How to get better at West Coast Swing?
6 ways to improve your WCS without a partner.
Dancing footwork alone is essential to develop confidence to improvise in WCS. Learning moves like a Sweep, Ronde, kick ball change, Moonwalk, Applejack, James Brown as well as learning line dance, hip hop, contemporary and ballet routines can give you lots to think about when a partner is not available.
We encourage students to build these things into your daily routine,
- Standing on alternating legs whilst brushing your teeth, ironing, food prep, washing.
- Set the rear view mirror tilt in your car high to optimise head position
- When walking make sure to pass feet softly past one another
- When carrying hot drinks/multiple filled glasses you’ll notice you have a perfectly smooth flight.
- Notice that you body is in a compressed state when walking on stairs.
- Stretching exercises, Yoga and Pilates are all great ways to help maintain a healthy body for dancing.
Practice without a partner
Most people don’t have a regular partner to dance with which makes it imperative to develop a sense of shadow dancing. Different than the footwork drills and line dance routines, we suggest that emulate your West Coast Swing dancing through your basics and optional variations as if your partner was there. It’s like having an imaginary Best West Coast Sing Partner. So when you meet your real life ideal partner your ready to take the opportunity.
Take the time to review your material. Notes and videos made throughout classes, workshops or private lessons. Even just thinking about the information that you have been gaining can help to re-inforce it. Often this can be a great way to distract your mind when encountering stress or can be a useful ‘falling to sleep’ tool.
Find a WCS role model
5 way to improve your WCS with your partner
Use a prop
Watch your partner
Keep your slot
Work on your stretch/anchor action
More top tips for West Coast Swing dancers...
Dancing with advanced dancers
-Don't freak out, it's still the same dance
-They are not usually as good as you think
-You don't need advanced moves
-Avoid asking to dance with them to fast songs
-DJ's can fade songs at 3 minutes to get a higher rate partner change.
-Dance with everyone
-Dont wait to be asked to dance
-Be conscious of others dancing nearby
-The slot usually runs along the longest wall in the room
-Start with simple moves to gauge the partnership
Footwear & Clothing
-Flat/low heeled shoes with a smooth sole
-Avoid big earings and rings and bracelets
-Take your watch off for dancing
-Wear comfortable clothing not too baggy underarms
-Bring an extra shirt when the weather is warm
-Shower before coming to class
-Brush your teeth or carry mints
-Wash your hands, carry sanitiser
-Carry Anti-perspirant and use outside of the dance hall
-Avoid using hand cream right before dancing
-Make sure your hair is dry and is tied as not to hit your partner