Hi, Tessa here. Since 2002, I've been writing advice articles for West Coast Swing from my perspective as a WCS Champion and 30 years as a professional teacher and coach. My mission is to help teachers #teachWCSsmarter and dancers #trainWCSsmarter, which we do thoroughly in our Swing Literacy training programs.
But these articles are my way of contributing some free, bite-sized education to the community to help inspire and motivate with practical, actionable advice. Be sure to scroll down to load more (pause to allow more to load)
What does it take to have a WCS dance where both partners contribute to the fun? As a leader, do you wish playful followers would let you lead more? Or wonder why more followers don’t play with you they way they do when they dance with other leaders? As a follower, do you wonder how you can
West Coast Swing offers a unique opportunity for both partners to express themselves and co-create in amazing “dance conversations”. But it wasn’t always balanced or amiable. So how did we get here? This article describes the journey of how the the improvised conversation of West Coast Swing social dancing has evolved dramatically over the
How to Make Sure Your Dance Partners Aren’t Complaining About You
No one wants to be the person that everyone complains about. It’s easy to make the assumption that since you “never get any complaints” that your partners are satisfied enough. But since people don’t usually complain to your face, how do you know if people are complaining about you or not? One method
Steal dancing is when you are dancing with your partner and a 3rd person amicably “cuts in” for fun. This game is different than a typical social dance: it becomes less about patterns and musicality and more about flow and transitions. Here’s a quick example of it in a competition, but this is
Last week’s Part 1 featured concerns that women have about their own dancing – things that women should take personal responsibility for, as opposed to blaming outside sources. This week, I need to shift the focus to more serious concerns: things women should NOT take responsibility for, and ways women can and should take a stand.
Girls*, let’s chat. The boys had their turn with Guy-Guidance and Dude-Dilligence. Now it’s our turn. I’d like to address some of the common concerns and complaints I hear from women in my Feminine Styling Intensive, private lessons, and in personal conversations. It’s a bit of tough love specifically for women, whether they lead or
Post-pandemic, as you have been reassessing your priorities in dance, you may have noticed you have had a bit of an imbalance. Focusing too much on training and not having enough fun, or the reverse – focusing so much on the party aspect of our dance that your skills are suffering… Regardless of your
Anchoring for your Westie Soul: 20 Morsels of Wisdom to Get You Through the Holidays
Hey. You look a little stressed… a little adrift. Maybe it’s time we sat down and had a chat. Pull up a comfy chair, order your favourite hot beverage, and get cozy. Let’s get you feeling anchored. This time of year can be emotionally draining, even pulverizing for some. While I don’t proclaim to be
West Coast Swing lives online, and if you don’t know how to operate your social media tools, you risk missing opportunities or being left out of the loop entirely. Even if you are savvy with Facebook, you may not realize how some of the features are restricting you if you don’t take control of them.
We all wish we could have started dancing earlier than we did. Just imagine what your teen years would have looked like if you had WCS in your pocket! Thanks to social media, the WCS demographic is getting younger, and there are more 20-somethings dancers than ever. Events and studios are wising up and starting
You may or may not be a dance teacher, but you might be someone who people look up to in your local dance community. Someone who rallies the troops, who encourages the newbies, who stays late to help out, who’s full of ideas and desire to build and grow their community so they have more
Asking a pro to dance can be as nerve-wracking as asking someone out on a date. Your ego is on the line, you hope not to come across creepy, yet you’re willing to risk it for the payoff of an awesome dance with someone you admire. We applaud your courage, as long as you keep