West Coast Swing FAQ

If you want to see West Coast Swing in action, here are some links

We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions about West Coast Swing and what you can expect.  If you do not find an answer to your question here please contact us.

What is the nightly dance class format?

7:15 -  7:30: Arrive, register and warm up
7:30 -  8:20: Intro to WCS - Beginner level
8:20 -  9:00: Social dancing
9:00 -  9:45: Continuing level class
9:45 - 10:00: Social dancing

How many lessons will I need?

You will be able to dance in as little as 4 or 5 lessons.  Even so, you need at least 3 months to become a competent partner dancer.  A term of 10 dance lessons for $149 is designed to ground you in the fundamentals of West Coast Swing.  So why not start today and learn a skill that is valuable for life!  After 10 lessons, you will be eligible to move to our Continuing Level class where we teach exciting Intermediate level moves that will take you to the next level of dancing.

Our curriculum rotates monthly so you don't get bored.  There are different lessons taught each week.

To see some examples of West Coast Swing follow this link.

Tell me more about the Dance and its origins

What is West Coast Swing?
West Coast is a derivative of Swing partner dancing without the jive style bounce of Lindy Hop, Ceroc or Ballroom Jive.  It is a smooth partner dance characterised by a distinctive elastic look that results from its basic extension-compression technique of partner connection and is danced primarily in a slotted area on the dance floor.

What about the music?
West Coast Swing is  danced to modern pop songs as well as Blues and R&B music in the 80 to 120 beats per minute range. It incorporates many playful components emphasising a certain “coolness” in the way each person moves.  Partners in this style are renowned for their playful interaction with each other.

What if I am a single male or female?
We rotate our classes so you get to meet  lots of people and not get stuck with just one partner.  You see, West Coast  is a social dance, intended to be improvised with a variety of partners, like mingling at a party.  Most group classes are designed to support this and so we rotate partners.  The benefit is that you get to interact and meet new people in a completely safe environment.

What if I've got 2 left feet?
Didn't we all at one stage!  Our instructors get you over that awkward feeling with fun classes and practical tips.

How can I get my boyfriend to dance?
He may probably  feel self conscious about not being good at it right away.  Then again, did anyone get a game of chess, tennis or any activity first up.  Everyone has to start somewhere and our approach to give new starters a low cost entry fee will appeal to the pocket and our fun classes will overcome self consciousness.  If West Coast isn't for you, we will help you find the right dance style to suit you - just because!

Won’t my friends  laugh at me?.
This is a question asked by guys looking for an out.  Girls love the idea of dancing with a man who knows how to move on the dance floor.  And that can be you in as little as 4 or 5 lessons!

Seriously, is it hard to learn to dance?
Actually ‘No.’  Like any physical activity, you need to achieve muscle memory and that takes a few weeks no matter what style of dance you choose.  The West Coast techniques are different from other partner dances, but not harder. All of the techniques are based in sound bio-mechanical principles so the dance is meant to feel natural and ergonomic. This should make it easy right from day one. If it's a struggle for you, switch instructors.

Do I need a partner?
Not at all!  We rotate partners during classes and so the night is very social and relaxed.  If we have extra guys or gals, we have an efficient technique to ensure you get maximum dance time and quality teaching.  However, we encourage you to work within your own social circles to spread the word and promote West Coast.

What if I just want to learn with my partner?
I
f you want to learn with your partner and not rotate, we suggest you sign up for private lessons.  During class we prefer to rotate everyone as dancing with the same partner all class long actually makes you progress slower, much slower.  You learn to compensate for the other persons errors, then you both never learn to do anything properly.   Rotating partners allows you to learn the dance and avoid reinforcing bad habits.

Can I use my moves from another dance style?
Of course! West Coast Swing is  an incredibly flexible partner dance. It welcomes the introduction of ideas from other dance styles. They may need to be modified in small ways, and that is why we will offer transition workshops for those who do Salsa, Lindy Hop, Modern Jive, Ceroc, etc.  Come broaden your horizons!

Shoes and Clothing

What clothes and shoes should I wear to a class?
Comfortable fitting clothes and smooth soled shoes (leather or suede bottoms).

Where Can I see WCS in action?
Besides an Audacity dance class, there are many West Coast Swing videos on You Tube.  Check out professional dancers and US
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucAlR9tFeK8&feature=fvst

Another favourite of ours is Kyle Redd and his partner Sarah Van Drake.

The following link is a great West Coast Swing resource:
http://www.westcoastswingcanada.com/westcoastswingcanada_002.htm

And finally - to immerse yourself in the world of WCS, open a separate browser window, go to youtube.com and type in ‘West Coast Swing’.   There is so many cool dance clips by the Pros it will blow you away.