Coach’s Corner 2017 Year-In-Review

Quick access to the best 2017 articles you may have missed – SHARE SHARE SHARE!

The Coach’s Corner blog allows 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 for the blog I 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.

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Best Articles of 2017

We are always open! Send us your requests for 2018!


Answers to all your "what do I do if..." questions! Stay tuned for Part 2 next week! #sharingiscaring #wcscoachscorner #techniquestacticsstrategiesTactical Social Dancing Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

“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 of the dance, but also the social/mental side. You’ve probably got your own list burning a hole in your pocket, so this is the article series you’ve been waiting for!… Start with Part 1

I've been cooking something special just for Event Directors... #wcscoachscorner #evolveordie #worksmarternotharderEvolving Event Standards & Trends

Necessity was the mother of invention, and events have been working hard to bring something special to their dancers regardless of the size of the space or the attendance. It might be easy to assume that event directors make bank from their events, but most will choke on their beer laughing at this prospect. Everyone is working with a limited budget and restrictions placed on them by the venue, but there are ways that events can upgrade the user experience and stand out on the calendar without (much) financial investment…Read full article

Curious to hear a professional WCS dancer-photographer's perspective and tips on your competitions and events? #wcscoachscorner #blahblahblahbradisawesomeInterview with a Dance Photographer

Dance event photographer, Brad Whelan (famous for his signature BW watermark) gives us the inside scoop on his photography and some hints for dancers to get their best moments captured….Read full article


Are you getting what YOU need/want out of WCS? Get specific guidance for your specific set of needs and goals. #wcscoachscorner #behonest #westiewellbeingWhat Do You WANT?

And now for a little practical philosophy.
Ask yourself: What do you really want in West Coast Swing? Take a moment before answering: your readily available answer might be keeping you from being honest with yourself, which might be sabotaging your ability to have your needs met.

Many dancers approach us seeking advice, from all corners of the WCS scene: students, event directors, teachers, competitors, non-dancing spectators, social dancers. Our responses vary, depending not only on who’s asking, but on what their purpose is….Read full article

Consider it spring cleaning for your WCS! #alwayslearning #professionaldevelopment #swingliteracy #bestpracticesAre You Teaching/Learning WCS the Hard Way?

“What’s the harm? What’s wrong with traditional methods if dancers learn something and have fun doing it? They’ll improve organically.” I know it seems easier to teach the way you learned, but this has clear drawbacks in terms of introducing people to the dance. Consider this if you want to do the dance, which you love so much, justice.  I learned via traditional methods from some great teachers, but I had the advantage of applying my coaching and teacher training to accelerate the process. I’ve lost count of students who, after working with us, exclaim passionately, “I wish I had learned this way from the beginning!”…Read full article

Okay men, gather round. Time for some straight talk from MYLES! Be sure to share to spread the knowledge. #stuffyouneedtohear #notjustforleaders #wcscoachscornerGuy-guidance and Dude-diligence: Q&A for the Westie Men

Champion leader Myles Munroe answers 21 probing questions from men who dance West Coast Swing…Read full article



Lessons in partnership we have learned from our 15 years! #neverstoplearning #wcscoachscorner #wcsrisingstarOur Lessons in Partnership

April (Seattle’s Easter Swing) marks the 15-year anniversary of our dance partnership! As a rare breed of Champion couple who has been able to make a dance partnership AND romantic partnership work, I thought it might be nice to honour it by sharing the lessons we have learned along the way….Read full article


It's in all of our best interest to make our WCS more welcoming to its newest members. Here are some great ideas and initiatives! #ourresponsibilitywcs #wcscoachscorner #youweregreenonceFostering Newcomer Dancers

I sat down with Kay Newhouse, affectionately referred to as “Community Mama” of the NorthEastern US, and co-director of Swing Fling, DCSX and MADJam, some of the biggest and most-successful events on the WSDC circuit. We were particularly curious about the awesome initiatives she is taking with the Newcomer demographic, and her ideas on catering to this group and retaining them to build the Westie community at the grassroots level….Read full article

A more in-depth look at all those performances you admire: what to watch for, and how to appreciate what you see. #wcscoachscorner #audienceparticpation #youarepartoftheshow

Enrich Your Spectating Experience

It’s easy to get hypnotized by all the sparkly rhinestones, the splashy tricks, and the sick combinations. But after your Newcomer honeymoon phase, your senses are no longer overwhelmed and your brain has the bandwidth to appreciate different elements of the improv competitions and routines you enjoy watching.

Some spectators like to analyze the technical elements. Some like to just be open and drink it all in as an artistic experience. However you engage in a performance, there are so many layers available to explore. Here’s how to recognize effective and admirable elements as a spectator….Read full article

Some practical ideas on how to fill your bucket in the social department. Pass it on - you know you have friends who need this. #wcscoachscorner #sharingiscaring #dancewellness #socialwellnessBalancing Social Dancing and Socializing

How do you manage your social wellness with your dance wellness? It’s easy these days to get wrapped up too much in your own training and/or competitive capital – have you paused to take inventory lately of your social/emotional capital? What about the reverse – have you been focusing so much on the party aspect of our dance that your skills are suffering? Regardless of your reasons and goals for dancing, it’s important to try to find balance between your social dancing and your socializing…Read full article

The videos are going viral already, but here is the full story (and video) about the event that produced the most epic Swing scene we have ever witnessed in our careers. A must-read for your soul. #CSC #canadianswingchampionships #whyswing #alwaysstaysundayWhat Swing Euphoria Looks Like

There are so many of these weekend experiences that have been personally moving or meaningful to us for different reasons: relationships built, magic moments in performance, hysterical spotlights or all-skates, powerful learning transformations, teaching breakthroughs, etc. But this past weekend we were privileged to experience a new degree of “epic”: the most intense, electric, unifying, soul-exploding scene we have ever witnessed in our careers. And we are honoured that it happened at our own event: The Canadian Swing Championships…Read full article

Unintentional hidden messages in your teaching advice that could be causing more harm than good. Pass it on to teachers you know! #swingliteracy #wcscoachscornerLessons that Backfire

Every teacher has their preferred teaching methods, and all have good intentions in using them. Unfortunately, many methods and pieces of advice get blindly passed on through the generations without being properly audited for effectiveness. The reasoning most teachers use is, “well it worked for me, so it should work for my students.” Even the best teachers with the best intentions have moments of unintentional subliminal teaching: when their teaching habits or advice accidentally impart on their students a completely different, counterproductive, undesirable lesson…Read full article

Are you sabotaging your own dance progress? Be a better student and get more out of your investment! #teacherpeeves #becoachable #wcscoachscornerPrivate Lesson Pains

No matter your level, when it comes to dance instruction, nothing gives you more bang-for-your-buck than private lessons. Private lessons are a part of a balanced dance diet. The one-on-one feedback fills your bucket with encouragement and homework to last you a few weeks to a few months of social dance practice.

BUT, there are some ways you can unknowingly sabotage your own private lesson effectiveness. By committing these “errors”, not only are you not maximizing your value of the lesson, you might also be disrespecting the teacher, which may cause them to avoid you in the future…Read full article

Psyching yourself out of dance experiences you think you aren't worthy of yet? You are not as restricted/excluded as you think you are! This article needs sharing! #WCScoachscorner #iamworthy #ideserveit #iamgoodenoughforarmstylingThe “Not-Good-Enough” Myth

As long as you meet those minimum standards, you qualify for all the benefits of membership that come with becoming a social dancer. But a common myth that newer dancers catch and have a hard time letting go of is the idea that they are “not good enough” for certain aspects of the WCS world. A small minority might actually suffer from atelophobia, but I would propose that the concern of overstepping one’s role due to overestimation of one’s own abilities is pretty common, and not a permanent condition. Newer dancers often observe the “better dancers” taking advantage of these social dancer membership benefits, and they invent a story that precludes themselves from these same benefits. Here are some words of truth, to set the record straight about what you are allowed/ get access to (as long as you meet the minimum standards)…Read full article


Check out these other great articles:

And in case you haven’t discovered it yet, be sure to browse through the immense WCS resource section of our website and share links with your communities and studios!

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