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Happy New Year everyone! Are you ready to spin, dip, and whip yourself into a WCS frenzy in 2015? Are you ready to make big improvements in your dancing and become a WCS superstar? In my business, we say that big goals can be achieved and improvements made by taking small, consistent steps each day. Anne Frank said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Why wait then to start improving your world of dancing? Let passion and excitement drive you and expect to find success down the road!
2014 at TSDC was an exciting year. Lots of new bodies graced our dance floor. Hopefully, these new dancers will decide to become members of our club. Having a constant stream of new members, while retaining our “old” members, creates an exciting and lasting dance club.Even with all of the other WCS dance options available around town, TSDC continues to be the epicenter for WCS in Tucson.
If you value what TSDC has to offer, think of ways that you can help in its continued success. Volunteer or run for the board in April and help guide board decisions that affect our club. Or, simply bring a friend or two with you for some Thursday night fun. This could have a huge and positive impact on TSDC this year. The more people that are exposed to our club, the more it will grow and prosper.
We had a number of wonderful workshops given by WCS National Champs John Piper, Patty Vo, Michael Kielbasa and Ben McHenry. All were well-attended and received rave reviews. On February 5th, National WCS Champion Tara Trafzer will return to TSDC for a night of workshops. Tara hasn’t done a workshop at our club since 2012. Having her back at TSDC is sure to be a fantastic evening of learning and dancing. Workshop prices are $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Remember, whether you come to the workshops or just for the dance afterwards, these prices will be in effect for the entire evening.
Our club Christmas party was a big success. I loved seeing our crowd all fancied up! The room was beautifully decorated, the food was yummy, the music was HOT, and the dancing was fabulous! Hopefully, next year we will have some live performances to help spice up the evening. Anybody got a great WCS dance routine that you’re dying to perform? Here’s a chance to show the home crowd what you’ve got!
A small group of us performed at the 4th Avenue Winter Street Fair in December. It would have been much more fun if we’d had more dancers. Thanks go out to those who participated. The weather was a bit cold and we weren’t real organized, but the crowd had a good time. It would be very cool to see us do more WCS performances around the city this year. With more preparation, we could put on some killer shows. What a great way to introduce TSDC and WCS to large groups of people around the city!
Please note that we will be increasing our Thursday night prices to $5 for members and $7 for non-members starting February 12th. Due to a higher rental price that TSDC has to pay for Shall We Dance, a rate hike has been deemed necessary by our Board of Directors. These new prices are very much in line with WCS dance prices around Tucson. In fact, our member price is lower than the entry price for just about all WCS dances in Tucson and/or Phoenix. TSDC absorbs losses on many workshops and our club Christmas party. We still offer both at such a great price because we do it for our members. However, we have to be able to cover our weekly rent.
So once again, Happy 2015! Let’s all make an effort to become better WCS dancers this year. By attending Tara Trafzer’s workshop in February, you can check out some of the latest “stuff” that’s being taught around the WCS world. I know I’m looking to improve in all areas of my dancing this year and am excited to attend her workshops. Remember, a rising tide raises all boats. The better we all get at WCS, the better WCS will become in Tucson. This means a better time for all of us!
“May you laugh heartily, cry openly, sing loudly, dance wildly, love unashamedly.” – Issac David Garuda
With Thanksgiving being right around the corner, I hope that all of you will have the opportunity to spend the day with friends and loved ones. Eat hearty, laugh and maybe get a little dancing in as well. Remember that TSDC will be closed on Thanksgiving. We’ll pick up the action again in December.
The coming of a new year is a great time for reflection. It gives us the opportunity to view our lives as we have lived them up until this moment. The coming of a new year is also a time when many people begin to set new goals or reset old ones. Of course, it doesn’t take the coming of a new year to do either reflection or goal setting. Some people make a habit of doing both on a daily basis which is a really cool thing to do.
If you’re addicted to WCS like I am, you think about it on a daily basis. You probably reflect on where you are in this dance and want to get better at it. If you’re like me, you may find that at times making progress can be frustrating and seemingly overwhelming. I feel your pain. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Right?
Here’s a thought. How about picking one thing you’d like to improve in your WCS during these last few days of 2014. It doesn’t matter what it is. The choice is up to you. Maybe you want to learn to do better turns, or have better foot work, or come up with a new anchor instead of doing the same old thing time and time again. Again, what you want to improve is up to you.
Next, figure out how you’ll go about improving. Will you watch WCS videos for ideas or will you hire a coach or will you simply ask a better dancer to help you out? Sometimes Mary and I will see a cool move on a video that we want to learn. We’ll usually try to figure it out by working on it in our living room. If we need more help, we’ll show the move to our dance coach (Wendy Miller), get some pointers and then perfect the move at home. How you want to go about it is up to you. Do what works for you.
Normally in goal setting, why you want to achieve something is the most important factor. It’s been said that if you have a big enough reason for wanting to do something, you will figure out the- what and the how. Why you want to do it doesn’t matter to anyone except you. Maybe you want to be a top-notch social dancer, who’s at the top of everyone’s list to dance with. Maybe you want to be that awesome competitive dancer, who tears up the competition floor and takes home trophies and envelopes full of cash. Perhaps you want to be both. Just go for it!
The power of reflection and goal setting can be a strong ally in you becoming a better WCS dancer. If you know what you want, how you’re going to achieve it, and have a strong enough reason why you want it, nothing can stop you! Now, go make it happen.
Happy October everyone. I absolutely love October, especially October in Tucson. No more one hundred degree days, no more hot, humid days and too warm nights. Cool nights and comfortable days now are the norm. Being a huge fan of horror movies, October is my month! Scary movies are a must this time of year. Yes sir, I love October.
I’m posting this column much later than I had anticipated. My bad! I’m hoping to have it done before TSDC’s Halloween Party on Thursday, Oct 30th. Please, please make every effort to wear some kind of costume. The more dancers in costume, the more festive and special our party will be. Besides, you might win a prize, which will be awarded for most original/creative, scariest and funniest costumes. Here’s your opportunity to be someone/something different for one night. Members in costume will get in free. That’s a bonus!
Thanks go out to everyone who attended our workshops on Oct 16th, featuring West Coast Swing All-Star, John Piper. Speaking for myself (and I know for many others in attendance), I had a fantastic time. John was such a treat! His love of WCS was evident. He was well-organized, clear in his teaching and managed to keep everyone moving (standing around was kept to a minimum). His humor and warm personality helped him connect quickly with everyone.
One thing I love about workshops is that anyone, no matter what level of dancer he/she is, can gain at least one nugget of knowledge or advice that can make a huge difference on the dance floor. John Piper threw out more than a few nuggets. In our workshops there are typically many level of dancers. Some brand spanking new – some have been dancing for years. At times, more experienced dancers can become bored or listless at workshops. Remember when you first learned to drive a car? Remember how much attention you paid to doing everything just right? How’s your driving these days? John reminded more experienced dancers that working on their basic movements is something they should do from time to time, especially when learning new moves or patterns. Workshops are a perfect time to polish up on the basics. So whether new or old, all levels of dancers can find something to perfect.
He had us play with mirroring each other’s movements. This was a way for us to be more engaged/connected with our partners. When this concept is applied while dancing, it can make for a really cool and interesting dance. I loved when he asked us to say out loud what we needed/wanted as a leader/follower from our partners. Overwhelmingly we heard things like, “smiles..acknowledgement of something done well…encouragement, and appreciation.” All of us want to feel good when we dance. Our partners can play a huge role in making this happen. Remember this!!!
John spoke about being a Dance Rock Star!! This concept will make more sense to those of us who compete in West Coast Swing. West Coast Swing is a social dance but competing in WCS is very popular, and for some dancers, competing is their primary focus. But for just about all of us, most of our time will be spent social dancing. So, doesn’t it make sense to be the best social dancer you can be?? Do you want people lined up to ask you for a dance because you’re so awesome and all?? Who cares if you compete or not, YOU’RE A DANCE ROCK STAR!!!!! That’s what I want to be (alright, a trophy now and then is ok by me as well, I’m just sayin’). How about you?
Lastly, Mr. Piper talked about looking like you came ready to dance. That’s a huge part of becoming a dance rock star, by the way. This means hanging out close to the dance floor and letting folks know you came to get down. Let your body show it. Bop to the music, smile, make eye contact and don’t be afraid to ask someone to dance. We’re all attracted to positive, energetic and fun people. These are the dancers we want to be with on the dance floor. Right?! ‘Nuff said, I’m ready to get down.
If any of you dance rock stars have any comments you’d like to leave in response, I’d love hearing from you. Until next time…….