West Coast Swing
It is believed that the origins of the West Coast Swing are in Savoy style Lindy.
Dean Collins moved to California in 1930s and introduced the dancing scenes there to Lindy Hop, which took a firm hold on the West Coast through the 30s and 40s. Swing fell out of mainstream's consideration when the 50's style rockabilly was replaced by pop music. Dancers on the West Coast began using Swing moves to the new pop music, thus changing the dance and bringing about the variation now known as West Coast Swing. Step sheets from ballroom studios reveal that this particular style was known under different names until it took on the name "West Coast Swing." In 1988, West Coast Swing was pronounced the Official State Dance of California.
The follower travels back and forth along a shoulder width rectangle, called the slot, with respect to the leader. The leader is more stationary but will move in and out of the slot depending on the pattern led. A general rule is that the leader leaves the slot only to give way for the follower to pass him. Various reasons have been given for the slotted style. One reason is that when all followers dance in lines, club owners could pack many more dancers onto the floor. Another reason was that in Hollywood, film makers wanted dancers to stay in the same plane, to avoid going in and out of focus.
WCS was originally danced to sixteen count Blues music, rather than the Jazz from the early part of the 20th century. In practice, WCS may be danced to almost any music in 4/4 time. Such diverse musical genres as Funk, Rock and Roll and Disco may be found in a typical evening of WCS dancing. In recent years, most WCS venues have seen a greater proportion of contemporary music played as opposed to blues. While some may lament the departure of WCS from its roots, others view this trend as another step in the continued evolution of the dance.