Welcome to Part two of my recap of the Liberty Swing Competition! Last post I covered the actual comp in which my partner and I danced, and now I’m going to summarize the rest.
Quick Overview: Workshops, competitions I wasn’t in, one of the best hamburgers ever.
The workshops were very useful as I have a…hm…somewhat spotty learning history with West Coast Swing. In watching some of the younger pros up close, I have a much better sense of what WCS is, today, and where it’s going. Ballroom peeps, I’ve got stuff for you.
One of the most interesting things for me was to compare and contrast the Ballroom competitions I’ve attended to date with this one. For those of you who don’t know, ballroom comps work like this: take between 1 and 30 couples. Stick them on the floor. Let them dance for 90 seconds. Dismiss. Repeat with call-backs until the top seven can be placed. WCS comps, well, at the first glance there is way more variety in the types of contests. Jack & Jill, Showcase, Strictly Swing, Classic–all have different structures and different rules. Now I *do* know that at big Ballroom comps like the Ohio Star Ball, they do have a showcase division, but that isn’t the norm. The judges could care less if you have a choreographed routine or are making it up on the fly, and the amount of pre-set steps varies by experience level. WCS comps, on the other hand, capitalize on the improv aspect of the dance, with two out of the four types of contests required to be lead-follow. The difference is largely a cultural one, I think, and a bit of a shame, since lead-follow ballroom can be just as exciting.
The other difference, honestly, is that ballroom comps tend to be way more punctual. Now, I was assured that Liberty Swing usually runs on time, but needless to say…it didn’t. I was also assured that that was because way more people showed up than they expected–which is fair–but still ballroom comps win the prize for timeliness.
Something about the best hamburger?
Hahah well, let me tell you. If you are ever in New Brunswick, NJ, go here. Yes, yes, I know this is a dance blog. But contrary to popular belief, dancers eat. Sometimes we even eat a lot. And if you want to eat a lot, and you like hambergers, then, yes, you should check out The Counter. Your taste buds will thank you.