West Coast Swing Musicality
Out of all the social dances, west coast swing has arguably the broadest range of dance music. WCS can be danced to everything from 1940s big band blues to today’s top 40 music, from slow lyrical pieces to dubstep.
This series will give you some ideas for how to improve your west coast swing musicality in each genre of music within WCS. Great dancers know how to take their WCS fundamentals and flavor them through styling, syncopations, and variations in order to make each genre look as unique as it sounds. Learning how to dance each genre will make a huge improvement in your musicality, whether you’re a social dancer or a competitor.
Before we dive in…there are 3 really important caveats to these lessons:
- Don’t forget your WCS fundamentals! This series will contain a number of variations. Just like any other variation, if it’s done occasionally it shows control. If you do the same variation all the time, it’s a bad habit. Don’t let these variations replace your WCS fundamentals.
- Don’t do everything. For each genre, you will get a list of ways to bring out that genre in your dancing. This is a tool box, not a checklist. If you try to do everything, you will probably look spastic rather than musical. Pick a couple of tools that fit the specific song and go from there.
- Remember this order: partner, then song, then tools. Your primary collaborator in the dance is your partner. Make sure that you are staying connected to him or her, and don’t ignore your partner in order to do your cool thing. If you’re in tune with your partner, then you can start collaborating with the song that’s playing. You should only reach for these tools after your connections with both your partner and the song are in good condition.
- Watch this video first >>Counting Straight 8’s
Ok ready to get started?
To improve your west coast swing musicality you’ll want to understand these 4 main styles of music.
4 main styles of West Coast Swing music:
Other helpful resources for Musicality in WCS for leaders!
- Our Musicality Resource Page
- Choosing Patterns to Accent the Music
- VIDEO – Counting the Music
- ARTICLE – Ultimate Guide to finding the beat