Swing dancing comes in two flavors commonly known as East Coast Swing and West Coast Swing. Both Swing dances are a lot of fun to dance and to learn. The differences between the two dances are not very major but significant enough to constitute a different dynamic. They each have the same roots and neither of the two dances has a definite advantage over the other. Whether you like to dance East Coast Swing or West Coast Swing is a matter of personal taste. Some dancers adhere to one style exclusively while others enjoy dabbling in both. Read below to learn more about Swing and take a look at the Swing videos on this page.
East Coast Swing
The East Coast Swing dance is a high energy, upbeat 6-count Swing dance that evolved from the Lindy Hop (a popular Swing dance from the 1930's and 40's). The East Coast Swing dance is great fun to dance and to learn. You can see the East Coast Swing dance demonstrated in the East Coast Swing video on this page.
The East Coast Swing dance does not progress around the dance floor. East Coast Swing is noted for its bounce action (a movement created from the bending and straightening of the knees while the knees remain relaxed), rock steps, Cuban Motion (the hip movement created from the alternate bending and straightening of the knees when changing weight from foot to foot), used in the rock step, and "Swing Hip Motion". "Swing Hip Motion" is a hip movement that is created by delaying the straightening of a leg and the rolling of a hip and is used in the entire East Coast Swing.
East Coast Swing music is written in 4/4 time. The basic step is counted 1 2 3a4 5a6 or 1 2 3&4 5&6. Another way of counting is Rock-Step, Tri-ple-Step, Tri-ple-Step. This dance is included in the American Style Rhythm competition dance program. This dance is not included in the International Style Latin competition dance program. East Coast Swing is a classic social dance. Again, you can see a demonstration of East Coast Swing in the East Coast Swing video on this page.
West Coast Swing
The West Coast Swing dance is a playful, fun, sexy Swing dance that evolved from the Lindy Hop (a 1930's Swing dance) and was popular in California in the 1930's and 40's. West Coast Swing is an energetic and fun dance to learn that allows a dancer to add their own personal expressiveness and style with syncopated footwork, adding pauses in the dance and other improvisational movements.
West Coast Swing is danced without any bounce movement but Cuban Motion (the hip movement created from the alternate bending and straightening of the knees when changing weight from foot to foot) may be used depending on the style of hold. The dancers dance in a slot in a back and forth fashion and turn 180 degrees during each pattern to exchange places.
The music for West Coast Swing is written in 4/4 time and is counted 1 2 3a4 5a6 or Step-Step, Tri-ple-Step, Tri-ple-Step. This is a very popular dance for dancers who enjoy both country western and contemporary music. West Coast Swing is enjoyed by many social dancers from all age levels and at many social parties and local dance clubs.