Blog

I am so proud of our West Coast Swing dancers for the commitment they had to learning the International Rally West Coast Swing 2021. We started learning the choreography in August and continued through September. At first, I was not sure if we would be able to complete the choreography because I thought its multiple parts and repetitions might confuse the dancers. However, the dancers were dedicated and achieved more than even I had expected. 

Vaccinated-Only West Coast Swing Dancers Without Masks

What a difference a week makes. During the last week of May, all of our West Coast Swing students had to wear masks during their classes. They have been using masks since we reopened in September—9 months. However, on Thursday, June 3, our class was able to dance maskless and resume social dancing because all of the students were fully vaccinated. This allowed us to make our classes into a vaccinated-only environment. 

I have been taking a class in differentiation at University of Bridgeport this semester for my master's degree in Education and teaching certification. Differentiation is "the efforts of teachers to respond to variance among learners in the classroom." The following video was done as a class project to exemplify a creative way to demonstrate my understanding of differentiation. I demonstrate how West Coast Swing can be understood and taught using rhythm, spacial (body), spacial (directional), temporal, and visual methods. I hope seeing this video will help dancers find their way to understand the dance while also helping teachers explore the various ways to connect with their students. 

West Coast Swing dance class in Norwalk, CT on March 18, 2021

Last Thursday, we had a "full house" at our West Coast Swing beginner dance class in Norwalk, CT. That means that we had 20 people total, 19 students and me. This represented the capacity limit specified by the State of Connecticut for Dance Dimensions imposed in June 2020 (SwingShoes resumed classes in September 2020). 

Last year, on March 12, we experienced our last class before COVID-19 shut down businesses around world. Workshops, dance events, and social dances came to an immediate halt. For months, most people stayed at home except for an occasional walk near their homes or for grocery shopping. During this time, I heard of people who had experienced the disease firsthand, either getting it and recovering or who had passed away.

Banner from CT.gov's article indicating Governor Lamont Announces Plans To Ease Some COVID-19 Restrictions in Connecticut

I am very excited to hear that Governor Lamont is eliminating its capacity limitations for various businesses on March 19.

New Years 2021

Congratulations on making it past 2020! Just like for you, 2020 was a completely different type of year for me. In the first three months of the year, we had large classes with many newcomers. In the intermediate class, we had just started learning easy transitional moves—bringing former beginners to a higher level. And, on March 12, we had our last class before closing for 6 months. 

This month (October), we started partner dancing West Coast Swing with multiple COVID-19 safety measures in place. Prior to students arriving, the studio is sanitized by wiping down all doorknobs, chairs, benches, light switches, and bathroom fixtures. Student temperatures are taken upon arrival, followed by a health questionnaire. The studio has 20-foot high ceilings and the dance floor has been marked with 6x6 foot quadrants for social distancing. Lastly, all students must wear masks for the entire time that they are in the building. Classes limited to 20 people in the dance studio also insures a high level of social distancing.

It's been 2 months and 11 days since our last West Coast Swing class in Norwalk, CT. I have great compassion for friends who have lost their jobs or lost loved ones. For some, these past months have been traumatic. I feel very fortunate to have known a few people who recovered from COVID-19, and I feel lucky to have avoided any major possibilities for infection. I am looking forward to the day that we can all dance together again. 

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