WCS+ Advanced Training Program

The WCS+ Advanced Training Program is a unique, year-long course of study designed to holistically develop more experienced dancers like you. Unlike typical classes and workshops, this program offers regular in-depth instruction, guided practice, individual coaching, and social support. WCS+ will improve your dancing skills, help you learn more effectively, and support you along your own personal dance journey.

How does it work?

The WCS+ program will take place on Tuesday nights for two hours each week. There will be a group class in the first hour and a guided practice during the second. The classes will offer you instruction while the practices offer you the opportunity to try and apply the material with the support of the instructor and your peers. You must attend both the instructional hour and guided practice each week to participate in the program.

During classes, you will be provided with drills and exercises to practice by yourself and with a partner. It is expected that you will work on the material between weekly classes to further develop your skills, competencies, and understanding of the material. You should also find peers from the program to practice with one-on-one or together in groups. To help you make the most of the program, you should also regularly dance in the local community to put your learning to use in real world situations. Though not part of the program, you will also be encouraged to take regular private lessons to acquire more individual feedback and instruction.

What will I learn?

We will cover a number of topics over the course of the year, including:

  • Quality of movement
  • Weight transfers, including leg action and footwork
  • Frame and physical connection
  • Body lead and follow in a slot
  • Creating stretch and compression
  • Timing, rhythm, and syncopations
  • Variations on the basics and common patterns
  • Advanced turn technique
  • Styling and shaping
  • Partner dynamics and communication
  • Individual and partnered musicality, including feeling, accents, and phrase changes
  • How to give and solicit feedback
  • How to learn and practice
  • How to develop a positive, growth mindset and respond to challenges
  • How to understand your role in the dance community

How is the program structured throughout the year?

WCS+ is divided into three different sessions (each about four months long) and each session is a sequence of three units: the first unit will focus on technique, the second applies that technique to content and styling, and the third will cover musical interpretation. The goal is to give students enough time to absorb and retain the material from each unit and then add it to their current knowledge base, incrementally building on material previously taught. Each unit aims to impart knowledge, ensure understanding, and provide different contexts for application. It is expected that participants will take all three sessions to get the most out of the program.

How will I know I’m making progress?

In addition to the program goals set for all participants, you will work with the instructor at the beginning of the program to set measurable personal goals for the year. These goals will pertain not only to dance skills but also to your own dance journey. At the end of each unit, the instructor will provide you with feedback on your performance with that unit’s material, and at the end of each session, there will be a critique session and one-on-one meetings with the instructor to discuss your overall progress. The aim is to provide periodic feedback to help you meet both the goals of the program and your own personal goals for the year.

Who is eligible?

The program will be invitation-only, in order to control the size of the class and to ensure that those in the program meet a minimum level of proficiency. To be invited, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have a level of proficiency where you have a solid foundation of technique and understanding to benefit from the program as well as not hinder the progress of others in the program.
  • You must have made Novice finals at least once in the past year or be eligible to compete at the Intermediate or Advanced levels of competition.
  • You must demonstrate a serious commitment to – and willingness to invest in – raising your level of proficiency, by practicing regularly and/or seeking additional instruction, and by maintaining a positive, open, and humble attitude.

What is the commitment?

The program is for those who are committed to getting better. As a participant, it is expected that you will commit to the following:

  • Attendance at Tuesday nights for the duration of the program.
  • Practice outside of weekly classes and practices.
  • Social dancing in the local West Coast Swing community at least three times per month.
  • Working on maintaining a positive, open, collaborative, and humble attitude.

That said, life happens and people have other priorities, so you will be allowed up to three absences per session and no more than two absences per unit. You should give advance notice for any absences (at least 24 hours, if possible) and you will be responsible for catching up and learning any material that was missed from your peers.

What will it cost?

You will be charged at a rate of $20 per week, which includes instruction, practice, and the cost of studio rental. Payment will be per session, with payments to be made at least a week prior to the start of the next session.

The payment schedule is as follows:

First session (15 weeks, January 7 – April 21) $300
Second session (16 weeks, May 5 – August 25) $320
Third session (16 weeks, September 1 – December 22) $320

Why should I enroll in this program?

This is not just another weekly class. The WCS+ Program is designed to holistically develop dancers and accelerate your growth. To that end, the program offers you a number of benefits:

  • In-depth study of techniques, skills, and concepts targeting your level of competency.
  • A focus on practical drills and exercises to make practicing easier.
  • Guided practice following class to ensure class material is understood and absorbed.
  • Regular individual feedback and video critiques to help you keep progressing forward.
  • Coaching to help you develop a positive, resilient mindset and overcome challenges.
  • Mentoring to help you develop along your personal dance journey.
  • Support from a group of peers who are also committed to improving.