational necessity. Just like in school, it makes sense to group students by their stage of development. The problem is, unlike age groups, there is no definitive way of splitting up groups of dancers….Read full article
Becoming a WCS Teacher
“What do I need to do to start teaching?”. “I know I’m not advanced level yet, but there’s no one else in my town who can teach”, “I don’t want to be one of ‘those dancers’ who take money for lessons but really have no business calling themselves a teacher.” This is a fantastic approach, and I wish more of “those dancers” would take the time to ask a Pro for advice before starting to teach too. Everyone’s reasoning for wanting to become a teacher are different, and so is everyone’s path. So here are some guidelines….Read full article
Mentorship: The Missing Link
Ever had a mentor? I’m not talking just about somebody you admire and look up to. Let’s be specific: ever had someone who took you under their wing for free and made your goals their goals? Who stuck with you and guided you through rough waters? The rich development experience of a mentorship is one of the most valuable, most effective, and most impactful ways a highly motivated, career-oriented dancer can develop their career. And it’s free….Read full article
How to Give, Request, and Receive Feedback
Dance feedback is like hugs. Everybody needs them, but no one will admit to it, and it can get awkward to ask. In a social dance setting, most (hopefully) dancers are working on some “homework” they got either from the group class that just ended, or the last private lesson they had with their instructor. Could be an old habit they’re trying to reform, or a new skill they’re dying to master. A bit of feedback on their attempts sure would be helpful. But from where?…Read full article
Check out these other great articles:
- The Mystery of Private Lessons
- Interview with a Physiotherapist Westie
- Musical Self-Sabotage: What NOT to Play
- The Lesson of “Less”
- How Does Pro-Am Work?
- Guidance for College-Aged Westies
- The Conversation Game: The Evolution of Play
- 20 Things I Learned from Role Reversal
- Taking Leadership to Grow Your Dance Community
- How to Take Advantage of Dance Events
- Create Your Dance Progress Plan
- How to Practice
- How/When to Ask Pros to Dance