Level 2

Wednesdays 7:00-8:00 PM

This is a new course being offered starting in August 2019!

Highlights

  • We will continue working on the skills, techniques, and patterns presented in Fundamentals while expanding your repertoire and deepening your understanding of the dance.
  • Each month will focus on a different topic, diving into different aspects of technique, connection, partnership, variations on the basics, and timing and rhythm.
  • You must be competent in West Coast Swing fundamentals and be comfortable with the basics and material covered in Fundamentals, and, if moving up from Fundamentals, you must get permission to join Level 2.

  • Enrollment is only allowed in the first week of the month.

Brief summary

Advancing beyond the basics requires a deepening of skills and an expansion of vocabulary in the dance. This class is designed for dancers comfortable and competent with the basic patterns and fundamental skills of the dance. We will dive into different topics each month, focused on using common variations on basic patterns to develop essential partner dancing skills. Topics include variations on six- and eight-count basics, anchoring and anchor variations, extension and compression, turns and turn technique, and rhythm and syncopations. Each month is progressive, layering more technique and content each week. The goal is for students to have solid fundamentals and be comfortable moving beyond the basics. 

This class is open to anyone who is competent and 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 description

Updated Summer 2019

Overview

Advancing beyond the basics requires a deepening of skills and an expansion of vocabulary in the dance. This class is designed for dancers comfortable and competent with the basic patterns and fundamental skills of the dance. We will dive into different topics each month, focused on using common variations on basic patterns to develop essential partner dancing skills. Topics include variations on six- and eight-count basics, anchoring and anchor variations, extension and compression, turns and turn technique, and rhythm and syncopations. Each month is progressive, layering more technique and content each week. The goal is for students to have solid fundamentals and be comfortable moving beyond the basics. 

NO PARTNER REQUIRED.

Goals

  • Solidify fundamental concepts, skills, and techniques for West Coast Swing. 
  • Learn common variations on basic patterns that give students more elements to use in their dancing. 
  • Elevate students’ understanding of partner dancing in the framework of West Coast Swing. 
  • Keep students progressing on a pathway for long-term growth and success. 
  • Prepare students for entry into the Level 3 WCS Class. 
  • Ensure everyone has a positive, engaging, and supportive learning experience. 

Concepts and Skills Covered

  • Leading and following
  • Dancing in a slot
  • Posture and moving from the center
  • Frame and physical connection
  • Floorcraft and partnership
  • Rhythm and syncopations
  • Creating extension and compression
  • Anchoring and stretch through redirection
  • Using different hand holds (basic, handshake, closed)
  • Turn technique for inside and outside turns

Patterns Covered

  • Passes
  • Push
  • Whip
  • Basics in closed
  • Passing tuck turn
  • Underarm to closed
  • Inside roll
  • Inside roll to closed
  • Cutoff
  • Slingshot
  • Tuck turn to hammerlock
  • Tuck turn with double turn
  • Double outside turn down line
  • Double inside turn
  • Arm catch to free spin
  • Whip to closed
  • Whip with inside turn
  • Cutoff whip
  • Reverse whip
  • Whip with free release
  • Whip with outside turn
  • Whip with double outside turn
  • Open whip 
  • Hand change whip

Approach

We take a skill-based approach to teaching that makes it easier for you to learn important skills and content quickly. Through drills and exercises, you will learn to develop the essential competencies for dancing while also building your repertoire and learning about proper dance etiquette. We use the Socratic method, active learning, and experiential learning to help you understand, absorb, and retain the material. In-class instruction combined with out-of-class practice will help you progress as you continue studying the dance.

Structure

The Level 2 course consists of 6 month-long progressive units. Each month reinforces core concepts while teaching new content to which you can apply your skills. The progression for each month presents topics in a sequence designed for the most effective long-term learning. The first week of each month will review a skill and a movement you learned in Fundamentals and then deepen your understanding and ability with a greater focus on technique. The next three weeks of each month will build on the same skills and movements, adding greater difficulty and complexity to your execution. If there is a fifth week in the month, a special topic will be covered to help round out your knowledge, skills, and abilities. 

Unit A teaches variations on six-count basics; Unit B focuses on creating better connection; Unit C teaches whip variations; Unit D introduces anchor variations; Unit E covers turns and turn technique for leaders and followers; and Unit F examines timing, rhythm, and syncopations.

Enrollment

Each unit starts the first Wednesday of each month. Because each month is a progressive syllabus that begins with a review, enrollment will only be allowed in the first week of the month. This ensures that those in the class are able to continually progress forward throughout the month. Students who take this class should sign up for a full-month to get the most out of the program.

Requirements for Completion

You may take the six units (A, B, C, D, E, F) in any order, but you must take all six units before seeking permission to move into the Level 3 Class. We do not expect anyone to perfect the material the first or even the second or third time around, so it would be best for students to repeat each unit; each time you repeat a class you will improve your understanding and mastery of the skills and content. The goal is not just to retain the material – it is to become really good at it. Entrance to Level 3 requires that you are proficient in the fundamentals of the dance, such that you do not struggle with the material at the next level, learning more does not negatively affect your fundamental skills, and you have a similar skill level to others in the class

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!