October 25, 2012

Coming Soon! The First Book...

First draft for the cover
of the first book!
Yes, you heard right! The first book, Telling the Truth: The Groundbreaking Articles That Saved West Coast Swing, is almost here! The best part, in my opinion, is that I've added quite a bit of new material, new discoveries and brand new graphics in this book. Articles like WCS Essentials and Routines 101 have been completely revamped, and I've added brand new material, like What is WCS? in the introduction. I can't wait until it's released!

This picture is the first draft of its cover, so it'll be a little different when it's released, but for those of you who have been asking, it'll be available on Amazon.com first, and then through my website and other sources later. 

Who will hear about it first when it's out? My famous global Email List of course! So sign up today, and you'll even get a preview of some of the new additions, along with info on my SECOND book, which is already in the works too!

I'm so glad you're as excited as I am... I feel very blessed to have such an amazing readership has supported me all the way to such an amazing milestone in my life!


PS: I'm going with Katherine Eastvold on this new adventure...
New life, better name!

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

October 05, 2012

#42: Six Amazing Sights to See at BBB!

The Golden Gate Bridge
As you may have already read, dancers are setting their sights on the actual cities surrounding events, rather than settling for their hotel rooms and "bed hopping," as one dancer put it, all weekend long in between the hours and hours of competition followed by... hours of competition.

Now that Boogie by the Bay has arrived, I've realized you might like my tips on where to visit, since Nick and I did actually live up there for a good long while, not to mention being a board member for the event. So I know a thing or two about what's near you and what you might like to see- some are for everyone, and some, well, aren't!

I've selected a variety of sights, for a variety of tastes. I'm including some traditional sights and some very non-traditional sights as well. Sift through and see what you like, take my "insider tips" to hear and try and win that FREE BOOK contest! if you can... or just send a postcard instead.


This probably sounds like an obvious choice. 
But it really isn't. 

First, Nick and I took this bridge hundred of times during out Bay Area days, and, quite frankly, we never, ever, EVER became bored with it. It always stunned us. Why? Because we were driving across it.

If you're going to do the Golden Gate Bridge, don't just go to the park and stare at it. Puh-lease! At least catch a cab, rent a car, take a bus or borrow a car from a local (you will find A TON of locals at BBB... for many of them, it's the only event they attend all year!) and drive across the darn thing!

I'm not kidding. There's actually an exit right after you cross the bridge (heading North on the 101 fwy, of course) and that exit takes you into a beautiful (and free) little round-a-bout plaza that features a breath-taking view of the bridge. We highly recommend it. (Nick also recommends going underneath the freeway and visiting the old battle station (fort) to the left of the bridge, up the hill from the look-out I just mentioned. If you can't handle heights, don't follow the road all the way up, but stop at one of the many viewpoints up the hill and get other amazing views of the bridge.)

It just can't be beat. We never ever tired of the Golden Gate Bridge- I don't think I've crossed it once without taking pictures... just couldn't help myself! Be aware though... going south on the bridge does cost $6. We all have to pay it, international visitors and locals alike. But it's only per vehicle, so a bus (tour bus or city bus) is free!


If you're up for lunch or dinner, I highly recommend you hit up the Cheesecake Factory in San Francisco. Why? Not only do you get to visit and see Union Square, but you also get to ride to the top of the Macy's building, for a stunning and unusual view of San Francisco... all for the normal price of dinner!

The Lobby of the Cheesecake Factory
The Door to the Right Opens onto the Balcony in the first picture.
I've celebrated birthdays here, I've taken friends and family here, and it's always been special. Grab a slice of  their famous cheesecake, or go with the Filet Minion, but one thing is for sure... it's amazing. Plus it's probably one of the largest and most varied menu I've ever seen at a restaurant.  

Union Square
Be prepared in the evenings though... the wait can be up to an hour long on their busy nights. Just call ahead and see how things are going to be sure... but no matter what, it's a sure bet you'll remember!


Somewhat kitty-corner to the infamous Pier 39 (which is a huge tourist attraction, complete with Alcatraz Island departures, freshly baked sourdough bread and really, really loud sea life... oh, and let's not forget the wax museums and Ripley's Believe it or Not... none of which I ever visited, but Nick most certainly did!) Ghirardelli is a famous, famous chocolatier and the square has been a part of San Fran's history for decades.

Ghirardelli Square is situated just across from the Golden Gate park, looks over a junction for the famous trolley cars, and is home to some of the most delectable treats around. Everyone who enters gets a free chocolate sample, but really... there's one thing Nick and I go for:

The Drinking Chocolate.

Not to be compared or un-rightly confused with hot chocolate or hot cocoa, Drinking Chocolate is something only Ghirardelli does, and does so well. And here is my challenge for you!

I am offering a FREE book, hot off the presses, to anyone who is able to provide video proof of you or a friend drinking, on their own, a full and entire cup of Drinking Chocolate.

I do not offer this lightly!!! Neither Nick (the human trash compactor), nor his father, nor our friends nor I have EVER, EVER been able to consume more than a third of a cup of Drinking Chocolate.  You can try to chug it, you can try to sip it... but if you have video proof with NO cheating... I hereby declare I will send you a FREE book, signed and everything, for completing such an amazing feat. I can't wait to see if anyone will succeed!!!

(Oh, and they do have ice cream sundae's and other fun stuff too, by the way...)


This is DEFINITELY for the weird and wacky adventurer. Nick and I didn't discover Treasure Island until our very last year in the Bay Area, and I can't believe we'd never even heard of it before. To us, it was simply the only exit that existed on the Bay Bridge (80 fwy) going East. 

I'm so glad we finally exited. I'll save the long, weird and totally off-the-wall story of Treasure Island for your trek onto this somewhat... okay, very forgotten but magical piece of history. You can Google it, yes, but you might like to see for yourself. 

The absolute best parts, for Nick and I, were the first large building with large structures and sculptures, which you are free to explore and walk around, no matter how vacant you may find it. It's like walking into a piece of history, complete with a massive building-long mural that tells its story.

We also loved driving the little streets along the residential hill. So green and luxurious and... weird. It's definitely the kind of trek a non-traditional tourist would love. Oh, and yes, there are parts of the island that are somewhat inner-city like. They'll look scary, but they aren't, and you have to go to the very edges to ever make your way into those parts. And even then it's weird... like the winery? 

But we love stuff like this. LOVE it. So if you're like us, check it out. It's quite the unusual stop!


If you haven't done it, just do it already. Everyone else has and it's featured in so many movies and referenced so many times that you might as well try it. It doesn't cost anything, and you can do it as many times as you like, but at least take the time to go down the world famous Lombard street at least once.

I did it years ago on a family vacation, and then did it again when Nick and I moved to the area. And I haven't done it since. But boy, do I ever remember it well!!! I've been so many places and have seen so many things... and there's just nothing like it anywhere else.

It's a perfect example of the kind of street you'll only find in San Francisco: steep, narrow, a little scary and... fun!


Pacifica is a city in California. It's actually right over the hill from Burlingame, where you're staying for BBB. DO NOT go at night!!! Pacifica is a city to visit during the day, because the views it offers of the sea and of our precious golden coast are nearly unmatched for the area.

It's a quick drive from the hotel and the scenery is amazing. It also boasts some magnificient parks with some magnifiicent views and hikes. If you are a lover of the sea and of nature's grandeur, this might be more your style than the shut-in and tight craziness of the city. 

If you go just a little further south, to McNee Ranch State Park, you'll find there's a nice big open trail that takes you to the most impressive 360 degree view of the entire Bay Area I have ever encountered. It's not a rough trail. Smooth, actually. But steep in parts. Very steep. And for you geocachers out there, one of those caches is at the very top of the mountains there and most don't ever reach it. Just look at the pictures on Google Maps. Even better than Mount Diablo. If you can handle heights (I can't and nearly had a breakdown heading downhill) then I highly highly recommend it. I'm so glad I didn't know better at the time. The payoff kinda counterbalances my "heights" trauma... I think. But no matter what, I'll remember that view for a lifetime.  Go for it!

And there you have it!!! Something for everyone...
Have and amazing time!


From Weekly Note #42: Six Amazing Sights to See at BBB! released on October 5th 2012.