October 22, 2012

West Coast Latin?

The Latin Studio Where WCS is Taught in Australia
From Weekly Note #41: The World Thinks We're Latin. Released October 3rd 2012.

"Qui tacet consentit."

Silence implies consent. It kind of sums up our entire 'points, pros and political system' perfectly, doesn't it? I still remember how many "politicians" emailed me after The Time Has Come and literally said that the only way to change things was to have conversations in the back channels and back rooms and keep things at a whisper.

I saved all of those emails because... they crack me up! I did that for five years, and many others have been doing that for ten. Back room whispers and side hall mash-ups between conspiring supposed "swing" lovers over the last ten years has gotten us... a completely different dance. Oh yes, I definitely should have just stuck to that method. Please.

But a totally different dance that's designed for young agile teens to learn off of YouTube, that's unrelated to keeping a beat and can be danced to every Top 40 song in the world and requires little more than gyrating hips... it's just what our 'points, pros and political system' wants. "Silence implies consent." And they certainly aren't talking. Oh, you'll hear grumblings and murmurs of dissent... about walking, about technique, about Nissies, etc, etc, but you'll NEVER hear any of them say there's another dance out there.

But you know it. 
And so does the world.

The world definitely believes we're doing a different dance. They've figured out that our new dance has simple rhythms, new thumping music and circles one another rather than sticking to a slot and posting. And so, rightfully, they've thrown this new dance in with other dances that are similar, like Zouk Lambada, Konga and Reggaeton. Those dances also have simple rhythms, thumping music and circles one another. They are also about arching and dropping and rolling, rather than jamming and dancing and swinging.

The world has seen our new dance, and has rightly re-categorized it with its similar sister: Latin. Good for them. It fits. I just wish they knew it's really Club Improvisation they're doing or Lyrical Improvisation, not WCS. I've been calling it a different dance for years now, and I've also said it has very similar rhythms to Latin dances, not swing dances. So the world, me and those who love what I write... basically everyone except our 'politicians and pros system'... seem to get it. It's obvious. It's not swing out there. It's something else.

But in case the propaganda that our Peter Pan political system has been pumping down your throats has worn you down into thinking that that you really are nuts for seeing two dances out there, don't worry. These should make you feel better. You really aren't the only one that thinks it's obvious. Here is how the world views this NEW dance The Ten have created, and which the judges, council and promoters are pushing:

Tropical Soul Studio

Tropical Soul's Latin Dance Studio Website

This Australian Latin Studio's website reads as follows:

"Learning Latin dances is fairly easy, as most of the dances are made up of the same basic foot steps. 
Here at Tropical Soul we specialize in: 

Brazilian Samba
West Coast Swing
Cuban Salsa

"Our WCS instructor is the very Clint Glasgow who is known for his infectious personality, his enthusiasm and love of both dancing and teaching West Coast Swing."

Did you catch that? "Most of the dances are made up of the same basic foot steps." As a reader just wrote in, "if you took the 'quick-quick, slow-slow' out of a Two Step, is it still a Two Step? NO." West Coast Swing without triples is ANOTHER DANCE. Abstract Improv is almost all Single and Double Rhythms... just like... oh, right! LATIN dances!

Let's move on to another, shall we?

Vallejos International Dance Academy

Dance VIDA Website

This Swedish Latin Studio's website reads as follows:

"Salsa, Bachata and West Coast Swing are few of the popular dances with roots in latin, african, american and tropical dances that quickly spreads all over the world. 
Now you have the opportunity to be part of that dance development..."

"Attension Bachata lovers!... We will make a small Bachata competition... like a "Jack and Jill" so do not miss out on this Bachata weekend at Falken! 
We will have two floors. The big one with 50/50 Salsa and Bachata, and the small one we will mix WCS, Kizomba and Zouk."

WCS has its roots in "latin, african, american and tropical dances"? And a room with WCS, Kizomba and Zouk playing at the same time?!!!? Who says our music hasn't changed!?! Of course it has... and this proves it. I don't care if you want to switch the name from Abstract Improvisation to Club Improvisation, but the bottom line is that it's a different dance. You don't see these Latin studios offer Boogie Woogie or Lindy, do you? And good heavens, I wonder how many people are being hurt around the world because their partner is doing a Latin dance with Latin rhythms and the other partner is trying to do anchors and triples? OUCH!


Norway's Salsa Site

Take a really good look at the picture of their site. Really think about Abstract Improvisation, and the dancing you see the All-Stars and the Pros doing... it fits, doesn't it?

Norway's SalsaSite workshop this October advertises the following:


Don't forget, I've won every Salsa Club competition I've ever entered, and that's quite a few, so I KNOW the difference between these dances... and I can guarantee you, what they are dancing has NO RELATION to any of our basics in real West Coast Swing. None at all!

Dance Blaze

Hong Kong's Latin DanceBlaze Website
The Latin dance company Dance Blaze offers Latin workshops in both Hong Kong and Singapore. Their website says:

"With dance studios in Hong Kong and Singpaore offering 
Salsa, Bachata, West Coast Swing, Rueda and Zouk Partner Dancing."

There it is again... 
WCS surrounded by Salsa, Bachata, and Zouk... 
sensing a theme here? No one thinks Abstract Improvisation is a Swing dance.

If the rest of the world has "recategorized" and "renamed" our dance as a Latin one... 

Why haven't The Ten?
Or the 'politicians, pros and peter pan's' of WCS?

Knowing is half the battle. Enjoy the fight.

Katherine Krok Eastvold