FAQ

What is West Coast Swing? How is it different from other dances?
What is the music like?
Do I need to know how to dance?
Do I need to bring a partner?
What should I wear?
What’s the age range of dancers?
Do you accept credit cards?
What is parking like?
I came with a partner. Do we need to rotate?
I’m an experienced dancer. Do I still have to take the Fundamentals class?

Q: What is West Coast Swing? How is it different from other dances?

A: West Coast Swing (WCS) is a smooth, slotted swing dance. It evolved from a smooth style of Lindy Hop here in California and adapted into its own dance form back in the ’50s and 60s. Danced to a wide range of music genres, it is slower than Lindy and East Coast Swing, which are danced to up-tempo swing and big band music, but it is very improvisational, creative, and musical. Often it is defined by the stretch and flow of the dance and its linear shape. Check out some videos of good dancing here.

Q: What is the music like?

A: West Coast Swing is danced to a wide variety of music from the last several decades. Expect to hear some current top 40, R&B, pop, soul, and blues – everything from Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars and Usher to Al Green and Aretha Franklin and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Q: Do I need to know how to dance?

A: Not at all. Come to the WCS Fundamentals class at 8:00pm and learn enough to get you going on the dance floor. (Better yet, sign up for the whole monthly series and get even more comfortable social dancing!)

Q: Do a need to bring a partner?

A: Nope. Everyone dances with everyone, so no partner required.

Q: What should I wear?

A:West Coast Swing dancers are fairly casual – most wear jeans and a nice shirt (t-shirt or dress shirt). We tend to dance in particular dance shoes, but if you’re new, comfortable shoes with a non-stick or leather sole will do. If you’re prone to sweating (hey, it happens) feel free to bring an extra shirt (and deodorant, ahem).

Q: What’s the age range of dancers?

A: We get people of pretty much all ages, from teenagers to teenagers at heart.

Q: Do you accept credit cards?

A: Yep. We’re tech savvy like that.

Q: What is parking like?

A: While there is a small lot (7 spaces) at the Polish Club, that often fills up during the lessons. Street parking is variable in the area. Sometimes people find a spot right around the corner with no problem, and other times people have to drive around a bit to find a spot. We recommend trying the north-south streets – Van Ness, Shotwell, Folsom, etc.

Q: I came with a partner. Do we need to rotate in class?

A: Rotating is not required but it is strongly recommended. Dancing with others is how we learn to improve our leading and following skills, as well as how we get to know our peers in the community.

Q: I’m an experienced dancer. Do I still have to take the Fundamentals class?

A: We strongly encourage all dancers to take the Fundamentals class for at least one month. Here’s why:

  1. It ensures every student has the proper technique and understanding of the dance to do well in the Intermediate WCS class – and not infringe upon other students’ learning experience.
  2. It supports our growing community by having more experienced dancers spend time with the less experienced students.
  3. Any experienced student knows that working on the fundamentals is critical to being an effective, successful, and sought-after dancer. And who doesn’t want to get better and feel good and be the person everyone wants to dance with?

More experienced dancers may take Intermediate WCS concurrently with WCS Fundamentals. Plus, if you place out of the Fundamentals class, you are invited to continue taking it at no cost. Because we really do want you to keep taking it – to work on your dancing and to support the new members of our community. It’s good for you, it’s good for other students, and it’s good for our community. Now that’s what we call a win-win-win situation!

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