Friday, April 13, 2007

My First (and only) West Coast Swing Dance Choreography

It is Fall 2005. I’ve been teaching swing dance with Denise Gibson at Moorpark College for a couple of semester. We both love West Coast Swing. We’ve been taking lessons from the world famous Sonny Watson, and we’d both love to bring it more exposure in the college community.

We start teaching beginning West Coast Swing to a beginning ballroom class. Now, for those of you who know anything about West Coast Swing, it is not as easy or simple as some of the other forms of swing. When it is done right, West Coast Swing is the coolest looking dance on the planet. Period.

West Coast Swing, however, is not an easy dance to learn. Nor is it an easy dance to teach, let alone to beginners. Denise and I are doing our best to prepare the students at Moorpark for a 6 week master class in West Coast Swing with Sonny Watson. When Sonny arrives, the students are excited! They are doing a great job. They are struggling but making excellent progress!

Next thing you know, the six weeks are over, Sonny is finished, and the beginning dancers now have 8 weeks to prepare for the dance concert at the end of the semester! Here is the result:

Remember! These are all beginning dancers. Some of these people have never danced a day in their life before this class. Some, this is their very first partnered dance class. For all but a handful, this is the first time they ever heard of West Coast Swing Dance. One semester! Look how clean they are. I’m so proud of how well they all did :-D

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