Hi, Tessa here. For almost 20 years, 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 browse both categories: advice for Dancers and advice for Teachers., and scroll down to load more. I highly encourage everyone to leverage these free resources by sharing them in your groups and with friends you know who could use them. Enjoy!
As you return to dance, you’ll need to build your conditioning back up gradually so you can get your West Coast Swing back! Here are some ideas from our Swing Literacy kinesiologist on how you can do this smarter.
This is Part 3 of a series to help you transition back to dance. See the rest of the series:Part 1: How to Survive the Awkward Phase as we Return to DancePart 2: How to Practice Smarter in Small Groups Did your community lose a dance venue due to the pandemic? Maybe they closed permanently, had
How to return to WCS teaching (post-COVID) stronger than ever (Part 3 of 3)
While the West Coast Swing “league” (social dancing, events, and comps) is on hiatus, smart WCS teachers are using their downtime to reassess, refresh, and rebuild their teaching practice. All around the world, the local teachers are the new champions, rebuilding the scene at the grassroots level. That’s what we specialize in – supporting local
Top priorities to refresh and rebuild your WCS teaching after COVID (Part 2 of 3)
This article is Part 2 of a 3-part series for teachers wondering what they can do in this forced down-time to prepare their teaching practice so that as restrictions get lifted, they can come back to dance stronger than ever. In Part 1: How Smart WCS Teachers Can Prepare Now for Post-COVID,we talked about how this is
How Smart WCS Teachers Can Prepare Now for Post-COVID (Part 1 of 3)
With the hiatus that COVID has given (ok forced upon) the entire dance community, smart teachers are taking advantage of this opportunity to reflect, reassess their goals, and upgrade their WCS teaching.Even if you are not back to actively teaching yet, take advantage of the extra time you have (due to not social dancing) to:Research
3 Juicy teaching strategies you might not be using yet
We invite you to enjoy these rare but super-effective teaching tools from our massive collection:GamificationTrained Feedback podsThe Missing W’sGood teachers are collectors, tinkerers, and experimenters. They hunt and gather for nuggets of tips and advice to scuttle home to their students in the hopes that it will entertain them and help them improve.We know, because
12 Ways to Survive the Slow Season as a WCS Teacher
Since dancing tends to slow down during the summer and winter holidays, it can be stressful wondering how you’re going to pay the bills before classes start up again. You also may fear losing the momentum and enthusiasm that you worked so hard to foster in your community during the regular season.So how can a
Teaching Snack #8Your struggleSometimes students resist when you try to introduce them to a method, process, or technique that they are not used to. Sometimes this resistance is disrespectful. It can be hard to stand up for yourself under pressure and take charge of your business, your method, and your reputation. An interesting thing happened at
Teaching Snack #7Your StruggleYou’re teaching new material, and the students are focused, motivated, and capable, but you find that they are confused and learning slower than you would like.One critical piece of the puzzleWe help students every day who are lost and confused. We help them step back and focus on the skills they need
How to handle your students’ questions like a boss!
Do your students pester you with questions? Do you you wish they would ask more questions?Do you wish you could always find the right answer to give them?Do they distract each other and then ask about something you just said?How a teacher handles students’ questions proves their credibility, their maturity, their empathy, and their trustworthiness. All
Teaching Snack #6Your struggleYou try your best to encourage your students, but you still wish they would practice more, show up to class more consistently, and focus on applying what they learned to their dance so they could grow.My storySee my little creeping ivy plant in the title image? He gets plenty of water and
How to teach an intro class so students actually come back
You get lots of people in the door for their first class. Yay! But getting them to come back? That’s another story…You managed to attract people to come to your intro class, or maybe even sign up for a Beginner series. But the enthusiasm of the first class died out quickly, as students started to