Key Concepts

Breaks (Patterns, Relationships, Repetition, Rhythm)
Connection (Anchor, Compression, Core, Frame, Stretch, Tone, Resistance)
Improvisation (Communication, Co-creation, Perspective, Risk-taking)
Lead/Follow (Direction, Momentum, Consistency)
Styling (Levels - Height/Width, Pacing - Space & Time, Patterns, "Listening," Movement, Musicality)

Primary Principles

Dancing from the Core

Competitive, Performance, Social

Advocacy / Building Community


Dragon Con 2010: Firefly Panel Part 3

Actors from the sci-fi movie, Serenity, discuss how dance @ 6:25, and language at 8:28, have influenced their careers.


Westify Promo Reel 2013

DanceUtah SLC - Dancing with Champions John Lindo & Jessica Cox

Where the Hell is Matt 2012?

A great exploration of culture through dance

Why I Dance: Pourquoi je danse - Subtitled in French


A Bug Studying His Arthur Murray Dance Charts

Caution: Bad Dancing

Dance Dance Evolution

OffTheMark.png - Type "dance" into the search box to find cartoons about dance that can be purchased for public use

Salsa Cartoon

Dance as Art

OK Go - Skyscrapers Official Video

the way the tango was used to create the story of the relationship against scenes that were very representative of a walk through daily life; the progressive use of direction and film angles to create narrative momentum; the manner in which color, costuming, measured movement, and repetition were used to create patterns and manipulate viewers' expectations; the subtle contrasts woven throughout; the symbolic nature of the various layers of conceptual shifts in the video (such as black to white through color).

Unusually Cool Japanese Dance

Dance as a Developmental Process

Matt & Lily Auclair - Father Daughter Exhibition - Dallas Dance Exhibition 2013 to "You're Amazing Just the Way You Are"

Good example of "knowledge" v. "connection" and the developmental nature of learning to dance

The Tragedy of First Position 2008

Adorable - little girl can't focus on what is being said b/c she is trying so hard to get her feet into 1st position without losing her balance. Very positive teacher.

Dance as a Daily Activity

Dancers Among Us - A series of photos of people dancing through daily life (a couple of images are not classroom appropriate)

Dance as Metaphor

How the Planets Dance - Interesting blog post that uses brightly colored, "spirograph-like" drawings to visualize the movement of the planets

Dance as Performance

Ben Morris & Melissa Rutz - Classic Division - Chicago Classic 2012 to "Something About the Chase"

Enra Pleiades

Gary McIntyre & Susan Kirklin - "Kids at Play" 2012 Balloon Routine

This Haunting Figure Skating Routine Will Make You Feel the Music in Your Bones (to The Sound of Silence by Disturbed)


Swing Dancers - set to "All About the Music" by DJ Z-Trip

Old-time swing dancers

Dax Hock, Max Pitruzzella, & Sarah Breck - Tea for Three: An Improv Steal Dance (Lindy)

Unbelievable Dubstep Dance Skills

Slow motion nature of this makes it a great "text" for studying body isolations, body movement, use and positioning of core, and aligning movement to music - also creative interpretation of music

Wedding Dance 2009 - Improv WCS at a wedding to "Give Me One Reason" by Tracy Chapman




Artopia: Dance

GiveIt100.JPG - Practice something every day for 100 days, take a video every day

JustDanceBrainBreak.JPG - A Symbaloo collection of links to "brain break" dance videos for upper elementary students

Leading & Following


The Art of Leading



WestCoastSwing101BeginnerVideos.JPG - A series of videos, each of which demonstrates one of the basic moves in WCS

Life Lessons from Dance


How Generous Are You Willing to Be?

First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

TheHealingPowerOfBluesDancing.JPG - An NPR interview with 3 blues dancers on the subject

La danse, remède anti-morosité - A news report in French

Learn to Dance in a Year

Why Trust is Worth It

Pedagogical Articles

Aesthetics & Styling

Practicing Leg Lines with Tendus

WCS Styling Checklist



Seven Challenges of West Coast Swing


Staying Into Compression


Drills: You Need More of Them by Joel Torgeson

Body Roll Drill

Pedagogical Videos


Brent & Kellese Key - 1st Place Classic Division - US Open 2003 to "Blues Power" by Albert King

Kellese uses lots of angles


Ben Morris & Jessica Cox - Strictly Swing - Boston Tea Party 2013 to an acoustic, bluesy song

Good for seeing how the connection migrates depending on what is happening in the dance

Maxence Martin & Tara Trafzer - 1st Place All Star J&J - 4th of July Convention 2010 to "You Can Let It Out"

Good example of what is possible w/ connection (esp. at 1:11 - Kick/drop) - headrolls, double spins, ladies styling on underarm turn, extended whips - very controlled


Ben Morris & Melissa Rutz - Strictly Swing - Boston Tea Party 2012 to "Shake Your Groove Thing"

Ben Morris & Tessa Cunningham - Champion J&J - Reno Dance Sensation 2007

Note Tessa's use of core and posture to stay centered


Counting Sets of 8 - A blog containing a series of videos that visualize this


Ben Morris & Maria Elizarova - 1st Place Pro Novice Jack & Jill - Budafest 2014 to "Shout"

Good example of perfectly aligned core, good frame, styling within the framework your leader gives you, etc.


RJ Centano & Brandi Tobias - 1st Place Champion J&J - Boogie by the Bay 2009 to "Masquerader"

Note Brandi's footwork and attitude spins

High Leverage Moves

Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollman - Overland Park WCS Weekend 2011 to "More"

Lots of attitude spins, drops, and acrobatics

Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollman - Improv WCS - Korea 2008 to "I've Got the Blues"

Lots of spins, splits, etc.

Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollman - J&J Prelim - Boogie By the Bay 2011 to "Breaking Me"

Tons of head rolls and leg spins


Maxence Martin & Emeline Rochefeuille - Improv - Rouen 2012 to "Nightcall" by Kavinsky

Good example of body leads, subtle moves that allow the lead to contribute to the dance, smooth transitions on a slow song


Intermediate J&J Final Jam - Baltic Swing 2014 to "Sexy & I Know It"

First couple is a good example of a follow adding to the dance


Ben Morris & Tessa Cunningham - "Every Night & Day"

Great example of partnering

Michael Kielbasa & Melissa Rutz - 1st Place Champions Invitational J&J - SF Dance Sensation 2013 to "Belief" by John Mayer & to "Grieves"

Good examples of partnering, visual leads, and musicality


John Lindo & Jessica Cox - National Living Legends Exhibition 2010

Very classy video with some good styling options (styling at :48, cross at :50, hesitation at 1:01, lunge at 1:08, lean at 1:35)

Ben Morris & Melissa Rutz - 1st Place Improv WCS Invitational J&J - Seattle Easter Swing 2011 to "Leyla" & "Danny's All-Star Joint"

John Lindo & Jessica Cox - Freestyle Demo - Nuroc Swingin' in the Valley 2012 to "Best You Ever Had"

Ben Morris & Tara Trafzer - Champions Strictly Swing - Chico Dance Sensation 2012 to "Party Rockers"

To "Party Rockers" - Ben leads styling (lunch with her hand on his chest), several guys and girls spins, musicality to lyrics ("good time," "shake that"). Lots of disconnected silliness too


Jordan Frisbee & Melissa Rutz - Champion J&J - West Coast Swing Phoenix 2009 to "The Thrill is Gone" & "Move Me"

Good example of headrolls, follow keeping her feet under her, staying straight up during spins - very technically clean for the follow.


Ben Morris & Jessica Cox - Champions Strictly Swing - USA Grand Nationals 2009 to "You Know I Like the Way You Move It"

Kyle Redd & Tara Trafzer - 2nd Place J&J - Palm Springs Summer Dance Camp 2010 - To an acoustic, bluesy song & then to "California Girls"

Good example of waiting



MonthlyTop10WCSSongs.JPG - Regularly updated page with links to the music videos for each month

RadioWCS.JPG - Updated through August 2013, see interviews with Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollman re: their favorite songs, listen to streaming music, and view the "hot 20" lists

Professional Development


Resources - Website dedicated to dance in Spain

Tech Tools

Beats Per Minute (BPM)

BPM Database - Click on a title, it gives you the author, album, year, and BPM

Tap for Beats Per Minute - Tap a key and it computes the BPM for you

DJ Software

VirtualDJ.JPG - Downloadable


WCSVideos.JPG - Extensive collection of West Coast Swing videos from both pros and amateurs