The Holy Grail

For the love of all things Holy in the lands of Swing and Tango please study and understand the following:

1: The dance itself. It’s foundation, how it functions and it’s elements and fundamentals
2: Motion of the body. Where impulse and intention come from, where that energy goes and what it can and will do. And also the same path, but in reverse.
3: The Lead/Follow relationship. What are the roles, responsibilities, how they relate to each other and how action or lack of action affects that.

Music is the medium we choose to intertwine it all together. Everything else is fluff.


Drinking From The Holy Grail

As any of you who have had a lesson or two with me know, I teach what I believe in.  I teach what I know and study inside and out and have experienced first hand. I’m also open to learning and discovering more whether it is simple push break or a complicated figure that requires a lot of skill.  What I call The Holy Grail and posted a while back is what I believe to be the greatest thing one should search for, including solid connection.  The Holy Grail and solid connection is what I believe makes for great dancing.  And I can prove it through experience.

I just came back from a Tango festival in Greece.  It was not a huge festival by Swing standards.  Maybe 250 people attended.  There were people from 16 countries within that crowd.  Most people had English that was better than my Greek.  Many times there was a language barrier.  Accents and broken English were everywhere.  The dancing was some of the best Tango I’ve ever had.  I didn’t get to my hotel room until sunrise every night, err, day of the festival.  Even the Swing dancing I did in a local jewellery shop was good but that’s a whole other story.

In the entire 4 day weekend I only had two lousy dances and one that was just OK.  The rest were phenomenal.  It wasn’t because I was king of the floor.  Far from it.  were people waaaay better than me there.  It wasn’t because I was chasing after dances with ‘Pros’ and ‘All-Stars’.  I did not know a single person there.  We were all ‘regular’ people who happened to be really good.  It wasn’t because I was constantly doing fancy moves with them either even though I was able to do them due to my skill and my partner’s skill.  I was definitely barking with Top Dogs and able to keep up to the pack, but that isn’t what made the dancing so great.

What made the dancing soooo good was that their fundamental elements and concepts were so well understood and solid.  That includes their connection although I’m sure I obsess about it way more than the average dancer.  I was able to dance well with someone I’ve never met, in a country across the Atlantic, and all through a language barrier.  Everybody brought good quality of personal movement to the floor along with a solid understanding of the elements and concepts of how the dance works.  If you wanted to play, you brought your toys and you shared them.  Everybody had their hands on The Holy Grail.  Movement was primary.   Moves were secondary.   That’s what made the dancing soooo good.

I’ll finish this month’s article with what I wrote.  I would like you all to read it. And then I would like you all to read it again.  Ponder, reflect, soak it all in.  There’s a lot to think about in there.  I wrote what I have always believed makes for great dancing.  I wrote and was teaching this long before I went on my trip.  My trip just happened to confirm it, again.  This is what I study and believe thoroughly.  I teach what I believe and experienced.  Great dances come from movement through connection driven by music.

For the love of all things Holy in the lands of Swing and Tango please study and understand the following:

1: The dance itself. It’s foundation, how it functions and it’s elements and fundamentals
2: Motion of the body. Where impulse and intention come from, where that energy goes and what it can and will do. And also the same path, but in reverse.
3: The Lead/Follow relationship. What are the roles, responsibilities, how they relate to each other and how action or lack of action affects that.

Music is the medium we choose to intertwine it all. Everything else is fluff.

 


Etiquette Challenge

I’m one of those quietly connected people that tends to have a thumb on the pulse of the community and a head on the shoulders. I get a lot of information coming my way through advertisements, newsgroups, newsletters etc.

The other day I read a post that was published in a public newsgroup. While several people were tossing around accolades to the author for ‘speaking up for the community’ etc, my mind was starting to go ‘hmmm.’ There was something about it that bothered me enough to change what I was going to write for you this month and share my thoughts on this instead. The exact post is this.

A challenge to all west swing dancers!
Dancing is a social event – we all attend dances to socialize, have fun and express ourselves through movement to music. When you are at a dance or on the dance floor:
1. Be social
2. Be courteous
3. Be respectful
4. Be positive
5. Be genuine
6. Check your ego and negativity at the door
7. Don’t teach
8. Don’t preach
9. Don’t be rude
10. Don’t assess the way others dance
11. Laugh lots
12. Smile
13. Dance like nobody’s watching
14. Provide constructive feedback about the music and venue
15. Take care of your partner
16. Don’t advertise and market
17. Soak in the positive dance karma

I didn’t even get to number 3 on the list before I raised an eyebrow and said ‘Rrreally?’ to myself.

You might not have caught it but bear with me and I’ll explain. Let’s go back to the very first sentence. The one with the word ‘challenge’ in it.

The word challenge has many definitions. Merriam-Webster defines the noun as a difficult task; something that is hard to do, as well as an invitation to compete in a game, fight, etc.

So, a challenge, to me, is something that requires a greater amount of effort or skill to accomplish above the standard. For example, a whip with a triple inside spin on the 5,6 while leading my partner without hurting or affecting her is a challenge above the standard vanilla whip. It is also challenging for me to do this. The whip is the standard and fairly easy. The challenge is the triple inside spin within that whip, which is fairly difficult.

Going back to the list. Most of that list is basically a standard code of good etiquette for every dance you attend. The few items that remain are nice little bonuses that contribute to a good night of dancing. Good etiquette is the standard.

So, if the standard is good etiquette, which should be easy, why is this brought forward as a challenge? Isn’t a challenge something that is considered hard or something that requires more effort to accomplish?

If it is the challenge, then something is drastically wrong. If you didn’t learn this before you took a dance lesson, then it is something you should be learning in your classes and your instructors should be teaching how to apply it to the dance floor. And if you aren’t and you are one of my students, then I am as guilty as the others for not teaching it well enough. In reality though, you should have a basic understanding of good etiquette and it should be the standard everyone does all the time. At every dance.

Can you see now why my head was tilting in confusion? It shouldn’t be a challenge. It should be the standard. However, we all have our bad days. I’ve had plenty of them. More than I’d like to remember. For the real challenge on one of those days see number 6. When you accomplish that, the rest will be easy again. If we all do our share on that list we’ll all create a good vibe and go home feeling good and craving more.


The Pitter-Patter of Little Feet

The Pitter-Patter of Little Feet.

At the dance the other night I saw two women walk in with two small kids.  They looked around the hall, looked at the pictures of the city the way it was 100 years ago and for the most part, stayed to themselves.  Then I noticed one of the women was dancing.  The other one was playing with the two kids in the corner.  Several ladies went over and said hello to the kids and played with them a bit here and there, you know, the way many people do when they see kids.  I noticed them but barely heard them during the night.

Then someone came up to me and we had the following conversation.

Them: You know, it’s pretty hard to focus on the dance when there are kids running around and during an adult event.

Me: I don’t remember reading anything on the internet anywhere saying that dancing was an adult only activity . I also don’t see any signs anywhere saying that this was an adult only venue.

Me, a bit later in the conversation: And, they have been with a sitter and occupied the entire time.  I haven’t heard a peep out of them until just a few minutes ago, and you and I both know it’s because they are tired and ready for bed.

Here’s what the woman with the kids did right.  She came with a friend, who also had a child.  The two kids had each other to play with, and were never left alone.  Between the two of them there was always an adult to keep the kids occupied and out of the way of dance traffic.

So, of course that brings me to this writing.  As people have families many of them still want to dance.  It can be tough to do so, but it can be done.  So, for those of you who might be thinking of bringing your kids and introducing them to the dance environment, here are a few things to keep in mind that will make the experience better for everyone.

Keep your kids occupied, but out of the way of dance traffic.  Dancers are in either a slot or a moving lane.  We aren’t usually on the look-out for someone under 3 feet tall darting around the dance floor.  The kids are also not aware of our movement patterns.  The chance for a collision and injury are very high.  Keeping the kids occupied and out of traffic will avoid this.

We are not babysitters.  We are a friendly and welcoming bunch, but we are there to dance and socialize.  Many people will keep an eye on your child, some will come and play with them for a little while, but not long. Probably not longer than two songs.  We are not responsible for their behaviour or entertainment.  That is your responsibility as a parent.

Know the environment.  Music will probably be louder than they are used to and a lot of it won’t be very entertaining for small children.  The DJ is playing for a crowd with a certain level of maturity.  If you think the music is too loud for your kids you’ll have to prepare for that the way some of us do; provide them with hearing protection.  I wear earplugs as do several others I know.  They do make hearing protection for small kids.

Know the venue.  Many dances are held in a studio or dance hall of some sort.  Almost all of these are open to all age groups.  Just as many dances are in a bar or establishment that sells liquor.  A few venues are adult only.  Know where you are going and the what age group the event itself is catered for.

When they get old enough and show some interest, get them involved.  School aged kids and adults dance together all the time.  Encourage them to take the lessons.  Maybe there is some way they can volunteer and be a part of the culture or environment.  It will expose them to friendly people they can dance with.  Maybe they will invite their friends to come along or meet a few more people their age too.  With a few more people in their age group to dance with they will form closer friendships and be inspired to continue.

The dance community is a very friendly and welcoming one.  If you’d like to bring your kids, it can be done.  It will require a bit more effort and preparation on your part though.  Youth is the future of our dance.  They are the ones who will keep the dance going for the next generation.  If they want to be included I see no reason why we can’t involve them in some way into our little slice of dance heaven.


Making the Rounds

Making the Rounds

Rrrrotate.  Chaaange partners.  Down one.  These are common words you hear in any group class you attend.  They are pretty self explanatory.  The instructor is asking you to change partners and try the exercises or moves again.

Most people look forward to it.  They get to try the movements with a variety of people in the class and work out the bugs before they try it on the dance floor that night.  And of course, there is the quick little bit of friendly social interaction as they say hello to everybody during the rounds.  It contributes to a lesson where everyone learns, progresses and has fun.

There is always one couple who doesn’t want to rotate so they only dance with each other.  The profile is always the same.  It’s a beginner class and they are new to partner dancing.  Occasionally I have had people in the higher level classes take the beginner series with their significant other (SO) who wants to learn but they don’t rotate.

They all tell me the same thing.  “We only want to dance with each other so we can go out and dance together.”  I’ve always thought that was such a lousy excuse.  Why?  Well, let me tell you.  You are both in the same dance class learning the same dance at the same time.  Same, same, same.  What do you think will happen?  I’ll teach one of you West Coast Swing and the other one Waltz?  Of course you will be able to dance together when you go out.  That’s why you are both in the same class.  But they don’t make that connection so they stay together.  The end result is always the same though.  What do you think that is?

Well, there is no sense dancing around the subject so let’s get right to it.  They won’t actually admit it, but most people don’t rotate out of either fear, shyness, jealousy, or possessiveness.  It’s mostly fear that gets in their way.  I won’t touch the other three here.  Those are separate issues which are a by-product of fear.  There are two other situations where people will not rotate but those are very specific and beyond the scope of this article.  This month I’m talking about the type of group classes most of you will find.  And then there are the myths. I’ll get to those in a minute.

Back to fear.  I get it.  You don’t want to look and feel stupid and with your SO right beside you there is that little sense of security.  You feel safe.  I get it.  You don’t want to look stupid.  Let me ask you this.  If a room full of people are all doing the twist and one person is doing the mashed potato who looks out of place?  If we are all doing the same goofy exercises and movements in the same dance, no-one is singled out looking stupid.  We are all doing the same thing in the same little room.

You don’t want people to watch you and judge you.  OK.  I get that too.  Let me ask you this.  If you are busy focusing on your own dancing, do you even have time to look at anyone else?  Do you even have time to sit back and judge them?  Since you don’t, guess what?  They don’t either.  They are too busy learning.  Just like you.  The only one there to watch you is the instructor.  That’s their job.  They watch your dancing to see what you can do to improve it.  They are not judging you.  They are only watching your dancing.

Now that we’ve covered fear let’s move on to myths.  People give me a lot of ‘reasons’ why they don’t want to rotate.  Aside from the one I mentioned above, the other one is that they will get better, faster by dancing with the same person.  Nope.  Not in a group class.

Everyone has a slightly different feel in their dancing.  In classes you learn what those differences are and how to lead or follow different people.  When you don’t rotate, you and your partner quickly learn how to adapt to each other’s weaknesses and compensate for them.  You get good.  But only at dancing with your regular partner.

Let’s say you get through the series of classes without running dangerously thin on patience and tolerance and getting into an argument or short with your partner.  It is possible, but highly unlikely.  Eventually you will want to join the fun and go to a dance.  It’s a pretty friendly community and you will see people from your class.  You will get asked for a dance.  When you dance with someone else you’ll soon feel like you can’t dance at all.  Why?  Because they don’t move or feel the same as your regular partner.  Your only reference point was your regular partner where your weakness were covered up for you.  Now you are lost because you can’t deal with a different dancer.

Remember all the people you thought were judging you?  Guess what.  Their skill level passed yours long ago.  Neither of you noticed.  Why? Because all of you were too busy focusing on your own dancing to worry about anyone else’s.  So, did you get better, faster by not rotating in class?  No.  You got in the way of your own progress.

One of two things happens next.  I’ve seen them both.  You’ll either quit out of frustration or you’ll sign up for another round and make better use of the time and people there.  If you are taking lessons with your SO you’ll get plenty of time to dance with each other.  Get involved in the rotation.  You will learn a lot more if you do.  You will also meet people you will see at the dances.  These are some of the people you will dance with.  If you can dance with them in class it will be easier to dance with them at the dances.  You’ll have a lot more fun too.


Library

How many times have you found yourself trying to do that cool move you learned and for life of you, you just can’t remember how it goes?  Or how about that technique you were learning in your private that made dancing soooo much easier and better (see also, more fun) and you just can’t remember what it is you needed to do?

It happens to me.  A lot.  Well, not as much as it used to.   No, not because I have this huge memory for a library of patterns.  Quite the opposite actually. I do have a huge mental library for concepts and conventional and out-the-box-ways to teach them and can access them easily.  But the patterns themselves?  Not so much.

What I also have is an actual ‘dance library’.  This library of mine is a bunch of ratty notebooks with the covers and pages falling off.   These notebooks are filled with all kinds of things that have been important to my dancing and teaching over the years.  I do refer to them too.  Often.

There are many ways you can keep track of things you want to remember when it comes to dancing.  Let’s start with the most obvious.   That gadget in your pocket or purse that also happens to be a telephone.

Yup.  Your cell phone.  Every phone on the market these days has a built in camera.  Not only that, you can also make movies on it.   Does anyone even use that term?  Movie clips, moving pictures, recordings, filmings, film-less movies?  Video!  That works.  Yes. Video.  Everywhere you go you have the capability to make a movie clip of just about anything.  Even dancing.  You can make video clips too, if you prefer.

Video clips are a great way to record any pattern or movement from a group class you wish to review later.  The beauty of it is that you can see exactly what the movement is supposed to look like.  From placement of the feet, hands, posture, positioning of your body relative to your partners to where you should start and finish.  It’s all there.  And you can watch it any time.

A quick note about the etiquette of video clips.  Wait until the end of the class to pull our your phone and hit record.  It’s considered impolite to record the actual lesson and most instructors don’t like it.  What every instructor will be more than happy to do, though, is to offer a recap and demo at the end of the class for everyone to make a video for themselves.  Almost everyone now days times their lessons for that exact purpose.

Another great way to keep a record of what you learned is to write it down.  Yup.  Old school.  Pencil and paper.  I have several notebooks filled with hieroglyphics that I can barely interpret.  And if a notebook is too ancient for you, you can always scribe them onto your tablet with your stylus.  Your smart phone probably has an app for that too.

From my own experience I can tell you this.  The patterns you write down will make sense one time, and one time only.  That is when you are actually writing them down.  Trying to figure out what at pattern should look like based on words, letters, stick figures and arrows a few weeks after the class is like trying to read a treasure map on Dance Island but you have no idea what the treasure is or where to even start.

Where notebooks really come in handy are in private lessons.  During a private you will be working on very specific things regarding your own movement for your own dancing.  Taking notes of what to focus on and how to do what you are learning is what you’ll really want to remember.  You just can’t beat writing this out in your own words for future practice or review.

During your private I suggest taking as many notes as you need and take them when you need them.  Your instructor is there for your development so if you need clarification or help in putting the concepts into words for your notes feel free to ask them.  They will be more than willing to help you and review at any point in the lesson.

All the notes and videos will can help you a lot in your dance journey, but only if you do one thing.  You need to review them! Taking a video and never watching it or writing down key points in correcting your technique and never reading them doesn’t do you any good.  Review, review, review.

So, which one is better?  Both methods have their pros and cons.  Taking notes during a group class means you have to jump in and out of the rotation and while you are writing you may miss something important.  Video the recap at the end would be better.  Video during a private doesn’t tell or show anything about the details you need to actually feel the difference.  The written word, your own written words, is a better tool for this.

Feeling too lazy to take your own notes?  You can always do what many others do.  YouTube it.  You’ll find thousands of clips on YouTube if you want to see patterns.  Don’t expect much in the way of concepts and instruction though.  But you will find patterns galore.  You don’t even need a library card.


Say WhAT???

Warning. Foul language and mature subject matter. Don’t be bitchin’ about not being warned.

We live in a very instant gratification society. We want the info and we want it NOW. So, to keep those of you with no patience to actually read more than one sentence, I’ll get right to the point.

Westies, I’m pretty disappointed. Not shocked. Just disappointed.

Here’s the scene. It was Friday night at a recent convention. About 1:30. Well after competitions, but not really considered ‘late night’ on the Westie clock. The room was packed. The floor was full. Very full. People were conversing in little groups around tables and in the corners of the room. You know, the usual scene at a convention. People were having a good time, letting loose, and creating a good vibe. I liked it. A lot!

The DJ was playing music that had people groovin’. Good stuff too. Lots of energy, good groove, it made you want to get on the floor. A song came on that sounded really good. Nice late night feel, good bass line, sweet melody, really groovy. I was watching the floor and seeing some really sweet dancing. Then I heard it. Again, and again. And then it repeated. Again and again.

“…put your hands in the air if you’re fucking tonight.”

That was the line. And it repeated. Again and again.

The next song was another good groovy song, no issues there.

The song after was about the female anatomy and I’m pretty sure I heard the word pussy in there, but only once.

Now, let me make a few things perfectly clear. I have no issue with the subject matter. None. My view on sex? AWESOME! I love it! Bring it on! Even better when it’s highly sensual and flirtatious.

In fact, I’d say 80 % of the blues tunes I have are about sex. Someone is cheating on someone else, so and so is gonna get ‘busy’ with his woman, what’s her name is gonna show her man how it’s done and how lucky he is, if he can’t satisfy her, she’ll do it herself, etc. Is all in there. And I love it. More on that in a minute.

Women? I love them. Beautiful creatures. I like how they look, how they feel, how they think, how they sound, how they smell etc. Their mind is fascinating. I love their body parts and how they decorate them with fabric and jewellery. I’m a big fan of their peaks and valleys. I’m a man, I know what I like and I’m not afraid to admit it. Call me what you want. Keep your judgements to yourself.

My favouite word in the English language? Fuck. I love it. It is such a useful word. Verb, adjective, noun. It can be used in so many creative ways, mean so many things, and in so many situations. But, there is a time and place for such a word.

Are we clear on that? I have no issues with the subject matter or the language on it’s own. What I do have issue with is how it is all put together and in a time and place that isn’t appropriate in my strong opinion. There was a time and place for that song. That wasn’t it. And you all accepted it.

How many of you remember George Carlin? Do you remember his “7 words you can’t say on television”? Here’s a reminder. In 1972 he did a monologue with his 7 words. These are shit, piss, fuck, cunt, motherfucker, cocksucker and tits. Think that’s old school and not in use? Think again. To this day, 2014 you still can’t say those words on TV.

Lenny Bruce. Anybody know how he is? In 1966 he was arrested for saying eight words, and his are, in alphabetical order. Balls, cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, penis, shit, and tits. Some of his words are also on Carlin’s list. And to this day, you still can’t say Carlin’s on television. They are considered offensive.

Some modern music is loaded with lyrics that are nasty. Lyrics talking about ballin’, pimpin’, bitches and hoes, and even the N word (you figure it out) can be so in-your-face that you just can’t get away from hearing it. Shock value? What for? My opinion on it? Completely tasteless and without any class what-so-ever. On top of that, it tends to be rather offensive.

Back to the blues music I was referring to. The subject matter is definitely not one you’d bring up in church. But the lyrics use clean words that are strung together in ways that you actually have to pay attention, listen, and use your brain to put two and two together. In that way, all the sexual innuendos are quite entertaining, and in my opinion, pack more power without being offensive. Now don’t get me wrong, not all blues are clean. I also have several that are nasty. I wouldn’t play them in a class.

So, back to our scene. Here we have a song with offensive language. And it’s 1:30. Now, yes a convention after midnight is definitely an adult playground, and I love it. But that’s no excuse to play a song with that kind of lyric. Ok, for those of you who say well, it’s late night and maybe it should be played at 4:30. Um, NO! I don’t care how late night it is. Nasty and foul don’t belong. There are songs that deal with mature subject matters like sex and drugs and heartache in much classier ways that are just as groovy and sexy.

I brought the issue up with a DJ who is primarily a late night DJ. He was shocked at what was played, and what it was followed with. He didn’t care what time of night it is. Offensive language is offensive language and for the most part doesn’t belong for social dancing and is completely without any class. His view is that there is a time and place for everything and some songs should almost never be played in a public venue.

Before class one night a few months ago I went out for dinner with a few people and two of them are DJ’s. I asked them them their opinion on foul language in the music we dance to. They agreed that it just doesn’t belong. If it’s that in-your-face it’s offensive and takes away from the magic of words in song. On top of that, it’s considered offensive.

One of them did say that if the occasional f-bomb or s-bomb is dropped and it actually adds to the song because no other word would, then fine. I can agree with that. In fact, at an alternative Milonga I have been to there is a song that sometimes gets played where the f-bomb is dropped. I don’t remember the actual lyric, but the story of the song is of a woman in New York who is broke and is tired of getting pushed around. She has her last 50 bucks in her pocket and someone pulls a knife to mug her. The line is “And I’m like, Fuck You.” and the melody picks up again. I’m ok with it. It happens once, says it’s thing and moves along. I wouldn’t play it before midnight. After 1 am I might but I’d have a good look at the crowd first and base my decision on them.

Another instance I ran into almost 6 months ago now was at another local dance. The DJ was playing some pretty groovy music. At around 10:30 I hear the word fuck and shit in the same sentence in the chorus. I mentioned it to the DJ and that I think it’s a little early in the night for that. His response was something along the lines of ‘well, they never listen to the lyrics when they are dancing anyways, so I’ll play it when-ever I want’. What? Really?

This is part of my problem of why you Westies are disappointing. You aren’t paying attention. You have no idea what you are listening to. You are all adults. You can handle topics like sex, drugs, rock-and-roll, gambling, heartache etc in your music. But you aren’t noticing what the songs are actually saying. And in the case of “raise your hands in the air if you’re fucking tonight.” you were all raising your hands to be ‘musical’ but had no clue what was being said. You weren’t dancing to a song about making love. You were dancing to a song about fucking. If you were raising your hands to be musical, what’s next for that song when you finally clue in, grinding your crotch into your partner’s ass?

All the DJ saw was a group of people grooving to the song he chose. Since he saw a crowded floor, you sent him the message that you all like that song, and that it was acceptable. Guess what. He’ll play it again. Great. We now dance to songs about fucking. I’ve never been more proud to be a Westie. In case you haven’t figured it out, that was sarcasm.

So, dear West Coast Swing Community that I’ve spent the last 20 years of my life being proud to be a part of, I ask you this. Where is your class? Where is your sense of dignity? I know you have it. Why are you letting it go? Because times are changing? Because this is a ‘street dance’? Give me an answer that isn’t full of bullshit, please. Why can’t we maintain some class and dignity in our community?

There is an old school Westie who writes about the change of WCS. This individual just bitches and moans about how it isn’t the way is used to be blah, blah, blah. I don’t give a fuck about their opinion primarily because they don’t offer a solution. So I’m not going to play that game.  My opinion is that this dance evolves, and it should. I have a better idea.

Here is my suggestion. Get to know your music. Start paying attention, people. And start talking to your local pros and Djs. You need to talk to them about music and what you think should or should not be played. Your Djs are playing music for you to dance to. Most Westies will dance to damn near anything. If you aren’t paying attention they are only guessing what you like. If they see a packed floor they’ll play the song again. How about when you hear a song you like why don’t you go up and tell them you liked it. Then go the step that they actually need. Tell them why you liked it. That will help them find more songs like the one you like. And thank them for what they do. Their job is tougher than you think.

To the Djs. Choose a little wisely. Most times you do. Why not use the TV as your guide line?  You probably watch too much of it any ways but you know what can and can’t be said on TV.  If it can’t be said on TV, should you be playing it at your dance?  You have a tough job. It’s not one that I want and would not do well. You are under a lot of stress. But for those of you who plug in your ipod with a playlist you built three days ago, uh, no. You aren’t a dj. You are a jukebox. A DJ reads the crowd and chooses accordingly as they go.  A good one chooses wisely and still keeps people on the floor.

So, does that sound like a good idea? Let’s all start communicating and putting a little more class back into West Coast Swing.