West Coast Swing Patterns

West Coast Swing is a particular style of swing dance that can be danced to traditional 12 bar Blues, contemporary R&B or any music that would make a great International Slow Foxtrot: some Californians allege that it was the favoured partnership dance of TuPac and Dr Dre and there are some great rap tracks that are just lovely for West Coast Swing. As a dance, it has roots in Carolina Shag, Lindy and East Coast Swing, but over the years through great dancers, like Skippy Blair and Buddy Schwimmer, it has developed into a highly technical dance.

Like all dances, it continues to develop. In the competition and show-dance world it involves lift work. In the contemporary club dance scene it has fused with cross-over moves from other social dance styles like salsa, blues, hip-hop, tango and country.

From 2009 Skippy Blair and the World Swing Dance Council codified 14 basic patterns termed  'West Coast Swing 101' ensuring that the global practice could be more accessible.

If you like your dancing to look relaxed, with a strong body rhythm then West Coast Swing is for you. We learned our West Coast Swing in Chicago so we guess we should really term it 'Mid-West Coast Swing' and we rarely start from a side step, but that's another story (thanks to Buddy).

It doesn't matter where you learned it, or from whom, it matters that anyone can learn to dance it, enjoy it and have fun with it. 

If you've never seen West Coast Swing danced socially before, here's a clip below from the World Dance Masters at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool 2014.