The sophisticated style and ease of movement makes this dance a popular favorite of nightclub dancers. Its compact footwork and body connection really develop a strong sense of lead and follow. Once you learn it, you’ll love it.
In the 1940’s with the wild abandonment of the Jitterbug being banned from dance halls due to too many injuries, Arthur Murray developed and documented several swing steps that he later called “Sophisticated Swing.” This was the beginning of what is now called West Coast Swing. Arthur Murray is credited with the first codifications of West Coast Swing and used such names as “Under Arm Pass, The Whip, and The Sugar Push” to describe the patterns. The ladies taking “two walking steps forward” towards the man at the beginning of each pattern was standardized in his studios. In 1989 California selected the West Coast Swing as its state dance. Today there are over 5,000 documented West Coast Swing step patterns and more are added every year.
West Coast Swing can be danced to almost any music written in 4/4 time, from the Blues to Disco, Jazz, Pop, Country, or Big Band. It is considered a “living dance” in that it is constantly evolving, growing and changing to the music styles currently in vogue.
The West Coast Swing differs from other swing dances because of its distinctive “dancing in a slot” approach, where the lady’s movement takes her towards the man, not away, such as in a Rock Step.
West Coast Swing songs and artists include
Addicted to Love – Robert Palmer
All Shook Up – Elvis Presley
Brown Sugar – Rolling Stones
Chain of Fools – Aretha Franklin
Fever – Peggy Lee
OTHER DANCES WE TEACH
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