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Anatomy of a Phrased West Coast Swing Dance

November 16, 2016

~ by Maria At a recent West Coast Swing Musicality workshop weekend in Ottawa that I hosted with guest instructor, PJ Fritzler, we provided a phrased approach to putting the structure of music into our bodies, and then into our partnerships. Phrasing is not the only way to be musical in dancing, but it’s a foundational…

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Why is Musicality Such a Big Deal in West Coast Swing?

November 11, 2016

– by Maria The topic of musicality gets a lot of air-time in West Coast Swing dancing. To be fair, “musicality” is integral to all dancing. But in West Coast Swing it’s kind of a Holy Grail – or as I like to call it, an endless frontier – that dancers of all levels, from…

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The Dance Journey: from Unconscious Incompetence to Mastery & Back

October 31, 2016

The Conscious Competence learning model is a useful framework for dancers, teachers, and students to understand the mental processes and psychological states involved at different states of learning.

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I’m Broken

September 29, 2016

After taking a private lesson, attending a particularly thought-provoking workshop, or getting feedback on your dancing, you might feel broken. You forget how to anchor. You forget how to triple step. You forget how to walk…

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West Coast Swing 7 Judging Criteria & 7 Levels Demystified

July 12, 2016

Explaining the 7 elements of West Coast Swing and how they apply at the 7 levels of competition.

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Your First Pair of West Coast Swing Dance Shoes

May 11, 2016

Your first pair of dance shoes is a special investment! Here’s what we recommend for new West Coast Swing Dancers, plus some links for where to purchase.

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Help! I’m Dating a Dancer!

April 13, 2016

So! You’re dating a dancer. Congratulations! Dating a dancer can be fantastic. It can also be tricky. This article is written to help non-dancers better understand – and participate in the life of – dance-obsessed partners.

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To Dance or Not to Dance with Your Significant Other…

April 8, 2016

In dance, we often say that every dance is a 3-minute relationship – and that has implications for life-couples who decide to take up this hobby/sport/passion. I hope this article gives you useful information and a lot to talk about together…

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It’s Never Too Soon for a Private Lesson

February 26, 2016

Thoughts about why private lessons are valuable for anyone – from brand-new to very advanced.

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Pro-Am Results, Montreal Westie Fest 2015

October 19, 2015

These Smoothstyle students competed in Pro-Am divisions at Montreal Westie Fest 2015. This required that they each make a commitment to train and improve their West Coast Swing dancing, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Whether or not they made the podium, each of them improved their dance and met personal goals! Pro-Am…

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