Swing Discussion Boards > Looking for advice in learning WCS from a Salsa Dancer!

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by SandManTFC, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. SandManTFC

    SandManTFC New Member

    Hi All,

    I have danced Cross Body Salsa on1 for about 5 years, for the last year I have learning Bachata, Cha Cha and now Modern Jive. I have been told my lead and moves Modern Jive is great and I should try WCS. I have done 2 lessons and struggled with finding what beat I am mean't to be leading on, or I'm I wrong in waiting for such a beat? Any advice would be great, I watched lots WCS dances last night and couldn't work out what beat they were all dancing on, some times the guys were doing triple steps then the girls did a triple... confused the hell out of me.
  2. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Basic count is 1-2-3-ah-4,5-ah-6.
    Step,step,triple step, triple step.

    The Westies I've watched improvised a lot nd I'll defer to the WCS experts as I very rarely dance it.
  3. ralf

    ralf Active Member

    [Not an expert, but have been dancing for a bunch of years.]

    Because WCS uses 6- and 8-count patterns and even the occasional 10- or 12-count pattern, patterns don't always start at the beginning of a musical phrase -- they can start on 1, 3, 5, or 7. Advanced dancers know how to accent the "1" of the musical phrases regardless of where it falls with respect to the patterns they are dancing (e.g. a sugar tuck has the "high five" on 3 which can accent the start of a phrase by drawing out that moment of near motionlessness).

    In addition, there is lots of improvisation as Loki mentioned, and there's a running joke among the local instructors about "advanced footwork": any pattern in which steps are omitted :). Standard footwork is step/step/triple/triple for 6-count patterns and step/step/triple/step/step/triple for 8-count patterns, but it's possible to swap a triple with the adjacent step/step, there are patterns which are entirely step/step, and leads often drop steps entirely as the follower passes by (the most extreme example of which would be stepping off the slot on 1 and back on the slot on 6 with no steps inbetween). Not to mention that followers can execute a hitch step (essentially a triple step without its first step) at the start of the pattern to match the music better, or start with a triple instead of a walk-walk if they wound up on the offside foot at the end of the previous pattern.
    chuck4788 likes this.
  4. chuck4788

    chuck4788 Member

    WCS is the most complicated dance I have done, and the most satisfying.
    Pattern leads start 1/2 beat before the 1, as in &1, but the lead is a soft body lead. Because the WCS patterns are 6, 8, or more beats the 1st beat of a pattern will be on some odd beat of the music, and to confuse things more WCS music emphasis the even beats. Don't be discouraged, reread my first sentence.
    What you saw were likely variations in foot work between lead and follow, take what ralf posted and you can visualize how that could happen. My wife does walk triple instead of walk walk triple on passes so she can turn sooner, and on whips she replaces the coaster step with an anchor. And no coaster steps during an anchor. They just change the appearance of dance a bit.
  5. AirColor

    AirColor Member

    The confusion probably stems from the fact that most social wcs dancers haven't gotten the timing down so they're often off beat. If you look at more advanced dancers you'll see that they'll extend each moves from 6 count to 10, 12, or 14 count moves with pauses sprinkled in to be able to hit the occasional 1 when the song hits the chorus or otherwise accents the 1. In general, we think about the type of song and determine if we should accenting the backbeat (2,4,6,8) or to make it smooth throughout the song with an occasional accent on 1 and dips, etc.

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