WCS Scene Getting Younger?

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Spitfire, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    With the local WCS scene here there's been a large influx of young people over the past few years which I think is a good thing. While there always has been a fair number of younger people the scene had been mostly made up of those in their 30's and older.

    Is this the same trend elsewhere?
  2. GGinrhinestones

    GGinrhinestones Well-Known Member

    I'd say WCS around here (Southeast) is very much a young person's dance/crowd compared to most other partner dancing. I see a lot of teens and college age picking it up, and it's largely dominated by 20-30 - somethings, though of course you see the older folks too...but I tend to see the younger crowd as WCS (or swing in general) only, while the older crowd does a lot more crossover into other dance styles.
  3. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I'm thinking that maybe we are just getting older?

    Like I always say, I'm not a Westie, but I can tell you that some of the young women who show up at the CW place I haunt are definately interested in WCS. And there have been a whole bunch of young people showing up this last year. Which is good because a lot of the old time regulars aren't regulars anymore.
  4. Caravaggio

    Caravaggio New Member

    Spitfire knows me in real life, and I'm in my 20's and i just recently picked up dancing of any kind, much less West Coast Swing. Until I started going to conventions i could count on one hand the number of people under 30 in my scene that did west coast. It wasn't until i started going to D.C. and then moved to AZ that i realized that a lot of young people are into WCS.
  5. Dancelf

    Dancelf Member

    I'm trying to decide if Austin matches that trend or not. About two years ago, the westie community underwent a somewhat dramatic shift (becoming more independent of the local studios). The new group that formed included a young core that falls in the 25-30 bracket.

    One of the consequences of the schism is that this group is more focused on west coast, and correspondingly more intense. They are a lot more likely to fly to an event than they used to be, and are more willing to drive to Dallas or Houston.

    That core gives the westie community a younger face, which I think has succeeded in pulling in more dancers at the low end of that range.

    It also means the young folks who travel the circuit regularly now have people to come visit.

    The westies still aren't nearly as young as the Lindy hoppers, or even the blues dancers.

    However, in the past few months undergrads have been appearing at dances - my understanding is that the club is running an outreach campaign specifically to target young blood. It hasn't really stuck yet -- that is, there isn't anybody particularly young that I can point out as a regular -- but it's early to judge.

    In summary, I would say it isn't really happening here yet, but it could within the next 12 months.
  6. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Yes. Here in Sacramento, the scene is definitely younger on average, although the old folks are still around, too.
  7. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    The Ballroom scene, and it's this way any place I've been, is pretty evenly mixed as far as age goes. Though the studio where I do most of my dancing is mostly older.
  8. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    when i first got into the scene 15 years ago, it was uncommon for me to see anyone under 40 dancing WCS. since then there has been an influx of younger dancers, with a lot of them migrating from the lindy scene when instructors like doug silton & ben morris crossed over.

    it's my take that the younger dancers can be in many ways more technically skilled but otherwise superficial; to me WCS is most enjoyable when it retains elements of flirtation and playfulness but like in other forms of creative expression, youth tends to associate virtuosity with speed; contrast joe satriani who shreds at 100 million baud vs. b.b. king who can say more and create more tension with one note held for 4 measures. you can also see reflected in how the music has changed and how it's gotten beat/percussive driven. but that's not to say that all younger dancers don't get it. some do - and when you combine that with an ability to move that comes with being younger i have had some great dances.
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Like!

    Danced to Roger Miller's "King of the Road" last night, and I swear my younger partner (she's a good one, and most of them are younger than me now!) was getting it. I just loved the big smiles I got as she figured out how we were really using the music.
  10. GGinrhinestones

    GGinrhinestones Well-Known Member

    Well, as a semi-younger dancer (well under 40, at least), I can say that WCS is definitely not my technical dance. In fact, WCS is the one dance I keep away from private lessons and technique focus. Not that I ignore it, just that I approach this particular dance as my chance to have fun, flirt, play, and just work with the music and my partner. It's done wonders for my ballroom, as a result. But it's also worth mentioning that I don't dance WCS in a ballroom studio - I dance what I have heard referred to as "club style" WCS. In fact, I love WCS entirely *because* I get to be creative and playful. The one time I tried dancing WCS with my ballroom teacher it was pretty much an unqualified disaster. :rolleyes:
  11. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you're getting your WCS from the right place. A lot of ballroom dancers don't get the importance of that! :)

    It's funny...the younger set seem to like to sort of run through the dance--fast music with no breaks so they can go from move to move and spin to spin. Yet, my husband and I are stuck in the past where, you actually hit breaks and play. The young girls just love dancing with him...his way.
  12. Caravaggio

    Caravaggio New Member

    I spent the first 6 months of learning west coast swing with a private for technique every week and absorbing patterns as much as i could in watching others, group classes, and videos. As a result, after 6 months i was exceptionally good (for someone with that limited amount of experience) at executing pattern after pattern. I became what some refer to as a pattern monster. I'm just now (in the past couple of months) learning that there is a lot going on in the music, and as a result, realizing that I'm actually nowhere near as good as i thought i was :confused:

    Younger folks want to be good as fast as we can, and we watch videos of pros and want to do what they do.... can kind of mess us up. I've felt like my last three socials have been my worst since i first started. Probably because i'm just now realizing how much i still have to learn.
  13. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    It's great that you've made that realization! Don't be sad...be grateful. Now you can really move forward in your dancing.
  14. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Yes, we are . . . lurking . . .
  15. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

  16. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Well, long time no see! :D
  17. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Hey stranger . . . how the heck r u? I've been on here once in the last 3 1/2 years . . . playing a lot of music these days . . . was in four bands at once - just separated from one . . . had little or no time for dance, but am thinking of competing in May, and am getting my feet to re-learn the difference between left and left!

    What's new with you?
  18. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    BTW Tom, I assume that ur still dancing since ur on here . . . what r u doing most of your dancing in? WCS, 2 Step, ???
  19. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Long time, no see! You're not far from here...you should come up and dance some time.
  20. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Moved back here almost a year and a half ago

    Oh yes; ballroom and WCS. Take it you know that Robert sold the Paragon in Tempe almost 2 years ago. He still teaches there.

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