TOWestCoast Blog

05DEC17 – December Dancin’

FREE beginner lesson TONIGHT!  Invite your friends, family, colleagues…. Anyone you think might enjoy a no-strings-attached FREE introduction to West Coast Swing.  New Beginner classes start again in the New Year, but if anyone is super-keen they may join in the WCS*Fundamentals series in progress.

Classes in all three levels continue until Tuesday, December 26th – yes, we’re dancing Boxing Day 😊6:30-7:15 p.m.  WCS*HD with Shelley Saxena $18 to drop in – including dance
7:15-8:00 p.m.  WCS*Repertoire $15 to drop in – including dance
8:00-9:00 p.m.  WCS*Fundamentals – no drop-ins, but keeners still welcome! $60 for the remaining four classes
9:00 p.m. until midnight:  Weekly West Coast Swing dance for all levels – just $5 or FREE with lesson
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Dovercourt House, 805 Dovercourt Rd. (west of Ossington, north of Bloor)






Can you believe we’re in the last month of 2017?  We know from experience that the New Year brings out new dancers, and brings *back* people we haven’t seen in awhile eager to reconnect with the community and challenge themselves with new goals and resolutions.  Thanks to a great leadership team of local teachers and organizers you’ll have tons of opportunities to improve your dancing in 2018.

The next Tuesday night classes start right after New Years: January 2-February 6 with something new in the 6:30-7:15 p.m. time slot (YAY!), and some price increases – it had to happen eventually.  We will continue to offer FREE introductory classes the first Tuesday of every month, and the social dancing will remain $5 for people who love coming to dance and socialize with us every week.

Events remain a huge part of the West Coast Swing culture, and as our community grows – and the number of events multiply – we see a fracturing of attendance sometimes, but also greater representation of Toronto Westies at events most of us will never get to.  Some of the events that are on *my* personal dance calendar in 2018 (so far) include:

….and more 😊


Last week I talked about the tournament-style competition and mentioned that it was a “Jack & Jill” format.

Invented by the late Jack Carey, the Jack & Jill is the quintessential West Coast Swing contest – and pretty much the gateway comp to all other formats.  Typically, Leaders and Followers are lined up in “bib order” (i.e. according to the numbers pinned to the competitors’ backs). Some kind of random generating tool pairs up partners, and couples dance to a song of the deejay’s choosing.  This randomness is what makes this style of competition so accessible; all you’re really doing is social dancing, sometimes with a complete stranger, to whatever song is being played.  You can’t really practice or prepare for a Jack & Jill, except to learn how to dance with a variety of partners to a variety of genres of music, i.e. what you do every time you go out social dancing.

In the preliminary round or rounds, dancers are rotated to a new random partner to dance to different song – in both style and tempo. You might be dancing a slow Blues to start, then a fast Pop song, then a mid-tempo R&B.  Each partner is being judged separately – so just because you had a great dance with someone doesn’t mean you’ll both make Finals. In the Final round couples are judged “together”.

In the larger divisions there are often several heats of Prelims with many dancers on the floor at the same time.  Higher level contests (like the Professionals) are usually “spotlighted”, meaning that couples take turns –  dancing for the audience as much as for the judges.

You’ll often hear weekend events being referred to a “points events”.  These are events that are registered with the World Swing Dance Council. Points are awarded to winners of Jack & Jill competitions, determining the division in which dancers compete as they move up the competitive ladder.

Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the above, and looking forward to seeing y’all tonight 😉