practice WCS


Well-Known Member
someone recently made me aware of this website, which apparently focuses on drills & practice techniques for WCS.

they have a series list at

what i found interesting but haven't heard about many people doing was what they describe as a "chess model"

One way to replicate this model for WCS is to watch a video of champion level dancers and pause the video shortly before a break in the music. Given where the dancers are in the pattern, you should ask yourself what you would lead in that situation (leaders) or how you would acknowledge the accent given what is being led (followers). You can then go back to the video and compare your choice with the pros. If you chose differently from the pros, you can examine which choice is superior in terms of how well the accent fits the music, how cool it looks, how well it fits with what the partner is doing, etc. Repeating this exercise with videos from your favorite dancers will give you quite a repertoire of movements to use in order to acknowledge the music.

i think that this is a great idea though personally i'd be even more specific and focus on videos of the winners of J&J competitions; choreographed routines give the dancers much more time to decide how to make their choices fit the music where in social dancing it's pretty interactive and has to take into account the heisenberg principle vis a vis their partner.

Steve Pastor

Staff member
No one had anything to say? OK. Here comes...

I have to say that having to deal with uncertainty is part of the challenge of social dancing. Dancing with a good partner on a floor filled with beginners and non beginners who should know better and are moving randomly is very rewarding when you realize you can deal with it quite well.

I am mostly into the music now, and connecting with my partner, and have what most Westies would probably consider a limited numbers of patterns I use, although old ones I used to do all the time pop out at times.

I'm not very interested at all in what the pros do, but lots of people are, it seems, based on what people who self identify as "Westies" write.

Same has happened with my other dances: AT, Nite Club, Two Step, Waltz, fewer fancy moves but more dynamics within the embrace, or frame if you will.

Let me add, though, that if I would experience quantum type uncertainty on a macro level during my dancing, it would be QUITE the challenge.
I agree with Steve, although my reasons are different.

In chess, there's a sound theoretical reason for believing that, from every position, there's a best move (or possibly a set of best moves). Grandmasters are more likely to play that best move than you, so you should really think about why you make a move if you don't match what a GM played in the same position. Now that chess computers are much stronger than GMs, perhaps what you should really be doing is trying to match a computer. And, actually, the existence of stronger-than-GM opponents and analysis that's available cheaply to every kid on the planet has revolutionized chess. The ability to query an oracle that can tell you an inhumanly good play, given any position, has created a generation of prodigies that's just coming of age now.

How does that apply to dance? Is there a best thing to lead at any time? Surely no one would would argue that, but that's the entire premise of the exercise in chess. And, even if you postulate the existence of some perfect figure, what makes you think that it applies to you and your partner? If you watch the pros. you'll commonly see them lead things that pretty much no one you social dance with is going to be able to follow (e.g., one footed spins with speed changes or contortions in the body, spins where the center moves up and down, etc.) And then there's the things you can't lead because you don't have the same physical characteristics. For example, if you look at what Maxence leads, it's clear that he's double jointed, and that a normal person can't replicate some of the moves he leads without injuring themselves or their partner.

That being said, you can pick up simple technique things from good dancers, which is noted in the article:
Where should you put your arm during a particular movement? Should you spot your partner or down line in a specific position? Should you use a toe lead or a heel lead out of a wrap position?


Well-Known Member
there are aesthetic differences in choosing a 6 count vs an 8-10-12 pattern depending on where you are within a musical phrase. if those aesthetics escape you, then i would agree that such an approach would have little benefit for someone like you.


Active Member
Started dancing WCS several months ago, so I briefly checked this series

So far, I found very interesting the article "From Error to Bugs" which, I think, is applicable also to many other dance genres, describing that "trying harder" usually doesn't help to correct mistakes - exactly the same as my opinion about it and opposite to opinion of many of my dance teachers

Vince A

Active Member
A way to get good . . . is to dance, dance, dance, dance, and dance. Dance as much, and as often as you can . . . dance with as many different partners as you can get to, and apologize only once per partner, if at all . . . remember, they were beginners at one time! If you really want to improve faster, find a pro in your area . . . take some private lessons, and if you can afford it - compete!

Dance Ads