When’s the next dance?

Good question.

Its a question of safety re COVID (and rapid increase in new cases is not helping). Even though there are no provincial restrictions right now, we need to decide for ourselves what is acceptable risk for social dancing, and what systems we would need to keep people (and make them feel) safe.

Social dancing is a full-contact, face-to-face activity usually done in an enclosed space. Its way more risky for transmission than say, going out to a restaurant. Keeping everyone at our dances as safe as we can is our first priority. We don’t want to see anyone getting seriously ill or unknowingly carry the disease to an unvaccinated person.

Members of our board work in health care and have seen first hand how devastating the disease has been to patients and staff of all ages.

Here are things we’re thinking about to increase safety:

  • – Double vax only dances
  • – Masks (or not)
  • – Limiting numbers of dancers in the hall, and pre-purchasing tickets (no tix at the door)
  • – Tracking all dancers who attend, having a plan in case of an outbreak- Have rapid 15 min testing at the door for everyone
  • – Sign waivers for entry
  • – Increased cleaning
  • – Increased ventilation in the hall

None of this is certain, nor is it complete. Only being considered at this point.

If we go ahead and implement these, there is more planning, time and effort needed to run a typical dance (and money, but that’s not an issue right now).

For reference: What are others doing?

From research Juliana has done, almost all WCS orgs across Canada are not doing dances right now – Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Saskatoon, Victoria, Vancouver.

A few are:

– WCS Calgary is running dances with no restrictions

– Edmonton Sugar Swing is running dances, but with a list of restrictions.

– Toronto Rhythm and Motion is running dances, but with masks and no partner switching.(Correct us if you hear otherwise on these)

We recognize there are people in our dance community that have passionate opinions at every point on the spectrum on this. From, ‘lets dance now, no restrictions’ to ‘dance is ok with some precautions’, to ‘holding a dance is irresponsible until COVID is completely over’.

No matter what path we choose, there will be some people unhappy. Bear with us as we move cautiously, and find the path that best suits our situation. We all want to get back to social dancing as soon as we can, and with as many of you as we can.

Thank You

WCSA Board

2021 Annual General Meeting

Mark your calendars! Our next AGM will take place via Zoom on:

Sunday June 27, 3pm

Members will be sent a link for the meeting.

Well, its been a super quiet year dance wise… but we need to have an AGM to keep the society going. So members, join us on zoom on the 27th for a chat, and share ideas for moving forward when things open up.

(This isn’t an election year, as all positions were filled last year, and they last 2 years)

Become a member! Have you attended our dances and want to contribute to the community? Join us!

Become a member!

Do you attend the west coast swing dances WCSA puts on at Bonnie Doon? Now you can become a member of the non-profit society!

To become a member, show up in person to an upcoming dance, fill out the very short form and that’s it. Membership is free.

Our dances are run completely by volunteers. This past year we became a non-profit society called the West Coast Swing Addicts Dance Society, which sets up west coast swing dances to continue long into the future!

This means we have a board of directors, bylaws and regular meetings and an Annual General Meeting where the executive is elected. (Read history and bylaws)

By becoming a member… well, there aren’t many benefits… BUT you do get added to our email list and get notified of upcoming events, AND you get to vote at the AGM for the next executive.

If you want to run for a position on the executive that’s great! (There are a couple of restrictions on who can be on the board) We’ll be announcing soon when the AGM will be.

The problem with unwanted dance tips & advice

At our last board meeting, the issue of ‘teaching on the floor’ was raised. ‘Teaching on the floor’ is when a dancer gives their partner unsolicited advice or critiques their dancing on the social dance floor

At our meeting we heard recent stories of new dancers getting asked to dance, but then getting unwanted advice, tips, and lectures about their dancing. This is reported from several beginner dancers about several experienced dancers. Some beginners have decided not to come back because of this feedback.

We’re all working to grow our dance community, and it’s great when new people come out to try it. Our first instinct is to want to help them learn.

But when ‘help’ is —pushed— on them by taking the new dancer aside and lecturing them or repeatedly offering tips to them as they dance, that adds up to an evening of people picking at you. That’s not fun. Not welcoming.

Even if the new dancer doesn’t want your advice, how can they say no? You are clearly the experienced dancer and this is your community.

Think back to when you were a beginner. You know learning a new dance takes some work, and plenty of encouragement.

No matter how well intentioned you are, no matter what level of dancer you are, please stop offering unsolicited advice on the social dance floor or during lessons.

Here is our advice: Dance with everyone, at whatever level they are at, with whatever they can do. Give them the best, most fun dance you can. Be encouraging and point out the things they are doing well. Show how much you love this dance. No, they won’t do it perfectly… but they just might come back. (… and thanks for reading, see you on the floor)

(Reposted from our Facebook Group)

2019 Christmas Dance

WCSA Christmas Dance 2019

What a great turnout to end of 2019! For our last dance of 2019 on December 20 we brought in lights and sound courtesy of Trevor Mullen, along with some Christmas goodies. We gave away prizes with our ‘dance with everyone’ wristbands. Three dancers were given special wristbands, and when they got a new partner, they gave the wristband away. When prize time was called, whoever had a wristband won a prize! Thanks to Sherry Tovell for providing a private lesson as one of the prizes!

See you on the floor in 2020!

Jen and Alpha Swung into Edmonton

Wow what a weekend! Thank you to Jen Malcolm and Alpha Vo for 6 fantastic workshops, to Earl for bringing lights and sound, Nicole for doing pro hospitality, our committee of event volunteers from Edson and Addicts – and everyone from near and far who spent their weekend with us!

We’ve gotten a lot of very positive feedback on everything – it was a real community effort coming together to make this happen!

west coast swing edmonton
west coast swing edmonton

Lead or Follow: You can do both!

West Coast Swing Addicts Dance Society supports the idea that dance roles (lead and follow) do not need to be tied to gender. Men can follow, women can lead. As well, its totally OK for the same gender to dance with each other: men to dance with men and women with women.

Anyone can dance with anyone – you can just ask them if they want to lead or follow.

Why would you want to switch roles?

Here are a couple of good reasons:

Getting to know the other role will make you a better dancer. “Oh, is that was that feels like!” Knowing how that move is lead – or how it feels when its lead to you – will give you greater empathy for the other role. Not to mention learning new footwork will expand your capabilities.

Often at dances, the numbers are never even. There are inevitably more follows or more leads. When the numbers of leads / follows are unbalanced, it means people sit out and don’t dance, sometimes for many, many songs. It also means the minority role can get overworked – feeling like they need to dance more because of the offset numbers.

By having more dancers with the ability to switch roles, it means more people get to dance!

Proud Sponsors of 2019’s Calgary Dance Stampede

West Coast Swing Addicts was proud to be one of the sponsors of the 2019 Calgary Dance Stampede! Along with West Coast Swing Calgary, our contribution made it so the west coast swing Jack and Jill competitors were free for competitors. Its was a big year for CDS, where they were looking to gain status as a sanctioned event for west coast swing competitions. They needed 60 competitors, and it looks like they made that number (or came very close).

Kyle Loranger represented WCSA at the presentation of the cash prizes for the Jack and Jills.