Each week, Hugo Miguez and Stacy Kay post Tuesday Tips, advice from the pros to the larger Westie community about everything from dance etiquette to great ways to learn in workshops. We at Wandering Westie are looking to expand upon these with stories from our own Westies each week – proof of these tips in action!

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There is something about kindness in competition that differentiates the WCS community. One of the things that took me out of collegiate ballroom and dropped me so happily within the WCS community is the kindness and relatively light-hearted, social nature of it. West Coast Swing is an inherently social dance, so it’s natural that the competitions test our ability to dance with, relate to, and create with a variety of cocreators and fellow dancers. Even if we’re competing, we’re all hoping for the best for each other – we don’t want that awesome person to fail, we want them to succeed and thrive (even so they just get the heck out of our division, already.)

Moreover, the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten about Jack & Jills was right before my first competition, from beloved MN All-Star Hieu Le. He said simply “It’s always the right song. It’s always the right partner.” The implied conclusion was “Make sure your partner knows that.” Even before I felt like I was ready to even get Novice callbacks, I was having fun, good social dances on the competitive floor because I was always thrilled to be dancing with whomever I drew, and they seemed thrilled to draw me, too.

There’s nothing worse than having a dance and not being sure if your partner is enjoying it, social or competitive. Conversely, there’s nothing better than an awesome dance. Even if you weren’t feeling great about a dance, having your partner look you in the eye and tell you how much fun it was changes your entire competitive world. It loosens everyone up, puts everyone on the same page, and makes competitions the fun, social element of a convention that they should be. I wasn’t so sure about a dance I had in a J&J, but my partner was so enthusiastic about it that I lightened up. My next dances felt a lot more comfortable, and I eventually went and found that first dancer and thanked her for it. We later did a strictly, and it was fantastic. – Joshu Creel, MN Westie

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Hugo Miguez and Stacy Kay are renowned for their precision, variety, and teaching methods within West Coast Swing. Since 2011, they have taken the circuit by storm with their Classic routines and are re-defining the learning process of the dance world. They will lead you through energetic dances while sharing their advice on all things dance. Hugo and Stacy reside in sunny Clearwater, Florida and travel as competitors, judges, and choreographers for numerous events in different dance styles. Both continue to share their passion for dance and enjoy working with all levels of experiences. They work with top professionals in many different dance styles distinctly furthering their education and experience. Their philosophy is to introduce and foster fresh, comprehensive dance knowledge for their students by giving more of themselves within every experience. They can be reached at www.hugoandstacy.dance.

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