June 26, 2015

#109b: What is a Cult?

Cults: Get in Line or Get Out
What is a cult? I hear that question all the time, and the bottom line is - cults are hella scary! 

They are pits of quicksand that operate waaaay more like black holes; they don't just suck you in and suffocate you, filling your lungs, ears, mouth and tears with tiny granules of glass - they pull you inside out too, scattering every molecule of you across space and time... and your family too.

Cults aren't cancer. They are much more deadly than that.

Those who are powerless - or oblivious - make the best prey, so this article is specifically designed to empower you - empower you with the skills to see, smell and feel a cult coming before it envelopes you or one of your loved ones. Here we go:

#109: The Five Stages of Grief for WCS

Five Stages of Grief:
How they Apply to WCS
The five stages - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance - are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
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I want to take a moment to talk to you specifically about this week's Quote of the Week.

When it comes to the five stages of grief and loss, we usually attribute them to people who have lost a loved one or a job, etc. But I think we can all relate to these stages in terms of losing WCS as well.

In fact, I think it's vital that we understand just how many of us are going through - or have gone through - these five stages.

Video of the Week: The Choreography Tricks Behind Walk Like an Egyptian


For the first time in the history of WCS, see how a real high-level Classic WCS Routine is made - not for students, but for the professionals themselves. 

Go behind the scenes and see how the best of the best champions choreograph. Includes never-before-seen footage, secret tricks no one teaches and much, much more! It's a rare look behind high-level WCS routines, and for the first time in history - we're breaking it down - just for you.

The Making of Walk Like an Egyptian:
Never Before Seen Footage & More

January 07, 2015

The Time Came - Part 1

It's Time to Break the Last Bonds:
Why Our Heroes Didn't Fight
Betrayal gives tremendous insights into a character. -Anita Shreve
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Everyone was talking about it, from hotel rooms, to the back rooms, to the hotel lobby floors. Whispers here, arguments there, pleading elsewhere and disgust and despair was everywhere. 
"There's a different dance."
"It's not swing."
"That's not swing music."
"That's nothing like anything I've ever learned out there."
Everywhere, everywhere, from room to room... the whispers were higher and growing and bubbling over into a quiet, silent, roar. But we couldn't put our finger on it. Couldn't find the culprit, the sneak, the trickster. We couldn't put words to it, words to it! WORDS TO IT!!!

And then The Time Has Come appeared. It gave it a name. It gave us a voice. And most importantly, it gave us all... a choice.

The Time Came - Part 2

What Happened???
The Final Answer
Drug addicts are no longer the people you love. -Dr. Brad Lander, The Columbus Dispatch
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Dear Readers,

This is the second and final piece to my latest and greatest work: The Time Came. It's the much needed and lately promised follow-up to the article The Time Has Come, which first announced and defined the new dance of Abstract Improvisation a few years ago. More importantly, though, it warned that the price of complicity - that doing nothing would be the death of the dance called West Coast Swing. 

It was a call to arms. It struck deep and it struck hard. Its boom echoed across the world. And the WCS Revolution began.

December 05, 2014

#101: Preparing for the Big One

My Endless Frustration:
Yours Too?
Be the one that knows everything and everyone, and you will have the power to see things more clearly...  -Where Things Stand Now
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I've been waiting to write a certain "super-big" article for six months now. The time has finally come to share it with you. Look for it this coming Monday. I hope it opens your eyes and quelches some burning hearts. People will be talking about this one, I know, but it will break some serious bonds we are all struggling against.

What article could be so big? Even today? After all I've said and after all that has taken place? What in the world will it answer? What have I, Katherine, not already covered in 100 Weekly Notes?

#101: Did I Hear That Right?

Choosing Another Track
The following is a sidebar article from Weekly WCS Note #101: Preparing for the Big One.
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You might have heard that a few big names are changing their tunes. Yes, that's right. Big names in the church and the ten are suddenly teaching... gasp! Swing!

So what changed? Some of these names participated - heck, even LED - some of the most brutal online harassment our sport has ever seen... And now they're teaching WCS again? What gives?

December 03, 2014

#100: Real Swing (Bad Things Routine)

Bad Things/Last Dance Classic WCS Routine
Josh Clark & Katherine Krok Eastvold
'Cause when I'm bad, I'm so, so bad. -Donna Summer
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Today I'm releasing the most requested video in the history of my writing: my fourth routine with my partner, Josh Clark!

We only performed it twice, once at Grand Nationals and once at the CA Swing Dance Hall of Fame Gala, where it was received with such honor and praise that we stayed up until well into the next morning celebrating and enjoying one another. It was such a wonderful way to wrap up a phenomenal partnership.

New Book Arrival: Dear Mr. Cosby

Re-learning the Lessons
of The Cosby Show
Dear Mr. Cosby is Katherine's fourth book and is available on Amazon.com in print and e-book format. Click here to grab your own copy today!
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I'm so happy to announce that my fourth book has arrived! It was a beautiful journey, writing this book, and I hope you treasure it as much as I do. It's one that I look forward to reading with my children and their children as we watch The Cosby Show together one day.

Of course,  Dear Mr. Cosby might seem a little out of left field to you, but it doesn't to me. I have spent the last year watching The Cosby Show from the very start again... and found it's even more relevant today than it was then.

Nick and I learned so much, grew so much and laughed so, SO much harder than we have in a long, long time, that I found myself, for the first time ever, writing Bill Cosby letters after each episode.

December 02, 2014

#99: My Apologies & More

Healing is a choice. -Stephen Arterburn
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I have some exciting news to share with you today, so I logged on to my newsletter site and looked up where I left off.

Ahhh.... I left off with quite the bang, didn't I? #83: MJ or Coke? then #84: Playing Monopoly, then #85: The Cult, the Council and the End and finally the topper... #88: Where Things Stand Now.

So I re-read Where Things Stand Now. Wow. What a piece. It made happy, then made me squirm a bit uncomfortably. I think I messed up. And I'd like to apologize.

Because here's the thing: you, my audience worldwide, is split between two groups. You all fall into either category. For the purposes of this letter, I will call them Group A and Group B.

June 20, 2014

The Basics of WCS

The Slot of WCS
The dance of West Coast Swing (WCS) is extremely unique in the world of ballroom dancing. If you've ever taken a class for any kind of partner dance, like East Coast Swing, Waltz or Cha Cha, you'll remember that you were taught one basic step at the very beginning.

That "basic," as we teachers like to call it, or "basic step pattern" to be technical, became the foundation of all the other steps you learned. Let's say, for example, that you took a Salsa class. Once the class mastered the beginning basic you were then taught little "extras" to throw into that basic pattern - like an outside turn or an open break.

But always, when you were done, you returned to that basic pattern. That one single solitary basic. How nice. West Coast Swing? Not so nice.

May 28, 2014

#85 2/2: The Cult, the Council and the End.

The Future, Here and Now
I knew how hard the fall would be from that place - and how high the hands would reach to catch and scratch at me if I called out, loud and quite clear... -Katherine Eastvold
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This is Part 2 of Weekly WCS Note #85. Click here for Part One.

Saturday, February 26th 2011.

The date may not mean anything to you, but it means everything to me. It's the date of my very first swing intensive on something "more" than just swing. I didn't teach movement. I didn't teach basics. I taught history. I taught essentials. I broke away from the herd and I... I taught real West Coast Swing. 

It was treason. I knew it. But the right people had said yes, and the wrong people had said no and before I knew it...

May 24, 2014

#85 1/2: The Cult, the Council and the End.

Sins of the WCS Cult & Criminals
Weekly Note #85 has two sections. This is Part One. Click here for Part Two. 
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Part 1: The Cult Culture of WCS
(This is the Rearview Mirror for #84: Playing Monopoly)

So let's talk names. There are about 300-400 highly active predators, criminal harassers and cyber-bullies in and around our on- and offline Swing Dance Council/Points communities of WCS.

Since their activity has largely gone unchecked over the last three years (cyber-attack legislation only just caught up with the times), they've grown even more aggressive - violent, even - to the point of not only recruiting other criminal elements to the sport, but driving out all healthy elements too.

They say they "love" WCS. They say everything is great with WCS- the sport, the community, the teachers... until someone voices an alternative opinion.

#84: Playing Monopoly

Naming Bill, Ethan, Mason & Jacob
+ Text Version of the Stories
Fraud is the daughter of greed. -Jonathan Gash
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Last Fall I released a very powerful Audio Exposé called The Monopoly . It contains three large and in-depth stories of my time and interactions with people of various statures in the West Coast Swing competitive community.

The first story is about a well-played game of chess for the US Open teaching slots from the early 2000's.

The second is the bulk of the recording, a detailed description of a major WCS monopoly - one which created incredibly large changes in both the local community, and the global community too. WCS died in their kitchen.

And finally, there is the story of an event director and the silly promises they made - none of which are even possible today.

#84: Rearview Mirror - MJ or Coke?

The REARVIEW MIRROR Article for
#83: MJ or Coke?
Dear Readers,

I hope that last week's Weekly Note #83: MJ or Coke? helped you. I really do. It was a scary thing to write, of course, but once I was done... I couldn't believe how light I felt. I floated like a feather for a full day. The weight of my un-spoken knowledge must have weighed much more greatly upon me then I could have ever realized. 

For those of you who have always known, or who didn't want to know - I don't know how you do it. I don't know how you can stay silent without paying a heavy price. I know I paid one. I'm starting to feel like we Deep Water people are, if anything, great at keeping secrets. I no longer think that's such a good thing.