At the US Open Swing Dance Championship in 2011, Jordan Frisbee & Tatianna Mollmann performed a West Coast Swing routine to the song “More” by Usher. The routine starts off slowly and to a guitarist, but the dance then speeds up, the music gets faster, and the modern version of the song comes on. What’s interesting about this routine is the music will have a slow tempo, speed up, and have a slower tempo than the original beat at the beginning of the song. The audience is drawn into the dance and everything comes to life when more than the dancers move; the music moves as well, and there’s a better connection between the dancers and the music, which is an outstanding, unique site to watch.
Frisbee and Mollmann have much connection between one another in this dance. For example, throughout the routine you will see Mollmann twirl multiple times- sometimes faster or slower than others- as Frisbee holds her arm up, having a perfect lead. Another example is the body rolls between the two dancers: both are synchronized. In other words, Frisbee leads Mollmann in a way that the two either move together in the same direction or in the opposite direction. Personally I love the body roles in this routine because West Coast Swing requires a straight, upright back and movement of the feet that connects with the knees, hips, and so on and so forth. As the feet move, the back forms a body roll during a basic step, and I feel that these daners purposefully added more body rolls to the routine in order to make the performance more interesting and enjoyable to watch for the audience. One other thing that personally jumped out at me in this dance was the four small “jumps” more toward the end, on four beats of the song. Mollmann faces away from Frisbee, both are standing upright, and are parallel to one another. I personally thought this was an awesome move for two reasons. One, normally in US Open competition dancers will be straight faced and stick to the unprecedented movements of the dance. Here, both dancers were making the most of the performance and added some pop to the routine in order to draw the audience, and judges, inward, to have some fun. Two, the jumps make the audience remember that although there is a connection and a lead between the two, and there is one single unit, the unit is still made up of two different people, regardless of a lead, regardless of a routine, regardless of a connection, and I loved how the two expressed individuality, which I have never seen in a dance routine, and I believe that is what makes it so authentically unique.
In conclusion, this dance elaborates on every element of West Coast swing, although many of them have not been listed here. The connection between the two- and yet the indivualism of each dancer- that forms a unit, the body rolls, and most importantly, the attitude: both dancers smile, point at each other, and lip sing the song, which makes the routine even more exciting to watch.