Monthly Archives: April 2020

Wellness in West Coast Swing

Wellness in West Coast Swing

Wellness in West Coast Swing

Wellness in West Coast Swing is an ideology which EastonSwing. Together with Natalie Lockyer Coaching began to promote, through the middle of 2019.  Whilst we’re all stuck indoors during the Covid-19 crisis, taking care of your self physically and mentally is vitally important.

We’ve noticed that there are increasing levels of stress and anxiety amongst the WCS community and we aim to help alleviate that.  Increasing Wellness will also increase your social dancing capacity and leave you feeling better after an event weekend.

One of our goals is to deepen the connections between individuals in the WCS community.  Especially, between the Wellness Westies already in the community and dancers struggling to maintain good balances in their lives. 

Introduction

First introduced to the idea of Wellness by a Swiss Anaesthetist who was managing us when teaching in Switzerland, Germany and Austria in the early 2000’s. From meditation techniques to visiting Roman baths, we were given the beginning of our Wellness journey, even before we knew what it was all about. We began learning more about diet and nutrition to help maintain energy levels when teaching many long days consecutively, what foods would help with recovery and what we should avoid before performances.  This together with many more lessons we’ve learned have prepared us to achieve our goals and greater stability in our mental and physical health.  

WCS Pro’s tend to be exceptional humans who often share what it takes to be a great dancer. But, there is never enough time talk about what it takes to maintain such a level of function and output.  Every Pro we know goes to great lengths to promote and maintain a healthy body and mind. Our ambition is to share some methods and techniques that the Pro’s use to stay well so we can all enjoy WCS a little more.

WestCoastSwingWellness.com has already started posting articles on how stay well in mind and body.  Here are some of the main topics that will be covered in existing and future posts.

Physical Fitness

Yoga, Pilates, Workouts, Injury prevention, Posture and Joints, Massage.

Mental Health

Mindfulness, Consent, Self-acceptance, Growth & Purpose, Environmental mastery, Positive Social interactions.

Nutrition & Hydration

Immune Boost, Macros and Micros, Supplements, Development.

Sleep

Muscle regeneration, Memory retention, Hormone & Mood Stability.

Hygiene

Personal Hygiene, Water Stations, Travelling, 

To conclude, as Wellbeing becomes a more important part of every aspect of our lives, be confident knowing that your dance community is also aligned to this way of thinking.  To this end, in late 2019 we have launched the West Coast Swing Wellness project. The goal is to increase wellness within West Coast Swing.  WCSWellness will highlight many health and fitness professionals from the WCS community whose expertise and advice will help guide us to a happier healthier lifestyle. Follow our social media platforms and Blog articles to start getting more reward from your WCS dancing.

WCSWellness
Website | https://westcoastswingwellness.com/
Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/wcswingwellness/
Facebook page  | https://www.facebook.com/wcswellness
Facebook Group | https://www.facebook.com/groups/301962604108804/

Natalie Lockyer
Website | https://www.natalielockyercoaching.co.uk/
Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/natalie_lockyer_coaching/
Facebook Page | https://www.facebook.com/Natalielockyercoaching/

Thanks for reading through this article, Dancing amid Adversity.  For more articles from WCSWellness follow our Social Media and Join our mailing list. Feel free to reach out to us at our Contact page.

How we got started in West Coast Swing

west coast swing coaching,, Lee & Fabienne Easton from EastonSwing, wearing Red & Blue, standing outside at West in Lyon 2016

How we got started in West Coast Swing?

We started in West Coast Swing in the late 1990’s through the UCWDC country dance community. We competed from Novice to the Professional level of Linedance and Country Couples. From there, it is only a small jump as WCS is a part of the overall championship. In Country, WCS is one of the most popular dances for the same reason it is everywhere else… the music.  It’s considered a lot ‘cooler’ than many of the other country dances, especially its counterpart in Country which is ECS.

We first saw a world class West Coast Swing performed when Barry Durand & Lisa West attended the London Dance Classic, August, 1997. They performed their 2nd place US Open winning Showcase Routine to the song ‘This will be’ by Nathalie Cole.  

This was a new experience of musical interpretation and they performed amazing tricks.  Watching these live performances as youngsters made a big impression on us. we’d never seen such high level couples dancing. This, and the abundance of other youngsters to dance with, was what sparked the passion to dance with a partner.

Watch Barry & Lisa dancing =

When we started in West Coast Swing, we learnt through dancing routines with our teachers in Pro-Am competitions. Later, with our dance partners in Open Couples divisions but still predominantly through performing routines. We didn’t realise that there was an entire community dedicated to WCS. Built around a Lead and Follow ‘Freestyle’ or Social dancing environment.

At the time, our Freestyle dancing was ripping ‘leadable’ moves from our routines, sewn together with some pushes, passes and whips of the time. Although pretty confident about being on beat and could hit a break. We had no idea of the level of musicality we could later achieve.

WCS is super cool

The first thing after the music that appealed to us about WCS was how ‘Cool’ the dance felt when we were dancing.  It felt like we could start to express our own personality through the dance and utilise all of the footwork and body mobility we had discovered through dancing solo.  We have learnt many partner dances and love them all for different reasons, but we find it harder to connect to dances like Waltz and Cha Cha because, without going into too much detail,  we are not 200+ years old, nor do we come from Cuba!  

You can dance WCS to songs that we listened to on the radio, by artists that we knew the name of.  As Linedancers, we also danced to a lot of Pop and alternative music as both communities starting breaking free from the shackles of the traditional Country and Blues music.  There was still a lot of traditional music played and we have always enjoyed dancing to Country and Blues music.  But, again it was much easier to identify to music that was being played in mass European media as well as in the US when we visited.

UCWDC Worlds was our first regular trip to the US and we discovered the ‘Swing room’ which was always the late night spot for all the dancers. Often, the dancers in each of the communities, Linedance, Country Couples and Swing were all there dancing together having a great time dancing WCS, with the odd Linedance or Two-step thrown into the mix too.

Seeing the Competitive and Social WCS dancing at Worlds and other US UWCDC events was a big inspiration but at home in the UK.  Our opportunities to dance WCS was maybe only once a month at a weekender with just a handful of people cutting out a slot beside sometimes hundreds of Linedancers.  

That meant that rehearsing and competing with our routines in Country was where our focus was until around 2005.

WCS in the USA

In 2006 and 2008 we attended Boogle by the Bay which was mind blowing, so many people dancing WCS socially. We had entered some regional J&J competitions before. Being at a huge National event that was beginning to draw International dancers was a huge step in our development. First time watching Classic and Showcase live is something that we’ll never forget. Parker Dearborn and Jessica Cox in Yellow dancing to Red Alert – Basement Jaxx or Jordan & Tatiana dancing to Pump it – Black eyed peas.  Without knowing it we were right on the verge of huge transition in WCS that led to it going global. We count ourselves so lucky to have been able to watch the Strictly Swing division. Full of the old school Pro’s who inspired the current crop of Pro’s.

After attending Boogie in 2008 we started focusing towards dancing in the Classic division of the US Open.  That is where our story in WCS really begins!

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