Is West Coast Swing taught backwards?

Steve Pastor

Staff member
We really know very little about the "original" music (in spite of the length of that thread!). Haile listed 5? swing songs. With the exception of "Be-Bop's Spoken Here" by Les Brown, they are pretty mellow swing tunes. (But they are songs for practicing!)

Then there is Hot Rod Gang and "Dance to the Bop".
Probably everyone has already heard that by the mid 50s, for young people in most parts of the country, "swing" was their parent's music. "Dance to the Bop" came out in Dec 57, followed by the film in 58.

Very recently read that LA had their own regional tv shows (such as the #1 rated Spade Cooley show and, at one time, several western dance party shows) more so than in the rest of the country into the 50s because there was no coaxial cable across the country as tv was developing. LA simply did not get shows from the East.

Billboard Feb 16, 1952
At present, three pop danceries, three h.b. and Western terpalaces and three independent bands are vying for interest of the dancers among the 1,250,000 TV set owners in the vicinity covered by seven local TV outlets.
A lot of my non-dance friends don't know enough about dance to make that connection period. I've had more than a few friends ask for clarification when I even mention Lindy (Now, what's Lindy Hop?'s what you typically think of when you think of swing dancing)!

They always seem really impressed when they see videos of me though...especially the spinning side pass, for some reason. "Ooh! I really like that! Right there!" Where? Oh, the spinning side pass? Really?
Well, yeah...spins always look impressive. :)
Not all my non-dance friends guess hustle, only those who have seen Saturday Night Fever or maybe have seen hustle routines on DWTS or somewhere else. And then, I think they only guess hustle just because they can't think of any other comparable partner dance.

I agree that most people, if you say "swing dancing", they immediately think of Lindy, even if they don't know the name of it. They just think of the old Gap ads or retro-looking swing dance routines in tv or movies. West Coast Swing just isn't on the radar.

Heck, I know some non-dancers who even get flamenco and tango mixed up, darned if I know why except that both dances have Spanish-language music and end in the letter "o." :rolleyes:

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