Save the Whip
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Save the Last Whip for Me

Written by Rick Archer
SSQQ Dance Studio
April 24, 2001

Whip Q

"The Whip is dead."  
Mario Robau, Sr

(in a statement to former State Whip Champion Doug Tees at the 2000 Texas Classic)

"Every professional dancer I know uses double resistance on a frequent basis.
Sarah Vann Drake
(1998 US Open Swing Champion, in my discussion with her on April 14, 2001)

"The By-Laws of the Southwest Whip Club and the Houston Whip Club state specifically that Whip is to be taught at their club. But Whip is not being taught; West Coast Swing is."
Gary Henson
(former Houston City Whip Champion, in my discussion with him on April 14, 2001)

"To hell with West Coast Swing; I still love the Whip.
Mario Robau, Jr. 

(addressing the crowd at the Dallas Classic at the end of his acceptance speech for the "Heart and Soul of a Dancer" award, April 13, 2001)


Is the Whip Worth Saving? 

As May 2001 approaches, right now is probably the last best chance to save the Whip. This venerable Houston tradition is about to be swallowed for good by the flashier slotted Swing dance known as West Coast Swing. Once the Whip is gone, it will be very hard to rekindle the flame for this sexy, eye-catching dance. 

First we have to ask an important question: Is the Whip worth saving? 

In my opinion, Yes, the Whip is worth saving. At least the hip motion styling is. Have you ever noticed Whip is spelled with the word "hip"?

I believe the lady's hip motion is a thing of beauty. Since I am a man, obviously I am prejudiced, but to me it is total joy to watch the graceful movement of a woman's body as she works her hips off the man's lead. And judging from the smiles I have seen and the dropped jaws, I have noticed other men like it too. 

I also believe the women enjoy the attention they get from moving their bodies in such an enticing way. I dare not speak for the women directly, but my hunch is the ladies thoroughly enjoy a walk on the wild side. Even nice girls enjoy being a little dangerous if the occasion is right. 

No man who has ever danced the Whip in the dark with a beautiful woman in his arms will deny there are times when he has gotten turned on by her sensuous motion. If asked, I for one will raise my hand and confess. Maybe some of you other men out there will come forward and testify so I don't have to sound like the only person clapping in the auditorium.

The West Coast Swing is fun and games, but the Whip can be naughty in a supremely pleasant way. Originally developed as a "pick-up dance" in smoke-filled lounges, the Whip may not be as pretty as WCS in the daylight, but in the dark, the Whip has a big advantage: it is a thrill to have a woman in your arms working her hips in time to the music. I am sure this experience borders on sinful, but it is such a pleasure I would be crushed if something this fun disappeared. 

Sometimes it is okay to be "Bad to the Bone".

This is my opinion and I am sticking to it.

2-Hand Basic Hitch

Bump Position

The Five Features of 
Whip Styling:

  1. Hip Motion (Hitch & Bump)

  2. Two-Hand Basic

  3. Bump Step

  4. Hammerlock

  5. Double Resistance Leads


2-Hand Basic Bump


Whip Styling

So now it is time for me to make my case for saving the Whip. Actually I want to save something I call "Whip Styling". This includes the woman's hip motion in three specific dance positions: the Two-Hand Basic, the Bump Step, and the Hammerlock. (please review the pictures above for reference)

In addition we will need to continue to teach the men the intricate "Double Resistance" leads which help create the Whip. 

I don't think there is any point in preserving the Whip as a separate dance. The move that makes the most sense to me is to incorporate the woman's hip motion and the three positions where she would use this styling into the West Coast Swing. The Whip Styling and the memory of the Houston Whip would therefore become a special added feature to the West Coast Swing.

However it will add another layer of complexity since the hip motion and double resistance leads have never been simple to teach even when the Whip was the main focus. But it can be done - at SSQQ we have taught the Whip hip motion as part of the West Coast Swing for over a year. 

Let me repeat this one more time so we are clear. 

If the Houston's Dance Community wants the best part of the Whip - its hip motion and the three places where it is used - to be preserved as part of the West Coast can be done. 

But first we need to understand how this situation developed in the first place.

Still Interested??  Then Click Here for Page Two

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