West Coast Swing has a lot of NY COOL…
Years ago I saw a video that inspired me for a tango choreography I was building. Yes, it’s pretty typical to pick inspiration from others. What was special was that I’d never seen this dance before. At that time I promised myself I would learn West Coast Swing someday (I was living in Buenos Aires and there were no lessons, I checked).
So when I received the “You Should be Dancing” newsletter about their beginner West Coast workshop, I signed up without checking my calendar. The teacher, Ricardo Torres, was warm and adapted his teachings to the group of students who showed. He was very clear about the steps and kept it simple, allowing us to get through a lot in one day.
What can I say about this dance? First, I really don’t understand why more New Yorkers aren’t doing this. Why has this not blown up yet? It is the epitome of ‘cool’ in social dance.. the movements are smooth and subtle but you can play when you want, the music is diverse and jumps from pop, R&B to classic rock. So you’re actually dancing to some of the music you probably listen to. Seriously NY!! Get into this. I was feeling the movement, the steps, the vibe… but the best part? When I was able to not look down at my feet anymore and look up at my partner, I noticed he had a huge smile on his face, and remembered —
Oh yeeeah... this is what social dance is all about: Enjoying the music, enjoying the stranger in front of you and sharing a smile.
Thanks for the reminder West Coast. We so often forget how simple joy can be.
If you want to check out any of the great classes at this NY studio, sign up for their newsletter at http://www.youshouldbedancing.net/index.aspx
For the video that inspired me just get to about 0:52.. you’ll see what I’m talking about.