WCS 101

First Time Dancing WCS? No fear! Our handy guide will help you get situated and learn to how to start dancing!

What is West Coast Swing?

West Coast Swing is a smooth swing dance danced on a slot. It follows three basic patterns: push, pass and whip. WCS can be danced to all types of music from blues to contemporary. Thus, WCS is considered a “living dance” which means it is still evolving with the music to this day. 

West Coast Swing is danced all over the world and is becoming more popular everyday due to it’s versatility.

Improvised WCS Dancing by Champion Dancers Sean McKeever and Jessica Cox

Where to Start?

Social Dancing – If you want to just jump right in, we recommend starting by going to a social dance. All social dances in San Diego offer a beginners/intro class right before the dance. Check out our social dance page to find out when and where the next dance is.

Group Classes – If you want to learn more than just an intro class before social dancing, we highly recommend checking out a group class. These classes are all taught by very talented Westies in the community. They come with a wealth of knowledge on the dance and the community.

Private Lessons – We are fortunate to have many very talented Westies living in San Diego. Some have taught dancers who have gone on to become Champion dancers themselves. If you feel that you need some individualized attention to your dancing, then it is time to book a private lesson with a talented instructor.

Information on Group Classes and Instructors can be found here.

Conventions – Ready to really dive into this community? We highly recommend attending a convention. You can check out our convention 101 guide here and our list of local and neighboring conventions here.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

No, although West Coast Swing borrows from many dance forms, there are a lot of “true Westies” out there. Meaning they have never danced anything else before they picked up West Coast Swing! If you have never danced before, one way to start WCS is to try the Beginner’s class offered before the social dances.

Nope! Westies dance with everyone and switch partners during class 🙂

For clothes, we recommend something comfortable and casual. Many Westies will wear long pants (jeans, leggings) and a comfortable top (t-shirt, tank top). For footwear, Westies usually wear dance boots and sandals for the followers and Latin shoes or sneakers for leaders. If you are new, you can wear anything you can move in: cuban heels, Latin shoes/heels, TOMS, dance shoes, sneakers, and boots. Flip Flops, heels (without ankle support) and running shoes (for followers) are generally not recommended.

All ages are welcome! From the young and young at heart.