West Coast Swing emerged somewhere around the 1930s in Los Angeles. It was first called “Western Swing” by Arthur Murray and evolved out of the Lindy Hop. By the ‘70s, people began to call it “California Swing” and used it to dance to more modern music. In 1978, it picked up its current name, and in 1988, it was declared the state dance of California.
When to Dance the West Coast Swing
West Coast Swing is an extremely versatile dance and can be performed to music like Blues, R&B, Swing, and more. It’s the perfect partner dance for practically any occasion because of its flexibility. On more crowded dance floors, you can dance in a fixed slot. If you have the room, though, you can move the slot around and utilize more of the dance floor.
- West Coast Swing does live up to its old “Western” name. It is danced to contemporary Country songs all over the United States.
- Famous Swing dancer, Dean Collins, helped put West Coast Swing on the map – but he always denied influencing it.
- The dancing style is featured in the film, Hot Rod Gang.