I hope your month of September is off to a flying start, and I hope that you’re using the club’s website and Face Book page, to stay on top of what’s happening at TSDC. In this post, I wanted to share some thoughts on why you should attend WCS dance conventions like Desert City Swing, and give you a preview of upcoming events at the club. If you’re interested in becoming a better dancer, pay close attention to my discussion on efficient and effective movement. Without efficient and effective movement patterns, it will be impossible for you to obtain the skills necessary to become a top WCS dancer. Bold statement right?!
This picture is a scene from the dance floor at Desert City Swing at about 4 am. Things had thinned out a bit BUT, there were still at least 200 dancers on the floor! It’s scenes like this that make many of us crazy about WCS dance conventions. For those of you who don’t know or who are new to WCS, Desert City Swing is a fun, fun WCS dance convention held in Phoenix the first week in September (next year it will move to Labor Day weekend). Attending dance conventions like Desert City Swing (DCS) is one of the best ways to experience the awesomeness of WCS. You get to dance all night, have tons of great dances, hang out with old friends, make new ones, compete if that’s your thing, and attend workshops that help deepen your knowledge of WCS. It’s like cramming 3-4 months of dancing into 3-4 days! A convention is similar to a party that never ends. You’ll never have as much fun getting utterly and completely worn out. Make plans to attend one as soon as possible!
If you were at DCS, you might have noticed a flock of followers lined up to dance with All-Star leader-John Piper. Mary had a huge smile on her face after having been lucky enough to snag a dance with him. The man is a sweetheart and can flat out DANCE! I’m proud to say that John will be conducting two workshops at TSDC on October 16th. I’ve been told that he’s an excellent instructor and I’m really excited to having him at our club. Mary and I are both looking forward to having privates with him while he’s in town. Make sure you ask John for a dance and book a private if you can.
So you want to be an All-Star leader like John Piper do you? Or, a Champion caliber follower with a line of leaders anxiously awaiting the opportunity to experience a dance with you? Perhaps you just want to become a really skillful dancer. In his book Athletic Body in Balance, author Gray Cook discusses the ideas of efficient and effective movement. Mr. Cook is an orthopedic physical therapist and a sports conditioning expert who has worked with athletes in the NFL, NBA, NHL, WNBA, and Reebok.
He states that, “Efficient describes action without wasted movement or unnecessary energy expenditure.” He says it’s best described, “As the level at which a champion actually gets to enjoy being a champion. At the height of their careers, the great ones are relaxed and enjoy themselves in the midst of constant chaos and challenge.” Dancing at times can be chaotic and challenging. Being able to relax and enjoy the experience can take some getting used to, and can help minimize the chaos.
He further goes on to say that efficiency remove the fluff from exercise and disregards the gimmicks and trends. Efficiency gets to the heart of movement that creates improvement and keeps everything operating smoothly. Can you see how this relates to WCS?
Effective simply means yielding results in Mr. Cook’s opinion. No matter how efficient you are on the dance floor, if what you’re doing isn’t making you a better dancer, it’s not effective. To be effective, whatever you’re learning in WCS should lead to an improvement and refinement in your dancing. In dancing as in all movements, the goal is to achieve a balance between efficiency and effectiveness on the dance floor. Having a dance coach who can help you understand and bring these two ideas to life in your dancing is invaluable! I’m sure that you’ll get a glimpse at these concepts during John Piper’s workshops on October 16th.
The dance between the ideas of being efficient and effective, is one that has to be mastered if you want to dance at the highest levels.