Most useful/least useful club dances

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by pygmalion, May 9, 2004.

  1. Arrion

    Arrion New Member

    It's particularly hard to show off the man in WCS, so it's really not suitable for DWTS. I remember the season they tried, the judges criticized Lacey for dancing around her partner while he mostly just stood there. Since Lacey has a WCS background they did a more authentic version than anyone else.

    To answer the original question, WCS is my favorite with someone who knows how to dance, as it fits most popular music, can be adopted to almost anything, and leaves lots of room for improvisation. But at a club or wedding dancing mostly with ladies who have no training, I find single time ECS and box rumba the easiest to lead them through.
  2. LCbaseball22

    LCbaseball22 Member

    Well, to reiterate I will not be teaching her single time East Coast...it leaves you far too limited in the range of music you can dance to plus it is not what our instructor teaches in the swing class. In fact if I recall correctly our teacher has said triple time is more logical as single time can leave you on the wrong foot sometimes when you come out of a turn and such. I've noticed that. I've tried single time a few times, it kept screwing me up.
  3. LCbaseball22

    LCbaseball22 Member

    As for the responses about WCS, yeah that makes sense. I have seen some pretty unbelievable WCS routines though and even though it might not "show off the guy" perse it's a dance that requires a really strong connection and lead or else it looks like a disaster. I suppose for DWTS purposes it would be hard to judge whether the guy was actually leading the moves though when the follow is aware of the patterns and could be backleading to compensate for a weak lead. In social dancing that doesn't work so well.

    And from a lead's point of view I've found WCS to one of those dances I have very little success at leading a newbie through. I led some complete beginners (not to dance but to the respective style of dance) through Rumba, Foxtrot, and triple time East Coast the other night relatively easy...yet when I tried West Coast with a few it was a disaster, and I would consider myself to be the best at WCS out of the 10 styles I know. The problem is the woman simply must know her footwork. There's not enough connection to lead otherwise. Idk, maybe really advanced West Coasters can lead a complete beginner even when they only have ahold of one hand, but for me it doesn't work so well. That doesn't keep me from challenging myself and continue to try though! I figure if/when I can accomplish this I know I've got it down pretty darn well. ;) I plan to take some advanced lessons soon.

    And yes I agree with Arrion, with a follow that's familiar with the dance WCS is definitely my fav as it works well for a variety of music, including club.
  4. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Can't say for sure about everyone every where, but based on what I see on the dance floor around Portland, it might be a good idea to teach people how to dance "single time" before they try to keep things straight with the music and step 3 times for each two beats.
    One reason WCS is mostly danced to slower songs now a days is that the ability to switch to single or double when the music is fast was dropped decades ago.
  5. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    If you have trouble with a dance then it is certainly the wrong dance for you to teach. I agree with your instructor about all the benefits of triple-time over single-time but I would advise against teaching it in the circumstances you've described (complete beginner, just needs a place to get started, you have limited teaching experience and not overly familiar with the follower's part, and I presume the original poster's goal of being useful in a club setting). Beginners tend to be most comfortable with dances that have very few steps and a lot of tolerance for error; triple-time ECS certainly fulfills the second requirement but not the first and I've seen many dancers get frustrated because of that (see also: WCS and cha cha).

    As an alternative I'd consider merengue or, if the lady will try a slow dance, American rumba.

    Many studios do this. In fact, I know that at least one of the franchises has a policy of refusing to teach triple-time until students are enrolled in long-term courses because they've seen that students who try to start with triple-time often get frustrated and never complete their programs, let alone re-enroll. Personally, I believe new dancers can and should be taught triple-time, but it takes an experienced teach to do so and the student must be prepared for that curve or learning.

    When I teach ECS to my new students I start with triple-time but I also tell them, "Before we begin I want to let you know that this is one of the two most difficult dances for beginner dancers that we teach, along with cha cha. It's not that they're overly complex, but they involve a lot of steps in the basic and it can be complicated to keep track of when you're first starting out and worrying about everything else we need to keep track of, such as the timing, weight changes, lead and follow, and so on, and we can't do those until the foot positions - where we step -are in muscle memory. Because of those complications, I'm not expecting perfection today; if anything, I'm expecting we're going to keep working on this basic next time. But let's start with the foot positions so we can begin building those muscle memories and see how far we're able to get.

    I've heard a lot of stories about this, enough not to trust any one source in particular. Given how adaptable WCS I don't think the single or double timing was dropped, but rather adapted into other styling (see: arguments about tap-step vs. triple-step). The most reliable stories I've been able to gather, and what seems most realistic to me, is that the original teachers used slower music in their classes so that students could learn correct technique, but the students became accustomed to the slower music and began using mostly the slower music for socials; as such the technique changed. Vestiges of this discrepancy can be seen by the tendency of WCS comps to have pros dance to both a slow and a fast song so that judges can observe both stylings.

    My personal theory is that because many people in the WCS community dance only WCS, they began to apply it to songs that were too slow for original WCS but discovered that they liked it and the slow music caught on.
  6. rbazsz

    rbazsz New Member

    That's an excellent choice. It's a big mistake to start dancers with triple steps because they might not ever get over the difficulty of timing their steps correctly.

    Night club two step is probably even easier and therefore a better choice for beginners.

    Even a simple sway might be the best way to go. Anything as long as it's very simple and it has some interesting variations.
  7. LCbaseball22

    LCbaseball22 Member

    Hmm, I find it really interesting that everyone seems to think single time ECS is the easiest for beginners to learn. It certainly wasn't for me. When I first tried dancing I was in a course that taught single time and I got so frustrated with it I dropped less then half way into the term. I couldn't stay on beat and was such an awful lead that the girls were reluctant to dance with me. Maybe that guy was just a bad instructor, idk...but a few years later I transfered universities and I'd heard the dance program was really good so I gave it another go. It was like night and day. This other instructor taught triple time and he broke it down so nicely with the foot positions and how to match your steps to music and all. I picked it up really fast. :) Ironically though when I dance East Coast Swing now I find myself getting lazy and dropping out steps, lol. Sometimes I catch myself doing the same for West Coast too. Ugh, I start developing these bad habits. Luckily I have reached the point where if I miss a step it doesn't phase me, I just drop another or add one in somewhere to get back on. No big deal, with triple time at least...

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