West Coast Swing (WCS) is a partner dance in the swing dance family. It is related to Lindy, Jitterbug, the Bop, East Coast Swing, and Carolina Shag. It is a derivative of Lindy but is done more slotted (think the size of a diving board laying flat on a floor).The follower usually goes from one end of the slot to the other while the leader stays in the middle of the slot. WCS is done to most all kinds of music. It’s one of the most creative dances for partner dancing and can be done to contemporary music which makes it so popular.
WCS like any dance can be difficult to learn, but if you stick with it and learn it, you’ll be rewarded with some wonderful dancing experiences. We think it’s one of the most creative dances around. Watch out ! Once you get the feel for this one, it’s highly addictive! While WCS definitely offers a challenge to dancers at any level, our instructors enjoy helping make the learning process easy. We offer introductory lessons as well as lessons for the more experienced WCS dancers.
Yes! Many people come to the lessons and dances by themselves. It is often hard to tell who arrived with who once the practica/dance starts because everyone dances with each other. Before you know it you’ll have new friends you look forward to seeing and dancing with.
Although this is a parnter dance, you don't need a partner to take lessons or enjoy dancing. In our classes, we rotate everyone so that everyone gets an opportunity to dance regardless of the makeup of the classes. For our beginner classes you won’t need experience either. At our Tuesday practica and our monthly social dance on the First Sunday everyone dances with each other so everyone gets lots of opportunities to try out new material, shine with what they already know, as well as polish their basics. And again, beginners/newcomers are always welcome!
Take group classes, and or take a private lesson() with one of our instructors and attend the practica and dances. You’ll find that everyone you meet at any of our social get togethers was a beginner at one time or another. It’s a wonderful experience to find that you do indeed have only one left foot and one right foot and that with training they both work quite well to move you around on a dance floor! You’ll find at our dances everyone is friendly and willing to lend a helping hand. We all have fun, regardless of our dance ability. The journey of learning to dance is so fun and rewarding.
Most folks come dressed casual. Slacks and jeans are the norm. Guys wear nice Ts or button down shirts, ladies wear nice Ts or blouses and either jeans or casual slacks. Not many Westie dancers wear dresses or skirts. Some people do like to dress up so if you want to wear something with sparkle or a skirt etc. it's acceptable.
It's always a good idea. We recommend leather bottomed shoes, plastic bottoms or dance shoes as it makes dancing much easier. Sneakers or rubber soles tend to grip wooden dance floors! Most Westie followers do not dance in high heels. The majority wear strappy sandals with a cuban heel (small heel)). If you don't have official dance shoes, we recommend you have a pair set aside just for dancing to avoid tracking the dance floor with stones, dirt etc. Most people bring their dance shoes to class and/or dances and change into them before going onto the dance floor.