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West Coast Swing


Why I dance WCS specifically:

I’ve done Argentine Tango a while back, which I enjoyed, but it had some things I wasn’t happy about - it’d be danced to a specific music that I’d usually not listen to by default (though there are a bunch of songs that I like as a consequence of doing Tango), and it made me feel a bit stuck in the past (there’s Tango Nuevo, but it’s almost its own new style)

I’ve tried Salsa (though far more briefly) and haven’t felt inspired by it (for partially similar reasons).

Then I saw someone dance WCS at a party and became curious because it looked great, and they were dancing it to “modern” music.

That's how I discovered WCS exists

To sum it up: I like how it looks & feels, and I like that it can be danced to the most music you’d hear. 🙂

Other styles that share some of those properties are:

Zouk (I just like WCS more 🙃)

Fusion (or Blues Fusion) (curious to try it sometime! I think the common wisdom there is that you want to be comfortable with at least one other dance before going there as it combines aspects of many dances)

Modern Jive - looks interesting, but doesn’t seem to be popular in US

Finally, a context where I can apply Deliberate Practice in a clear and uncomplicated way (vs Software Engineering or Research)!

I thought, but haven't found a program that I'd be super happy with so far.

So this is where I'll post some notes on ways I found it helpful to practice

General notes

Keep track of what you learned and what you want to practice

Record recap videos for the lessons you're taking

For each practice session/social dance (Deliberate Performance) - have specific thing you want to focus on.

Schedule practice sessions with fellow students

A more relaxed practice environment where you can focus on working on a specific thing and get feedback from your partners and peers.

It removes the pressure of trying to do your best, which I often feel on a social dance floor and allows you to focus on improvement.

In this context it's ok to do a certain figure many times, experiment with variations, and generally try things that have a high chance of failing, but that would make you better in a long run.


They will know more/different things then you

Or sometimes they can point out when something feels weird even if they don't exactly know what's wrong

Prepare specific questions you can ask a teacher at the next lesson

During a practice or social dance the questions would often arise for me:

I'm not quite sure how to perform a particular technique right

When I lead a pattern X - the followers find it confusing - what am I doign wrong.

It's good to record them and ask them next time you have access to a more experienced dancer.

Skill tree

Not something I've managed to find so far

Some things are clearly foundational (e.g. basic patterns, good connection)

But I would love to see what comes next and also nuts and bolts explanation of them

For example for wcs/connection I've benefitted a lot from