Questions about Aggie Westies lessons
What can I expect from a group lesson?
You will pair with someone in the class. Everyone will learn a move or a component of a move, then rotate to another person. The benefit of rotating through several partners is you can experience different dance connections. This helps better prepare you for social dancing. Plus, it allows you to make lots of new friends! Sometimes, the instructors will separate leaders from followers to help the two groups learn footwork more efficiently.
If you feel unsure about rotating through the line or you are unable to rotate due to an injury, please speak to one of the instructors or officers. We pride ourselves in creating an inclusive and safe environment for all.
How much is my first lesson?
Do I need to bring a partner?
Nope. In fact, most people come without one.
What should I wear to a group class?
Wear a comfortable shirt and pants that you can move in. Most people wear jeans and a T-shirt or a nice shirt/blouse. Due to the nature of the dance, most ladies opt to wear pants or leggings instead of a skirt or dress, but the choice is yours!
For shoes, wear something that can slide along the floor. Most new dancers wear Toms or Converse. Avoid super high heels, heavy shoes (e.g. cowboy boots), or anything with tons of traction (e.g. running shoes). We have dance socks available to slip over your shoes to make them more danceable. Please speak with an instructor for more information.
If you have been dancing awhile and feel ready to take the plunge and buy dance shoes, please check out our Shoe Resources page for more information.
What if I have no dance experience?
No worries! There is a wide range of backgrounds and experience levels within our group. The classes are paced at a rate that is comfortable for dancers of all backgrounds.
Will I be the only beginner?
Definitely not. We have newcomers trying out our classes every 6 weeks. As mentioned previously, there are dancers of all backgrounds and experience levels present.
What is the difference between Level 1 and Level 2?
Aggie Westies offers two levels of group classes for dancers of different experience levels. Level 1 teaches you the fundamentals of the dance over a 6-week period. If you are a beginner, this is the class for you! Level 1 lessons also build upon one another. For this reason, we do not allow new people to start taking the class after the second week of classes.
Level 2 is for people who feel comfortable with the basics, including sugar push, sugar tuck, left side pass, right side pass, and whip. After you have completed Level 1, you have the opportunity to dance with one of our instructors and audition for Level 2. Level 2 lessons are independent, meaning they do not build upon one another. They cover a wide range of topics, including new moves, technique, connection, and musicality.
What is expected from me in a group lesson?
We expect you to come ready to learn, be yourself, and have fun. Aggie Westies is famous throughout Texas for our welcoming and non-judgmental attitude. We strive to create a safe environment, where all dancers are free to learn and express themselves. Naturally, this includes being respectful of others. If you want to learn more, please check out our Dancefloor Etiquette page for more information. Our instructors and officers are passionate about sharing with you the greatest dance ever (not that we’re biased or anything)!
Questions about West Coast Swing
What is West Coast Swing?
West Coast Swing (WCS), also called Modern Swing, is a style of swing that is danced to modern music. Instead of being upbeat and bouncy, this style of dance is smooth and elastic. It can be danced to all types of music, from blues to pop to rock-and-roll. Check out our What is WCS? page for more information.
Do I have to dance to traditional swing/big band music?
Not at all! WCS can be danced to any type of music in 4/4 time. Since West Coast Swing is a dance that evolves with modern music, you will mostly be dancing to pop, R&B, and blues. Our social dancing commonly features music by artists like Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Sam Smith.
What are ways outside of group lessons that I can learn more about the dance?
Private lessons are a great way to learn and grow quickly in your dance. We regularly have professional dancers in town for events. If you are interested in learning from them in a private lesson, please ask one of our instructors or officers for more information. You can also drill and practice on your own. Please check out our Videos page for more resources. One of the best ways to grow as a dancer is to social dance with as many people as possible. We have social dancing every week after lessons. We hope to see you there!
Questions about events and competition
Does everyone at Aggie Westies compete at events?
No. Dance events are a great way to learn and get social dancing experience, and thus, many of our members enjoy attending these events. Some of our dancers are interested in competing at these events, and some are not. It is totally based on personal preference. You will never be pressured to compete or attend any events.
I’m interested in going to an event, but I’m not ready to compete. Is it possible to attend an event without competing?
Absolutely! Events typically have three main components: competition, workshops, and social dancing. It is certainly an option to participate in only the workshops and social dancing without competing. If you are a student, you can often get a discounted student rate on your weekend pass.
I’m interested in going to an event, and I’m ready to compete. How do I find out more?
Please speak to one of the instructors or officers. We are happy to help you prepare for your first competition. If you are a student, you can often get a discounted student rate on your weekend pass.
What are the types of competition?
There are three main types:
The most common type is Jack-and-Jill. You are randomly assigned different partners and songs to test your lead and follow abilities. In Strictly Swing, you are allowed to pick your partner in advance, but not your songs. Routines are the third type. In this style of competition, you pick both your partner and song in advance. This is the only division where you are allowed to develop choreography and wear costumes.
Each of the types of competition is divided into levels based on experience. The levels are Newcomer, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, All Star, and Champion. (There is also a Masters Division for dancers of all experience levels that are over a certain age.) Once you get enough points in Jack-and Jills in one level, you can compete in the next level.