A little bit more on East Coast Swing (ECS) continuing from last month’s column. ECS is a Rhythm Dance that has both six and eight beat patterns. The name East Coast Swing was coined initially to distinguish the dance from the street form and the new variant used in the competitive ballroom arena, as well as separating the dance from West Coast Swing, which was developed in California. While based on Lindy Hop, it does have clear distinctions. ECS is a standardized form of dance developed first for instructional purposes in the Arthur Murray studios and then later codified to allow for a medium of comparison for competitive ballroom dancers. It can be said that there is no right or wrong way to dance it; however, certain styles of the dance are considered correct “form” within the technical elements documented and governed by the National Dance Council of America. The N.D.C.A. oversees all the standards of American Style Ballroom and Latin dances. Lindy Hop was never standardized and later became the inspiration for several other dance forms such as: (European) Boogie Woogie, Jive, ECS, WCS, and Rock and Roll.
Rita and I have had the opportunity to learn and mix both six and eight count steps in a swing dance, which is a lot of fun! By the way, a favorite rock and roll song that I like for ECS is Start Me Up by the Rolling Stones—a good beat and not too fast. We’ll cover West Coast Swing in next month’s column.
One more dance story. The Schecklers were recently in Durango, CO and found a wonderful place to dance full of friendly great dancers, but they had only rubber soled shoes with them. One dancer told them that she always carried a roll of duct tape in her car for just such occasions and suggested that they put duct tape on their shoes. It worked perfectly, and they danced the night away! Great tip and am passing it on. By the way, put the sticky side onto the shoe!
By the time you are reading this we will have completed our first dinner/dance party on November 14, and our next event will be on December 27, 2014. The “big one” will be our January 16, 2015 “Dance-A-Thon” dinner/dance hosted by SBDC and Let’s Dance with club members invited from the Partners Western, Latin Rhythm, SaddleBrooke Line Dance, and Argentine Tango. The menu will feature a Fajita Buffet, and we will have an open bar with festive cocktail and dinner music in the background followed by a rotation of dance tunes selected by each club as we move to the dance hour(s).
Following the January 16 Dance-A-Thon we are looking forward to the Let’s Dance hosted event on February 7 followed by SBDC dances on March 20 and April 11, 2015. These events will be here before you know it, so please save the dates for these events on your calendars!