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West Coast Swing Dancing in Lexington KY

At Lexington Dance, we take great pride in the preservation and promotion of TRUE West Coast Swing dancing in Lexington KY. It is our mission to help develop the West Coast Swing dance community in Lexington and to discredit much of the misinformation surrounding West Coast Swing. Much of the following was taken from the Wikipedia encyclopedia article about West Coast Swing. Read more [HERE].

About West Coast Swing

West Coast Swing is a partner dance derived from lindy hop. It has the soul of a street dance but has been tamed by ballroom dance studios. Within the spectrum of partner dances, West Coast Swing is one of the most difficult and one of the most improvisational.

West Coast Swing is easily recognized by a distinctive elastic look that results from its narrow slot.

West Coast Swing is a slotted dance: the follower travels back and forth along a shoulder width rectangle, called the slot, with respect to the leader. The leader is more stationary but will move in and out of the slot depending on the pattern led. A general rule is that the leader leaves the slot only to give way for the follower to pass him.

TRUE West Coast Swing

Unfortunately, the original technique and style of West Coast Swing is being leveled out by the "averaged" ballroom technique of mass consumption, as it happened with many other dances such as samba, cha-cha-cha, and East Coast Swing. While abuse of improperly taught Cuban hip motion in "ballroom West Coast Swing," lack of understanding of swung eighths, and dancing rehearsed patterns strung one after another without paying much attention to musical phrasing are among frequent complaints of "true" West Coast Swing dancers, the main bone of contention is the coaster step variation of the anchor step.

The coaster step was actually in vogue during the early days of West Coast Swing when the dance closely resembled lindy in connection and style. As West Coast Swing evolved further, it was found that the coaster step was detrimental to the connection between lead and follow, hence the ascension of the now ubiquitous anchor step where both partners step and end up with one foot behind and to the side of the other. However, some ballroom studios continue to teach West Coast Swing with coaster steps as termination steps due to the fact that the instruction they choose to hew to (i.e. videotapes that are bought to teach the instructors) have ideas long dismissed by the general West Coast Swing community.

Coaster Steps In West Coast Swing?

The coaster step used at the end of a pattern in place of the anchor step in West Coast Swing was originally a styling variation for followers, practiced by an influential dancer at the Long Beach Arthur Murray dance studio, and from there was institutionalized in the official syllabus. However, this was done through a considerable simplification. While the original variation involved angling the body, thereby maintaining the connection with the leader, the current coaster step is done inline with the follower doing back-together-forward at the end of every pattern. This causes the follower to come forward, regardless any indication of the leader to do so. This violates the notion of "true" West Coast Swing that the follower's motion is completely led. Also, this often destroys the leverage connection of the couple and thus makes it impossible for a leader to lead into certain patterns or to extend a pattern with additional counts if the music so dictates.

West Coast Swing Music

WCS was originally danced to sixteen count blues music, rather than the jazz from the early part of the 20th century. In practice, WCS may be danced to almost any music in 4/4 time. Such diverse musical genres as soul, funk, rock and Roll, pop, and disco may be found in a typical evening of WCS dancing. In recent years, most WCS venues have seen a greater proportion of contemporary music played as opposed to blues. While some may lament the departure of WCS from its roots, others view this trend as another step in the continued evolution of the dance.

 

West Coast Swing Music Samples

- Clip 1 - "Taste Of Dis" by Brooke Valentine

- Clip 2 - "Don't Cha" by The Pussycat Dolls

- Clip 3 - "Secret" by Maroon 5

 

West Coast Swing Video Clips

- Jordan and Tatiana - SwingDiego 2005

- Parker and Jessica - SwingDiego 2005

West Coast Swing Dance Lessons

Learn to dance West Coast Swing with Anthony and Nichole Lewis, KY's "King and Queen Of Swing". Your first two private dance lessons are free! Call (859) 278-7711 for more information or to schedule your first dance lesson.

West Coast Swing group classes are also available throughout each month. Check the current month's group class calendar [HERE].

HOW TO GET STARTED

We offer all new students to the studio their first two private dance lesson for FREE. Click [HERE] for information about our introductory offer.

Call to schedule a FREE dance lesson or click [HERE] to register online!

Lexington Dance

1801 Alexandria Dr. #132, Lexington KY

(859) 278-7711

EMail: info@lexingtondance.com

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