On Thursday, August 15, I had the pleasure of bringing my daughter to my West Coast Swing night. Although I always thought that my daughter would be a frequent guest at my dance nights, she only gets to come about twice a year. She looks forward to it so much that she specifically requests to wear her white patent leather "dance" shoes. 

On Saturday, August 10, some of the members of our dance community went out dancing in New York City. While this has happened many times before, this time was special because it would be Collin's first New York City West Coast Swing adventure. While dancing with people you know is comforting, going to a new environment to dance can a little daunting. Just going to New York can be a challenge: how am I getting there; where am I going; will I know anyone there; how do I get home safely? These are many of the questions that go through one's mind when venturing out of one's comfort zone. That's why it was so important when dancers, who had already gone dancing in New York City, asked Collin if he would join them. When I heard that Collin had accepted the invitation to venture into the "urban jungle," I couldn't help but want to go, too. 

The International Rally West Coast Swing is a way for students to learn West Coast Swing choreography to a contemporary song and then demonstrate it in public. This public performance helps build awareness of West Coast Swing. It also gives students a method to improve their dancing and build enduring friendships with their West Coast Swing community. 

4 Pictures of West Coast Swing on April 4, 2019

On Thursday, April 4, 2019, we had a great first week of West Coast Swing in Norwalk, CT. The first class had 26 people, a mix of regulars and new students. During the first class we explored the rhythm of the dance and implemented it to sugar pushes, right passes, and left passes. After learning those three basic patterns, I explained the three different methods of learning dance, rhythmically, specially, and temporally. Since we had already explored the rhythmic method and the spacial method had inherent problems, we explored the temporal method. 

On Saturday, March 30, 2019, I presented my exposé about dance as protest at the American Studies Conference at Fairfield University. I showed and discussed various examples such as competing tea dances during the revolutionary period, Native American Ghost Dancing of the 19th century, free-speech dancing at the Jefferson Memorial in 2011, and subway platform dancing in New York City in 2011. 

Valentine's West Coast Swing Dance in Norwalk, CT

Yesterday, we had a really fun Valentine’s West Coast Swing night in Norwalk, CT. There were about 35 dancers and I taught a beginner and intermediate class. In the beginner class we focused on Sugar Pushes, Right Passes, Left Passes, and Whips. The intermediate class focused on the follower’s inside turn, becoming comfortable with using basic moves to get to closed position, and head loops. This class was centered around training the leaders to utilize closed position to create connection and empathy with their followers, and it gave the followers an opportunity to create a moment when they resolved the movement in open position. 

Partner dance at the Sweetheart Ball at Stepping Stones Museum in Norwalk

On February 9, 2019, Christina Dufour and I were invited to teach partner dancing at the Sweetheart Ball at the Stepping Stones Children Museum in Norwalk, CT. We had five classes full of children and their parents, who participated in group movement, partner dancing, and freestyle dancing.

West Coast Swing at Dance Dimensions in Norwalk, CT on January 11, 2018We had an excellent first West Coast Swing class of 2018. There were thirty dancers for the beginner class, which learned how to do the Sugar Push, Right Side Pass, and Left Side Pass. We had numerous regulars and a handful of newcomers.

2017 Year In Review

2017 was an incredible year. We had great development and large turnouts. While I was involved with personal challenges, the dance community came together in a way that develops faith in humanity.

West Coast Swing in Norwalk, CT on Jan 5, 2017

The first West Coast Swing class in Norwalk, CT started strongly on January 5, 2017. We had many new attendees and even more regular dancers.