For the month of April 2023, I used a student-centered learning model for our intermediate West Coast Swing class in Norwalk, CT. I asked the students to submit a section of a video clip that they liked from YouTube. I found this method of learning very effective because it revealed the types of movements, patterns, and styling in which students were interested. I guided the classes through learning the structure of the patterns, technique, and styling used by the dancers in the submitted videos. I am looking forward to continuing to explore the submissions from our students in May also.  Here are some of the submissions that we worked on in April.

Frequently, students are presented with the conundrum: should they focus their learning with one main instructor or many different instructors. This post is about considering which approach might be right for you. 

If you are a West Coast Swing dance student, then attending national dance events should definitely be on your radar. Not only do these events provide you with the opportunity to showcase your skills and compete with other dancers, but they also allow you to connect with a broader community of West Coast Swing enthusiasts from all over the country. Here are a few reasons why attending national dance events should be a priority for any serious West Coast Swing dancer.

Dance couple kissing in the rain

Dancing West Coast Swing can be a fun and social way to meet new people, and potentially find a romantic partner. Here are a few ways that dancing West Coast Swing can help you in this regard:

Social dancing West Coast Swing

Social dancing is an integral part of the West Coast Swing community, and it plays a critical role in improving your skills as a dancer. This dance style is known for its fluidity, connection, and musicality, and social dancing is the perfect environment for you to develop these key elements. If you're learning West Coast Swing, you may be wondering why social dancing is so important. After all, can't you just practice the moves in class or with a partner? While practicing with a partner is certainly helpful, social dancing offers a unique set of benefits that you simply can't get anywhere else. In this blog post, we will explore the various ways in which social dancing can improve your West Coast Swing.

West Coat Swing workshops with Anne Fleming

The Connecticut dance community had an amazing experience during the West Coast Swing workshops with guest instructor Anne Fleming. These workshops embraced beginner and experienced dancers alike. Anne's positive attitude helped dancers grow from simple augmented basics to Anne's favorite moves. We had a good turnout of 30 dancers for our first guest instructor in over a year. I'm so thankful that Anne met our dance community, and I'm even more thankful that our dance community got to meet Anne. 

Hustle 3-Week Series

On August 15, 2022, I hosted a three-week Hustle series to introduce Connecticut dancers to one of the most dynamic dances in the partner-dance world. We had 27 people join the series to learn Hustle from its most fundamental steps to some of its most flashy moves. The class was made up of students who were completely new to Hustle and others who were accomplished Hustle dancers. Here are some of the highlights from the three weeks of classes.

Social Dance Night in Norwalk, CT on Aug. 27, 2022

What a fun night Saturday night was! We had 40 dancers in the house who came to dance the night away. I was quite nervous going into this event because I wasn't sure if there would be enough people to fill our large dance floor. Even with all the other events going on in the area, we still had an amazing group of dancers come to support our Social Dance Night in Norwalk, CT. 

Going to New England Dance Festival 2022 was an impromptu decision. The event is located in Newton, MA—a relatively short two-and-a-half hour drive towards the Boston area. The event is primarily a Country and Western event, but it allocates a secondary ballroom for West Coast Swing Jack & Jill (random partnered) competitions and social dancing. Paul and Anne arrived on Friday; Jerry, Carri, Jamie, Janice, and I arrived on Saturday—the main day for West Coast Swing workshops, competitions, and social dancing. I want to congratulate everyone for being a part of the event. 

West Coast Swing student outing at Mexicue

On Saturday, July 9, 2022, I held the second part of a West Coast Swing musicality workshop at Dance Dimensions in Norwalk, CT. Some of these students had attended the first part of this series, while others were starting their musical journey with this workshop. This workshop focused on accenting the first beat of a musical phrase, exploring movements to fit ostinato sounds in songs, and how to hit major breaks in a song. I was so proud of how the students attempted to explore each aspect of the class—making their dancing look more musical and creative.