Ballroom Dance Club – Swing to the beat! One more time!

Steve Holdener

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 SC Hecklers’ were recently in Durango, Colorado, 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. BTW – put the sticky side onto the shoe!

The Ballroom Dance Club is planning five separate dinner/dances for 2014/2015, starting with November 14 and December 27, 2014; then on to January 16, March 20 and April 11, 2015. The November 14 event is just around the corner and will be here before you know it, so please save the date for this event and all the others.

You are very welcome to join us and meet new and old friends and share in the joy of dancing at our First Tuesday gatherings at the SaddleBrooke Clubhouse as well as the weekly open dances/practices. You are invited to visit the new Facebook page that we share with Let’s Dance (just type Let’s Dance in the search box on Facebook). Please feel free to share your own favorite dance story or ballroom tune; you can write me at [email protected].