West Coast Swing is a form of swing dancing that is danced in a slot to moderate tempo blues, R&B and, in recent times, contemporary music. It is the smoother, sexier version of the swing dance family. Its basic patterns are both 6 and 8 beats, but those patterns can be varied by +/- 2 beat increments. It is characteristically highly musical and can adopt many nuances from other forms of dance. This makes West Coast Swing a highly versatile dance form.
West Coast Swing seems to have been born during the late 1930’s through early 1950’s, the same time-frame of many of the other forms of Swing: East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, etc). West Coast Swing, as the name implies, was the regional form of Swing dancing in California and the west coast of the United States.
In dancing the West Coast Swing, both sides have (almost) equal say in the partnership. The leader may start a movement, but the follower reserves the right to ‘hijack’ the action in order to add some flavor of her own. This constant interplay transforms the dance from ‘do as I say’ into a true conversation between you and your partner. You can dance it to almost anything, and you can be creative!