Dance Post #1 – West Coast Swing

by Girl

My first exposure to swing dance was in a dark grungy second level open cafetorium where booze flowed and men were too old (and too happy). I went because there was a free lesson and it was something new to try with my high school friends. That night turned me away from social dancing for a long time. While I had tried out different dances, I held back on taking swing classes. Shortly after meeting Shawn, he invited me to join his lindy hop class and even offered to pay for it but I refused.

Then one day, I watched this:

Could you believe that all of that was improv? I immediately fell in love with West Coast Swing (WCS) – it was groovy, free-flowing, fun, sexy, and versatile. I liked salsa dancing but after a while all the songs started to sound the same for me and it wasn’t as fun anymore, but WCS could be danced to mellow Norah Jones, funky Prince tunes, and even that apple bottom jean song. Unlike sultry latin ballroom dancing, it was very common to see older people doing WCS and doing it well.

My favourite WCS dancer is Ben Morris. He is a super suave dancer and a great leader. He is a lindy hop champion as well. His current dancer partner is Melina Ramirez, and I’ve noticed their videos just recently in the last year or so on youtube. Here are some samples:

I took four beginner WCS classes in Toronto and it’s too bad that I had to move to a town that doesn’t do enough WCS…whenever I went home, I tried to squeeze in a trip to the Dovercourt House for Julie’s classes. I am thrilled that there is a dance group dedicated to WCS in Adelaide so I am looking forward to that, although slightly bracing myself for any disappointments (such as it was in Saskatoon).