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West Coast Swing

West Coast Swing is a partner dance with roots in the Lindy Hop. It is characterized by an elastic look that results from its extension-compression technique of partner connection and is danced primarily in a slotted area on the dance floor. The dance allows for both partners to improvise steps while dancing together, putting West Coast Swing in a short list of dances that emphasize improvisation.

Typically the follower walks into new patterns traveling forward on counts "1" and "2" of each basic pattern, rather than rocking back. Traditional figures include 6-count and 8-count patterns of one of the four basic varieties: (1) Starter Step, (2) Side Pass, (3) Push Break / Sugar Push, (4) Whip.

Alternatively the basic patterns in West Coast Swing are defined as: Sugar Push; Left Side Pass; Right Side Pass; Tuck Turn; and Whip. Virtually all other moves in West Coast Swing are variations of these basic patterns.

The Anchor Step is a common ending pattern of many West Coast Swing figures.

The origins of the West Coast Swing are in the Lindy Hop. In a 1947 book, Arthur Murray wrote, "There are hundreds of regional dances of the Jitterbug type. Each section of the country seems to have a variation of its own."

Dean Collins, who arrived in the Los Angeles area around 1937, was influential in developing the style of swing dance on the West Coast of the United States as both a performer and teacher. When his wife, Mary Collins, was asked if Dean was responsible for the emergence of the dance, however, she said that Dean insisted there were "only two kinds of swing dance—good and bad". According to one of his former students, a member of his last dance troupe, Collins himself said that he had nothing to do with the West Coast Swing style.

Laure Haile, an Arthur Murray National Dance Director documented swing dancing in Los Angeles and used the name "Western Swing".

Western swing, country boogie, and, with a smaller audience, jump blues were popular on the West Coast throughout the 1940s and into the 1950s when they were renamed and marketed as rock and roll in 1954. Dancers danced "a 'swingier' more smooth and subdued" form of jitterbug to Western swing music.

West Coast Swing (still known as Western Swing at that time) is the basis for the dancing in the rehearsal scene in Hot Rod Gang (1958). Music is supplied by rockabilly musician Gene Vincent's "Dance to the Bop".

Murray taught Western Swing beginning from a closed position and the possibility of dancing single, double, or triple rhythm. After "Throwout" patterns began with the woman "walking in" and the man doing a "rock step", or step together for counts one and two. Although the dance remained basically the same, the Golden State Dance Teachers Association (GSDTA) began teaching from the walk steps, counts 1 and 2. It replaced Laure Haile's Coaster Step with an "Anchor Step" around 1961.

"West Coast swing" as a synonym for "Western swing" appears in a 1961 dance book, and was used in an advertisement by Skippy Blair in 1962 but wasn't incorporated into mainstream swing circles until the late 1960s.

Blair credits Jim Bannister, editor of the Herald American newspaper in Downey, California, for suggesting the name West Coast Swing.

In her 1994 book Dance Terminology Notebook, Blair wrote she would "tell anyone who would listen, that Western really meant West Coast. One of the students made an asture observation and asked, 'Then why don't you say that?'"

When the Golden West Ballroom, in Norwalk, California, changed from Country to Ballroom dancing, the dance most advertised on the Marquee was West Coast Swing.

"Beginning with the 1967 opening of the Golden West Ballroom in Norwalk, California, and through 1980, West Coast Swing was on the marquee as the dance taught every Wednesday and Friday night."

New Era in the Presentation of Country Music Showplace to Feature Top Singing Stars. Author: Ron Heinzel. Los Angeles Times. Date: December 1, 1963 Start Page: OCA2 Pages: 2 Section: Orange County "On the night of December 5 the doors will swing open at the Golden West Auditorium to mark the realization of a dream and an era in the presentation of music Americana.

Golden West Auditorium, a new country music show place located at 12400 Studebaker Road at Imperial Highway, Norwalk, Calif., celebrated its formal opening with a press party embracing cocktails, lunch and a fashion show December 2. The new country music auditorium is the realization of an idea nurtured some five years ago by businessman Olen S. Thidedeau, who vowed to give Southern California a country music show place second to none. Billboard December 14, 1963 page 20

Western Swing was documented in the 1971 edition of the "Encyclopedia of Social Dance". Patterns began with the woman stepping forward twice, but described the "Coaster Step" with a forward step as the last step of the 2nd triple. The one song that was listed for this dance was "Comin' On" by Bill Black's Combo (1964 Hi #2072). As late as 1978, the term "Western Swing" was common usage among Chain and Independent Studios to describe "slotted swing".

Circa 1978 "California Swing" was yet another name for West Coast Swing, albeit with styling that was "considered more UP, with a more Contemporary flavor." By 1978 GSDTA had "some 200 or more patterns and variations" for West Coast Swing."

In 1988, West Coast Swing was pronounced the Official State Dance of California.

Source: Wikipedia

WCS w/Lynne

Lynne Gambone is back bringing WCS to you! Not even quarantine could keep us apart *smiles* Join us for this 3 week series of online classes!

More information about the specifics of this class coming soon!

We will be using the online platform Zoom to teach this class.

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$37.50

WCS w/Lynne

  • Mon, Jun 08, 2020 - 830pm
  • Mon, Jun 15, 2020 - 830pm
  • Mon, Jun 22, 2020 - 830pm

West Coast Swing

Please note this is a 5 week series!!

Join us for our online Zoom class on West Coast Swing! We will focusing on patterns and technique that you are able to do in your own home. We will be working on body movement, hip action, footwork, leg action, and patterns that you can dance when there is limited space.

Classes will be limited to 8 participants. This allows for more engaged and open dialogue about what we are working on, gives students the opportunity to ask questions, and allows me to give direct feedback to each student during class.

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$64.00

West Coast Swing

  • Thu, Jun 04, 2020 - 830pm
  • Thu, Jun 11, 2020 - 830pm
  • Thu, Jun 18, 2020 - 830pm
  • Thu, Jun 25, 2020 - 830pm
  • Thu, Jul 02, 2020 - 830pm

John Lindo 2nd class!

Due to such high demand and sell out of our 8:15pm session, we have added a second class! Join us for this super special event! John Lindo, west coast swing superstar, joins Lynne Gambone for a fantastic class diving into our favorite dance. This is a very special class that you won't want to miss. More information coming soon!

Price: Registration is closed

please note there is a $1 convenience fee for all online purchases. To save the fee you can pay through Venmo @LisaSparklesDance. Thank you inadvance for your understanding.

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John Lindo 2nd class!

  • Mon, Jun 01, 2020 - 930pm

This group class already completed. View upcoming events on the Calendar.

John Lindo SOLD OUT

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT! Please see the 2nd class we added at 9:30pm. Thank you!

Join us for this super special event! John Lindo, west coast swing superstar, joins Lynne Gambone for a fantastic class diving into our favorite dance. This is a very special class that you won't want to miss. ,More information coming soon!

UPDATE:  Limited spots remain! If we sell out spots for this class a second class will be added.

Price: SOLD OUT

 

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John Lindo SOLD OUT

  • Mon, Jun 01, 2020 - 815pm

This group class already completed. View upcoming events on the Calendar.

West Coast Swing

Join us for our online Zoom class on West Coast Swing! We will focusing on patterns and technique that you are able to do in your own home. We will be working on body movement, hip action, footwork, leg action, and patterns that you can dance when there is limited space.

Since this is a new way of learning I appreciate in advance your patience as we are all new to the world of online teaching and learning. There are bound to be some hiccups along the way. I will be limiting class size to 8 participants, to allow for more engaged and open dialogue about what we are working on.

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$15.00

West Coast Swing

  • Thu, May 07, 2020 - 830pm
  • Thu, May 14, 2020 - 830pm
  • Thu, May 21, 2020 - 830pm
  • Thu, May 28, 2020 - 830pm

This group class already completed. View upcoming events on the Calendar.

Int. WCS w/Lynne

All new to our studio, west coast swing with Lynne! Join Lynne & Lisa Tuesday nights for this super fun and super social dance. As Lynne would say the rules are written in "jello" leaving a lot of room for "mistakes" or as we like to say "improvisation".

This class is geared towards the interemdiate dancers looking to take their dancing to another level. Not just patterns but a ficus on musicality, technique, and strong partner connection will be the focus.

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$70.00

Int. WCS w/Lynne

  • Tue, Jan 14, 2020 - 745pm
  • Tue, Jan 21, 2020 - 745pm
  • Tue, Jan 28, 2020 - 745pm
  • Tue, Feb 04, 2020 - 745pm

This group class already completed. View upcoming events on the Calendar.

Beg WCS w/Lynne

All new to our studio, west coast swing with Lynne! Join Lynne & Lisa Tuesday nights for this super fun and super social dance. As Lynne would say the rules are written in "jello" leaving a lot of room for "mistakes" or as we like to say "improvisation". This class is geared towards beginner dancers who may have some dance experience in other areas but are new to west coast swing. We look forward to getting you started on on you journey of west coast swing.

Time: 7pm

Price: $20pp per class, or $70 for weeks of class per person.

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$70.00

Beg WCS w/Lynne

  • Tue, Jan 14, 2020 - 700pm
  • Tue, Jan 21, 2020 - 700pm
  • Tue, Jan 28, 2020 - 700pm
  • Tue, Feb 04, 2020 - 700pm

This group class already completed. View upcoming events on the Calendar.

West Coast Swing

West Coast Swing continues in August. You can drop into this class and pay as you go or sign up for 4 consecutive sessions and receive a discounted rate. During this class we will be focusing on strong connection between the leader and follower, and musicality. Learning to use the music to help enhance your dancing is a big part of the West Coast Swing. We will learn some great new patterns and have a ton of fun!

Price: $20 drop in rate, $70 for a 4 week cycle

Time: 8pm

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$20.00

West Coast Swing

  • Mon, Sep 09, 2019 - 800pm
  • Mon, Sep 16, 2019 - 800pm
  • Mon, Sep 23, 2019 - 800pm
  • Mon, Sep 30, 2019 - 800pm

This group class already completed. View upcoming events on the Calendar.

West Coast Swing

West Coast Swing continues in August. You can drop into this class and pay as you go or sign up for 4 consecutive sessions and receive a discounted rate. During this class we will be focusing on strong connection between the leader and follower, and musicality. Learning to use the music to help enhance your dancing is a big part of the West Coast Swing. We will learn some great new patterns and have a ton of fun!

Price: $20 drop in rate, $70 for a 4 week cycle

Time: 8pm

Blog Roll Image: 
$20.00

West Coast Swing

  • Mon, Aug 05, 2019 - 800pm
  • Mon, Aug 12, 2019 - 800pm
  • Mon, Aug 19, 2019 - 800pm
  • Mon, Aug 26, 2019 - 800pm

This group class already completed. View upcoming events on the Calendar.

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