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Differences Between East and West Coast Swing

East and West Coast Swing

East and West Coast Swing are both types of swing dance. Their main differences can be seen in the shapes of their dance patterns. In East Coast Swing, its dance pattern is usually circular in motion. In West Coast Swing, its dance pattern is usually linear in motion.

To give you a brief view about swing dance, it originally started in the 1920s. The Savoy Ballroom in Harlem was the home of the first ever swing dance performed to the tune of jazz music. Lindy Hop was the first swing dance style to be recorded in history. Later on, Lindy Hop evolved into other types of swing dance which include: the East Coast Swing, the Jitterbug, and the West Coast Swing.

It is said that East Coast Swing is easier to learn than West Coast Swing. This is the most suited swing dance for a beginner since it consists of a six-count basic, meaning it’s a standard ballroom dance. On the other hand, West Coast Swing is considered to be a more competitive ballroom dance. West Coast Swing is based upon another dance called Lindy Hop. If you are going to dance West Coast Swing, you can dance to the beat of country, pop, and blues music.

During the 1940s, East Coast Swing was born. It was developed by several dance studios during that time that developed a slower form of dancing. East Coast Swing was perfect for dancing with Big Band music. We have mentioned earlier that East Coast Swing has a six-count basic, but occasionally it follows an eight-count pattern. This is to add some spice and variety to the dance. East Coast Swing uses a lot of space on the dance floor. The dancers perform energetic turns and twists. Like West Coast Swing, it uses leverage and compression. Since then, East Coast Swing was used to dance with the beat of Big Band music, blues, rockabilly, and soul music. When Elvis Presley rocked the era, East Coast Swing was danced with his songs like “Jailhouse Rock” and “Rockin’ Robin.”

On the other hand, West Coast Swing, as its name implies, was born on the West Coast in California. If you are going to dance West Coast Swing, you should tune in to the beat of contemporary music. It is a more complicated swing dance compared to the basic East Coast Swing. It is a progressive dance wherein it is perfect for medium-tempo music like pop, rock, hiphop, etc. The dancers are freer to express their movements in West Coast Swing. However, it has a more upright posture. And because of that, it is viewed to be a more formal type of swing dance than East Coast Swing. West Coast Swing is more sensual compared to the wild style of East Coast Swing.

Summary:

  1. East and West Coast Swings are both types of swing dance.
  2. Their main differences can be seen in the shapes of their dance patterns. East Coast Swing is circular in motion while West Coast Swing is linear or rectangular in motion.
  3. East Coast Swing is perfect to learn for beginners while West Coast Swing is a more complicated type of swing dance.
  4. East Coast Swing is a wild and lively dance while West Coast Swing is more sensual.
  5. West Coast Swing is viewed as a more formal swing dance than East Coast Swing.

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