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. She talked with us about her partnerships with Lance Shermoen and her late husband Wayne Bott, and how these two great men have influenced our dance. We asked about her opinion on the dance today, the role of WSDC, swing content, and how she approaches judging. She also shared her thoughts on her changing role in our community and what she hopes her legacy will be. Get to know this living legend and learn from her wealth of experience!
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 dance, and Deborah shares her own frustrations and experiences with the dance world. We discuss our observations about the ups and downs in dancing, the importance of our lives outside of dance, and the different ways we recharge and rejuvenate so we can continue to enjoy dancing. It’s a personal and introspective episode that hopefully helps some others facing similar experiences.
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 you agree.
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 entitlement – what it is, how it works, and how it plays out in our dance world – before jumping to lots of topics about how we perceive our dance experiences. We chat about competitions, how our perception of good dancing changes as we improve, and the challenges of getting more experienced dancers to ask new people to dance. It’s a broad discussion of a variety of topics with a little something for everyone to enjoy.
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 them as examples of the dance. We got into a discussion about knowing your history, understanding the past, and how it informs their teaching today. And finally, they told us the story of how they decided to retire from the Classic division, and where they have been going with their careers since. Lots of honest, heartfelt reflections from two of the greatest dancers of our time.
Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollman
Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollman – Viva La Vida
Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollman – Stole the Show
Kyle Redd & Sarah Vann Drake – Groove is in the Heart
Robert Cordoba & Kellese Key – Phantom of the Opera
Ramiro Gonzalez and Sylvia Sykes – Street Swing – US Open 1995
Sonny Watson’s StreetSwing.com