I dance Country and Western. Have you ever seen some of the top professionals from the Country World. I would like to see a catergory placed in DanceSport for Country Western. Check us out at www.ucwdc.com.
I think that the good country dancers are very good, but I do sense a looking down the nose from the ballroom latin world.
I think the all of the us vs. them spats in dance are detrimental to dance as a whole. The same thing has happened within country/western with the CWDI/USDWDC thing.
An interesting thing, each year Brigham Young University host the National Profession Ballroom and Youth Latin Championships. As part of this, they have bronze competitions in ballroom and some western dances. The dancers at this level come from the classes taught at the University. For all the good things taught there in Ballroom and Latin, the TWO STEP competition is an embarrassment. The dancers are not dancing good two-step technique. It is quite bad. The dancers are very bouncy, both side-to-side and up-and-down. Unfortunately, this is the only impression that the audience ever gets of two step, or any other country/western dance for that matter.
On thinking further, the country people can be just as guilty as the ballroom people. I have heard many times, "we don't want to learn no #?&@ ballroom stuff!!" from country dancers, when in fact a little ballroom technique would help their dancing immensely.
I've also heard comments from many dancers that my wife and I were too "Ballroom" for country dancers. I've interpreted that to mean that we were working on posture, poise, progression and lines.
The reality is that some of the dances should at least, in theory be identical to what the rest of the world does, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing and Cha-cha in particular come to mind.
Location: Inkster Michigan USA
You know I agree that people from the ballroom world do look down there noses at the Country Western World. I experience this every week in my lessons. I recently competed in a Ballroom comp in the country divisions. I danced as an amatuer couple with a partner way below my level so we danced novice. I cleared this with the event coordinator. Keep in mind I dance in the UCWDC as an Advanced Pro-Am student. The dancing in the advanced level at the ballroom compitition was not even at the level of our newcommer dancers. I am talking even the Pro's. They were some of the top instuctors at the comp. This one is know for standard. He did a waltz with his advanced student that look like the floor was full of potholes. Put a pair of boots on a ballroom dancer and a pair of jeans and they loose all sense of how to dance. It is because they have no respect. I think it is awfull. Dancing is dancing no matter what format or type of music you do it too. A waltz is a waltz. Alot of top UCWDC couples have come from ballroom, and have taken instruction for ballroom. I know that I do to improve my dancing. People need to grow up and respect dancing as a whole instead of splitting Ballroom vs. Country. Each one gives us differences as well as simularities. I like to watch them both for different reasons. I like to dance them both for different reasons. Ok enough.
Remember to dance like no one is watching....
Thanks for your insight. I learned to love dance through Country, and have moved into the Ballroom, Latin and Swing world, though not competively. WCS and ECS are the same anywhere! I love it all!!! Just wish I could learn more faster.
In our area, back in the early nineties, the country instructors could have really benefited from having more dance knowledge. We would have learned a lot faster, and there might have been more couples that really learned lead/follow, technique etc, instead of just learning patterns. Just the same, we had lots of fun.
Now the popularity of country has gone way down, and we have very little opportunity to dance at all, becuase ballroom, latin and swing has not caught on with the masses enough.
wade, I have just returned from the UCWDC World Championships. We had a blast. If you miss dancing than you should check out some of the UCWDC events. The social dancing was down this year but it still was outstanding. Ballroom events don't have social dancing. I love nothing more than to go to a Country event and at night be able to watch top pro's dance socially. It is wonderful to see how they interpret the music on the fly and also to dance with them. It is wonderful. I agree, even just five years ago the professional country instuctors were not really techique oriented. But now there are a lot that come from ballroom and also teach at very promient ballroom studios. Check out the events you won't be disappointed. you can even do a Rumba or a Bolero or maybe even a samba or two at a country event. A mafority of the people have some knowledge of these and many more ballroom dances.
Location: Sacramento, CA, United States
That's not entirely true...as long as they aren't running way behind schedule, all the comps i've been too had social dancing. For the most part, it's 5-10 minutes sandwiched between events, and the floor is packed, but it's better than nothing! I'd like to see more of it, though...like they have at the swing comps.
I'm so jealous of you going to worlds!!
I agree that there has been a lot more social dancing at the country events I've been to.
We just got back from the big competition at BYU, and there were only a couple of social dances during the two days we were there. I know that they have many more events to run in the schedule, so it's pretty clear why they can't have more social dancing.
The other thing I like about country events was the smaller format, lots of people knew each other and socialized a lot. They also had more vendor booths and you could also sign up for clinics and learn something too. I really enjoyed the dances they held after the comps too.
But, BYU was great too. I've read some people express sour grapes elsewhere in the discussion board about who place where, but to me, it doesn't matter. I just enjoy seeing all of the great dancing. I'm such a fanatic, I bought tickets two minutes after they went on sale. The only people ahead of me actually worked at BYU, so we got to sit in the row right behind the reserved seating for the professionals.
Country has somewhat died out in our area. It has retreated mostly into the bars. There are a few die-hard line dancers still around, but line dancing drives us crazy. Gimme a two-step or WCS!!!
Location: Little Rock, AR, USA
I don't know if this thread is defunct, but here goes.
I do pro-am competition in ballroom and am/am in country-western. I was introduced to the wonderful world of partner dancing through country-western and I still love it, although if I had to choose, I would choose dancing ballroom.
Both forms have advantages and disadvantages. Dancing pro-am in ballroom is affordable in CW but much more expensive in ballroom. There does seem to be more and better social or "general" dancing at country comps. Country comps are very "user-friendly" and more casual, which is nice sometimes, although the more I get into ballroom, the less patience I have with some of the more "hokey" or silly goings-on at country competitions.
I have a great deal of respect for the technique and ability of today's country western dancers, especially at the top levels. These folks are wonderful dancers and very entertaining to watch. And, I still think, even after 4 years of ballroom lessons, that country 2-step is the most difficult dance in the world to do well. There is no ballroom dance that is comparable. That's not to say that country is harder than ballroom, it's just that 2-step is very hard to do at a high competitive level. My country partner and I always place very high in chacha and waltz but not so high in 2-step.
I hate the fact that country western does seem to be decreasing in popularity, just as all the competitors are taking lessons and really dancing with good technique.
Ballroomers looking down their noses at country western dancers is a result of ignorance. Good CW dancing is truly just "ballroom with boots."
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