Smooth Dance Connection

West Coast Swing

Dance Instruction

James D Baker

Aurora, Colorado, USA

Laura Koch

Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Benefits of Dancing West Coast Swing
This is a social dance. At least two people must come together to perform this dance. Usually, many dancers meet and mix it up together. Out of this mix-up, a community grows. Dance skill grows. Friendships grow, and much fun is to be had. In particular, the Denver WCS community enjoys an excellent reputation across the country for bringing all these elements together. This reputation has extended beyond the nation's borders. Denver's own homegrown event, Swingtime In The Rockies, is an annual summer party that has attracted dancers from Australia, Canada, and Europe, as well as from all over the U.S.A.

WCS lends itself to several musical genres. At a West Coast Swing dance event, depending on the DJ, any combination of blues, pop, jazz, and hip-hop may be heard. If it feels right, the dancers will dance. The DJ's playlist can include songs from Akon, Jamie Foxx, Gaelle, Naturally 7, Nelly Furtado, Brooke Valentine, John Mayer, Ne-Yo, Leona Lewis, Eric Clapton, BB King, Michael Jackson, Anastasia, Pink, Kylie Minogue, Johnny Lang, Blu Cantrell, Jennifer Lopez, Lady GaGa, Kelly Clarkson, Tone Loc, Mary J Blige, Uncle Kracker, Madonna, and many others. This variety in tempo and genre tends to keep the dance both familiar and fresh.

The structure of this dance lends itself to innovation. Community openness to musical variety further fuels that innovation; new music, new ideas, new patterns, new discoveries. Becoming a WCS dancer initiates a challenge to mind and body that never grows old. The learning never stops.

It is of interest to this discussion that one medical study  found that, compared to other physical activities, "Dancing was the only physical activity associated with a lower risk of dementia." Study limitations preclude conclusivity. Nonetheless, perhaps there is something about processing multiple inputs (sound, vision, the feel of floor, the feel of partner) on-the-fly into multiple outputs (teamwork, balance, muscle control, timing, emotion) in a highly social setting that helps keep brain function fresh. Many of us are having fun giving it a try.

You are invited to join us.