WCS; Why Is It Regarded As Difficult?

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Spitfire, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    I began learning WCS about a month ago and have picked up on it very well and as I said in earlier I'm finding it not to be as hard as a lot of people say that it is. Perhaps it is related to the fact that I have been doing other dances for a long time now? I'm curious as to why it is believed to be a difficult dance.
  2. d nice

    d nice New Member

    A lot of people focus a lot (as in way to much) on technique at the beginning and begining-intermediate levels. Rather than ensuring there is enough foundation so the lead follow is possible they try and produce perfect results in their new students. As long as it works its good enough. "Perfection" will come along given time. Let the students have fun learning the patterns and learning the concepts.

    If you have a teacher who does this you will progress faster as well as enjoy your time more. Of course being familiar with other dances can help you control your body movement better, and if the dance forms are related its a leg up.
  3. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    without the ability to gauge your mastery of wcs, while it is possible that you have drawn on your experience leading other dances and/or background with other slotted dances like lindy and are now capable of going out & kicking butt in a WCS jack & jill contest, personally i'm more inclined to think that after only a month of classes you've probably seen the basics: left & right side passes, sugarpush, basic whip & a starter step, so saying that wcs doesn't seem to be difficult comes across like saying it should be easy to learn to speak english fluently because you learned how to conjugate a few verbs & spell c-a-t & d-o-g. just wait until you try to add adverbs, adjectives, punctuation, etc.!
  4. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Yes, I'm aware that as you progress you get into moves that will take more time and effort to master; this is true of just about any dance, but what I've been getting from people is that the dance is difficult right from the beginning.
  5. dnquark

    dnquark New Member

    When talking about a dance being difficult one needs to provide a point of reference. For instance, I would argue that WCS is more difficult compared to lindy or waltz, the reason being that knowing the basic WCS moves (i.e. 6-count side passes, sugar push, etc.) doesn't get you far. Dancing with that repertoir is just not very much fun. You have the follow strut to the music from one end of the slot to the next, and it gets pretty boring. That's why my WCS quickly becomes some bastardized amalgam of lindy and salsa (which would have had a chance of working if I knew salsa.)

    On the other hand, once you have your lindy swingout down, together with the circle, inside/outside turns, and charleston, you can have fun dancing to entire songs without this obious pressing need to know more moves.

    In other words, you get a whole lot more mileage out of the basic moves in lindy, waltz (obviously) and some other ballroom dances. To make WCS fun/look good you have to move on to more advanced moves and styling, which can make it difficult and intimidating for beginners.
  6. Bronzestudent

    Bronzestudent New Member

    I'm not sure who you are thinking of that regards it to be a difficult dance. Guys and girls both?
    My thoughts, before I started learning WCS, was that it would be difficult because I couldn't figure out the basic. Of course, once I had my first class of instruction, I had it down pretty good. From there, it kind of took off and I was like "teach me more!!"
    My teacher explained it like this to me while she was telling me about mistakes other teachers have made - That some folks just want to learn one or 2 dances, and it's usually not dances that would be on the Bronze Novice level (the white belt level). So they find a teacher that will try to teach them Bolero or WCS, and they have a hard time learning it because they don't have the experience of Rumba and Cha Cha (for Bolero) or East Coast Swing (for WCS). So they get discouraged and quit altogether, and perhaps the teacher is party to the blame.
    I'm not sure what should be pre-requisite to WCS, but feeling the music is critical, along with basic dance steps like walking forward/back, and rock steps.
    Yeah, it gets harder, the most difficult for me so far are the Swivel Steps w/Kicks, but I think people are intimidated by the look of it. That's probably what makes it difficult for some people - being intimidated and potential lack of previous dance skill/experience. And perhaps the Lady's part is indeed more difficult, and the guy has it easier. But it's well worth the effort put in to learning it!
  7. voilsb

    voilsb New Member

    I find WCS can look and feel just as good with 4 or 5 moves as anything else. If you know a Suger Push, Whip, closed basic, left and right side pass, you can have a lot of fun with it and it can look good. I mean, after all, isn't nearly everything else simply a variation or combination of parts of those?

    On the "moves" end, WCS and lindy are probably about equal for difficulty, since they both have similar basics from a "moves" perspective. They might be thought as less simple than Waltz, perhaps, since Waltz has a 6-count basic where the second half is nearly identical to the first half.
    Regarding "connection techniques," WCS and lindy are also pretty similar, since they both allow for near-infinite variations on those basics. But taking into account those minutia, Ballroom Waltz, Tango, Salsa, and Cha-cha are probably all just as difficult.
  8. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    i've met people who've told me that they just didn't "get" WCS & gave up trying to learn it. i personally suspect that one reason is the use of triple steps - in a way that if you don't get it (and their use is not inherently intuitive nor is it clearly leadable - such as in counts 3&4 in the sugarpush) you end up on the wrong foot; if you omit the triple step in ec swing, you still end up with your weight on the same (correct) foot. another quirk is that different figures have different step counts. finally, IMO the bar for the level of required leading & following skills is set much higher than for other dances.
  9. KevinL

    KevinL New Member

    Another thing that makes WCS "harder" than waltz or ECS is that the basic patterns for leaders and followers are not mirror images. It seems more intuitive to do ECS patterns that are mirror images and harder to do WCS patterns where what the follower does has no relation (actuallly - lots of relation, but beginners can't tell) to what the the leader does.

    Kevin

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