News & Articles

Partner Connection: Energy!

May 6, 2013

Energy has been on my mind lately! Energy as it applies to dance, and energy flow in particular as it applies to “double axis” partner dances like West Coast Swing, Hustle, Lindy Hop, Salsa, etc. Energy is often defined as the ability of an object, body, person, etc. to do work. All action requires work/effort/energy. In…

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Social-Dance Dictionary of Terms

April 9, 2013

Dictionary of dance terminology for & by social dancers*: Ambidancetrous (also bi-dancterous) – adj.: the ability to both lead and follow. – WDODT & Maria Ford Buying Her a Drink – (for leaders) the act of creating trust and connection with a few basic patterns before breaking out your big moves. – Julie Epplett Dance Crush –…

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I’m Not a Teacher

February 12, 2013

– posted by Maria I was raised in part by teachers: my Mom and the two Grandparents I grew up closest to were professional teachers. Someone who didn’t grow up raised by teachers might not exactly understand the significance of this, so I’ll try to put some words to it. When you grow up with…

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My Favourite WCS Routines of All Time

January 7, 2013

Well, perhaps not “of ALL time” because this dance has been around for a lot longer than I have, and for WAY longer than I have been dancing it, but since 2005, I’ve collected three absolute favourite Champion West Coast Swing routines. I’ve embedded them below. They all share elements that I love in any…

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I Don’t Have a Partner

November 28, 2012

Some of our students often express frustration about not having regular partners to practice with. Believe me, I know the feeling. I haven’t had a Hustle partner for more than a year. Right when I feel that I need it most (because I’m competing in Advanced, Open and Professional divisions now), I simply don’t have…

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DJ OldsKOOL’s Top 53 Songs of All Time

October 16, 2012

The Scenario: I’m trapped on a desert island. I get one CD (set) with 53 songs. Why 53? Because it’s a prime number and it’s my list. This was incredibly difficult to compile, but a lot of fun. Not all songs are great songs by industry standards, but they are great to me for different reasons….

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Language & Dance: Neuroscience

May 26, 2012

Neuroscientists who have studied the brain functions involved in dance have been able to show the likelihood that dance was an early form of communication. Interestingly, no other mammals or animals dance. Certainly, we can think of animals that “make music”, like birds, and that move their bodies in curious ways – such as birds…

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Efficiency Can Be Your Enemy

May 1, 2012

In general, we think of efficiency as a good thing. Businesses strive to be efficient to make maximum use of resources so that they can focus on things that yield high-value returns (profits and new revenue streams). Athletes want to be efficient so that their energy can be directed toward goals such as increasing speed…

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In a Rut? Shock Your System!

April 9, 2012

Lately I’ve been reading a lot about neuroscience and specifically its practical applications in personal and professional realms. It’s got me reflecting on many things, such as how people (adults) learn, how habits form, the nature of creativity, why some people think “outside of the box” but most people don’t, why some people embrace change…

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The Pro-Am Experience

January 24, 2012

Because I was recruited to start teaching West Coast Swing quite soon after starting to take classes, I never had the opportunity to dance as an Amateur in Pro-Am competitions. (Many events define a “Professional” as anyone who teaches the dance even on a small scale, so I have rarely qualified as an Am). But…

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