West Coast swing is a contemporary swing dance genre that was developed in the 1960's on the west coast of the United States. It originated from the Lindy hop, a 1940's dance that started at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem in reponse to early jazz music with a swing beat. Swing dancing continued to evolve and split into several dances including the East Coast swing, collegiate shag, Balboa, jitterbug and Carolina shag. In the 1950's a smooth form of swing developed in the Los Angeles area that was called Western swing. The name was later changed to West Coast swing. In the past few decades the West Coast swing has been influenced by several other dance genres like the disco hustle of the seventies, country western dancing in the nineties and salsa in the two-thousands. Eventually it spread across the country as swing conventions became more popular and with advent of media like video tape and now YouTube. In the latter part of the two-thousands West Coast swing went global and is now represented in France, England, Australia, Brazil, Russia and many other countries around the world.
The West Coast swing has been referred to as a "living dance" due to the fact that it is constantly evolving with contemporary music. In recent years, it has changed dramatically with musicality becoming more essential to the dance genre. It is one of the most innovative dance genres because it allows the dancer a lot of freedom of expression since it is based on two count rhythm units. It is unique as a dance genre due to its form of call and response between the lead and follow creating a dialogue between the dancers.
In San Diego, the Pattie Wells' Dancetime Center is the premier studio for West Coast swing San Diego with a full dance staff of qualified West Coast swing professional instructors focusing on a state of the art teaching method, the Core Elements Training system, which uses introduces elements and movements through conceptually rather than rote memorizaton of pattern sequences. Also, in several of our West Coast swing courses we incorporate a focus on aesthetics of movement through performance dance courses teaching dancers the proper form. We are one of the few dance studios in San Diego that has a comprehensive West Coast swing program that offers the most state of the art concepts in West Coast swing.