West Coast Swing Lessons – North York

If you’re looking for west coast swing lessons, North York residents can find them at Arthur Murray North York.  Read on to learn more about this popular style of ballroom dancing North York residents have shown a keen interest in.

History of West Coast Swing

In the 1940’s with the wild abandonment of the Jitterbug being banned from dance halls due to too many injuries, Arthur Murray developed and documented several swing steps that he later called “Sophisticated Swing”. This was the beginning of what is now called West Coast Swing and is what’s taught in the West Coast swing classes in our multiple locations, including North York and Etobicoke. Arthur Murray is credited with the first codifications of West Coast Swing and used such names as “Under Arm Pass, The Whip and The Sugar Push” to describe the patterns. The ladies taking “two walking steps forward” towards the man at the beginning of each pattern was standardized in his studios. In 1989, California selected the West Coast Swing as its state dance. Today there are over 5000 documented West Coast Swing step patterns and more are added every year.

Characteristics of West Coast Swing

The West Coast Swing differs from other swing dances because of it’s distinctive “dancing in a slot” approach, where the lady’s movement takes her towards the man, not away, such as in a Rock Step. You’ll learn more about this in North York West Coast swing classes.

West Coast Swing Music

West Coast Swing can be danced to almost any music written in 4/4 time, from the Blues to Disco, Jazz, Pop, Country or Big Band. It is considered a “living dance” in that it is constantly evolving, growing and changing to the music styles currently in vogue.

West Coast Swing songs and artist include:

  • Addicted to Love, by Robert Palmer
  • All Shook Up, by Elvis Presley
  • Brown Sugar, by the Rolling Stones
  • Chain of Fools, by Aretha Franklin
  • Fever, by Peggy Lee

The sophisticated style and ease of movement makes this dance a popular favourite of dancers. Its compact footwork and body connection develop a strong sense of lead and follow. Once you learn it, you’ll love it.