Learning from Pro Styling

West Coast Swing Online Styling

Developing your own style is a challenging task. Most of us look to pros for inspiration on what our dance can look like. This exercise will help you move from inspiration to imitation, so that you can start adding elements of the pro’s styling into your own dance.

The Drill: Make a list of your five favorite pros on the side of the dance you want to work on. Go to YouTube and watch videos of those pros, noting specific things they do that you like. For instance, you might notice an arm on a hip catch, an anchor, or a body shape on a tuck. Be as specific as possible—you should try to find something that takes no more than two beats of music.

Now you should have a list of five pros and a couple of things to watch for. Again, play through a bunch of YouTube videos. This time, watch for every time that one of the items on your list comes up. If you’re looking for hip catch arms, note every time that any of your pros does a hip catch arm.

The reason that you picked five pros initially is so you can have your pros “vote” on what you should do. If three of your pros do an arm that goes down on a hip catch, you should try going down. If all five of your pros typically anchor in an open third, you should adopt an open third.

By repeating this process, you’ll synthesize your own list of style variations from the pros whose dancing you most admire. Odds are that the pros won’t be unanimous on all of your variations, so what you put together will be uniquely yours.

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