West Coast Swing is a laid-back, improvisational, smooth and sultry dance done to a wide variety of slow-tempo music, including R&B, pop, blues, swing, jazz, and country. Our emphasis is on having fun and playing with the music, rather than wild, gyrating acrobatics.
Want to join the fun, but don’t know the dance? Then plan for our Beginner lessons.
It's easy to find out if you like to dance, and to dance West Coast Swing in particular. Simply come to one of our dances or sign up for lessons. This dance is done to a variety of music -- from blues to pop to funk to country, so you can use it almost anywhere you go. Students enjoy learning more intricacies of this playful, sophisticated dance as they progress, and newcomers enjoy meeting a group of friendly, new people.
90-minute Beginner Intensives or
55-minute classes for four weeks
Workshops are drop-in friendly and open-level.
In my courses, I do my best to create an atmosphere that is focused yet relaxed and fun so that all students have space to unwind, drop into their bodies, let go of worries and stress, and reconnect with themselves and each other. Learning doesn't have to be hard work... I prefer it to be a joyful experience!
My goal with Ballroom & Blues aims to support and cultivate blues dancing in Delaware by offering both new and seasoned dancers opportunities to learn, enjoy great music, and have fun on the dance floor.
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What is West Coast Swing?
WCS is smoother, laid-back, and typically danced to popular music or rhythm and blues.
There is no focus on up-and-down, bouncy movement and far less rotation than East Coast Swing. The follower will usually be dancing back and forth in a line on the floor (also known as a slot) and the leader will be getting out of her way by getting off the slot and then getting back on the slot after she passes. This is why it looks so effortless.
The elastic connection is key and functions like a rubber band. The leader guides the follower and then the follower continues down that trajectory until the leader changes the trajectory. The follower is always going to the end of the connection she is given to give it this neat look.
I don't like blues.
Originally a style of dance that was danced to blues music, WCS continues to evolve which makes it adaptable to a wide range of music genres – blues, contemporary, pop, country and more. Basically, any music that is 4/4 timing and is 80 – 140 beats per minute. I recommend that you try dancing WCS to all genres of music. Depending on your individual style and rhythm, you will find that although you can dance to all genres, you will naturally favor one.
Is West Coast Swing hard to learn?
This is a common misconception. The WCS techniques are different from other partner dances, but not harder. All of the techniques are based in sound biomechanical principles so the dance is meant to feel natural and ergonomic. This should make it easy right from day one. If it feels like you’re struggling, you might consider trying other instructors with differing teaching techniques.
Do I need special shoes?
If this is one of your forays into dancing, you do not need to rush out and buy special ballroom dancing shoes. However, please wear soft-soled or suede-soled dance shoes to protect the floor. Wear shoes that tie closed or have straps to keep shoe on your foot. It will be impossible to dance in sneakers, flip flops, clogs, mules, or loose sandals.
If you continue to pursue your dancing, you will soon want to purchase a pair of dance shoes. When that time comes, your teacher can give you guidance on purchasing proper shoes and direct you to sources.
I just want to learn with my significant other, as "couple time".
If you want to learn with your partner for couple time or to prepare for a special occasion, sign up for private lessons! Here’s why: West Coast Swing 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, so rotating partners is required.
Why do you rotate partners in a group class?
Dancing with the same partner all class long makes you progress slower – MUCH slower. Because you learn to compensate for the other person’s errors, then you both never learn to do anything properly, but rather just fake it together. Rotating partners allows you to learn the DANCE, not the FAKE.
I don't like the idea of my SO dancing with other people.
Social dancing is like going to a dinner party: you’re going to have conversations with lots of different people. The difference is, dances last about 3 minutes and involve consensual, respectful, yet solely platonic physical contact. Social dancing is not flirting behavior as it is in a nightclub atmosphere. There are no expectations beyond having fun. Most people with this concern, shake it off after the first month or so.
I took a class last year, so I know my basics. Isn't that enough?
One class will expose you to the basics but will not allow enough time and practice to build proficiency in the foundations of the dance. Like any physical skill, it takes a continuous cycle of lesson-practice-feedback in order to improve. West Coast Swing in particular requires an understanding of the nuance of proper connection with your partner, without which will impede your progress and enjoyment of WCS.
Can I use my moves from another dance style?
Absolutely! WCS is the most flexible partner dance. It welcomes the introduction of ideas from other dance styles. They can’t always be used verbatim, but there are lots of ways to convert your favorite moves and a good instructor can show you how.