Blog Updates for West Coast Swing and Hustle
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.
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 had a wonderful time at Boston Tea Party 2015. This combination of West Coast Swing and Lindy Hop is an experience not to be missed. New event directors, Nanette and Amy, did a great job of keeping Dan Mezrich's legacy alive.
The Crossover Jack and Jill
There aren't enough words to describe the conceptual beauty of the Crossover Jack & Jill. Top-level WCS leaders dancing with top-level Lindy followers and top-level Lindy leaders dancing with top-level WCS followers - dancing to both Lindy and WCS music. Can they make it work? Is it truly, "all swing"?
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.
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
At 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.
2014 Year in Review
2014 was a momentous year. Perhaps the easiest way to describe this year is in two parts, BCE (Before Charlotte's Era) and CE (Charlotte's Era). During the first part of the year (BCE), we continued teaching the attending students from Norwalk Community College, invited guest instructors, and attended a few select events. This time was also marked by visits with friends and family, and a wonderful baby-shower which was attended by many of the women of our dance community.
The second part of the year (CE) was about keeping dance moving forward during the summer months, more guest instructors, dance events without Anna, the introduction of Charlotte to our dance community, the closing of the Platinum Party, the last class at 3 Quincy Street, and our 3rd Dancing New Year's Eve CT.
Dance has been an important part of the journey through 2014...but teaching and dancing with Charlotte on my chest, watching her face when we choreograph, and having her watch her daddy simultaneously win 1st and 3rd places in an All-Star Jack and Jill has set the bar very high for years to come.
Swingin New England 2014 - Review, Placements, and Pictures
So what makes the best dance event for you? Is it the social dancing, the competition, the time with friends, the lights, the sound system, or the floor?
I’ve been on the competitive circuit for the last 16 years. Although I've attended events throughout the United States, the majority of the dance events I have attended have been on the east coast. I have fallen in love with small, first time events and have been in awe of big, well established events. I have traveled to events by myself, with dance partners, with friends, with girlfriends, and with my wife. I have been in the Novice division and I have been in the Invitational division. So, after a decade and a half of attending events, it was hard to say what makes an event the best…until last weekend.
Charlotte at West Coast Swing
Last Thursday, Charlotte made her debut at our West Coast Swing classes in Norwalk, CT. Originally, we weren’t sure when she was going to make her teaching debut, but we knew it would be after she had received her first round of vaccines in late July.
As August began to draw to a close, Anna and I realized that we needed to let Charlotte see West Coast Swing in a real studio. Until last Thursday, Charlotte had only seen mommy and daddy choreograph small moments in our apartment as I prepared for class.
We also realized that as Anna heads back to her PhD program at New York University and her independent tutoring schedule, we would have very few opportunities to bring Charlotte to class in the near future.
Charlotte's First Party
Charlotte, Anna and I went to our first party together this past weekend. It was the wedding of a friend and colleague of Anna’s so we were able to go as a family. We attended a church ceremony at 4pm in New York City and then drove to the reception in Piermont, NY.