Eye of The Westie – West Coast Swing Life Lesson… Face the Fear & Dance with The Pros!

“That’s why I believe, strongly, that you need to dance with higher level dancers. You absolutely must. Even though it can get overbearing for us, I feel you do need to dance with the top level dancers to get the feel of what it’s like. Cause if I didn’t have my experience of what that feels like I wouldn’t be able to dance like I do.” – Tatiana Mollmann

A fellow dancer and I idly gushed about Boogie By The Bay, and how great the Champions J&J went. She uttered words that broke my swingheart.. “I didn’t ask any of them to dance. I was too scared.” 

More dancers should develop the courage to ask higher level dancers to dance.


I almost sent my ProAm partner a withdrawal notice this past weekend. My friend pointed one HUGE mistake I would be making. What if he got seriously hurt? What if he decided he wanted to retire from West Coast Swing? This year I saw pros traveling less and less. One announced her retirement. If you do not take the opportunity to dance with someone you idolize solely in YouTube land … YOU WILL REGRET IT. Westies in PodunkSCHMUCKvania, USA who never live nearby events will give you no pity.


Do not simply ask a champion for a dance for pure gloating reasons. Do it because of the learning experience. Champions are at a level for a reason. They know how to dance with every every type of dancer. Pros want to help you grow.


“Westie Discussion of The Day” recently talked about memorable dances with pros. A lot of the dancers mentioned even terrified, those dancers made them feel like superstars.

One champion changed my life with one simple dance. After we danced, he puts his hands on my arms in a tight grasp, looked me square in the eye, and said, “YOU ARE TOO FUN TO DANCE WITH.” That little moment changed my dancing life forever. I am still the world’s biggest self deprecator, but he made me feel 100% awesome simply by giving me a chance.


I understand these dancers are not always easy to find. However, dances with them are not impossible. FIND THEM AFTER A WORKSHOP. Take a private with one of them (which i highly recommend by the way). See them in the elevator/hall… ASK AT A LATE NIGHT (but do it without ambushing haha). They may have their dance card the size of Texas, but if you are persistent (keyword persistent not annoying), they will find you and dance with you. Dances with certain pros are like the lottery. MAKE LIKE NIKE AND JUST DO IT.

More westies should summon up the courage to ask pros to dance. The very least it can be one of the MOST FUN dances you will have in your entire life.  You get cool stories as a bonus. I have a “I drunk danced with a pro” story I will be telling my children someday. So dance for those who are unable to dance with their idols! Look that westie tiger in the eye! HEAR YOU ROAR!

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