What is the difference between east coast and west coast swing dancing?

What is the difference between east coast and west coast swing dancing? How are the steps different? Do they both do the same spins and flips and tricks and stuff?

2 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    There's actually many types of swing dances. More than just East Coast and West Coast.

    East Coast Swing is a standard ballroom dance that was developed in the 1940s as the popularity of swing/big band music and swing folk dances like the Lindy Hop reached their peak in popularity. It has a six count basic.

    Here's and example of Ballroom East Coast Swing:


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    Lindy Hop is the original swing dance, created in Harlem in the late 20s, and was most well known at the Savoy Ballroom through out the 30s. Today, outside of the competitive ballroom scene, East Coast Swing is generally taught as a beginning dance or stepping stone to learning Lindy Hop, as the dance is really simple to learn for a beginner compared to Lindy Hop, which is a bit more complex. (Historic dancers to look up, Shorty George Snowden and Frankie Manning). It has an 8 count basic.

    Here's and example of fast tempo Lindy Hop:


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    Here's an example of medium tempo Lindy Hop:


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    West Coast Swing developed in the 50s and 60s in California as swing music changed from big band to rock, blues, soul, etc. The dance is actually a smooth form of Lindy Hop (having the same footwork), but has a different styling due to the type of music being danced to at the time. The Lindy Hop "swing out" is actually identical to the West Coast "whip". (Historic dancers to look up, Dean Collins and Jack Carey)

    Here's an example of modern West Coast Swing:


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    Other popular swing dances would include:



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    Collegiate Shag:


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    Charleston (as a solo dance):


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    Charleston (as a partner dance):


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    Carolina Shag:


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    Wikipedia actually has a terrific history of swing dancing in general:


    If you are wondering which one you should learn . . . you can learn all of them if you want. It's really up to you, but I recommend you pick one where you love the music. Dancing comes from music, so if you don't like what kind of music goes with a certain dance, then you won't enjoy learning that dance.

    I hope that helps!

    Source(s): I'm a swing dancer!
  • 10 years ago

    Although there are a few moves that you might find in wc swing (like a "throw out") that are the same in ec swing, they are still completely different dances. They do have the same rhythm because the both evolved from lindy hop, however wc swing is more of a slot dance with a much smoother style. I prefer WC swing cuz it's cooler. Plus EC has been hijacked by country and ballroom and lost much of it's "swing".

    WC- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3ZxiPKmacg

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