Commentary

Musicality for West Coast Swing Week 2 Review

Last week our West Coast Swing dancers attended their second class on musicality. This class started with a brief review of some of the main points that were discussed on week 1, such as what is a beat, a measure, and a lyrical phrase. We also reviewed the idea of Common Time and the rhythmic structure and notation of West Coast Swing. We proceeded to review our pulsed timing as an basic expression of on and off beats.

Welcome to the West Coast Swing Group in CT

Our Week 1 West Coast Swing classes in Connecticut are off to a good start. We had more new people this week. One of the newcomers even baked a cake for my birthday - it was quite incredible.

These new dancers are the incremental "life-blood" of our dance community. Combined with last month's new attendees, we have seen a 30% increase in our regular attendance. Even better, in 2015 we have exposed about 50 Connecticut residents to West Coast Swing. Some of those people have become regular dancers in our community. It feels good to watch them go on their West Coast Swing journey.

This is how we build a dance community in CT

Last week was one of the best we’ve had in many months! There were new dancers in our Hustle class and both of our West Coast Swing classes.

Our week started on Tuesday, May 5 with "Hustle De Mayo”. This jump-started our Hustle series for the month of May. Hustle had been collateral damage to all the snow storms that consistently occurred on Mondays and Tuesdays throughout the early months of 2015. It was especially nice to have 2 new couples joining our Hustle classes for the first time.

Wednesday, May 6 began the West Coast Swing beginner series in Harrison, NY. We had a class full of new faces and many of those people were entirely new to West Coast Swing. By the conclusion of both classes, they were already dancing the Sugar Push, Right Pass, Left Pass, and Whip. I can’t wait to continue their journey this week.

Even Thursday’s regular West Coast Swing class grew in size by 25%. New leaders, new followers, and a full house of regulars. This is how to build a community!!

Fairfield University

I have the pleasure and honor of having been accepted to Fairfield University's program in American Studies. I am excited about all the new possibilities that attaining a Master's degree will create. This degree will help me augment my knowledge of and fascination with the dances (West Coast Swing and Hustle) and music I love and the history behind them.

West Coast Swing at New Canaan Country School

Last week, I taught West Coast Swing to some students at New Canaan Country School in Connecticut. I was originally contacted a month ago from our Meetup.com web page. I was flattered and honored to be contacted as an expert in West Coast Swing and local instructor.

Exposing young adults to West Coast Swing is very important. Even though West Coast Swing is an American dance, children of this country are hardly exposed to this dance (and many other partner dances) as part of their cultural upbringing. What makes West Coast Swing special is that not only is it culturally relevant from a historical perspective danced to swing and blues music of the past, but it is also relevant today since it can be danced to many of the contemporary pop and R&B songs that can be heard on the radio.

West Coast Swing Week 1 Success

Our Week 1 classes of West Coast Swing in Norwalk, CT were very successful on Thursday, April 2, 2015. We had 6 total newcomers and about 30 regular dancers. It was great to have a full room of familiar and new faces. I love when newcomers arrive and are greeted by the friendly faces of our dance community. I also enjoy seeing regulars who are returning from either their winter hiatus or injuries which have sidelined them. Also, teaching full classes is exciting.

We finally had a full week of dance classes in Norwalk, CT without any snow cancellations for the first time in almost a month. It was great to see some new faces and regulars who had been hiding from the winter white.

Studio Warming was Good for Dance

Our Studio Warming at Dance Dimensions in Norwalk, CT was very fun and successful. We had good attendance for our Salsa, Hustle, and West Coast Swing classes and we had some regulars come to the dance afterwards.

Grumpy Cat - Snow disrupts Dancing

Starting to Get Annoyed with Snow

Being a dance instructor has its seasonal fluctuations. It is sometimes hard to convince people, even people who love dance, to drive in the spring showers, or give up their summer walk, or miss a day of apple picking to take their weekly dance class. However the most challenging season of all is winter. The cold weather and early sunset generally inspires people to curl up on their couch. You know how I know this...because I feel it too.

A New Studio Location For West Coast Swing, Hustle, and Salsa

A Quick Scare

Another Opening, Another ShowAt the end 2014, the owner of Dance Dimensions - the home of our West Coast Swing and Hustle classes in Norwalk, CT - gave me a good scare. She told me the studio was going to be torn down for a new real estate development. But she quickly relieved my fear, when she invited us to be a part of the studio's relocation to 15 Cross Street in Norwalk, CT.

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