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Why I don't like "West Coast Swing"

Dancing West Coast Swing is actually one of my favorite things to do these days.

But each time I have to explain what is it that I do to someone else - I have to deal with the name situation.

The conversation usually goes something like this:


I dance West Coast Swing


Ah, swing, I love all the acrobatics!


You're probably thinking of Lindy Hop. I do West Coast Swing, it's quite different, it's danced to the contemporary music and has different aesthetics

Let me show you a video


Oh, this is indeed quite different from what I was thinking, it looks really cool!

Next time we meet


So you dance ?western? swing, right?



The confusion is not limited to casual conversations about the dance either. I've started with WCS fairly recently and remember being actively confused when trying to find lessons in SF

Google would return things like https://lindyinthepark.com/ fairly prominently when I search "West Coast Swing lessons in SF" and I had to spend some time figuring out if it's the thing I'm looking for (it wasn't).

Confusion with other dance styles is the issue I encounter most often but far from the only one:

WCS implies that the dance is only popular on West Coast and more broadly implies an unnecessary level of US-centricity

people are consistently surprised when I tell them that I've danced WCS in Japan (and to somewhat lesser degree about Prague)

I suspect that it serves as a barrier for developing the scenes in other countries

It's long and not memorable. It often gets reduced in people's minds to things like

western swing


It makes clear communication difficult

Connection with History

Other people seem to care about this a lot more than I do. I think acknowledging the history/roots of the dance in the name is nice but not when it's detrimental to its current development

Plausibly one can come up with a clever way to nod to history in the name while improving on the issues above though.

Semi serious proposal for "Flow" and a bit more serious proposal for "Modern Swing" have been floated

In fact googling "Modern Swing dance" gives a decent number of results for WCS, so this seems to have gained some traction in the community!

I plan to try telling people that I do "Modern Swing" from now on and see if that works out better.