2018 Grand Prize Recipient
San Jose, California
Hi! My name is Brittany Schiro and I am from San Luis Obispo, California. As of June 2018 I am a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, and just last month relocated to the Bay Area to pursue West Coast Swing as well as a job doing behavioral therapy with kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I could not be more excited to join the Northern California West Coast Swing Community!
This scholarship would allow me to continue to work towards my goals as a dancer, and eventually my passion for helping others recognize their worth and their strength through the power of dance. Thank you for taking the time to read my story, and thank you for your willingness to give back to our community in such a generous way.
2018 FIRST RUNNER UP
2018 SECOND RUNNER UP
San Jose, California
I think that the foundation of West Coast Swing is passion. Ultimately, I think passion is what makes the West Coast Swing community and the structures that it operates within functional. West Coast Swing generally takes a lot of time, dedication, effort, and money, and I can’t fathom why so many people would be willing to fly around the country and spend the majority of their time in a hotel, or spend upward of $100 for one hour of instruction, or stay up really late at their local dance even though they have an early morning if they weren’t passionate about it. Without the willingness of dancers to pour in so many of their resources to practice and mastery of this dance, dance events, local venues, and everything in between wouldn’t be able to exist. And I think they are willing to do that because of their passion.
Rancho Cordova, California
I believe the foundation of West Coast Swing is built on several components. The ones that stand out the most to me are the a) community, b) music and c) specific characteristics of this dance, such as the footwork, the slot, and swing connection. A unique quality of WCS is that it stems from traditional roots but is able to incorporate new elements from other dance styles throughout the years. The community comprises of people from all backgrounds, who share a common passion. It brings people together that might have never otherwise crossed paths. The social aspect of this dance encourages us to meet new people, rather than dancing solo or with a single partner. The wide variety in music is another integral part of WCS, which is critical in allowing dancers to have endless ways of expressing themselves.
As I have more conversations about dancing and attend more workshops, I’ve continually discovered more about WCS is and what it embodies. I still have an overwhelming feeling that there is so much more for me to understand about this dance, and I’m excited to keep learning!