Intermediate WCS

Wednesdays 7:00-8:00 PM

Highlights

  • This class builds on fundamental knowledge to expand your understanding and capabilities as West Coast Swing dancers.

  • We will work on improving partnership and connection, technique and styling, musical interpretation, and more complex movements and figures.

  • You must have a firm grasp of West Coast Swing fundamentals and, if moving out of WCS Fundamentals, you must get permission to join the Intermediate Class.

Brief summary

There is a difference between doing West Coast Swing and doing it well. In this class you will not only expand your repertoire of moves and styling but also ensure it feels good to your partner – and also learn how to fit them to the music. (Because there’s also a difference between doing West Coast Swing and dancing it.) A new topic will be explored each month, rotating between patterns, musicality, and partnership, with a continual emphasis on proper technique and improving connection.

This class is open to anyone who is comfortable with WCS basics and fundamentals. We encourage anyone interested in this class to take WCS Fundamentals first or concurrently (you can read why here). No partner is required.

For information on pricing, check this out.

 

Complete syllabus

Updated Spring 2018

Overview

There is a difference between doing West Coast Swing and doing it well. In this class you will not only expand your repertoire of moves and styling but also ensure it feels good to your partner – and also learn how to fit them to the music. (Because there’s also a difference between doing West Coast Swing and dancing it!) A new topic will be explored each month, rotating between movement, content, partnership, and musicality, with a continual emphasis on proper technique and improving connection.

This class is open to experienced dancers who are comfortable with WCS basics and fundamentals. We encourage anyone interested in this class to take WCS Fundamentals first or concurrently. No partner is required.

Goals

  • Improve your quality of movement.
  • Enhance your connection and partnership.
  • Expand your repertoire of moves and styling.
  • Improve your musical interpretation skills.
  • Support you and keep you progressing as you develop your dance.
  • Teach you proper social dancing etiquette and help you have a safe, comfortable dance.
  • Ensure everyone has a positive, engaging, and supportive learning experience.

Topics Covered

A variety of topics will be explored in class. The topics taught will be chosen based on the needs of the students, and include such topics as:

  • Weight transfers
  • Quality of movement
  • Frame and connection
  • Partner dynamics
  • Footwork
  • Syncopations and extensions
  • Rock-and-gos
  • Arm and leg styling
  • Advanced turn technique
  • Wraps and folds
  • Arm and hip catches
  • Dancing to melody and rhythm
  • Phrasing
  • Dancing to different genres

Approach

In order to raise your level of dancing, this class will utilize concept- and skill-based teaching. You can expect lots of drills to improve your technique, different types of exercises to improve your understanding, and lots of hands-on experiential learning to help you feel the difference. We will help you expand your comfort zone in class and prepare you to practice and continue working on the material outside of class.

Structure

The program is designed to give you enough time to absorb the material and show you how to apply it to your dancing. Each month covers a different topic, concept, or skill, with the first month of each quarter focusing on movement and connection, the second month focusing on content and styling, and the third month focusing on musicality and partnership. Within each month, classes will be progressive, each class building off the previous week. You may join at any point, but it is best if you can attend the whole month to get the most of the sequence.

Classes begin by practicing weight transfers, with a focus on posture, pitch, movement from the center, legwork, footwork, and timing. We then transition into a partnered warm-up with a focus on fundamentals relevant to the topic of the month, before diving into the material for the week.

Prerequisites for Enrollment

Students must be comfortable with West Coast Swing basics and fundamentals to take this class. This means that in addition to knowing how to properly execute the patterns covered in WCS Fundamentals, students must have good timing and rhythm, understand how to lead and follow in a slot, consistently maintain body leads and body follows, consistently and properly anchor, and not have any habits that may cause physical harm or discomfort to others. Students advancing from WCS Fundamentals must get permission from the instructor to join Intermediate WCS. Anyone who does not appear ready for this class, lacks any of the fundamental skills, struggles to keep up, or inhibits others in class from learning may be asked to take WCS Fundamentals instead.

Expectations

  • We get more out of our time together when we all begin at the same time. Students are expected to arrive before class begins to register and to be ready to start class on time.
  • If we are not paying attention, we may miss important information that will help us to improve. You should stay present in class, minimize distractions, and encourage others to do the same.
  • Processing information is an important step for learning, and as such, you will be asked to think about the material and participate in discussions in class. Be prepared to engage in class and answer questions.
  • You are the owner of your learning process. If you do not understand something or if you need clarification, you should raise your hand and ask a question. Chances are that someone else will also benefit from hearing the answer!
  • We assume you’re coming to class to learn, and with that should come a learning attitude: one grounded in humility, openness, and curiosity. Recognizing that we all have more to learn, you should stay open-minded and take every opportunity to develop yourself. Try everything you’re asked to do, take in any feedback you get, and continually seek knowledge and understanding.
  • Because we all have something to learn, we should focus on ourselves and our own progress. Do not teach others or offer any unsolicited feedback unless that person is causing physical harm. If you or someone else needs assistance, please ask one of the instructors to help.
  • In order to build your skill set, it is important to retain the material from week to week. We do not expect you to remember or absorb everything we teach you, but we do expect you to take notes either during or right after class. You should review these notes between classes (ideally more than once), and if anything needs clarification, you can ask about it in the next class.
  • What you are learning is a set of physical skills, and that means you need to train your body to execute new things. One hour a week is not nearly enough to learn a new skill and build muscle memory. So in order to get better, you should review and practice the material between classes, on your own and, if possible, with a partner. Practice is the key to getting better: the more you practice, the faster your progress will be. It is best to practice for a minimum of a few minutes every day, or at least every other day. If you do not practice, you may have difficulty keeping up in class as we review and move on to new material.
  • Don’t forget that we learn to dance to have fun! Getting better will allow you to have more fun, but enjoy the process of learning. Everyone progresses at their own rate and it is not a race, so don’t rush and be kind to yourself. Besides, if you stick with it, you will continually be working on your dancing – it never ends!

 

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