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What is West Coast Swing?

West Coast Swing is a partner dance enjoyed by people of all ages, shapes, and cultures. The most versatile of social partner dances, West Coast Swing is danced to a wide range of music and can integrate movements from a variety of dances and activities. It’s like a language, and once you learn the grammar and vocabulary, you can start to have a conversation on the dance floor. Both partners contribute, with a back-and-forth that sparks endless creativity.

Where can I dance it?

West Coast Swing is danced around the world in studios, at bars, in peoples’ homes, and at large conventions. Many communities have weekly local dances, and many dancers travel to annual conventions hosted in various cities across the planet. Because many dancers travel and connect through Facebook, West Coast Swing has a global community.

How do I learn it?

West Coast Swing is learned through workshops (group classes), private lessons, and on the dance floor. Many cities around the world have weekly dances that typically start with a group class or two–this can also be a great place to get connected and find instructors for private lessons.

Most Ballroom studios teach private lessons (and sometimes group classes) in the Ballroom style of West Coast Swing, and while this can be a great place to learn, just be aware that Ballroom West Coast Swing looks and feels distinctly different than street West Coast Swing. Finding an instructor for living, breathing West Coast Swing can be a little more difficult. Many of the Champion-level instructors primarily teach at large conventions or independently in their local scenes.

To help with finding places to learn and dance West Coast Swing, as well as information on the dance culture and how to become a part of the community, #ThisIsWestCoastSwing offers a free mentorship program. Fill out the form below and you’ll be contacted by a friendly West Coast Swing dancer who can answer your questions and help you get started.

#ThisIsWestCoastSwing offers a free mentorship program, in which you can sign up for a mentor to answer your questions and help get you started learning West Coast Swing, attending conventions, participating in local dances, getting connected to the global community, and more.

Get Connected with a Free Mentor