I have been in this amazing world of dance, primarily West Coast Swing, for over 25 years…. I was lucky enough to have started as a line dancer and country couples dancer in the late 80’s…. For those who do not know, Achy Breaky Heart, recorded by Billy Ray Cyrus (Miley’s dad), was the huge hit that brought a surge of new dancers to the Country Western scene in the early 90’s…

I was also lucky enough to have been part of the amazing social couples dance scene on the west coast at that time, teaching at Denim & Diamonds and Country Rock Cafe in Southern California.. The social scene in the Orange County area was the most amazing I have ever seen. I am so proud to have been part of it as a dance instructor and social dancer and I am still friends with many dancers and students from that time, some who took my beginner lessons and are still dancing today. Many couples who met at my lessons are still married today and dance partnerships are still going strong.

However….. I have been seeing a trend in the social dance scene that is so disturbing that it is, in my opinion, the biggest reason why new dancers do not return to the social dance environment of West Coast Swing…..

In the past year, I have had way too many conversations with brand new dancers who have taken one or two lessons and are falling in love with WCS, but have been intimidated, criticized, told they need to take more lessons, told not to come back until they have taken more lessons, told they basically suck and shouldn’t bother with WCS until they get better…

Where is this happening?

On the social dance floor…..

The only thing worse that can happen on the social dance floor is to physically hurt your partner…..

If you had the power to change the one thing that drives more new fans away from WCS than anything else would you do it? I would hope so!!!

STOP CRITIQUING YOUR DANCE PARTNER!!!!!!!

STOP TEACHING ON THE DANCE FLOOR!!!!!

Do not give unsolicited advice on the dance floor…

Don’t think that just because you ask if someone would like your help then it is ok to tell them what they are doing wrong!

It is your job to adjust your dance to the person you are dancing with!!!!!

If you have to tell them what they should/shouldn’t be doing than you shouldn’t be doing that particular move/combination/concept with that particular partner…

If they are brand new then figure out what they already know and help them practice it! Remember, you were there once too!!!

Do not offer your help on the dance floor! If they miss the move you are doing then try to do it again… However, adjust your lead/follow when you do! If you are asked for your help then help them to do what they already have learned, do not teach them new stuff that you want to do…… Do not dance for yourself, dance for the newbie! Or wait until after the dance and go to the teacher together for help….

We want this dance to continue to grow..

If you could change the one thing that has the most negative impact for so many newer dancers then PLEASE…. PLEASE…. PLEASE….. DO IT!!!

STOP TEACHING ON THE DANCE FLOOR!!!

If they only know a left side pass and a sugar push then enjoy the dance and help them to practice what they know!.. Others should have done the same for you when you were starting.

On a more personal note, I remember attending my very first dance convention. At that event I built up the confidence to ask a “professional” to dance. For the next three minutes all she did was critique my dance and tell me everything I was doing wrong. Keep in mind I had only been dancing for three months. At the end of the dance she gave me her business card..

Is this a subject that hits home for me personally? HELL YES!!!

Please do not teach on the dance floor or give unsolicited advice! I’m not saying everyone does this, but it happens way too often and we all need to take a look at ourselves and how others might be interpreting our actions, no matter how well-intentioned. I’d recommend keeping your reactions to mistakes as subdued as possible while social dancing. That reaction you just had due to personal frustration could be misinterpreted as frustration towards your partner, not yourself.

So please, be the positive influence on the dance floor that you want to see and encourage these attitudes amongst your friends. Let’s help foster the growth of the dance we all know and love by making social dancing the most uplifting experience possible for every new dancer you meet!

Dance for the love of it… Dance for the experience of it… Dance for the joy of it…

See you on the dance floor.

 

-Gary Jobst The Pondering Westie

Please feel free to comment with your personal experiences as well as other subjects that you would like to see discussed in this format. Keep in mind that I will do my best to give each subject personal, in-depth thought. If you suggest a subject and I feel passionate about it then I will make it one of my future posts…

36 Replies to “What is the NUMBER ONE thing driving away new WCS dancers and how can YOU help stop it?”

  1. Amen! I, too, attended a dance event after only a year dancing. I had a miserable experience, only got to dance a few times in the entire three day event, and have never gone to another one. Instead, I dance a few times a week at social events and have gotten better in a few years. Yet even now, people lead stuff I can’t figure out and look at me like I’m an idiot. In the last few years, out of desperation, I’ve learned to lead, too. And have had to learn the hard way to never critique a dance partner, male or female, not even my husband.

    1. This is all very true.. It takes guts to ask experienced dancer to dance when you only know a few basic moves. When a woman tells me what I’m doing wrong, she goes on the I’ll never ask you to dance again list. WCS is the toughest dance to learn for me compared to the many ballroom dances love learned. It’s a totally different feel, but once you get the feel, it becomes easier. It took me 3 years to get the feel and I have a music background and was always a good athlete, so be patient ladies and follow the leader the best you can. This blog is spot on.

    2. Any kind of partner dancing requires interaction and it should be the aim on both sides that the experience is the best possible. I dropped out of WCS and returned to Tango and am now learning to lead as well as follow. It should be OK to say if your partner is making you uncomfortable or hurting you, but a social event is not a good place to have an impromptu lesson. I think some dance groups are hard to break into and that is a shame for them and the people they fail to encourage. Many people achieve a certain level of ability and avoid dancing with anyone ‘below’ their level. They really are missing the point. All dances should be about having fun, interacting with others and getting some exercise. As in life, we continue to learn and improve our technique as far as age, ability and talent will allow us. Anyone who thinks they are ‘there’, that they have arrived is probably not a wonderful dancer or a nice human being.
      Dance with people you don’t know, look at your partner (when possible) be considerate of their balance and comfort, don’t lean, pull or push, look for a connection and try to maintain it while interpreting the music and dancing with the one you are with.
      And don’t look for your next partner while you are dancing, that is not nice and shows you aren’t “there” for the person you are with.

  2. I agree. I was frustrated when I started in wcs . I felt like I could never be like the people who danced with me and tried to teach me on the dance floor. And I wanted to dance with everybody… So I started to take more classes and to dance a lot every time I could travel (because I am from Argentina and I couldn´t travel often) I didn´t care if they were good or bad dancers. I wanted to dance because I enjoy dancing so I asked everyone for a dance. Sometimes the answer was “no” from people who were advanced at that time and a few times they made very difficult moves so I couldn´t follow them and I could see their faces of disappointing. Luckily, I learnt enough until becoming a “good” dancer so that situation it has never happened again . Also , I want to say that I like to dance with everybody and I like leading so I enjoy dancing with newbies or whoever wants to dance with me and make them feel comfortable all the time the music lasts. 🙂
    Thanks for posting this. I find it very interesting and valuable at these days.

  3. Gee, Gary I think we’ve met at this spot once before. While I do agree that there is a problem with “teaching” on the dance floor, it’s in the how not the should or shouldn’t. Help, not teaching because that implies seniority, is best done by example and kindness and encouragement. What I hear in your description, “In the past year, I have had way too many conversations with brand new dancers who have taken one or two lessons and are falling in love with WCS, but have been intimidated, criticized, told they need to take more lessons, told not to come back until they have taken more lessons, told they basically suck and shouldn’t bother with WCS until they get better…” though is the shrill, and the mean- spirited in the guise of “help”. Those who speak and act that way are actually the ones who should not come back IMO.

    1. Your community suffers from a value system disorder…WC swing dystopia.
      I found and “entered” the WC swing world in 2006 so comparatively (to you at least Gary) I am a newbie…I’m now largely absentee due to the fact that it’s almost unbearable to be around most people in the wc world. The snobbishness, disonnectedness and immaturity overall is beyond comparison. A draining experience instead of an uplifting one. My experience with the community overall over the course of about 10 years was far less than satisfying mostly due to at least some of the points you make in your latest post and why I post now. I’ve used Jack Smith as a sounding board and he heard some of what I post here in response on your blog. Figured I’d bend your ear too for what it’s worth. The community you address, in many aspects, is very self righteous and self absorbed. It promotes self and teaches “connection” which is like teaching a massage therapist to “feel”. It reminds me of the tango community which I briefly interacted with in Portland some years back. The dance of the intellectuals they told me. To which I said, adieu. I’m was there to have fun and enjoy other people. Competitive anything is about getting “better” (an oxymoron) and rising to certain levels by competing with everyone (which cuts us off from one another, not brings us closer together) It’s about getting to said “labels/levels” and is so damaging to the experience of just having fun with other people and connecting naturally through enjoyment of one another. It also puts your self worth outside of self’s accomplishments and what truly makes us feel satiated and complete–which is responsibility for self (maturity and responsibility for our respective lives)–and responsibility TOWARD others. Ultimately it severs the ability to connect naturally. Connection, taught as a class or in a workshop in the “dance” world is about as narcissistic (and also speaks volumes to what is missing) as one can get and overall a failed attempt to try to intellectually “teach” what comes natural if you’re not so self absorbed and in your head or competing with everyone else to feel one another. In this realm of I’m better than you and you’re better than me and I’m a member of the elites and so on the overall experience is one of lack, absence of fullfillment and not fulfilling and satisfying as it should be. It’s superficial. Like any drug, it’s a high in the moment, has a horrible hangover effect and long term ramifications. I’ve witnessed more dissolution of relationships (many long term marriages and partnerships) when the drug of dance enters a “partners” life than I’ve ever witnessed it shore up and make better connection in relationship with one another. Give people an outlet to move to music and promote a safe environment where young people and old can enjoy one another and let the cards fall where they may. Continue to promote “western” generation me mentality of compete and watch it all continue to unravel. What you address in your post is the upshot to the breeding in your young WC progeny.

      1. I can totally relate Chuck. Our local group is full of what I like to call “A-Listers,” people who have known each other for years and aren’t really interested in dancing with anyone outside their little clique because they don’t want to spend time toning down their supposed awesomeness to the newbie level. They always hang out by the DJ and project an aura around them of “Do not even think of approaching unless you’re at our level.” It’s daunting at best and when you try to talk to them about they act like it’s your problem.

  4. I LOVE WCS (and country ballroom) the problem I have is that I don’t get asked to dance, I’m overweight and not the most attractive, but I ain’t ugly.. I believe I’m a very good dancer, but not sexy. And I don’t mind asking guys to dance on occasion, however as I’m sure you know the ratio of men to women is a problem and it is very difficult to get to a guy before Someone on the floor snags them before I get there…it always seems like a mad dash to get to a guy…it can’t tell you how many times I’ll be with a group of gals and everyone of them gets asked and I get passed by. I can be at a huge Dance event for 6hrs and maybe get asked to dance twice…it becomes frustrating and for the past yr, after 20 yrs of dancing (started with line dancing) I’ve stopped dancing..something that was a big part of my life and a huge passion of mine has gone as I feel people have become snobbier with the dance.

    1. Angela…my experience was similar to you…I am now happily doing other things and spending my events money on shoes instead, far more satisfying.

    2. Hello Ms. Angela,

      I would consider myself the “Queen of Getting a Dance” when it comes to West Coast Swing Conventions, because I dance with almost everyone. During my last convention I danced with more than 75 guys in a single night…..my friends and I decided to make a contest with tally sheets out of it watching me work the floor. So I would love to give you some feedback on dancing.

      When I first started dancing, I too would sit around and watch the more athletic/experienced/model type looking girls get asked to dance over myself. I’m not a size 2 with long straight hair, I have curly hair and a curvy figure. So I was very frustrated when I wasn’t asked to dance right away either. Than I realized something…..the more that I dance the better I become, and dancing is my passion, it is something that I do for my personal enjoyment. So in the beginning I started asking guys to dance for my own benefit because it got me out on the dance floor, and helped me further to develop/practice my abilities in this dance. I tucked my pride away in my back pocket, started asking guys to dance, and I got out there, regardless if I wasn’t my partners “ideal dancing choice”, because it made me happy, and my happiness was what allowed me to make every dance a fun playful experience for myself and also for my partner.

      And you never believe what happened once I decided to do this. Because I danced so much by asking every guy during my 1st dancing convention to dance, it significantly improved my dancing ability because I learned from each and every dance partner that I had. I’ve only been dancing WCS for 11 months so far, and people think that I have been dancing for years and I say its because I dance a lot (with almost every guy in the place). Guess what else happened? During my 2nd convention, I didn’t have to ask guys to dance, because they remembered me, and know that I can dance and have fun on the dance floor. Some even remembered my name from the previous convention. I get asked to dance so much now, that I literally have to turn guys down when they ask me out on the dance floor because I need a break from dancing (FYI, I do promise to dance with them later-on once I’ve cooled down and have gathered my breath). In a nutshell, if guys know that you love to dance and won’t turn them down….they will ask you to dance repeatedly every-time that you interact with them at a convention. Below I have also included some additional tips as well for how to land a dance.

      1. To get started, you may only need to ask 1 guy out on the large Social dance floor. This gets you in close proximity to other partners. When your current song ends from your partner who you’ve asked out on the floor, you simply just have to look and lock eyes with the next potential partner, and they will gravitate towards you, because you are right there. Ex. One guy asks me out on the dance floor, once I’m done with him, all I have to do is either turn around, or go to my right/left, or in front of me for the next dance. So most of my dances come from guys who were dancing next to me.
      2. If you are not already out on the dance floor, then when the previous song gets ready to end (seconds from ending), walk to the center of the dance floor and start bobbing your head and throw your hands up with a smile on your face, once the song finally ends……then another partner is sure to lock eye contact with you and ask for your hand.
      3. Happiness and having fun on the dance floor with your partner with the music makes a huge difference as well. When other guys saw me dancing with someone else laughing and having a good time, this further encouraged them to get up and ask me to dance.
      4. In the end….Looks/Appearances may matter in the beginning somewhat, but all men love to gravitate towards strong, energetic, happy, and most importantly confident dance partners….No matter your shape, or size, be confident, have fun and they will eventually come to you.

      Sorry this post is so long, but I hope this helps you…..Please don’t stop dancing!

  5. Thanks for this. I would only add that many experienced dancers will snub, avoid and exclude new dancers or ones they don’t know as well. I think a dance community is strengthened by being inclusive and tolerant of others and helping people have time to learn and do their best and loving them anyway.

  6. Smiling also goes a long way when dancing with someone. Not smiling could be interpreted as you hate dancing with them which can be alienating and hurtful.

  7. One thing that has turned me off in WCS is the focus on competition. The people who compete only talk to and invite othetswho compete and are good. If you aren’t progressing in competition you are a nobody. I love WCS music and dance. But socially I a enjoying the Latin scene way more, because everyone is somebody. You don’t have to compete, be part of a team, or perform, or even be good to be socially included. I really wish the WCS crowd was as friendly as the Latin crowd!

  8. Agree with your article Gary, and would like to add that it doesn’t kill people to SMILE when dancing. I don’t ask anyone to dance who looks like they’re angry, indifferent, or full of themselves. This is supposed to be fun, after all!

  9. I don’t think the WCS community is more elitist than any others when considering the rejection of beginners.

    You’ll find the same attitude in Tango (actually, it’s worse), Salsa on1/2, Kizomba… it’s a staple of ANY community that people who don’t seem to be able to catch up quickly are put into a corner and skill-shamed until they leave.
    As for the problem at hand specifically related to the WCS community, i feel that those who do give advice during dancing are not the bad people ; those people have the honesty to point out the flaws and try to help people progress, hoping that you will make yourself a room in the community. If some people are offended by advice given during dancing, it means they have low self-esteem and are easily offended in general.

    The true bad people are the good dancer who don’t put any effort into following/leading you (instead they constantly try to take the lead or do their styling alone, disregarding the fact that you cannot play along with them – or worse, they don’t even follow the simplest whip, push and tuck, because « it’s not perfect enough so why should i participate »), they shoot annoyed stares at you (if they even bother to look at you at all), and check that nobody they know is watching them in this « embarassing » situation (because omg they have a status to preserve : « i danced with Jordan once so i must be fucking good ») You can read in their eyes the total pain of dancing with you and the eagerly awaited end of the song (sometimes, they run before the final note/word came out).

    Oh yeah and i heard the self-righteous justification : « i do what they make me do : if they don’t lead/follow well i dance badly, this will help them realize their flaw and learn from it ! ». Yeah thanks that was great fun dancing with a heavy truck who seemed more sad than at their grandma’s funeral.

    Then they vow never to dance with you ever again (like, ever), avoid your stare during social events, and rush to invite anyone they know before you dare come close to them. Those people are the worst, because they don’t want to help you ; they are mean-spirited and selfish, elitists and full of themselves, and make you feel like shit. Those people are the ones driving people away from the WCS community (and as it stands, it’s a big minority whose attitude has been pointed out many many times), not those who give advice.

    I find that this kind of attitude is most seen amongst followers, as most men don’t care if a woman dance poorly, because their position as leader is to (try to) make any woman feel comfortable and having fun with them, beginner or advanced.

    Again, it’s not specific to WCS. Competent males and pretty ladies are always in demand ; beginners and bums, not-so-pretty and older ladies are pressured or pushed out. You’ll find this in ANY field. It’s just a shame that this attitude leaks into leisure activities, i wish it was specific to professional fields.

    So, Gary, i understand that you wanted to speak for those who complained to you about being given advice during dancing, but maybe they were not the right people to listen to.

  10. Hi Gary, I read your comments and I have been dancing wcs for 17 years.I am 62 yrs old I used to go to events alot and took many lessons and try to practice what I’ve been taught. And I feel I am fairly good. I am trying to think more outside the box and play the music.But I’ve got discouraged because the music is played loud and all new stuff. I dont listen to it at home so why go out and dance to it. I just cant get “into it”. Nobody mixes old stuff with it and there is plenty of old music that you can dance wcs to. Also I see the footwork is horrible out there. Why teach patterns if the theory is “less is more” for the men from some teachers. The less they do the better. thanks

  11. Thank you for this very important post. I was also part of the 80’s WCS movement and was sadly criticized in the beginning. It hurt and made me want to throw in the towel, but so glad that I didn’t give up. I even competed a little. One thing that I believe would help new dancers is to be welcomed into the WCS group/crowds. They tend to stay within their own crowds and not ask strangers to dance. At least that’s the way it used to be. Hopefully it’s better now. I’m 70 now and haven’t danced for quite a while. However, I’ve published a fictional romantic novel set in the 80’s called THE ABILITY TO SWING that is available on Amazon in Kindle and soft cover editions. It’s helped me keep WCS in my life.

  12. To provide a counterpoint, I will always be eternally grateful to the lady who taught me how to do a sugar push at my first wcs event. I had learnt the steps at a class, but I had no idea how the connection worked or what the correct timing was. I remember being completely lost and unable to dance anything at all until she helped me.

    I know now that coming from a salsa background, my timing and connection was very off and I was doing stuff that inadvertently was very uncomfortable to my partners and possibly even hurting them. I wish people would have talked to me more, told me to slow down, etc, instead of gritting their teeth through the dance and then trying to dodge dances with me for the rest of the night. It is really demoralizing as a new dancer to walk towards a prospective dance partner, see her see you coming, and then see her literally turn her back and run away from you. To be fair, she shouldn’t have to suffer through a clumsy dance that could cause her an injury either! Especially when it could have been so easily fixed with some small reminders “slow down”, “take smaller steps”, “don’t pull with your arm” etc.

    I wish people would talk and communicate more. No one wants to feel like they are being criticised on the dance floor, but surely there’s a better solution that silent suffering?

  13. Actually, it was urban cowboy that popularized C&W couples dancing. Having dancing programs on TNN perpetuated the growth of country and western dancing.

    Achy Breaky Heart only added more people to the line dancing genre.

    In the early 90s, the Ballroom crowd took over the country and western dance competitions and brought about great change in what was being done.

    Todays country and western dancing is not about Country and Western Dancing. It’s about modified ballroom dancing.

    I, for one, miss the old boot scooting days when the dancing was simple, Girls held on to the guys belt loop and the guys danced with their arms around the girls neck. We danced closely and got to know one another. We didn’t worry about “frame”, “Lines” or whether heel leads or toe lead were appropriate. We simply had fun.

    Those days are, sadly, long gone.

  14. Oh, this tired old idea. Elitist dance instructors telling everyone, “You’re doing it wrong! You should pay me to fix you up” and blaming the community for chasing away customers. How about teaching everyone how to welcome beginners including how to politely help them dance? So much better than telling us to silently shun the beginners–which is in effect what you’re doing.

  15. Some how I think there needs to be welcoming committee’s for new comers to WCS. When I was in Tulsa I felt very included and welcomed in the group but when we moved to Atlanta it is like we don’t exist. We have tried to be a part and I find the people very click-ish and unwelcoming. I am outgoing and never have had a hard time making friends. Even in Baton Rouge the people were friendly and inclusive…I don’t know what the problem is here in the South. Any suggestions?

  16. I am betting that you didn’t expect this response, Gary Jobst, but I am overjoyed at the way the finger is finally being pointed. Helping is good. Competition and its counter productive side effects, only one kind of music, no variety in the dj offerings, and really, the way a partner lets you know they are way to good to dance with you is bad, and it is about time these things were brought up and worked out.

  17. One word – attitude – never in all the other dance styles I’ve been in, including far more complex dances have I seen such attitude and it mainly comes from UK wcs dancers. Love the dance, love the music but the attitudes are not worth it sadly 🙁

  18. I’ve been in WCS for years. Only a social dancer as the competition format would take the fun out of it for me. What I see are men loving to teach the new female dancers! They love it! However, most haven’t taken lessons themselves and so we groom a new group who have no clue. Please don’t teach unless you know how to dance. The other issue is this is a sensual dance, but that doesn’t mean you should grope your partner (unless you know each and its part of your deal). So many strangers cop a feel and its disrespectful. I love to smile and have fun on the floor, but please do your best not to bump and grind me. The flirtatiousness of the dance can be beautiful. One more thing, don’t be a dance snob! Really nothing more ridiculous! ah, and yes, I did hear tango can be a horrible social experience.

    1. I agree with what you’re saying and at the same time recognize the dilemma. consider the current fascination with the Monkey Bar turns, neck rolls, and body leads, inadvertent contacts abound. It is so easy to mis-read. Another reason why we need to know how to talkwith each other in a friendly way. But one thing that used to make us laugh was a move the old timers used to use call the “body inspector”. Nowadays, I see more followers using it than leaders.

  19. I agree with the “no teaching on the social dance floor” advice – but at least those experienced dancers are dancing with the new folks. Practice subtly getting your partner back on time and reacting to and predicting accents in the music; practice syncopating without disrupting your partner; practice turning flubs into cooling looking moves. As to the ‘smile’ directive, I suggest moderating it to “no frowning, grimacing, or smirking”; and when asking for / accepting a dance request offer a welcoming expression. While I’m a smiler, obvious smiling is not a universally natural expression. Further, not all music calls for smiling.

    1. Only problem I have had with smiling is that I love to dance so much that it brings out the smile immediately, to which she sometimes replied, “Why are you laughing at me?”

  20. I started WCS in 1997. I took over 1400 hours of lessons. After 12 years of staying with Dallas West Coast community I found that I was never going to be good enough. The women won’t dance with any guy unless they are major competition dancers. Many of the WCS dancers are the rudest people I have ever known. I’ll never go back.

  21. I used to dance until a shoulder injury stopped me one of the best dances I had when I was just starting up was with the teacher she scared the crap out of me when she asked me to dance but soon put me at ease and not once did she try to teach me or give opinions about my style best teacher I ever had

  22. I am a “cross dancer”, dancing both WC and Lindy for over 20 years, and have traveled around the country to WC events and Lindy exchanges. I find the Lindy community MUCH friendlier and more inviting. I esp. dislike the WC Jack & Jill comps. I’ve seen people ruin their entire weekend stressing over them. And, if you are NOT competing in them, you won’t get asked to dance as much. I joke that I will save someone’s number and wear it the next year in the warm-ups before the J&J comps so that guys will ask me to dance. I always try to dance with the newbies, smile, and give them at least one compliment. There is always something nice you can say. Try it.

  23. Oh my gosh, where to begin! Most everything that has been said has happened to me. The most annoying is being told how to dance by those men who are not in the position to teach ANYONE how to dance. This only happened a couple of times, and then I spoke up, and put a stop to it. Once I suggested putting the etiquette of dancing in the club newspaper. The response (by men) was very negative. Their reasoning was that it would be offensive to men. Hello! It’s mostly the men that need to know the etiquette of dancing; i.e changing a very wet, smelly shirt for one!
    I remember being hurt several times when I first started dancing. One time, a seasoned dancer thought that I was walking toward him to ask him to dance. BTW, he was not a professional. He turned and faced the wall (chuckling while I write this). Really, the wall! He ceased to exist. Anyone who cannot spare 3 minutes to dance with someone that is new, or even seasoned, for fear that their reputation will be tarnished shows a lack of character. They did not drop out the womb dancing.
    The teachers also have to learn that it’s the students who provide their earnings. The students work hard to be able afford dance lessons. Like anything else, a unsatisfied client will take their business elsewhere.
    There are many teachers who have very good reputations. More than likely it’s because their students are treated with respect .
    I’m going to have to say that Gary was one of the first WCS people that I met when I started out. He was very polite to me, even though I nearly broke my neck looking up at him (ha). He was just as polite and nice when I spoke to him at the Atlanta Swing Classic — even with a broken rib ( I think I heard him correctly).
    There are plenty of nice teachers in the dance world, and plenty of people that think they’re still in high school. You have to decide to surround yourself with those who are going to add to the value of your life — dancing or otherwise.

  24. All issues noted in this ongoing blog are due to level of maturity. You will not see a change in level of maturity when on one hand “connection” is taught (which is not possible by the way..indoctrination into “dancing” to music can however by supplanted) and in the same breath competitiveness is preached. This is a one cancels the others dichotomy…

  25. Feedback is only good or relevant on the dance floor based on the delivery of it. If you are a newbie and a more experience dancer who you respect is giving you some feedback in a positive way, then you are more inclined to accept it. But if someone is rude, and overly critical in a non pleasant way, than you are more likely to reject there feedback.

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