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Difference between Swing Dances

Swing dancing is abundant in St. Louis with several clubs, different kinds of swing and dancing almost every night of the week. 

Here you can learn the differences of swing and which dance clubs host social swing dance nights.

West Coast Swing

West Coast Swing (WCS) is the type of dance that our club focuses on.  WCS has gained in popularity partly because it can be danced to a wide variety of music genres, including: slow and fast blues, contemporary, hip-hop, pop, top 40’s, and country. Speeds of music for this type of swing vary greatly but will generally fall between 90 to 120 beats per minute. One of the main features of West Coast Swing is that dancers are highly encouraged to emphasize and dance interpretively to the music. Musicality is a major factor in winning West Coast Swing dance.  The West Coast Swing dancer needs to be a chameleon of sorts by changing attitudes to match the style of music…from sensual & seductive to hip-hop, or from contemporary to blues.

East Coast/Imperial Swing

East Coast Swing music is typically characterized by big band, fast blues, or rock and roll. Additionally, today’s modern American Rhythm style of East Coast Swing is often danced to upbeat, energetic pop music. East Coast Swing music tends to be much faster and livelier than its counterpart, West Coast Swing. East Coast is generally danced at a speed range of between 136 to 144 beats per minute, or bpm. When students say they want to learn how to jitterbug, or rock and roll, or do the same dance they saw on the TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” their intention is to learn East Coast Swing. Here is are some classic east coast swing songs.

Lindy Hop Swing

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