Ballroom WCS versus non-Ballroom

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by toothlesstiger, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I'm thinking that at MY age, looking old fashioned would fit pretty well!

    I totally agree with you that to some extent you have to "fit in," and my reboot with Skippy Blair accomplished that, at least among non Westies.

    And maybe I should stop there, but as long as you know that I'm just thinking out loud here...

    As I read the old texts, and various primary sources, I can't help but think about how Dean Collins (who is erroneously given way too much credit regarding the founding of West Coast Swing) wrote in 1977...

    To begin with, there is absolutely no difference in the BASIC COUNT between EAST COAST & WEST COAST swing. Conseuently, when someone tells you that he or she can't dance with because you do East or West Coast swing, which ever be the case, rest assured that that person can't swing dance. Secondly, Swing is Jitterbug is Lindy Hop. and since the very early 1900's when the Lindy Hop came into being , the BASIC COUNT has never changed, other then the modern day STYLE which is a highly water down version of the real thing.

    I have seen, too, there was in the past effort to move WCS away from the Lindy roots.
    Then there was Cornutt's(?) one post about being tired of trying to do WCS to non swing music.

    Again, just thinking out loud...
     
  2. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    To address a perception of what the OP (me) was asking, I wasn't asking so much about ballroom types "fitting in" in a WCS social. I was more curious about ballroom types successfully competing at swing events.
     
  3. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Well, even more important to be current, then...but it's pretty much the same thing. People dance much of what they dance in competition on the social floor with the exception of highly choreographed routines like for classic, etc.
     
  4. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Steve.. the Lindy Hop in the early 1900s !! ??.. does he not realise that it was given that name ,apropo " Lindbergh " in the 20s .
     
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Dean had some non party line ideas about Lindy Hop. The most prominent was that it started in New Orleans. He actually went there to live for a while, supposedly because... that's where Lindy Hop started.

    He also is on record for having said that White's Lindy Hoppers hadn't had any influence outside of one movie. His opinion on that changed as the revival progressed.

    This should clear it up.
    “As jitterbug I brought it to the West Coast. Jitterbug, again, was nothing more than Lindy hop.”
    “As jitterbug, I brought it to the West Coast.”
    “Because I brought it to the West Coast, it was called the New Yorker.”
     
  6. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    That.. is a moot point..of course, there are invariably some "cross-over " variations, but even the traditional lindy turn,( " Back spot turn " in Amer.swing ) came out of Bolero .
     
  7. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Forgot to add that, " Hopping", also is indigenous to Cuban style Son .
     
  8. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Been scratching my head over this one. I've never hear of this "Back Spot Turn" and could not find it in the swing material I have from a bunch of books.
    "Lindy Rhythm (or Turn Rhythm) " was of course the eight count we use for Whips.

    Haile muddies the water (I think) by writing.
    "Lindy is the equivalent to "Waltz or Fox Trot" rhythm Slow quick quick Slow quick quick"
    then going on to describe a rhythm and pattern with triples!


    I just opened a copy of Murray's 1964 book, and there in the Rumba is a "Back Spot Turn."
    But the count is 1 Slow 2 Quick 3 Quick and it's done over 12 counts.

    ???
     
  9. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    "Back spot turn" was a figure in a number of dances when I was learning Rhythm. It essentially meant turning right, in closed position, in one place, with the man crossing behind with his right foot. In Latin, it would be called a "Top". "Front spot turn" would be "Reverse Top" in Latin. The basic whip, as it was taught to me, was similar to how the backspot turn was taught.
     
  10. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Thats the one.. its used in all the Latin dances ( different timings ).

    I think Laure was very confused when she said " Waltz " ?. There are " Twist " turns used in BR ,which are a descendent of the Lindy turn .

    In the Intern style , its a Natural Top . And, Vueltas in Samba, are the same root .
     
  11. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Working with what was in the Murray books, and what Haile wrote, and comparing them to each other, and what is commonly held to be accurate..... is mind frying. It's WAY more complicted than what most histories state.

    Blair teaches foot positions in her West Coast 101, something I don't think anyone ever mentioned in other classes I've taken.
    Blair also teaches a "rock step" where most folks teach "back across" or "back together" for the man.
    Blair teaches her "rolling count," which I haven't seen, read, or heard taught by anyone.
    Blair teaches forward and backward steps in the 1st set of triples, that I hadn't been taught before.
     
  12. suncoursing

    suncoursing New Member

    I wonder if we'll start hearing complaints about having to do WCS to dubstep soon.

    I haven't been dancing for that long, but I'm told that top 40 music caught on in WCS after Jordan & Tat and Kyle & Sarah started doing routines to pop music (and winning), more than a decade ago. This year, at the U.S. Open, the winners, in both classic and showcase, danced to electronic remixes of popular songs.
     
  13. Dancelf

    Dancelf Member

    Hmm - I think the infusion of contemporary music is just a bit earlier than that. One would probably need to look at full divisions for each year to get a real feel for what's going on.

    US Open champions....

    1986 - Lance and Sharlot - Baby I'm a Star (Prince)
    1994 - Barry and Kellese - Power of Love (Celine Dion)
    1996 - Kyle and Beata - Staying Alive (remix - before transitioning)
    1996 - Robert and Laureen - River Deep, Mountain High (Celine Dion)
    1998 - Kyle and Sarah - Groove is in the Heart (Dee lite)
    1999 - Robert and Deborah - Chains (Tina Arena)
    2000 - Robert and Deborah - Dance With Me (Debelah Morgan)
    2001 - Benji and Heidi - Shackles (Mary Mary)
    2001 - Jordan and Tatiana - Pop ('N Sync), after "Let's get it on" as an intro.

    Reviewing 1995, just because I happen to have that one in a modern format
    Robert and Keldee - Get Ready for This -> Strike It Up
    Barry and Beata - Moving on Up
    Barry and Kellese - Pressure

    It occurred to me to look to see what the juniors (aka Young America 13-17) were doing. Only Kyle/Marisa, Tim/Kate were dancing contemporary (perhaps the others were too young to choose their own music?)
     
  14. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Each generation has its " pop " music faves to which they prefer to dance; music changes, evolves, and styles, for better or worse, do change to a small or larger degree .

    What "we" , taught and danced to is/was, quite different, and, the " dance, was predicated on " that " ..
    That is pretty much how all genres advance ,with newer concepts .
     
  15. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    That was a required technique in the A/M studios .
     
  16. suncoursing

    suncoursing New Member

    Oh, interesting; people have been doing it about as long as I've been alive. The vast majority of the people I hear complaining about it are much older than me, but, they too, have only ever danced in an environment with pop. I figured they were upset because music tastes changed from blues to contemporary "recently", but that's apparently not the case.
     
  17. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    You will be told a lot of things about West Coast Swing, and some of them will even be true!

    In early 1956 Bill Haley and His Comets were one of the most popular musical acts in the US, and there is clearly what we now call West Coast Swing being done to two of his songs in "Rock Around the Clock," which was filmed in January 1956.
    TangoTime put me onto this one, and I also found it in Butler's Encyclopedia of Social Dance, 1975. Bill Black's Combo was a very popular group circa early 1960s. One of Black's songs was listed for "Western Swing" (aka West Coast Swing) "Comin' On." Bill Black was one of the musicians that helped Elvis Presley become famous by performing with him when he was just starting out.

    Individual popular songs, even in different eras, can either have, or not have, a "swing like" character. Haley's music did have elements of swing, and Black's combo was famous for a shuffle feel, a slow, more consistent form of "swing."
    I think the complaints happen when people consistently do West Coast Swing to music that doesn't have any "swing feel" to it, if there are people that are aware of the difference.
     
  18. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    The thing about WCS and pop music: if you really like a song, and really know it well, and you can dance WCS to it, you will probably dance a better dance than if you dance to "traditional" music that you wouldn't listen off the dance floor.
     
  19. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I teach foot positions, too. I just can't help myself. I only teach beginners, though, and it seems like when I try to just talk about leads, connection, your relationship to each other, etc., they don't seem to be able to "get it" until I show them where to put their feet. *shrug*
     
  20. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member


    agree 100% many Nsync songs make great WCS
     

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