Happy 300th Post!

Happy 300th Post!

Today marks the 300th post in Practice-WCS! That’s a lot of practice!

Just how much practice is that? Well, if you worked on one drill every week, you’d be getting close to the end of the blog in about five years.

Over the next 300 posts, you’re going to see more drills on important concepts like spinning, body flight, and musicality. But, I’m also going to make it easier to find the drills you are looking for. My goal is that this site can become the resource that west coast swing dancers turn to when they want ideas for how to improve their dancing.

Thank you so much for reading this blog. I love the questions you send in, and I am thrilled to hear your success stories. I can’t begin to share how much this dance means to me, and I am truly thankful that you let me share my passion with you through this blog.

To celebrate 300 posts of practice tips, I would appreciate if you could share this site with someone you know. Pick your favorite drill and send a link to a friend. Seeing this blog grow from a couple of friends visiting on occasion to having readers in over a dozen countries has been an incredible journey, and I would love to see this site continue to grow. With your help, we can make it happen!

Cheers to the next 300 posts, and to many more years of getting better…one drill at a time!

Picture by David Lin

Cut the Volume to Keep Time

Cut the Volume to Keep Time

There are some songs that really challenge your ability to keep the beat. Lyrical songs that have vocals but no other instruments, pop songs that hit to silence for more than a couple of beats—if you want to stay on time to these songs, you can’t rely on the music to tell you when theContinue Reading

Reviewing to Remember More

Reviewing to Remember More

Do you ever arrive at a dance eager to do what you learned at your last lesson—only to discover that you can’t remember what you did? All of us, at one time or another, forget things. We even forget things that we are excited about, like new moves or styling variations. But, it’s possible toContinue Reading

Tipping Over to Find Your Center

Tipping Over to Find Your Center

If you want to improve your balance, you need to get to know your own body. Specifically, you need to find your center. “Center” is a word that gets thrown out a lot by dancers, and there are a lot of conflicting definitions. Here’s the pragmatic take: there is an area inside your body thatContinue Reading

The Tag and the Buildup

The Tag and the Buildup

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Dancing to Layers of Music

We’re continuing to identify layers in the Maroon 5 song Maps. We’ve made it through the intro, and now we get the first really obvious contrast in the song. Let’s figure out how to dance to this new level of energy. As you listen to the song, focus on the tag that occurs right beforeContinue Reading

Repeating the Intro

Repeating the Intro

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Dancing to Layers of Music

In Maroon 5′s song Maps, we started the dance extremely quiet, with a few subtle body movements to acknowledge the guitar. As you listen to the song, notice the shift that happens when the introduction repeats during beats 33-64. What stands out during this section? What happens in this second musical paragraph is very commonContinue Reading

Smiling at Your Checkpoints

Smiling at Your Checkpoints

Smiling is hard! When you are thinking about the music, your partner, and that crazy couple next to you on the floor, it’s easy to forget to smile. In this drill, you’re going to train yourself to smile during the dance so you don’t have to consciously think about it on the floor. To trainContinue Reading

Cough to Engage Your Core

Cough to Engage Your Core

How do you engage your core when dancing? If you are like most people, it’s easy to forget about your core and let your center flop around. And, even when you do remember to engage your core, it feels like your body is locked down and immobile. So how is engaging your core supposed toContinue Reading

The Quiet Intro

The Quiet Intro

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Dancing to Layers of Music

In the first part of this series, we listened to Maps by Maroon 5 in order to build a mental picture of the song. Now, it’s time to start breaking down the song so that we can dance to the layers. In this installment, we’ll focus on the introduction to the whole song. Again, listenContinue Reading

Dancing to Layers of Music Intro

Dancing to Layers of Music Intro

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Dancing to Layers of Music

Want to improve your ability to hear and dance to all the elements of a song? In this series, we’re going to look at a practical example of how to identify layers in a song that you can dance to. For this series of exercises, we are not going to think about breaks, and we’reContinue Reading