Join hundreds of teachers worldwide enjoying higher student retention, faster student progress, and a more positive dance community!
Teaching West Coast Swing
doesn't need to be a struggle!
There is a way to make teaching West Coast Swing
more efficient, effective, and fun,
so you can develop students' skills smarter, faster, and easier.
This universal game-changing method makes a profound difference in your WCS teaching
...regardless of your skill level
...regardless of your teaching experience
...regardless of your chosen style or philosophy.
You can transform your students' learning TODAY.
As a dancer...
You love helping people fall in love with West Coast Swing. You're doing your best to raise competent, confident dancers. Seeing students progress is incredibly rewarding.
But you still struggle with:
And you often wonder:
You are not alone! Many teachers struggle with these same issues.
(Never fear - Swing Literacy answers all of these questions and many more!)
Still, that's not the only problem:
The students struggle...
As a teacher, you want to make it easy for your students to "get" West Coast Swing. You want them to level up as quickly as possible. But for some reason, many of your students are not improving as quickly as you’d like. They show up for classes, but they struggle to progress:
"I feel like a robot, just marching around. I want to be able to express myself more and feel like I'm really dancing."
"I feel like I should be progressing faster. I've been dancing long enough, I should be in the next level by now."
Ugh! We get it - having your students struggle to
develop their WCS is incredibly frustrating!
Learning WCS should be FUN and can be EASY!
And that is exactly why we created the SLDM...
We're on a mission to renovate and elevate how dancers learn West Coast Swing
Swing Literacy Development Method
Way beyond a workshop...way beyond a theory...
A comprehensive program that delivers
a powerful, progressive, and most importantly, proven method to learn WCS
that solves your learning frustrations and
rescues you from your struggling...
...like a Superhero!
How Swing Literacy is rescuing dancers from struggling
When we first started teaching WCS, we followed the model of our own (awesome) teachers, and didn't question if it was the best method - it was just the method we were used to. But something never felt right. Something was missing, and we felt there must be an easier way.
So we started borrowing pedagogical methods from Tessa's training in teaching school and coaching sports. We didn't change the WCS content. We just changed how we taught it, the sequence, and the emphasis.
Several years of research and testing proved that our evolving method was way more effective than the way we were taught, and way more fun for our students.
Students in group classes, workshops, and private lessons were improving faster AND having more fun learning! We even used these methods to accelerate our own progress, launching us to Champion level in both improvisation and choreography competition.
We really wanted to share this method so everyone can enjoy the same results and help West Coast Swing grow strong and healthy around the world! So we codified the process so ANYONE can use it - no matter what level they are, no matter what style they prefer, they can keep the content of what they teach... but if they use this method to transform the way they teach it, they can rescue their students from unnecessary struggle!
After 10 years of training teachers in workshops worldwide, in 2014 we created an online training program to make this method accessible to all teachers, with or without access to us.
We train WCS teachers to #teachdancesmarter
Using a two-pronged approach of online study and interactive coaching, we created a comprehensive program that trains teachers how to take their existing content and wisdom and enhance it for better results.
The SLDM Teacher Development Program trains you how to...
Not just another "style"
The Swing Literacy method is style-agnostic: It is the physical pedagogy that provides the underpinning for all styles. After training you how to think with a skill development approach, we coach you to design or upgrade your own program in your own style.
Way more than a workshop
The Teacher Development Program is not a simple intensive or video series. This is a comprehensive program of study that consists of online multimedia coursework, assignments, projects, feedback, coaching, and certification that you can complete at your own pace
All online: no "live" requirement
What used to be only a 10-hour intensive is now upgraded, expanded, and 100% online. No need to wait to see us in person. You can start now and see results this week! There are live projects and workshops that are optional in the Practicum.
You can't get this kind of training anywhere else.
Unleash your dancing superpowers
We’ve consolidated and refined our 40+ years of experience and many thousands of dollars in teacher trainings and tailored it to West Coast Swing to create a concentrated, powerful learning resource that will permanently upgrade your dancing within days.
Right from the first chapter, you’ll feel a paradigm shift in your thinking about learning to dance. After just a handful of hours, you’ll have a much deeper understanding of the dance, and a powerful set of tools you can put to use immediately.
When I started the Swing Literacy program, literally within the first week my students noticed a dramatic change in my teaching methods. Since finishing and implementing the SLDM, we are able to retain many more people and grow the dancers we already have. Our community probably doubled during the first few months of using the new program!
After giving my students some of the core Swing Literacy skills, I noticed a dramatic difference in their quality of movement right away; and so did they! Their eyes were wide, and those 'aha moment' smiles ... The students were blown away by how differently the dance felt to them. I'm still getting messages this morning ..lol. Talk about positive reinforcement as a teacher!
And that’s only the beginning…
While it will clearly improve your students, it will also improve your own dancing!
I immediately saw results after taking the SLDM. For the first time in my (substantial) dance experience, I had a coherent and structured approach to learning dance. I had gained knowledge and skills that I feel would have taken many years to develop by any other method. Each new topic in the SLDM felt like a revelation, impacting my classes, as well as my own dancing, significantly.
Life before Swing Literacy was frustrating!!! I was doing poorly in competition and was not exactly the most popular dancer on the social floor. After 2-years of rarely making finals in Novice, I started working with Myles & Tessa. I jumped from Novice to Advanced in just 1 year (6 events)!!
M&T's Swing Literacy system is brilliant. I can see many more “Tessons” and “Mylestones” in my future."
What is the Swing Literacy effect?
Even superheroes need coaches
Here are yours:
Myles brings a classical dance training background, 6 UCWDC World Championship titles, Karate, Wing Chun Kung Fu, Jiu-Jitsu, golf and motorcycle racing to the table, and considers himself an eternal student of manipulating kinetics for sport and art.
Myles is so passionate about improving his craft, he literally has a tattoo that reads, “Technique prevents the body from limiting the soul’s expression”. His studies in all of these non-dance fields, along with being classically trained and studying the inner workings of over 60 different dances, is a huge part of what made it possible for him and Tessa to create the SLDM.
Tessa Cunningham Munroe
Tessa’s academic background started with competitive swimming, where she where she received National Coaching Certification, created a Coach Training Program, graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Kinesiology, and started an Olympic-track coaching career, all before returning to school to complete her Bachelor of Education.
Tessa has been professionally practicing physical education, movement analysis, and pedagogy for the past 28 years, and this constant training in “how to teach” was the other huge factor that allowed Myles and Tessa to create such a powerful and effective program (SLDM).
As currently active, highly decorated WCS Champions and master teacher trainers, Myles and Tessa have traveled the world accumulating, studying, and analyzing a variety of teaching resources in order to narrow down the elements the most successful ones all have in common. Myles and Tessa hunt for the best and worst methods available, analyze why they work (or don't), and diligently research and test any new methods against physical education best practices, to produce a current, curated, comprehensive collection. Through teaching thousands of group classes and private lessons, and a variety of workshops and intensives, they have already tested their methods on real students many thousands of times.
Swing Literacy is the product of all of this research and development.
“We are in the business of R&D for teaching West Coast Swing, and making Swing Literacy the gold standard for West Coast Swing teaching.” - Myles and Tessa
The clear curriculum and training program you've been looking for.
Here are some of the key takeaways you’ll get from taking this course:
More efficient formula
Have a more efficient formula to teach Beginners (no matter which WCS style you prefer) so they learn faster than with traditional methods.
Kick-start new dancers
Be able to teach a brand-new dancer everything they need to survive their first social dance and get hooked enough to sign up for lessons – in 15 minutes! (see our proof below)
Unique skill development approach
Teach the 14 Fundamental Movement Skills in fun and engaging ways that train your students to appreciate, love, and crave technique instead of whining for more patterns.
Relief from overwhelm
Solve all your technique confusion once and for all so you can decode any instructors’ advice and leverage it to learn more advanced material.
Figure out what to prioritize
Learn what you should be spending your time and effort to work on first to make the biggest improvement impact on your dance
Learn skills faster
Improve your ability to learn faster so that you can get more value out of any workshop, video, or lesson.
Conquer "Quality of Movement"
Drastically improve your “quality of movement”, so you get more recognition from more experienced partners, peers, and judges.
Own your dance
Finally be able to “feel like you’re dancing”, comfortable, self-expressed, and musical instead of just marching through patterns.
Get more fun dances
Be able to survive and compensate for any social dance partner, (without sacrificing your own fun) and become one of the most desirable, social dance partners in your region.
Get organized for success
Design and execute lesson plans and series plans (for 1-month to 1-year) that build skills instead of emphasize patterns…so your students truly progress.
Help students level-up
Implement clear measurement tools that allow you to motivate and progress students through your levels based on their skills, not their attendance record!
Be able to troubleshoot 40+ common student errors to prescribe and implement the most effective improvement plan.
The Swing Literacy program for me was like a eureka moment, finally understanding what I had been missing. Having a path connecting the common ideas together, often in logical, causal ways, creating real understanding, gives a real level of confidence to build my dance on. I couldn’t recommend this course more highly, to both existing teachers and students alike. The ideas and concepts in the material are so effective and make so much sense, one might wonder why this isn’t the standard for all.
- Ian Manson
Swing Literacy in action
Do you think it's possible (in 15 minutes) to teach a brand-new beginner to:
(And we will teach you how to do it too.)
If you aren't able or prefer not to watch the video, here's a brief synopsis:
This is one example of our famous “15-minute crash course”, which we have demonstrated live at several events in front of SLDM trainees and graduates. We take a brand-new dancer and ask them to help with an experiment. We tell them nothing in advance, except that no one is judging their dancing, the observers are just observing us and the effect our instructions have.
- Myles starts timing.
- We run our volunteer through the recommended progression of questions and exercises that is prescribed in this course.
- Myles checks his watch around the 15 minute mark.
By the time the experiment is over, our volunteers are able to start on a downbeat, stay on time, stretch and compress properly, steer the follower’s frame properly, and continuously do Left Side Pass, Under Arm Turn, Sugar Push, Sugar Tuck, Left Side Tuck, and sometimes a rough version of a Whip.
Their connection and elasticity consistently feels surprisingly good, and they are able to stay on time and not get distracted by their partner's footwork. We invite one of the observers to come up and test them out, and after dancing with them, they agree they feel better than most people who have been dancing for 6 months to a year.
Afterward, each volunteer was able to successfully survive social dancing on their own, leaving their partners impressed. Because they experienced immediate success, the dance seemed accessible and fun, which motivated each volunteer to follow up with either private lessons, workshops, or group classes immediately after their 15-min crash course.
When you take this course, you will learn this proven method so you too will be able to hook and book students with a simple 15 minute lesson.
I never doubted Tessa and Myles, but it was very useful to see the Swing Literacy method in practice. I had an opportunity to dance with one volunteer during a dance party and the connection felt great, he was able to stay on time, and he was starting to experiment with turning. This approach to teaching WCS really inspires the student to want to learn more. Thank you for making learning and teaching WCS more accessible!
Pretty accurate description of the demo at Swingtzerland! I've danced with him in the party, pretty impressive, and most importantly he was truly enjoying the dance, smiling all the time ? The 15 minute demo was pretty impressive, going with a pretty fast pace but it was not rushed at all.
Study the "why" and the "how"
to teach Swing Literacy
Get guidance to help you apply
Swing Literacy in your real teaching
Sneak Peek - See Behind The Curtains
Alternate formats of the TDP
We take on select, dedicated teachers to work with one-on-one to transform their teaching and see results in their students fast.
This VIP version of the Teacher Development Program includes:
Based on demand, we occasionally offer the Teacher Development Program
as a group course on a fixed 12-week schedule.
This group format version of the Teacher Development Program includes
Find out which format is right for you
Take the first step:
Apply for a Teaching Impact Strategy Session, where we can answer your questions, assess your teaching goals and find out the best path to reach them.
Prior to the SLDM program, we always wanted something more and knew that we lost people. Since finishing and implementing the SLDM, we are able to retain many more people and grow the dancers we already have. Our community probably doubled during the first few months of using the new program!
- Jessica Wrape
How much is a permanent upgrade in your teaching worth to you?
How much is it worth to make sure your students are no longer struggling to improve but instead are thriving and loving their lessons?
How much did you spend on your own personal dancing at the last event?
What would it be worth if just 1 more student was coming to all your lessons and raving about you to all the other dancers in your scene?
What about 5 more students? or 10?
I think the program is comparable to a university level course. I feel like I got a similar value from it as I did from the courses that I took during my Bachelor of Education program at university.
- Shannon Black