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Group Classes vs. Private Lessons

May 12, 2014

I thought I’d give an instructor’s perspective on the difference between private lessons and group lessons. We certainly teach (and learn) differently depending on the situation, and it’s useful to understand the differences between these two learning environments from a teaching perspective. Please use the “Comments” area below to share your motivations for taking either…

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Learning Both Roles in West Coast Swing

April 24, 2014

In West Coast Swing, it’s really not possible to appreciate the other partner’s role without trying to learn it in earnest. It’s also not possible to truly understand the whole dance if you know only one role.

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Wedding Choreography: Is It Right For You?

April 14, 2014

– posted by Maria It’s that time again! We are getting many inquiries about our Wedding Dance Package, and are helping some couples (as well as some couples AND their wedding parties) create memorable first dances for their special days. For some couples and families, this can be a very fun and rewarding thing to…

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I Don’t Like Your Connection

March 15, 2014

As an instructor, the most common complaints I hear from Followers and from Leaders are related to connection: Leaders complain about followers who “tug” or “pull” on the connection, are difficult to move, or who grip/clamp down. Followers complain about leaders who “yank” on the connection, pull/push them through patterns, and “pull” them before they…

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Getting the Most from a Dance Workshop

September 4, 2013

This article is a response to a suggestion/request we received via Facebook. We’d love to hear other suggestions for how to get the most out of a dance workshop. These are our thoughts! Know your learning style Not everyone learns in the same way, and some instructors teach to some learning styles better than other….

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What to Pack for a Dance Event

August 18, 2013

This article is inspired by a suggestion/request that we received on our Facebook page. The topic suggestion was: “Travelling to a dance event: What to bring and what to leave at home. What you would never think to bring but will be happy to have once you’re at the event.” These are a few of our…

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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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