Blog

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. 

Group Picture at Liberty Swing 2022

WOW! Liberty Swing 2022 was an amazing event. It offered multiple levels of workshops by some of the nation's top West Coast Swing professionals, competition divisions for all levels of ability, and many hours of social dancing. This was the first event that I attended for which I was not part of the event staff in the last 22 years of teaching West Coast Swing, so I was able to experience this grand event from the same perspective as my students. Here is my brief review.

Swingin' Into Spring Group Picture

Our SwingShoes group had an awesome time of taking workshops, social dancing, competing, and bonding at Swingin' Into Spring 2022. After waiting three years for a local dance event, our dance community finally had the opportunity to experience all the benefits of taking workshops, dancing with other people, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Here are some the highlights of the event. 

COVID Two-Year Anniversary

On March 12, 2020, I hosted my last West Coast Swing class before the COVID pandemic completely shut down our dance lessons for six months. During the interim before our return, I hosted video socials on Zoom every Thursday night, where members of our dance community played West Coast Swing Bingo. While we couldn’t dance, we maintained our social connections.

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. 

­