If you are not extremely confused by the different names and types of swing dance out there then you have not been paying attention! Here are a few video specimens to help you figure out the differences between the main types of swing dance, starting with what Swing It! teaches: East Coast Swing.

This is a good video of some kids dancing some East Coast Swing. ECS is the easiest and fastest form of swing, which I think makes it the most fun! What I love the best about this video is it is totally 100% improv off-the-cuff unrehearsed social dancing exactly like YOU could dance if you come to my classes.   :)   Come on out and Swing It!


For Comparison, here are some other forms of Swing, so you can recognize the difference:

The differences between East Coast and Jive are small but significant. Jive is part of the American Latin ballroom syllabus, and so has a strong ballroom "flair" to it. The main differences are in styling and timing of the basic. Jive has a bouncy-bouncy "sock hop" styling and is usually danced to slower music utilizing a triple-step timing. The fundamental distinction for our purposes is the speed of the music, which determines the timing of the basic step. Jive is triple-time (tri-ple-step, tri-ple-step, rock-step) and therefore requires a little slower music, while East Coast uses the simpler single-time (step, step, rock-step) basic timing and therefore needs faster music. Isn't that an arbitrary distinction? Not at all. Fast music is too fast to triple-step unless you are very athletic, and slow music is very boring using a single-time basic. Different tempos naturally suggest different dance timings.

Stylistic and tempo differences aside, probably 98% of Jive and East Coast Swing are identical. Here is a very good specimen of the bouncy-bouncy styling. Notice they bounce a triple-step basic timing, whereas in the first video the dancers used a fast song and had a single-time basic.

Generally slower than East Coast with lots of rotational energy, the signature maneuver is the swing-out, where the lead shoots the follow away then brings her back in, often with some fast swivels and jazz hands out wide. Lindy and East Coast have lots in common, though the styling and some of the maneuvers are different. Lindy is more difficult but is the most prevalent form of swing, world wide. From Paris to London to Japan, this is probably what you will see if someone is dancing "swing." Here is a high level performance video of our very own Victoria-based Lindyhopers from Red Hot Swing, Kevin and Christabel!

Slow, sultry and full of wild and sexy hip action on par with most Latin dances, WCS is the hardest form of swing and radically different from East Coast or Lindy Hop. It is a slot dance, meaning the dancers stay in one fixed place on the floor and the follow travels back and forth in her "slot" while the lead gets out of the way. Here is a clip of Miles & Tessa, Vancouver's own Canadian national champs! They are #1 in Canada and in the top 5 for the world....   :)