Video Helped The Westie Star – Why Filming Yourself Dance is A Key Learning Tool


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Sean McKeever and Courtney Adair performing their Classic Routine at SwingDiego 2015. Photo Credit to Bradford Whelan.

Similar to how actors review their performances from film to film, we dancers study a lot about our own journey throughout the archives. Dance videos document progress, shows coaches what their students excel and struggle with, and they inspire fellow dancers.

Evolution of a Westie…

Have you ever watched a pro athlete in the beginning stages of their career then watch one of their recent games? There is a difference, right? I cringe watching my old dancing, but proof is there that change happens over time. Exhibit A…

This is from eight months ago…

  • I’m stepping waaaaaay too far back on my 4, therefore I’m killing the connection.
  • I’m not transferring weight on my “3 and 4,” or my anchors.
  • I’m guilty of “salsa happy hands” or moving my arms too much versus moving my torso and body.

Now take a look at this.

  • My thighs are closer together making my movements cleaner and tighter…
  • My anchors (although not completely solid) became smoother, and hopefully one of these days I’ll be hitting straight legs on anchors every time. 😉
  • I can tell I’m more patient in my connection, waiting to be led in patterns, versus my major control issues before with back-leading. 😉
  • I obviously need more training, but at least I see visible growth.

    Hey, Coach! 

    Some of the westies out have the fortune of seeing their coaches on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Others only see them at events few times out of the month or year. Not having your instructor around regularly is tough. However, keeping them updated is a good way to constantly develop your dance.

    Champions Steven and Sonya White host an online coaching program for students who do not frequently learn from their teachers and crave more instruction.

    I did a critique session with Sonya, and she pointed out things I have not been informed of yet! It was really great, because even though she did not “get a feel” for my dancing… she saw what areas needed improvement and articulately discussed the concepts that would advance my dancing forward.

    Westie-spiration… Get Inspired!

    We see this… and we go WOW! Oh my gosh I want to move like this!

    Fellow westies will always tell you to YouTube pros and watch their dancing. Watching pros is awesome! I love seeing them dance both in person and on film… You can learn so much about how they hear the music, and the little technique tidbits your instructor wants you focusing on. A good thing to add though is to watch people at your own division! Especially finals. Watch them, and see what points the judges might have liked.

    Dancers don’t even need high-tech cameras to capture their dancing! If you have a cell-phone… film your comp prelims, your social dancing… your practicing! Arm yourself with this great tool, and see your dance progress!

    Cheers and happy dancing! 🙂

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