What is west Coast Swing

What is it ?

What you need to know about West Coast Swing
West Coast Swing is a constantly evolving dance. It developed out of Lindy Hop mid-century and since then has adopted the current music, fashion, and dance trends of each decade. The dance looks and feels completely different than it did 10 years ago, even 5 years ago. While WCS is also taught in Ballroom studios, the style is very different from authentic West Coast Swing. Authentic WCS can be danced to almost any music in 4/4 time with a tempo of 80-120bpm (swing standards, RnB, Rock, Funk, Hip Hop, Disco, Folk, Country and Blues), which means it is ideal for dancing in nightclubs, but the most common venue is dedicated social dance parties.

West Coast Swing is a social dance based on improvisation. This means that it is danced with a variety of partners (hence the “social”) and not choreographed (“improvisation” element). Dancing WCS is like having a conversation with someone who shares the same vocabulary and grammar, but has something new to say every time. That is why we normally rotate partners constantly in our class and discourage you from always dancing with the same partner.

What does it look like? West Coast Swing is a very smooth dance. It is danced in a slot on medium tempo songs with straight or swung rhythm.

Video with exemples

Why is it so special? This dance leaves a lot of room for improvisation and musical interpretation for both the leader and the follower. It is gender neutral, meaning that the lead and follow roles can be exchanged either for the whole song or for parts of the song. 

Where is it danced?

There is a whole world of West Coast Swing out there. This American cultural dance originated in California and was primarily danced in North America until about a decade ago (YouTube’s inception). It can now be danced in over 30 developed countries: all over Europe, Brazil, Singapore and Korea, and Australia/NewZealand. Closer to us, it is particularly strong in France and Germany, while Leuk (Liège) has a sizable WCS community. Many dancers travel to dance, and there is a global network of West Coast Swing dancers that you can connect with.

The Belgian West Coast Swing community is growing steadily.

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