West Coast Swing

West Coast Swing Lessons in Toronto

If you’re looking for west coast swing lessons in Toronto, you can find them at Arthur Murray Toronto.  Read on to learn more about this popular style of ballroom dancing Toronto residents have shown a keen interest in.

History of West Coast Swing

In the 1940’s with the wild abandonment of the Jitterbug being banned from dance halls due to too many injuries, Arthur Murray developed and documented several swing steps that he later called “Sophisticated Swing”. This was the beginning of what is now called West Coast Swing and is what’s taught in the West Coast Swing lessons in Toronto in our multiple locations, including Toronto and Etobicoke.

Arthur Murray is credited with the first codifications of West Coast Swing and used such names as “Under Arm Pass, The Whip and The Sugar Push” to describe the patterns. The ladies taking “two walking steps forward” towards the man at the beginning of each pattern was standardized in his studios.

In 1989, California selected the West Coast Swing as its state dance. Today there are over 5000 documented West Coast Swing step patterns and more are added every year.

West Coast Swing Lessons – Characteristics

Wondering what to expect from our West Coast Swing lessons in Toronto? The West Coast Swing differs from other swing dances because of it’s distinctive “dancing in a slot” approach, where the lady’s movement takes her towards the man, not away, such as in a Rock Step. You’ll learn more about this in our Toronto West Coast swing lessons.

Music Used for West Coast Swing Lessons

You can dance to pretty much anything in West Coast Swing Lessons. West Coast Swing can be danced to almost any music written in 4/4 time, from the Blues to Disco, Jazz, Pop, Country or Big Band. It is considered a “living dance” in that it is constantly evolving, growing and changing to the music styles currently in vogue.

West Coast Swing songs and artist include:

  • Addicted to Love, by Robert Palmer
  • All Shook Up, by Elvis Presley
  • Brown Sugar, by the Rolling Stones
  • Chain of Fools, by Aretha Franklin
  • Fever, by Peggy Lee

The sophisticated style and ease of movement makes this dance a popular favourite of dancers. Its compact footwork and body connection develop a strong sense of lead and follow. Once you learn it, you’ll love it.

Register for West coast Swing Dance Classes in Toronto

Interested in taking west coast swing lessons in Toronto? Contact us or register on the right.  With convenient locations in Etobicoke (The Kingsway), Downtown (Yorkville), North York, and Vaughan (Woodbridge), Arthur Murray is the dance studio of choice for individuals seeking West Coast swing lessons. Want more information about ballroom dance lessons in Toronto? Go back to our list of ballroom dances.




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Come out and dance! We’ll make you feel completely at home in our friendly atmosphere. All skill levels are welcome. Come on your own, or with a partner. No obligation!


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