One of the most common questions dancers ask is “How to improve your connection in west coast swing?” At a basic level, improving your connection in west coast swing is about the relationship between you and your partners’ centers. Advanced dancers, are able to move around their hands while still maintaining the energy of the center-to-center connection. Let’s figure out how to improve your connection the right way, for you!
The skill of moving without affecting the connection is sometimes referred to as “center separation” or “center isolation.” Your body or center is being moved in isolation from the connection. Developing the skill of moving your body without affecting the connection point will dramatically improve your WCS connection!
WCS Connection Drill
The Drill: This drill requires one partner to be the dancer and the other partner to be the post. The post’s job is to hold his or her hand steady as a connection point. The dancer will try to maintain a clear away connection while practicing different footwork and isolations. (Basically, try to move around freely while keeping the connection point still.)
The post should simply maintain the connection point and give feedback to the dancer on how clearly they are maintaining the away connection. Try this with your eyes closed. Make sure that the feedback is based on what he or she feels rather than what he or she sees.
Meanwhile, the dancing partner’s job, is to connect to the posting partner’s hand. Throughout the exercise, the dancer should use the feedback from the post to make sure that the connection does not pull in different directions. The dancer should move his or her body around and learn how to move the body without affecting the connection. In the meantime aiming to maintain a constant direction and strength of connection.
The easiest way to start is by having the two partners in a standard anchor position. From there, the dancing partner should attempt to move in a semicircle around the connection point without changing the away connection. Again, the post will need to give feedback. As the dancing partner develops skill with this exercise, he or she can extend the drill. This can be done by adding body rotation into or away from the connecting arm, height changes, and combinations of movements.
More Connection Resources:
We have lots of great info in the connection section of the blog.
Check out this great drill that works well along with the one above. Its called staying back in leverage. This drill will help you maintain your away connection in all positions.
More questions about “how to improve your connection in west coast swing?” Please check out the video section of the website for some amazing tips and tricks to help you along your way.
Other things you might like:
- 3 Spins to know for West Coast Swing
- Mastering the triple step in WCS
- Musicality – How to find the beat!
- Ladies Styling Checklist for WCS