Can You Hear Me Now? – West Coast Swing & Musicality

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Musicality is a major component in West Coast Swing dance. Characterization of the dance comes from the musicality of the dancers.

Listening to music:

Listening to “WCS” music before you even get on the floor can help trememdously. There are tons of playlists (shameless plug, I’m one of them! ) on Spotify. I recommend slower songs for beginners. Take “Royals” by Lorde. Accenting the snaps/drums on the upbeats transform your dance from monotonous to something striking.

Sugar pushes and whips are also great to work on timing. Timing is a key element the judges look for at comps. Flair develops after strengthening technique.  You can break up rhythms, add/take away walks… The possibilities are endless. West Coast Swing showcases YOUR personality.

Whether you are social dancing or competing, DON’T FORGET TO LISTEN TO THE MUSIC. Some dancers will get so into flaring and showing off the patterns, they forget to hear the actual beat.  Listen to the music as well as focusing on your partner.

It’s Just Emotion Taking Me Over…

In Patty Vo’s musicality workshop , she discusses five points of musicality. Patty hits good points about the emotion of the dance. Slowing or quickening movements contribute to the dynamics of the dance. If a singer cuts off a note abruptly, that could make for a really awesome break. Vocal swells are wonderful opportunities to drag out movements and accent one’s elegance.

WCS has this openness where emotion elevates the dances unlike any other style. You can pour so much emotional expression into a song and tell the audience exactly how you feel inside.

I encourage you to think about listening to music differently now. It is not just about the timing and keeping rhythm. Musicality is your metaphorical footprint on the dance floor. Leave your mark… Make your dance memorable.


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