The West Coast Swing Dance Camp in Ancaster is recently behind us, and in it’s aftermath, I feel compelled to write a bit about what is fast becoming one of my all-time favourite dance styles.
Nothing quite compares to the spontaneous magic that is WCS. I could go on about how inclusive everyone is, how many unexpectedly wonderful moments there are, and how same-sex dances are not only tolerated, but encouraged. Apart from that awesome culture however, are 5 reasons why West Coast Swing is in a class all by itself.
1. Both sides have (almost) equal say in the partnership.
Who says the leader gets the last word? In WCS, the leader may start a movement, but the follower reserves the right to ‘hijack’ the action in order to add some flavour of her own. This constant interplay transforms the dance from ‘do as I say’ into a true conversation between you and your partner.
2. You can dance it to almost anything.
West Coast Swing can be fast or slow, soft or powerful. That makes it a great fit for rock, pop, blues, jazz, and pretty much anything in between. So don’t worry about not being able to groove to your favourite tunes: Odds are, there’s a WCS for that.
3. You can take advantage of any dance style you learned previously
West Coast Swing is hardest when it’s the first dance you learn, simply because it borrows from every other dance out there. Yes, it has it’s own ‘moves’ that are unique to it, but that doesn’t stop you from adding the drama of a tango, the swank of hip hop, or the flexible body rolls of zouk.
4. You can be creative!
As you might imagine, West Coast Swing is a very flexible dance, with a lot of potential movements you can try. You can even create your own! While proper technique is still very important, WCS places more emphasis on personalizing your movement than any other ballroom dance. No two dances are the same – but they’re all interesting.
5. You can be casual.
Do you feel more comfortable in blue jeans and a T-shirt, over the suits and evening gowns commonly worn in ballroom? West Coast Swing has got you covered! Even at competitions, dress rarely exceeds the business casual. So you can dress how you want, while you dance the way you want.
I’m not saying West Coast Swing is for everybody, but it’s a fabulously fun way to develop your sense of play and creativity. It helps you reconnect to the music and express it in a way that’s unique to you. And that, after all, is what dance is all about.
Author: Ian Crewe
Exclusively for Dance Comp Review