workshops

Swing majors:

Build Your Own Intensive! 

 

Every topic is important in your dance journey, but we recognize that it can be hard to find a focus or retain everything you learned and have it build from one workshop to another in a busy weekend. All Star SwingJam offers our "Swing Majors", 4 optional and customizable workshop tracks that allow you to pick a single focus in your education for the weekend in a build-your-own-adventure method. As an added bonus, each person who completes a full track will win a trophy during awards, just like our competition winners, and will be entered in a drawing for 2 free passes to our 2024 event! 

 

Following the recommended tracks is completely optional, all workshops are open to all attendees, however, anyone choosing to complete a full track and be eligible for the awards must complete in a single track:

- 4 Required classes
- 4 Elective classes
- Leveled Individual Feedback Class

 

No early registration is required, just pick up your color-coded Swing Major Report Card at the registration desk as you head to your first workshop. After each class, the instructors will stamp your card. Collect all your stamps and return the cards in the designated box at the registration desk on Sunday afternoon. Lose your card during the weekend? You can request your instructor stamp a replacement card by answering 2 questions about each workshop you attended.  
 

Our 2023 Swing Majors:
Musicality  -  Connection  -  Footwork  -  Community
 

Musicality:

 

The musicality track focuses on the creative nature of West Coast Swing. Learning how to better understand the music we dance to and how to incorporate that understanding into your dance. You’ll explore different movements and how to change and adjust your dancing to express the different songs and energies we’re trying to communicate. By taking this course you’ll be more confident in your understanding, expression and communication of the music we dance to.

 

    Required Classes: 

       - Fancy Footwork: Riley Crozier, Friday 7pm

       - Partnered Musicality: Thomas Carter & Mia Primavera, Friday 8pm

       - Preparing for Phrase Changes: Phoenix Grey, Saturday 12pm

       - Dancing to Different Music Genres: Mia Primavera, Saturday 4pm

    Elective Classes (Pick 4 or more):

       - Being Musical With Your Feet: Hannah Guttman, Saturday 5pm

       - Deconstructing Whips: Phoenix Grey, Friday 5pm

       - Old School vs New School: Estelle, Saturday 3pm

       - Filling Musical Space: Thomas Carter & Shanna Porcari, Saturday 11am

       - Fireside Chat "Music Genre's & Cultures": AssJam DJ Team, Saturday 1pm

       - Spin & Turn Technique: Austin Scharnhorst & Kali Casas, Friday 6pm

       - Solo Movement & Mini Choreo: Mia Primavera, Saturday 11am

       - Frames for Grooves: Za Thomaier & Anna Wallace, Friday 5pm

       - Spotlight Training, The Do's & Don'ts: John Piper & Faith Musko, Saturday 1pm

       - 6's & 8's: Eric Jacobson, Saturday 5pm

   
 

Connection:

 

This track is all about the seen and unseen of our dance. Connection is the groundwork of West Coast Swing, it’s one of the reasons this dance is so unique. Being able to share your creativity and ideas with your partner with a flick of the wrist or an increase in energy is an amazing feeling. This course will focus on how to communicate with your partner, safely introduce new ideas, listen to each other, and have a genuine conversation on the dance floor.

    Required Classes:

       - Working in Closed Position: Glenn Acheampong & Shanna Porcari, Friday 8pm

       - Preparing for Phrase Changes: Phoenix Grey, Saturday 12pm

       - Hand Changes & Switches: Austin Scharnhorst & Kali Casas, Saturday 1pm

       - Next Level Communication: Andrew Oprychal & Janelle Guido, Saturday 4pm

    Elective Classes (Pick 3 or more):

       - All About Tucks: Andrew Oprychal & Janelle Guido, Friday 6pm

       - Role Switching: Riley Crozier & Tim Kenny, Friday 6pm

       - Deconstructing Whips: Phoenix Grey, Friday 5pm

       - Stealing: Za Thomaier & Anna Wallace, Friday 8pm

       - Connecting With a New Partner: Austin Scharnhorst & Kali Casas, Saturday 3pm

       - Individual & Shared Moments: Za Thomaier & Anna Wallace, Saturday 3pm

       - Frames for Grooves: Za Thomaier & Anna Wallace, Friday 5pm

       - Spin & Turn Technique: Austin Scharnhorst & Kali Casas, Friday 6pm

       - Follow Your Follow: Estelle, Friday 5pm

       - Spotlight Training, The Do's & Don'ts: John Piper & Faith Musko, Saturday 5pm

Footwork:

The footwork track brings us back to our roots and grounds us in our past. We’ll incorporate some old-style swing with the most current ideas to enhance your footwork and learn how to create amazing rhythms and styles to match and enhance any song. Instructors will focus on both the action and the movement behind it to perfect your technique. 

    Required Classes:

       - Fancy Footwork: Riley Crozier, Friday 8pm

       - Rhythmic Footwork: Hannah Guttman, Friday 9pm

       - Fun Fundamentals: Andrew Oprychal & Janelle Guido, Saturday 12pm

       - Triple Step Variations: Eric Jacobson, Saturday 4pm

    Elective Classes (Pick 3 or more):

        - Being Musical With Your Feet: Hannah Guttman, Saturday, 5pm

        - All About Tucks: Andrew Oprychal & Janelle Guido, Friday 6pm

       - Old School vs New School: Estelle, Saturday 3pm

       - 6's & 8's: Eric Jacobson, Saturday 5pm

       - Follow Your Follower: Estelle, Friday 5pm

       - Shake That Line Dance: Phoenix Grey, Saturday 11am

       - Spin & Turn Technique: Austin Scharnhorst & Kali Casas, Friday 6pm

       - Filling Musical Space: Thomas Carter & Shanna Porcari, Saturday 11am

       - Spotlight Training, The Do's & Don'ts: John Piper & Faith Musko, Saturday 1pm

       - Floorcraft, Dancing in a Crowd: Glenn Acheampong & Shanna Porcari, Saturday 1pm

Community:

 

The community track shifts your focus from thinking about what you can do within the dance to what you can do for the dance. The saying is that it takes a village to raise a baby, and a dance community is just as precious. It takes teamwork, time, and the efforts of a lot of dedicated people. Here some incredibly fun classes will help you explore ways to contribute to your community, participate in discussions about the future and growth of the dance, and gain a better understanding of all the roles that are necessary to a successful dance community. 

    Required Classes: 

       - Beginner 101: Tim Kenny, Friday 7pm 

       - Connecting With a New Partner: Austin Scharnhorst & Kali Casas, Saturday 3pm

       - How to Dance With Any Level Partner: Estelle, Saturday 12pm

       - Floorcraft, Dancing in a Crowd: Glenn Acheampong & Shanna Porcari, Saturday 1pm

    Elective Classes (Pick 3 or more):

       - Role Switching: Riley Crozier & Tim Kenny, Friday 6pm

       - Fireside Chat "Event Weekend Preparation": Austin, Glenn, Estelle, Shanna, Friday 9pm

       - Stealing: Za Thomaier & Anna Wallace, Friday 8pm

       - Dancing to Different Music Genres: Mia Primavera, Saturday 4pm

       - Follow Your Follower: Estelle, Friday 5pm

       - Solo Movement & Mini Choreo: Mia Primavera, Saturday 11am

       - Next Level Communication: Andrew Oprychal & Janelle Guido, Saturday 4pm

       - Shake That Line Dance: Phoenix Grey, Saturday 11am

       - Fireside Chat "Building a New Community": Casey, Phoenix, Riley, Thomas, Saturday 5pm

       - Partnered Musicality: Thomas Carter & Mia Primavera, Friday 8pm

       

FIRESIDE CHATS

Relax and settle in for a stirring conversation! 

 

 Each year, we offer multiple opportunities for freeform discussion with attendees and staff. Our leaders for each topic will kick things off with a question or thought and the rest is up to you. Topics will be allowed to develop naturally through the hour. Ask or answer - everyone here is both a teacher and a student! The only limits are the extent of your thoughts and opinions around our community. This is a great place for brainstorming, asking for input, and exchanging ideas all while giving your feet a short break from the dance floor. 

2023 TOPICS: 

Friday 8pm: "Event Weekend Prep" with Austin, Estelle, Glenn, & Shanna

Saturday 1pm: "Music Genres & Cultures" with the DJ Team

Saturday 5pm: "Building a New Community" with Casey, Phoenix, Riley, & Thomas

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leveled Individual Feedback workshops
 

With the ENTIRE teaching staff! 
Novice: Ann, Austin, Eric, Janelle, Shanna, Thomas
Intermediate: Glenn, Hannah, Kali, Riley, Za
Advanced & All-Star: Andrew, Estelle, Mia, Phoenix, Tim
A favorite of our past 3 years, this is a perfect opportunity to get feedback specific to your dancing. Classes are divided by the WSDC level you are eligible to dance in and provide an opportunity to interact on a personal level with multiple instructors.
Novice & Intermediate Formats:
    Participants will be divided into 3 rotating groups. Instructors will be divided and assigned to 2 groups, rotating every 20 minutes. Social music will be played for 1 hour, while instructors float between dancers answering questions, and offering advice. For the remaining 30 minutes, instructors will each choose an area of the dance floor and float among participants in that area. Participants are encouraged to social dance near those instructors they would like further feedback from. 
Advanced & All Star Format:
    Participants will be invited to volunteer for individual spotlighted critiques one at a time. Staff moderators will invite feedack and observations from the entire class for each couple. 

The Puppy Play-shops
 

With Sir Neville and Lady Violet Longbottom

 

 

 

No one likes getting up early after a great night of dancing, so we've come up with the best way to wake up (no it's not Folgers in your cup). Join Neville, Violet, and the rest of the staff puppy team at 10am on Saturday and Sunday for a morning PLAYshop! Bring your yoga matt, stretch, toss some balls & toys, sip your coffee, and feel warmed up for your first WORKshop at 11am! 

For the safety of all dogs and attendees, please ask us before bringing your own dog to this playshop. Dogs will need to be approved prior to start time as dogs will be off-leash. At all other times during the event, dogs must be leashed. 

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Judge's Feedback Panel

Join many of our judges after awards as they host a panel reviewing their perspective and feedback from experiences over the weekend. In the first 30 minutes they will give a brief overview of how they scored each division, including focus and deciding factors they found. The remaining 30 minutes will be an open Q&A on judging & scoring. 

SPOTLIGHT TRAINING: THE DO'S & DONT'S

Our Head Judge John Piper and Apprentice Head Judge Faith Musko will offer this workshop specifically focused on the skills needed for a great spotlight dance. Stay tuned for more details on the format offered in this class!