Of all the ballroom dances, West Coast Swing probably allows for more improvisation on the part of the dancers than any other. It can be danced to a wide variety of musical styles such as soul, pop, funk, rock and roll, county and rhythm and blues. In contrast to the rotating upbeat style of East Coast Swing, West Coast is a smoother, more sophisticated swing.
The most characteristic thing about West Coast Swing is that it is danced in a slot, almost as though the dance couple laid out an elongated shoulder width rectangle on the floor and designated that their "space". The lady travels back and forth along this slot with the leader or gentleman remaining more stationary, leaving the "slot" only to allow the lady to pass him as she travels back and forth. There is a extension and compression quality to the partner connection which gives West Coast Swing a distinctive elastic look and feel. Part of the great fun of West Coast Swing is the large variety of footwork, whips, turns, slides, hops and shines --- both standard and "improvised"-- that let the dancers make the dance their own. TC Dance Club Kansas City's Advanced Instructors Ian Duermeier and Brooke Weaver show you some of the possibilities of West Coast Swing.