swing dance lessons in brooklyn

Swing dance lessons in Brooklyn : West Coast vs East Coast Swing

We get many requests for swing dance lessons in our Brooklyn studio. And no wonder, Swing is one of the most popular dances in the world! There are several styles of swing and each of them is unique and is usually danced on different occasions. Knowing a few of them will allow you to dance with a different kind of music and this is why we recommend knowing more than one type of swing dancing.

If you would like to learn how to dance to jazz music or you enjoy slow lazy pop music, you should take swing lessons and learn one of the two most popular styles: East Coast Swing and West Coast Swing.

Both styles come from the original swing style called Lindy hop. There were many variations of swing dancing over the years, but East Coast Swing and West Coast Swing are the ones that still danced around the world on a social level.

Difference between West Coast Swing and East Coast Swing

The main difference between those two dances are:

Music tempo
Basic step elements
General dance mood

Let’s go over each of them quickly so you know which style to focus during your swing lessons in Brooklyn.

  1. East coast swing is closer to original swing music and therefore danced to faster songs. Often to jazz music and big bands. West coast swing is much slower and can be danced to many pop songs as well.
  2. East coast swing has a rock step and two triple steps to left and right. In one basic we dance 8 steps in 6 music counts. West coast swing has walks, taps, and one triple step. We dance 7 steps in 8 music counts (sometimes two triple steps and 8 in 8).
  3. It’s been said that west coast swing was created as a different style in Los Angeles by a famous dancer from New York. And the reason is very simple – dance floors were overcrowded and steps needed to be adjusted so people can dance on their “spot”. And that is how west coast swing moves were created.

As you can see in the videos below, that becomes the main difference between the two styles.
It’s often called a “lazy” dance because of the relaxed tempo and slower pace. There is no bouncing and more walking. We also dance more in one line and rarely travel a lot on the dance floor.
In East Coast actions are fast and bouncy. We travel around the room or rotate on the spot. We have kicks and twists and other fun actions. It’s definitely a dance that requires more energy and also more moves because you run out of them quick 🙂

Both styles are very popular among dancers! Which style do you see yourself dancing?
We love both and cannot pick 🙈

West Coast Swing sample

East Coast Swing sample

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