Cover art for podcast The Naked Truth: Real Talk about West Coast Swing

The Naked Truth: Real Talk about West Coast Swing

70 EpisodesProduced by Eric JacobsonWebsite

A weekly podcast where host Eric Jacobson discusses West Coast Swing, our dance community, and the impact they both have on all of us personally.

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COVID-19: Event Directors Respond

May 23rd, 2020


The current public health crisis has caused the cancellation of weekend dance events, but it is also causing changes to the way event directors plan for and design their events. To better understand the thinking and …

COVID-19: More Professionals Respond

May 7th, 2020


At a time when dance professionals are unable to do in person what they do best – dance, perform, and teach others – our champions have been forced to think about how to sustain their livelihoods. Eric spoke with two …

COVID-19: Emotional Well-Being with Dr. Divy Ravindranath

April 29th, 2020


The current public health crisis has left many of us with a whole mix of emotions, sometimes all in one day. We are experiencing a global shift in …

COVID-19: Update from Dr. John Blaska

April 24th, 2020


When the outbreak first took off in the United States, Eric sat down with Dr. John Blaska to discuss what we knew then about the virus and its spread. Several weeks later, Eric and Dr. Blaska chat again about the public …

COVID-19: Personal and Community Impacts

April 18th, 2020


With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to spread around the world, we are getting more information and perspective about the severity of the …

COVID-19: Professionals Respond

April 10th, 2020


The current public health crisis has transformed our way of life, from our daily lives and work to our dancing and dance community. In this first special episode on the outbreak and how it is transforming our community, …

Catriona Wiles

March 12th, 2020


We all go through ups and downs in our dance journeys, but sometimes the right thing for someone to do is to step away from the dance. At the start of this year, Catriona Wiles – champion dancer, teacher, event …

Special Report: Coronavirus

March 5th, 2020


With a new disease, COVID-19, spreading rapidly around the globe, social and physically interactive activities like partner dancing become higher risk for transmission of the illness. More people are being infected, and …

Kelly Casanova (Part 2)

February 26th, 2020


In the second part of this conversation with Kelly, the conversation first shifts to a discussion of degendering competitions. Eric and Kelly share their own experiences competing in Novice in their non-traditional …

Kelly Casanova (Part 1)

February 19th, 2020


We are so fortunate to have people in our dance community who have not only have accomplished so much but continue to give of themselves to better our dance and our community. Kelly Casanova is one of those generous …

Learning and Teaching with Kris Swearingen

February 12th, 2020


Everyone of us who dances West Coast Swing had to learn how to do this dance at some point. To get good at the dance, we need to continue to learn and develop new skills. And along the way, we need teachers who impart …

Annie Hirsch

February 5th, 2020


On February 7, 2015, The Next Generation Swing Dance Club hosted a fireside chat with the First Lady of Swing, Annie Hirsch. Taking place at Allegro Ballroom in Emeryville, California, the one-hour conversation was …

Larisa Tingle

January 29th, 2020


Champion dancer, DJ, dance studio owner, architect, musician, vocalist, and all-around awesome person - there are lots of ways to describe Larisa Tingle. So it's no wonder that Eric was thrilled to finally sit down with …

Aging and Ageism

January 22nd, 2020


As our community has grown in recent years, it has attracted many younger dancers - a demographic shift that has altered the dynamic of our scene. …

Torri & Maxime Zzaoui

January 15th, 2020


In the last couple of years, there has been a renewed interest in dancing to classic swing music, in large part due to two dancers whose improvisational demos have gone viral on social media. Torri and Maxime Zzaoui …

Personal Development with Courtney Adair

January 8th, 2020


The new year is a time for reflection, taking stock, and thinking about what's ahead. So for this first episode of the year, Eric sat down with Courtney Adair to talk about her own challenges, growth, and …

The Open 2019

December 20th, 2019


We're back! Sort of. I was planning on relaunching the show in January but how could we not do an episode about the most prestigious event in our …


October 16th, 2019


Many of us at one time or another have known the feeling of being "on the outside." Whether it's in our local community or at weekend conventions, it can be hard to find a group of friends to hang out with - and it can …

The Naked Wine Coast Truth: Live from Boogie by the Bay 2019

October 10th, 2019


We love a good conversation with friends. So for our latest live show at Boogie by the Bay, we teamed up with the hosts of "Wine Coast Swing," Brandi Guild and Robert Royston, to chat, laugh, and drink wine! In this …

Live from Bridgetown Swing 2019

October 3rd, 2019


We always have a great time when we get together with our audience, and our latest live show was no exception. We sat down with the fun and funny Christopher Dumond to chat about his background in dance, his rise to the …


September 25th, 2019


Culture can be difficult to recognize or even define, and yet it permeates and shapes the dynamic of any group of people that interacts regularly. In …

One year later…

September 18th, 2019


Can you believe it's been one year since we released our first episode? To celebrate the occasion, we sat down to reflect upon our first year making this podcast. We discussed our favorite episodes, the challenges of …

Judging with Gary Jobst (Part 2)

September 11th, 2019


In the second part of our conversation about judging, we chat with Gary Jobst about his views of the World Swing Dance Council and how it has affected competitions. We also asked him what he thinks of the US Open, the …

Judging with Gary Jobst (Part 1)

September 4th, 2019


When it comes to competitions, the fate of contestants lies in the hands of the judges. And when it comes to judging, few are as experienced and qualified as Gary Jobst. In the first of this two-part episode, we sat …

Sylvia Sykes (Part 2)

August 28th, 2019


In the second part of our conversation with legendary swing dancer Sylvia Sykes, we chat with her about her influences, how Lindy and Balboa dancers honor their history, and how they view West Coast Swing. We asked her …

Sylvia Sykes (Part 1)

August 21st, 2019


If you want to get your facts straight, you go to the source. Well, in this episode, we spoke with living swing legend Sylvia Sykes to learn more about her experience, her perspective, and the history of swing. She …

Alyssa Glanville

August 14th, 2019


It's always amazing to see young talent skyrocket and flourish in our dance world, and in recent years, Alyssa Glanville has been one of those bright, shining stars. In this episode, we sat down with this charming, …

Barry Jones

August 7th, 2019


Known for his energy, flair, and big heart, Barry Jones has had a long and successful career in West Coast Swing. In this episode, we chat with this …

Sonny Watson

July 24th, 2019


When it comes to understanding the history of our dance, few people bring a breadth and depth of knowledge like Sonny Watson. A dancer, teacher, judge, and historian who has been in our community for decades, he's …

LeAnn & Michael Norris (Part 2)

July 17th, 2019


In the second part of our conversation with champion Shag dancers Leann and Michael Norris, we talk about a variety of topics. We begin with a discussion of Michael's US Open-winning routine with Kellese Key and how …

LeAnn & Michael Norris (Part 1)

July 10th, 2019


Sure, this is a podcast about West Coast Swing, but our dance has been greatly influenced by our sister swing dances. So we sat down with LeAnn and …

Mailbag #2

July 3rd, 2019


We love opportunities to engage with our audience, so we figured it was time to answer more of your questions - and reply to the conversations on social media. So we begin this episode with our initial reactions to the …

Sharlot Bott

June 26th, 2019


With over three decades of experience in West Coast Swing, Sharlot Bott is a fount of knowledge and wisdom. Not only has she successfully competed …

Ups and downs

June 19th, 2019


We've talked before about the joys and challenges we face along our dance journeys. From the struggles of learning to dance to navigating the social structures of our community to disappointment in competitions, we …

All Stars

June 12th, 2019


What's in a name? The All Star division is the top division below our champions, and it is continually growing and evolving. In this episode, we chat …

Great Expectations

June 5th, 2019


Disappointment is the sadness or displeasure caused by unfulfilled hopes or expectations, and let's be honest: we've all experienced some …

Tatiana Mollmann & Jordan Frisbee (Part 2)

May 22nd, 2019


In the second part of our conversation with these two legends, we get a deeper look at their careers and their influence over the global dance community. They shared their views of how the dance has spread globally and …

Tatiana Mollmann & Jordan Frisbee (Part 1)

May 15th, 2019


There is no one in our dance world today who is more accomplished, influential, and iconic than Tatiana Mollmann and Jordan Frisbee. And while we may …

Katie Schneider

May 8th, 2019


While we were at Easter Swing in Seattle, we had the chance to chat with an accomplished dancer, teacher, judge, and performer: the lovely Katie Schneider. We asked her about her experience competing in the Showcase …

Sarah Vann Drake & Kyle Redd (Part 2)

May 1st, 2019


In the second part of our conversation with Sarah and Kyle, we talked about a wide range of topics. Sarah shared some of her feelings about the new generation of professionals. We talked about how they approach running …

Sarah Vann Drake & Kyle Redd (Part 1)

April 24th, 2019


What can we say about two of the most successful and influential dancers in West Coast Swing that would do them justice? In the first part of this …

Chuck Brown

April 17th, 2019


We talk a lot about our dance in the United States, but the community has rapidly expanded around the globe in recent years. To talk about how the dance has grown in different countries, we invited a man who spends his …

Community organizing (Part 2)

April 10th, 2019


In the second part of our conversation with Hieu Le, Jesse Lopez, and Kyle LaPatin, we discuss the challenges in our communities around getting people to dance with each other - and some of the different ways we have …

Community organizing (Part 1)

April 3rd, 2019


For most of us, our entry into the dance world - and the place where we spend the most time dancing, learning, and connecting with others - is in our local dance community. To discuss some of the issues around local …

Mailbag #1

March 27th, 2019


After six months of doing the show, we wanted to thank you all for listening by answering some questions you've sent us. In this mailbag episode, we share how we met, became friends, and started this show. Then we …

All Things Swing: Part Deux

March 20th, 2019


There's nothing like a good conversation between friends. That's how this whole show got started, after all. And in this episode, we go back to that …

Cher Peadon

March 13th, 2019


Not many people can say they have been a dancer, a competitor, an event director, and a DJ, but Cher Peadon has succeeded at all four. In this episode, we chatted with this experienced professional, mentor to so many …

Carrie Lucas

March 6th, 2019


From ballet to ballroom, country to swing, Carrie Lucas has an extensive and diverse array of dance experience. In this episode, we sat down with the charming and talented Carrie to discuss her early days in country and …

Live from Rose City Swing 2019

February 27th, 2019


In our second live show, we sit down with a few guests to share stories, insights, and laughs. We first invited the Event Co-Directors of Rose City Swing, Babak Shakeri and Trudy Thatcher, to tell us about their …

Leading and following

February 20th, 2019


At the heart of our dance is partnership - the interaction, collaboration, and relationship between leader and follower. In this episode, we chat …

Courtney Adair & Sean McKeever

February 13th, 2019


In this episode, we sit down with not one but two champion dancers and all-around awesome people, Courtney Adair and Sean McKeever! We talked with them about their start in West Coast Swing, how they met and formed …

John Festa

February 6th, 2019


There are few people in our community who represent the true spirit of swing dancing like Mr. John Festa. In this episode, we got to sit down with the dapper, debonair legend from New York to discuss his early days in …

Live from SwingCouver 2019

January 30th, 2019


We recorded this episode live at SwingCouver! Listen to our interview with Victor Loveira, in which we discussed his West Coast Swing origin story, his experience DJing, and how he made the move into MCing. We chatted …


January 23rd, 2019


Love 'em, hate 'em, do 'em or don't, competitions are a big part of our global dance community. In this episode, we talk about all things competition - different types of competition, different competition formats, …

John Lindo

January 16th, 2019


It's not every day you get to sit down with a champion dancer, event director, DJ, member of WSDC, and member of NASDE. But this week we chatted with the bundle of joy and love that is John Lindo. He talked to us about …

Mental health

January 9th, 2019


We're back! And to kick off the new year, we're talking about how we can understand and improve our psychological and emotional well-being. We sat …

Safety and consent

December 19th, 2018


Many of us dance West Coast Swing for the joy of sharing in musical expression with someone else. Unfortunately, there are times when people cross personal boundaries, and times when people are harassed, abused, and …

Laurie Schwimmer

December 12th, 2018


Though she is perhaps best known as mother to Benji and Lacey, Laurie Schwimmer has been and continues to be a star in her own right. In addition to performing in a variety of dance styles, she has taught West Coast …

Laureen Baldovi

December 5th, 2018


Most people know Laureen Baldovi from her winning routines with Robert Royston, but she has followed her own path since their partnership ended …

The Open 2018

November 28th, 2018


Every year, The Open is a showcase for swing dancing - what it is, what it has been, and what it can be - and this year's event was no exception. We talked about Deborah's experience competing at The Open, how much we …

Music and DJing with Ruby Lair

November 14th, 2018


Let's face it: good music is essential for a good night of dancing and a good dance in competition. To discuss the power of music - and the role of …

Brandi Guild

November 7th, 2018


Grab yourself a beautiful glass of wine and find a cozy spot to sit for this special interview with one of the classiest people we know, the lovely …

All Things Swing with Tom Paderna

November 1st, 2018


In this week's episode, we sit down with our good friend Tom Paderna and talk about a wide range of topics. We discussed the origins of NASDE and how it's changed over time. We discussed WSDC and how it's impacted the …


October 24th, 2018


With the US Open fast approaching, we talk about what it takes to put together a routine - from picking a song and getting choreography to working with coaches and practicing. Deborah talks about how she's working on …


October 17th, 2018


Whether you’re a competitor, a professional, an event director, or someone who just enjoys watching dance videos online, judging has a big impact on you - and the dance we all love. In this episode, we discuss the …

Boogie by the Bay

October 10th, 2018


After a fantastic weekend at Boogie by the Bay, we discuss what makes it such a great event, and what other events can learn from its example. From hiring top-notch staff to creating a relaxed atmosphere to keeping …


October 3rd, 2018


In this episode, we discuss professionalism - and the lack thereof - among our dance professionals. We talk about the ways event directors can mistreat the instructors they hire, how instructors can be unresponsive and …

Robert Royston

September 26th, 2018


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 …

Finding your place

September 19th, 2018


In our very first episode, we have a more introspective and reflective conversation about our own dance journeys and the challenges of finding our places in the dance world. Deborah shares the story of how she got into …

Coming soon.

September 12th, 2018


An introduction to The Naked Truth: Real Talk about West Coast Swing and hosts Eric Jacobson and Deborah Székely.

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