TOWestCoast Blog

05JUN17 – Aloha!

Greetings from Prince Edward Island!  Yes, I have “Islands on my mind” right now as we plan for this year’s International West Coast Swing Flash Mob. The kick off to this years ‘Summer School’ to learn and practice as a group is coming up:  Tuesday, June 27th – with an “Island Theme” (grass skirts, Hawaiian shirts, leis, pirate gear, a T-shirt from your last Island vacation, anything nautical….)
Facebook Event or see the calendar – but in the meantime….

I’m looking forward to a very “dusty” post-Mic tomorrow night 😊 Congratulations to all the Michigan Classic competitors, and hope everyone came back with at least one new dance “nugget” (a new move, a new styling, or something new to work on technique-wise) and at least one new dance friend or “dance crush”.

We’re hosting our monthly First-Tuesday-of-the-Month FREE lesson tomorrow night, June 4th at 8:00 p.m., along with regularly scheduled classes:

6:30-7:15 p.m. WCS*HD Mo’ Motion Study practice and applications with Shelley Saxena – $18 to drop in
7:15-8:00 p.m. WCS*Repertoire continues with tuck turn and whip variations – $15 to drop in
8:00-9:00 p.m. WCS*Fundamentals – this class ROCKS! We’re moving on with new material in Week #4 of the current series. Sorry, no drop-ins. The next Fundamental series starts June 27th.

~8:45 at the end of both classes we’ll create one big “rotation” to get everyone dancing together before the social dancing starts around 9:00 p.m. and continues until midnight.

Facebook Event or please see the calendar for more details – and invite a friend or two (or more!)


Billed as Montreal’s only “pure” West Coast Swing event, MWF is moving to the Marriott Airport In-Terminal Hotel – and there are a few other cool changes….

  • Doug Rousar’s Sweet Sixteen tournament has been added to the competition schedule. Sign up on your own and you never know who you’ll be dancing with!  The final tournament-style dance-off is always an event highlight 😊
  • West Coast Swing Champions Christopher Dumond & Tara Trafzer (US) and Thibault Ramirez & Bevelry Brunerie (France) join Stephen White & Sonya Dessureault and a host of other MWF regulars to provide inspiration, coaching and instruction through Private lessons and/or levelled workshops
  • There will be a Sunday night dance at the hotel this year – so stick around an extra night to enjoy that Montreal Westie Fest dance dust!

Check out the Facebook Page for more details.   And there is a Toronto ROCKS Montreal Westie Fest Facebook Page hosted by Joanna Swanson – if you want to sit at a Toronto table. (You know you wanna!)



  • WCS Monday nights at the West-Way with Lucky Sipin – please see the TOWestCoast Calendar
  • Thursday night Dynamic Duo classes/practice – please contact Dana a
  • Sunday Fun-Day classes and Social with Shelley Saxena at Rhythm & Motion
  • Toronto Swing Dance Society dance this Friday, June 16th with special guests Maria Ford and Todd Coulthard from Ottawa *and* first-time performance by the New Generation “Awesome Threesome” dance team Facebook page or
  • Maria and Todd will be in Ancaster this Saturday, June 17 –  Facebook Page or please see the calendar
  • Steps Studio is also holding its monthly Studio Party on Saturday, June 17th with a Hustle lesson and Hustle/WCS room
  • Joy of Dance’s monthly Hustle & WCS Party takes place *next* Saturday, June 24 –  Facebook Event or please see the calendar
  • Flash Mob Kick Off Party at the Dovercourt House – Tuesday, July 27thFacebook Event or please see the calendar
  • Sweet Side of Swing is happening in Vancouver June 22-25.  Leaders and couples are encouraged to join in the conversation 😊  Facebook Event or


Toronto is hosting our very own West Coast Swing and Hustle event July 13-16: The Toronto Open Swing & Hustle

Don’t know your JnJ from your Pro-Am – here’s a quick primer:

  • Jack and Jill – enter individually (no partner) and dance – no choreography – with random partners to different styles of music. Hey – it’s just like social dancing!
  • Strictly Swing – enter with a partner of your choice – no choreography – dance to different styles of music. Hey – that’s kind of like social dancing, too!
  • Pro-Am Strictly Swing – enter with a teacher (or Pro) of your choice – no choreography – dance to different styles of music. Hey – that’s just like dancing with Nelson or Shelley or Kyle…
  • Tournament-style (eg. Sweet Sixteen) – enter individually (no partner) dance with a random partner and either get eliminated or move on to next round.  Super fun to do/watch!
  • Routines – Choreography! Costumes! Tricks!  If you’re not *in* these divisions you’re at least going to want to watch and be inspired!

Divisions are usually divided into levels based on competition experience; there’s a “points” system governed by the World Swing Dance Council and TOSHC is a WSDC member event:

There are also age divisions, like in golf; “Masters” dancers are over 50.  Rules are posted on the TOSHC website – admittedly a bit intimidating if you’re a first-time attendee.  My recommendation is if you want to try competing start with the Newcomer Jack & Jill – with the goal of having fun, an possibly dancing with someone you’ve never danced with before – nothing more than that.  You’ll be cheered on and supported by your dance friends. So fun!  If the whole idea of being watched and judged makes you sick to your stomach, plan to be one of the awesome supporters in the crowd 😊

See you Tuesday night!!