Our niche in the West Coast Swing world is to introduce and explain the unique mechanics of West Coast Swing and the “rules of the game”. We go beyond the patterns and breakdown how to make the dance work properly. We focus more on organic, ergonomic, musical movement and give dancers access to essential, elusive technique. We are also big fans of FUN – educational entertainment. Our students typically leave our workshops and private lessons with a rejuvenated attitude towards their own dancing, and a better understanding and application of technique than they have gotten in the past 6 months (or 6 years) elsewhere. We want you to feel empowered and confident about your dance skills, because the better you feel, the more fun you and your partner will have.
As guest instructors, we teach dance event workshops or weekend intensives all over the globe.
Teacher Education Program
Between us we have over 40 years of teaching/coaching experience in a diversified portfolio of arts and sports. Tessa is also a retired National Development coach and coach trainer and an active practicing school teacher with degrees in both Kinesiology and Education. By collaborating with Myles’ classical dance training, we have created the Swing Literacy Development Method, the most comprehensive teacher training program in the West Coast Swing world. This unique 3-module program goes beyond the business and procedures of teaching WCS, but trains the pedagogy of physical skill development that makes students learn better and faster, which in turn keeps them coming back for more. See details here
Our preferred method of teaching is the Intensive Weekend Workshop. Our signature subtitle is: “Renovate – Elevate – Motivate”. This format is rare – only a handful of teachers in the world teach using this method. It involves 3-5 hours of instruction per day, 2 or 3 days in a row, but is organized in a progressive layout, without defined class titles. This format allows us to get deeper and go further in explaining key concepts to students. It allows the content to follow a logical flow which maximizes students’ learning. Each topic is a prerequisite to the ones preceeding. This format takes maximum advantage of our expertise: although a few patterns are taught to apply key concepts, the focus is on FUN technique, rather than patterns, which you can learn anywhere. Students must have at least a basic understanding of West Coast Swing. Students should be STRONGLY ENCOURAGED or required to attend the whole workshop, and should be advised to expect both theory and practice.
These are intended for the advanced dancers or instructors in your area who want an additional challenge or who share more specific goals. This invitation-only class can be an add-on to a weekend intensive or a stand-alone workshop. If it is offered during a weekend intensive, interested students must attend the Intensive in order to gain access to the Master Class in order to avoid repetition.
- Critique Session: Seminar format, a few students are chosen to have their dancing assessed in front of the group to demonstrate proper assessment techniques and offer feedback for learning.
- Skill Development: Intensive instruction and feedback on a particular topic such as spins, dips, lifts.
- Choreography Performance Class: For those interested in learning routines for demonstration or competition
These classes are not restricted, but focus on a specific topic outside of social dancing skill development.
- Swing Literacy Intensive: This 2-3 hour workshop focuses on the core fundamental skills that are holding most dancers back. We deliver key techniques in a unique entertaining and accessible way, leaving students better able to connect and apply material they have collected from other dance experiences. It is possible to “sandwich” this Intensive inside a SLDM Teachers’ Lab: contact us for details.
- Swing C.L.I.C. (Community Leadership Inspiration Challenge): Seminar format. This unique, interactive 90-minute workshop is designed to inspire dancers to take control of their own development and inspiration and empower them to share it, in order to spread enthusiasm and growth in their home West Coast Swing scene. Tons of practical ideas and tips for personal dance improvement and for growing your dance community. HIGHLY recommended for veteran social dancers and up-and-coming instructors!
- The Culture of WCS: Seminar format, with some activity. We describe verbally and physically the evolution and influences of WCS, the culture of social vs competitive dancing, and the social agreements of the conversation of improvisation.
- Keynote Sessions: These classes would be placed as bookends at beginning and end of weekend, to “warm the students up”, focus on a theme for the weekend, give students as sense of the “whole story”, and allow for closure and questions.
- The Feedback Lab: Students work in small groups, guided by us and teaching assistants, to provide guided feedback to each other on specific, hard-to-master skills.
- Competition Prep: Aimed specifically at competition strategies and styles.
- Masculine/Feminine Styling: Ideally offered in separate rooms. Open to either gender. Option would be to bring the whole group together afterward.
- Musicology – various levels/topics
- Crossover WCS Intro: (for Salsa, Ballroom, or Lindy Hop dancers)
- Strong Start: The BEST introduction to WCS (for newbies: instructors may audit)
Skill Development Classes
We are known for incorporating true technique into every class, and making it FUN! A-la-carte classes are available in a wide range of topics: Qwerky titles available upon request.
- WCS Fundamental Movement Skills
- Modern Shape of WCS
- Efficiency Upgrades
- Turn Technique