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West Coast Swing

California State Dance

West coast swing dancing; photo by TJR on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike).

Official State Dance of California

California designated West Coast Swing as the official state dance in 1988 (California also recognizes an official state folk dance).  All State Dances

Originating in California in the early 1930's with the evolution of "swing-jazz," or "big-band" music, west coast swing dancing is an intricate dance that requires very energetic (even acrobatic) dancing. In the 1950s and early 1960s one name for West Coast Swing was "Sophisticated Swing."

There are various styles of swing dancing such as: Lindy Hop, New Yorker, Dallas Push, Houston Whip, Imperial Swing, Carolina Shag, East Coast Swing and West Coast Swing. Today west coast swing is danced in competition nationally and internationally.

Condensed from Wikipedia - Swing DanceThe term swing dance refers to a group of dances that developed with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920's, 30's and 40's (although the earliest of these dance forms predate swing jazz music). The most well-known of these dances is the Lindy Hop, a popular partner-dance that originated in Harlem, NY.

While the majority of swing dances began in African-American communities, a number of forms (Balboa, for example, and west coast swing) developed within Anglo-American or other ethnic group communities.

Jitterbug is often associated with one form of swing dancing, but it is in fact a general term for all swing dances and is more appropriately used to describe a swing dancer than a specific swing dance.