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Save the Last Whip for Me
Page Four

Written by Rick Archer
SSQQ Dance Studio
April 24, 2001


The Test 

Soon after I heard about Mario's decision, I decided to conduct a little test of my own. I pulled out two videotapes. One tape featured Randy Clements, the sexiest male Whip dancer I have ever seen, and the other featured an attractive couple dancing a WCS Jack and Jill. Mind you, Randy was dancing a choreographed routine featuring some nifty moves and lots of macho man posturing. The Jack and Jill couple had never even danced with each other before, meeting for the first time on the dance floor.

Mind you, a Jack and Jill contest involves leading and following with people you barely know. It is a dance contest that closely resembles the way the people dance Whip or WCS socially. The moves are often pretty conservative since the man can't risk a glaring error on a move the woman may never have even seen before. 

In other words, my test was inherently unfair. It pitted a couple with a planned routine against a couple that was forced to ad lib. I badly wanted the Whip to win!! To heck with the heathen invader, West Coast Swing. Feeling no pangs of conscience I showed the two tapes on the studio TV to two women and two men who had arrived early for a dance class. Then, without tipping my hand what I was up to, I asked the four people which tape they preferred. 

The two women both picked the Jack and Jill couple without a moment's hesitation. One man preferred the Whip and the other picked the WCS. Despite my manipulation, the West Coast Swing had won a knockout victory over the Whip. Although I loved the Whip, I also valued these people's opinions. They voted without prejudice for WCS. As I listened to their reasons, the women spoke very clearly about the freedom the WCS allowed the female dancer and the cute footwork. It seemed like the girl in the Jack and Jill got to show off more. That is when it dawned on me - the West Coast Swing is definitely more fun for women than the Whip is. 

I nodded and accepted their verdict. I had hoped he was wrong, but this confirmed in my mind that Mario had known something I didn't. 

This was the day when I threw in the towel. I accepted the West Coast Swing was in H-Town to stay. 

And I have always believed it is easier to ride a horse in the direction it is already headed. 

The following week SSQQ added WCS to its Whip curriculum. Boom. Just like that. I could read the writing on the wall… 

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