Robert Royston

The legendary Robert Royston joins us to discuss his early days in West Coast Swing, what he did to become a dance professional, and how the dance scene has changed over the last thirty years. We talked about the problems of judging, how to balance the past and future of the dance, and what excites him about what is happening in our community right now. He also shared with us his personal insecurities, why he dislikes “Facebook petting,” and what’s next for him as he thinks about his own legacy. Listen to find out why humility and a dose of arrogance are important for success in the dance world, and why we shouldn’t give every dance a standing ovation.

Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery by Eric Franklin
The Thinking Body by Mabel Elsworth Todd
Human Movement Potential: Its Ideokinetic Facilitation by Lulu E. Sweigard
Taking Root to Fly: Articles on Functional Anatomy by Irene Dowd
Thinking Sensing and Doing in Latin American Dancing by Ruud Vermey


  1. This edition might be better labeled “the bitter truth”. Facebook petting. Calling out judges. (Yes I agree with you. Sometimes the judges seem to reward the incredible fail/recover rather than the cool overall goodness). You have to work for what you want….

  2. Listening to this a 2nd time, since it was so awesome (and OK, I was also working)..

    Listening to Robert Royston talk about watching the pros. dance, I totally remember watching you, Deborah, and Robert Corboda social dancing one night and then in a blink you guys swapped roles.. I was like, what just happened?!?!? I never really thought about switching roles, until that moment, and then suddenly you guys just opened a whole new can of worms for me to explore.

  3. I remember the late night jam sessions that Robert discussed. In many ways those jam sessions were more fun to watch than the contests — the spontaneous creativity was SO much fun to just watch.

    I agree that the rise of the “circuit pros” and social media have changed the weekend event from a “working vacation” to a “marketing event” — complete with the pros needing to stay in character, on brand, and focused the whole time. While I miss the fun of the olden days…in many ways this shift has greatly improved the professionalism of the pros at events.

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