West Coast Swing
Character of the Music and the Dance
West Coast Swing has adapted to have a huge variety of music styles. Hip Hop, R&B, Blues, Funk, Pop, Rap, Country, Rock, Techno, Reggea, Folk and more. It borrows movements from Lindy Hop, Hip Hop, Ballet, Salsa and many more styles of dance while still staying true to its swing origins. The dance is structured around a loose slotting action defined by the stretch and elasticity of the movement. The dance encourages having a freedom of choice in movement wile also maintaining its overall swing like structure.
Drums, Guitar, Horns, Bass, Piano, Synthesizer
There are some general common themes among the majority of West Coast Swing music. They tend to normally have a fairly strong Boom Tick sound in the music. For more Blues like songs there is usually a swung rhythm going Boom----Tick Tick. For songs primarily played by a guitar, the hard strums become the back beat.
A very strong beat mixed with common Hip Hop instruments Rap and dynamic sounds make this a great fit for West Coast Swing. Adding in Hip Hop movements into this dance is common
Blues is the original music type for this dance, The dance has adapted to slower music tempos then what it was first danced to (See Fast Blues). The swung rhythm (Tick-----Tick-Tick) is evident here and it creates a more grounded feeling of Blues then its fast counterpart.
A very strong base beat here. Pop music of the past and present are a common source of music for this dance Style.
Acoustic Guitar songs that usually create their own strong base beat are common. Either by slapping the Guitar or using strong strums, this softer style of West Coast Swing still hold onto its strong beats.
The Boom---Tick sound is evident here while having some Country embellishments in the background. Its common to add in line dance moves and tricks when this style of music is playing.
This style of music reflects the more chill and suave personality of this dance. Still a strong beat but the slower tempo and relaxed energy of the music really bring out the smooth style of the dance that is so very common.
Here the beat starts to lighten up a bit. The Tick in the music is easy to hear but the Boom is softer. The dance has adapted more lyrical styles of music, meaning the base beat isn't always obvious in the music with these types of songs but usually stronger then a lot of songs of their genera.
Here we have a strong back beat with some Funk elements in the music. This is a great place to put in fun disco like movements into the dance!
This tempo and style of music is what this dance style originated from. Fast, Big Band, Bluesy music. Quick feet, tight passing movement, and swung rhythm (Tick------Tick-Tick). The music tends to have a harder striking beat then its sibling East Coast Swing.The dance is still performed to this tempo of music though the tempos vary a lot more now.
Instruments commonly used in Techno, Electronic Dance Music, and Electronic remixes appear in West Coast Swing. Usually fast paced but not always, these sounds enhance the more high energy side of the dance. Still a strong base beat here.
Click the Samples Below