Imperial Swing Dancing is an all-inclusive audiovisual course in St. Louis' own style of East Coast Swing which is danced in a slot and infused with a touch of West Coast Swing styling. The illustrated, 454-page manual is written by Skip Culver and it may be purchased in either a Print Edition or an eBook Edition (see: www.ImperialSwing.com). The text is a valuable resource because it teaches the Basic through Advanced level dance moves that are presented in the classes and workshops of the swing dance clubs in the St. Louis area. This comprehensive manual covers all the variables of swing dancing: lead, footwork, movement, patterns and styling; and it enables you to learn them at your own pace for the same price as a one-hour private lesson!
The manual is just as applicable to new dancers as to those who are experienced. The first 200 pages of the text describe the different moves taught in the Basic I, Basic II and Basic III classes sponsored by the clubs affiliated with the Midwest Swing Dance Federation and the remaining pages describe the moves and styling taught in their Intermediate and Advanced classes. This quality eBook comes with an informative, 108-page Bonus Supplement plus a two-hour instructional DVD taught by Matt Auclair. The manual is not a general ‘all about swing’ survey course; instead, it accurately covers in detail both the handwork and footwork of over 900 versatile, slotted Imperial Swing moves and patterns that you may easily adapt to related dance styles like East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, the Shag, Bop and Country/Western. Regardless of your favorite style of dance, this all-inclusive manual with its accompanying instructional DVD, is an essential reference text because it contains the most complete collection of swing moves available anywhere!
Over the past five decades, Imperial Swing (named for the Club Imperial in St. Louis) has evolved into a hybrid of East and West Coast Swing that dancers now perform within a rectangular dance space called a slot using both six-count and eight-count footwork. West Coast Swing shares the same core moves with Imperial Swing: the starter (or basic) step, the pass (side pass and pass-by), the sugar push (or patty-cake) and the whip. Although both of these 'slot bop' styles of swing are very similar, traditionally West Coast Swing lessons tend to emphasize MOVEMENT and Imperial Swing lessons tend to emphasize MOVES. The manual successfully reconciles the imbalance between these two instructional approaches because it is heavily influenced by the classes and workshops taught by champion dancer Matt Auclair who always reminds his students that "good dancers will never become great dancers with movement without moves, or vice versa," and he teaches both!
Imperial Swing Dancing proudly displays the distinctive blue and red, sunburst logo of the West County Swing Dance Club on its front cover. The WCSDC, which is a charter member of the American Bop Association, is one of the largest swing dance clubs in the United States and it highly recommends the manual to all of its members. During the past four decades, enthusiastic swing dancers of all ages have chartered eight dance clubs in Missouri and Illinois that are now members of the Midwest Swing Dance Federation. The manual reflects the extraordinary commitment to excellence that these clubs have to providing outstanding dance instruction because almost all of the moves described in the text and Bonus Supplement were taught in their classes and workshops.
The preface to the manual is written by Gary and Charlotte Chaney who are St. Louis' ambassadors of Imperial Swing. Every year this talented couple travels around the country conducting workshops and performing exhibitions. Gary is the president of the American Bop Association which represents thirty member clubs nationwide and he is also the past president of the South Side Imperial Dance Club. In his preface to the manual he says: "Culver makes learning 'the Imperial' easy. Not only does the text include Matt Auclair's outstanding DVD, but it also presents the few technicalities of the dance in such an uncomplicated way that it actually reads like a book! This manual is an important publication because it meticulously documents for posterity the 'fun and funky' moves which characterize the St. Louis Imperial style of swing that Charlotte and I love so much. We have no doubt that dancers of every skill level will learn from reading it."