The West Coast Swing International Flash Mob 2014 is an perfect example demonstrating how dance is universal thriving in a global community across borders, boundaries, cultures and religions. This video blog is a sample of West Coast Swing dance videos resulting from a collaborative effort by people in 23 countries, 78 cities and 3000+ dancers worldwide in the autumn of 2014.
Editor’s Note: Article update International Flashmob WCS 2015!
West Coast Swing International Flash Mob 2014
West Coast Swing International Flash Mob in Milan, Italy
West Coast Swing International Flash Mob, New York, U.S., Union Square
The International West Coast Swing flashmob 2014 included more countries that participated to date. For example, countries included: France, Romania, Argentina, Germany, Poland, Malaysia, Russia, United States, Italy, Canada, Latvia, Korea, Singapore, Tahiti, Japan, Israel, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain, Belarus, Belgium, Finland and Greece.
West Coast Swing International Flash Mob, Munich, Germany
This global dance project represents “art in movement.” Many of the performances are done in beautiful landscapes, cityscapes chosen as backdrops in the participating cities and countries.
The West Coast swing defies attempts to codify it due to its design. Nonetheless, there are factions that are strongly opposed to its constant evolution. In recent years, the lyrical element of swing was introduced. This feature of the dance makes it difficult to judge and distinguish or rate West Coast swing competitions.
Check out this Quick Guide to WCS technique.
West Coast Swing International Flash Mob in Strasbourg, Alsace
West Coast Swing Brief History
The West Coast Swing evolved in the 1960’s on the West Coast of the United States in Southern California. Of the partner dance genres, it allows more freedom of expression than any other partner dance. It is called a “living dance” since it continues to change with contemporary music. This dance genre can be danced to many different types of music including R&B, soul, blues, ballads, country western, beach music, rock, pop, funk and hip hop.
West Coast swing International Flash Mob in Seoul, Korea
The three arenas of West Coast swing are: performance, competition and social dancing. Each arena of the dance has a concentration while some aspects bleed into all three groups like the importance of connection between partners.
West Coast swing performance emphasizes beauty of movement and choreography plus the story telling aspect, how the partners respond to each other and charisma of the dancers are important. Creating interesting lines that appeal visually are essential for keeping the interest of an audience.
(Photo International Flashmob West Coast Swing 2014, Kiev, Ukraine)
West Coast swing competition requires a certain degree of codification for judging purposes so there are often more restrictions. There is more attention to precision of movement, timing, rhythm units, lines, choreography, animation rather than beauty. Many of the dancers appear more similar since they follow more specific guidelines in terms of song selection, movements and specifics about the nature of the dance genre and the rules of competition. Many dancers that attend West Coast swing competitions and festivals go to compete but they also enjoy the social dancing that goes on at the events as well.
Social West Coast swing dancing is hugely influenced by connection with ones partner, timing and lead/follow principles. This arena might involve dancing with partners you are less familiar with and so there is more attention to following or leading. The dancer has to consider the level of his/her partner while dancing and not attempt to over perform at the expense of the partner. Other considerations involve floor craft and unwritten but generally understood guidelines involved in dancing in crowds.
West Coast swing International Flash Mob in Paris, France
West Coast Swing International Flash Mob in Toulouse, France
West Coast Swing International Flashmob in Sydney, Australia
A flash mob, according to Wikipedia, is “a group of people who assemble in a public place, perform and unusual and seemingly pointless act for brief time, before quickly dispersing. They are often used for the purposes of entertainment, satire or artistic expression and are organized via telecommunications, social media or viral emails.”
West Coast Swing International Flash Mob in Kiev, Ukraine
Smart Mob: When there is a planned purpose for the social activity….it is sometimes called a “smart mob.” Smart mobs are described as a “group …[that] behaves intelligently or efficiently because of its exponentially increasing network links, enabling to connect to information and others, to perform a task allowing a form of social coordination,” apparently first mentioned in articles in 2002 and Flash Mob appeared in print in about 2003.
West Coast Swing International Flashmob in Moscow, Russia
WikiHow defines a Flash Mob: “A flash mob is an organized routine of a group of performers working together on a large scale to surprise and amuse the general public for a temporary period of tiem with a spontaneous performance. Flash mobs can include dances, songs, or even record breaking attempts.”
West Coast Swing International Flash Mob in Tel Aviv, Israel
According to Flash Mob America, “A Flash Mob is a spontaneous public performance, usually a dance, that appears seemingly out of nowhere with just one person, grows to hundreds of people then quickly disappears.
WCS Flashmob West Coast swing 2014 (Official Video Collage)
The Flash Mob Dance phenomena is wildly popular around the world in many different forms of dance. For instance, we all remember when Gangnam Style was all the rage, right? There are dance flash mobs in Lindy Hop, Tango, Hip Hop and many others. For instance, here is a Gangnam Style Flash Mob in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Gangnam Style Flash Mob in Sofia, Bulgaria
Read & watch more videos on West Coast swing: