Why to Learn West Coast Swing
There are countless reasons why dancing (in any form) is something you should have in your life. But there are some elements that are uniquely West Coast Swing. Here are the top 6 reasons I think you should consider learning it.
1. The Music
Much like my other favourite, WCS has extremely variable music. From old school blues to contemporary pop and acoustic, you can dance to almost anything with a 4/4 time signature. This makes it easy to find music that you actually like to dance to.
2. The Play
I have yet to find a dance that allows as much room for personal expression and play as WCS. The dominantly open hold, musical variability, and structure of the dance allows both leads and follows to add unique moments to every dance (provided you know your basics). For the musical or expressive dancer, this freedom can be intoxicating.
3. The Humor
Humor in partner dances is pretty much the exclusive domain of the Swing dance family, and particularly WCS. Yes, you can have funny routines or moments in other styles – but it’s not an intrinsic part of the dance culture in many other social dances.
4. The Competitions
I can’t think of another social dance that has Jack n’ Jill competitions as such a fixture. While this isn’t always a good thing, it does provide a fun way to get involved, win prizes, and track your progress for many dancers. It also provides a unique way for many social dancers to get a moment to ‘perform’ for an audience, when in most other genres you need to be part of a performance team or a professional with a routine to get the opportunity.
5. The Comfort
If there is a dance that takes 1st place for comfort and ergonomics, it’s WCS. They don’t wear heels, favour slacks and business-casual shirts, and have a generally low-impact dance that is suitable for people who have physical limitations. While some people do dress up or perform complex, physically-demanding movements, it’s not a ‘main feature’ of the dance.
6. The Organization
WCS is perhaps the most organized social dance community out there. While there are exceptions to every generalization, events in WCS typically have a higher threshold for organization, efficiency and timeliness. If you like being part of a structured group where things run on-time, WCS may be the right group for you.