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West Coast Swing vs. East Coast Swing…Round 1!

| Filed Under: First Person Learning

What is the difference between East Coast Swing and West Coast Swing?  This is a question I get asked a lot.  Of course I never mind answering this question (or any question from my students for that matter), but I figured it might be nice to explain a little bit here...

East Coast Swing which shall henceforth be known as ECS, and West Coast Swing which shall henceforth be known as WCS are actually related.  I think of them as cousins.  Awwww....family.

First a brief history...

It all started with Lindy Hop.  Lindy Hop is the Grandfather of all swing dances.  If you have seen the Midtown Stompers perform their great routines, you know how crazy this dance can get with flying ariels, crazy kicks, and leverage moves!  Back in the day it was hard to teach this crazy dance to everyday citizens of the world.  So dance schools backed off of the crazy kicks and tricks, simplified it, made it not so crazy, and it became known as Eastern Swing, which later evolved into East Coast Swing.

The history of dances is not always clear.  There are several stories about how West Coast Swing got its start.  One story goes that with the end of big band music, Lindy Hoppers moved their dancing into blues clubs where they modified the dance to fit the venue and music.   Another story is that people were tired of getting kicked on a crowded dance floor full of jitterbuggers so they started dancing in lines...problem solved.  That seems practical.  Either way, it started around the 1940's and was made popular by Arthur Murray Studios.  In 1959 it was renamed West Coast Swing.  Fun fact...West Coast Swing is the state dance of California.

 

 

 

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Spotlight Ballroom 2534 Industrial Blvd. Suite 150 West Sacramento, CA 916-649-3269