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The Naked Truth: Real Talk about West Coast Swing

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The Naked Wine Coast Truth: Live from Boogie by the Bay 2019

We love a good conversation with friends. So for our latest live show at Boogie by the Bay, we teamed up with the hosts of "Wine Coast Swing," Brandi Guild and Robert Royston, to chat, laugh, and drink wine! In this episode, we talk about Boogie by the Bay and what makes it special. We talk about the challenges of dealing with rejection and defeat. We discuss how Robert, Brandi, and Deborah have stayed relevant for so long. And we invited Dr. Martha Stark to come chat for a bit about her...


Live from Bridgetown Swing 2019

We always have a great time when we get together with our audience, and our latest live show was no exception. We sat down with the fun and funny Christopher Dumond to chat about his background in dance, his rise to the champion level, and his own ups and downs in the dance world. He shared his experience with - and his passion for - music and audio production and how it has influenced his dancing. And he shared his views of the changes the US Open is making to judging this year, as well as...



Culture can be difficult to recognize or even define, and yet it permeates and shapes the dynamic of any group of people that interacts regularly. In our global West Coast Swing community, we have a culture - and many subcultures - that dictate how we think, feel, and act. In this episode, we sit down with Dr. Jennifer Parlamis, Associate Professor at the University of San Francisco School of Management, to talk about organizational culture more broadly and our dance community culture more...


One year later…

Can you believe it's been one year since we released our first episode? To celebrate the occasion, we sat down to reflect upon our first year making this podcast. We discussed our favorite episodes, the challenges of making the show, and what we've learned (or not) from doing the show. We also looked ahead at the guests we hope to sit down with and the kinds of episodes we hope to bring you in the coming year. Thank you all for listening, sharing your thoughts, and joining in the...


Judging with Gary Jobst (Part 2)

In the second part of our conversation about judging, we chat with Gary Jobst about his views of the World Swing Dance Council and how it has affected competitions. We also asked him what he thinks of the US Open, the changes they're making to judging this year, and the general topic of judging swing content. He talked with us about his judge training program and how he plans to refocus it now that he has sole ownership. Gary and Deborah debate some of the practicalities of judging and we...


Judging with Gary Jobst (Part 1)

When it comes to competitions, the fate of contestants lies in the hands of the judges. And when it comes to judging, few are as experienced and qualified as Gary Jobst. In the first of this two-part episode, we sat down with Gary to discuss his own background and how he got started as a judge and chief judge. We asked him what he thinks makes for a good West Coast Swing judge and what the role of a chief judge is. He talked about how he works with event directors as a chief judge and how he...


Sylvia Sykes (Part 2)

In the second part of our conversation with legendary swing dancer Sylvia Sykes, we chat with her about her influences, how Lindy and Balboa dancers honor their history, and how they view West Coast Swing. We asked her about the issues of cultural appropriation in the Lindy community and how the global expansion of West Coast Swing resembles that of Lindy Hop. She shared why she's not in the West Coast Swing community anymore, her views of judging swing, and her thoughts on changing the name...


Sylvia Sykes (Part 1)

If you want to get your facts straight, you go to the source. Well, in this episode, we spoke with living swing legend Sylvia Sykes to learn more about her experience, her perspective, and the history of swing. She chatted with us about how she got into swing dancing as a teenager, how she ended up on the television show Shebang, and how she met famous lindy hopper Dean Collins. She shared what if felt like to dance with Dean, what he taught her about swing and following, and what he was...


Alyssa Glanville

It's always amazing to see young talent skyrocket and flourish in our dance world, and in recent years, Alyssa Glanville has been one of those bright, shining stars. In this episode, we sat down with this charming, dynamic, and down-to-earth champion to talk about her background, her influences, and how she developed herself into a successful champion. She shared her thoughts on teaching and judging the dance, her partnership with John Kirkconnell, and becoming more of a solo professional....


Barry Jones

Known for his energy, flair, and big heart, Barry Jones has had a long and successful career in West Coast Swing. In this episode, we chat with this US Open champion about his origins in West Coast Swing, his time competing in Showcase with Judy Ford and Kellese Key, and what he likes to see in a swing routine. He talked with us about the impact of his own routines, competing at the US Open, and why he no longer judges. We asked him about his experience developing local dance communities,...


Sonny Watson

When it comes to understanding the history of our dance, few people bring a breadth and depth of knowledge like Sonny Watson. A dancer, teacher, judge, and historian who has been in our community for decades, he's experienced the dance and its many ups and downs firsthand. In this episode, we sat down with Sonny to chat about his own journey into the dance, who influenced him when he started, and how he got involved in the Southern California community. We asked him to share a bit about...


LeAnn & Michael Norris (Part 2)

In the second part of our conversation with champion Shag dancers Leann and Michael Norris, we talk about a variety of topics. We begin with a discussion of Michael's US Open-winning routine with Kellese Key and how they developed their choreography. They talked with us about taking over Grand Nationals from Charlie Womble and Jackie McGee, the challenges of running the event, and their reflections on honoring the event's history for its 25th anniversary. We asked them how the Shag community...


LeAnn & Michael Norris (Part 1)

Sure, this is a podcast about West Coast Swing, but our dance has been greatly influenced by our sister swing dances. So we sat down with LeAnn and Michael Norris - several-time Carolina Shag champions, the Event Directors of USA Grand Nationals Dance Championship, and two of the nicest people around - to learn more about another swing dance community and its crossover with our own. In the first of two episodes with LeAnn and Michael, we ask them about Carolina Shag, what it is as a dance,...


Mailbag #2

We love opportunities to engage with our audience, so we figured it was time to answer more of your questions - and reply to the conversations on social media. So we begin this episode with our initial reactions to the latest news from the US Open (announced the morning we recorded) about judging swing content. Then we dive into your questions about how to become a champion, developing different skills, and even wearing orthotics. We also answered questions about enforcing the point system,...


Sharlot Bott

With over three decades of experience in West Coast Swing, Sharlot Bott is a fount of knowledge and wisdom. Not only has she successfully competed with some of the best leaders in the history of the dance, but she has shaped the dance in her own right, and she has been an inspiration for so many of our top professionals today. We were privileged enough to chat with this icon of swing about her origins in the dance, the people who influenced her most, and how she developed her timeless style....


Ups and downs

We've talked before about the joys and challenges we face along our dance journeys. From the struggles of learning to dance to navigating the social structures of our community to disappointment in competitions, we often experience a range of highs and lows. And sometimes, for a whole host of reasons, we just lose our passion for dancing. In this episode, we talk about our current feelings towards dance. Eric, fresh off a two-week vacation, shares his feelings of apathy and ennui towards...


All Stars

What's in a name? The All Star division is the top division below our champions, and it is continually growing and evolving. In this episode, we chat about what it means to be an All Star Level dancer. We discuss how the division has progressed over the years, what we expect and want to see, and what we like and don't like in the current cohort of competitors. Whether you're an All Star, an aspiring All Star, or just someone curious about different levels of dancing, take a listen and see if...


Great Expectations

Disappointment is the sadness or displeasure caused by unfulfilled hopes or expectations, and let's be honest: we've all experienced some disappointment in the dance world. Or frustration. Or demotivation. Or a struggle of some kind. In this episode, we sit down once again with Dr. Divy Ravindranath to discuss how our expectations throughout our dance journeys affect our happiness, our feelings and attitudes about dance, and our behaviors towards others. We begin with a discussion about...


Tatiana Mollmann & Jordan Frisbee (Part 2)

In the second part of our conversation with these two legends, we get a deeper look at their careers and their influence over the global dance community. They shared their views of how the dance has spread globally and their role in making that happen. They talked about how they grounded their routines in West Coast Swing while also pushing the dance and their own creativity. We asked them whether they are mindful of their dancing when they compete, knowing that so many people are looking to...


Tatiana Mollmann & Jordan Frisbee (Part 1)

There is no one in our dance world today who is more accomplished, influential, and iconic than Tatiana Mollmann and Jordan Frisbee. And while we may get the chance to attend one of their workshops, see them perform, or even take a private lesson with them, we don't often get to hang out and chat with them about their experiences and their views. In this episode, we sit down with the 11-time US Open Classic Division Champions to discuss their beginnings in West Coast Swing, their role models...