What can you tell me about West Coast Swing?

and have you ever done it?

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    West Coast Swing is the 'Official State dance of California'. San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles all argue about what city West Coast Swing originated in, however Los Angeles California area tends to win the debate.

    West Coast Swing originated from an earlier dance known as the Savoy Style Lindy, which was done at the Savoy Ballroom in New York in the early 1930's. Although WCS was not invented by it was indirectly spawned by a man whose name was Dean Collins, who also danced at the Savoy while living in New York.

    Collins came to California in the 1930's to get into the movie business and brought with him 'his version' of the "Savoy Style Lindy." Collins, after dancing in Hollywood for a couple years and dancing in many night clubs began dancing and competing. He would get to know some of the other local dancers, which have been said too have "not seen that style of swing before, but they liked it very much." It was alot different than what they were doing at the time (a Houston whip style of swing.)

    When Collins started winning contests everyone wanted to learn his style. Dean's partner Jewel McGowen was the hottest female swing dancer who had ever "Switched" (swivel back and forth) with Dean. They made many movies apart as well as together. When Dean would be asked what style of swing he was doing he would say "there is no style, there is only Swing." He never said there is only Lindy Hop or West Coast or Jitterbug, etc., NEVER!, there is only swing. And being a true master of swing realized that "Swing is Swing"... period!

    Collins started teaching "his version" to L.A. and soon everyone on the West Coast was doing it. Dean finally got his break and started doing many Hollywood movies in the 1940s and 1950s. He brought many local swing dancers who he had taught this "new style" with him into these movies as well. During this time, the movies billed this dance as "Jitterbug or Rock and Roll." Many soldiers danced this version of swing in W.W. II. The soldiers and U.S.O. took "West Coast Swing" AND OTHER FORMS OF SWING all over the world ... disguised as the newer term of Jitterbug or Rock and Roll (before these titles swing was known as the Lindy Hop). Dean past away in the mid 1980's.

    Video Examples:



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    I've done both styles of the dance, and you're deciding factor of which style you want to do (i.e. Lindy Hop Vs. West Coast Swing) should be based on what music moves you.

    West Coast Dancers generally prefer pop, blues and soul sounding music.

    Lindy Hoppers will generally prefer jazz, swing, and big band music.

  • kennie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    it variety of feels that persons have a tendency to love WCS extra at an early level, because ECS in its uncomplicated form is somewhat boring. As one progresses right into a think about which both are distinctive, that massive difference disappears. So i'm left with the speed, and reserve WCS for the slower tempi.

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