TOWestCoast Blog

11APR17 – Welcome!

We’ve had several new people sign up for our weekly “GroovyBluesyJazzyFunky” newsletter recently. Thanks! – and thank you for your interest in West Coast Swing in Toronto.  I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight  some of the ways West Coast Swing dancers in Toronto keep in touch and on top of what’s happening.

  •  This GBJF newsletter comes out every week, usually on Monday. It also gets posted on the home page of – dated, along with the two most recent newsletters. Content changes week to week, and if you read something but can’t remember when it was, there’s a *search* function which will access both current and archived newsletters (thanks to Webmaster Scotty for that!)
  • There’s also a calendar page ( which is a bit of a beast to keep up-to-date, but if you’re not on Facebook – or even if you are and want an at-a-glance peak at what’s going on, I’d recommend checking it out – and do let me know of any errors or omissions.
  • Speaking of Facebook – what did we do without it?   There’s a TOWestCoast group (see here) – and a new GTA WESTIES page (see here), with slightly different content but the same aim: to connect and inspire Toronto West Coast Swing dancers with weekly class and event information, car-pooling and room-sharing, dance videos, music and more; Dynamic Duo WCS  (Nelson and Kyle) has its own Facebook presence (see here), and there are many more groups and events to follow/join.
  • Check out for WCS Sunday and Private Lesson information with Shelley Saxena (also for up-to-date Sunday scheduling information and to register online)
  • The Toronto Swing Dance Society (TSDS) has long supported West Coast Swing amongst other dance styles, offering regular classes and monthly dances  Nelson Clarke will be teaching County Two-step at their next dance on Friday, April 21st. They have a band next month (May) and Maria and Todd, from Ottawa, will be here June 16th.  See dance details here

Not sure which came first, the hashtag or the clothing line, but there is definite a “travelling” culture within the West Coast Swing community.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Swinging Montreal – April 21-22 This intimate workshop weekend takes place each Spring at a beautiful downtown Montreal dance studio, this year featuring the young, charming and incredibly talented couple Maxime & Torri Zzaoui. (Back when she was Torri Smith I saw her win the US Open – in 2010, beating out Jordan & Tatiana in the Classic division with Brennar Goree, and in the Classic Division with Benji Schwimmer.)   Facebook Event or see the calendar.  To see who’s going from here, and perhaps arrange a ride or hotel-share see the Toronto ROCKS Swinging Montreal Facebook Event Page
  •  Michigan Classic 2017 –  June 1-4 Celebrating 25 years, but “reimagined, revamped, and revisited” by the warped and wonderful mind of Doug Rousar – so be prepared to be entertained, and may-be challenged. This is a full-on World Swing Dance Council weekend event, taking place in a hotel just outside of Detroit, Michigan (an easy drive and *very* well-attended by dancers from Toronto) with competitions and workshops and dancing all night long. Crazy fun!  Official Facebook Event and Canada Rocks the Michigan Classic Facebook Page.. See also
  •  Liberty Swing Dance Championships – June 29-July 2 John Lindo’s fun and fabulous star-studded event takes place in New Brunswick, New Jersey – fly into Newark and take the train (you can also take a train into Manhattan – if you have the energy 😊)  Again, workshops, comps, dancing and more dancing….Check out the Canada ROCKS Liberty Swing Dance Championships Facebook Event for more information and to see who’s going, who’s looking to share a hotel room, etc.  See also the official website:


  • Shelley Saxena’s Motion Study Weekend – April 14-15 Improve your West Coast Swing technique and styling through learning and practicing a choreographed “line dance” of solo moves, and then apply them to your partnered patterns.  Good for both Leaders and Followers. Taking place at Main Fitness studio in the Beach.  See the calendar for full details or
  •  Toronto Open Swing & Hustle Championships (TOSHC) – July 13-16 This is our own weekend-long at event, held at the Sheraton Airport Hotel & Conference Centre – where the “Wandergin Westies” come to us, and we are treated to workshops in West Coast Swing and Hustle by top Pros, competitions and late night dancing.  See for full details.  We’ll ALL be there so and would love you to be there, too!
  •  Gratitude Dance and Thornbury Getaway – Saturday, September 9th In recognition of your local West Coast Swing teachers we’re taking the party up north – to Thornbury/Collingwood/Blue Mountain. Plan on making a weekend out of it to take advantage of all the activities the area has to offer. See the Facebook Event Page or calendar for more details as they become available.

Although we always offer a FREE class on the first-Tuesday-of-the-month, and most last-Tuesdays are “Bluesy”, there are sometimes some hiccups in the schedule, as well as few special events. Please refer to newsletters and the TOWestCoast calendar for most up-to-date information.

  • Flash Mob “Summer School” – Repertoire and HD classes are suspended in July and August to prepare for the International West Coast Swing Flash Mob which takes place on Saturday, September 2nd all over the world.  Shelley and I will be teaching the choreography and providing coaching on Tuesday nights (you can also learn by video online if you prefer).
  •  Anniversary Dance and Open House – Tuesday September 15th Celebrating 15 years of weekly West Coast Swing classes!
  •  GroovyBluesyJazzyRockStar!!  – Tuesday, October 31st Get into the Halloween spirit by dressing up and partying like a Rock Star!!
  •  10th Annual CAMH Benefit Dance – Tuesday, November 14th Our annual fundraiser on behalf of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is always well-supported by the West Coast Swing Community in Toronto and generous event director sponsors.  This year, in honour of #Canada150 – and more importantly, the First Nations people who occupied this land for thousands of years before confederation – I’ve decided to direct our donations to CAMH’s Aboriginal Services.

I think I can speak on behalf of most West Coast Swing instructors when I say that we encourage our students to take classes/private lessons and participate in a workshops and events hosted by a variety of teachers.  Learning this dance is a journey; we are all constantly working on our own dance – as it evolves, and as we continue to challenge ourselves with new projects and goals.  Which is why you’ll see us taking workshops, competing, performing, and putting it out there on the social dance floor – and why we want to see you there, too 😊


Toronto ROCKS Swingin’ Montreal: Maxime & Torri Edition April 21 & 22 Facebook Event
Sweet Side of Swing Northwest (Vancouver) June 23-25
Toronto Open Swing Hustle Championships (TOSHC) July 13-16
Montreal Westie Fest – October 13-15
Facebook Event
International WCS Flash Mob – Toronto details TBA – September 2
Gratitude Dance & Thornbury Getaway – September 9-10 Facebook Event