East Coast Swing
This dance is frequently referred to as Triple Step swing due to the rhythm of the basic triple step. This dance consists of six and eight count patterns, which require a rock step back by both man and woman to begin. It is a circular dance that is danced with a bounce and is very grounded and not high in the legs. This bounce requires the dancer to stay very smooth and not jump around much. East Coast swing is the base for all swing dances.
The Hustle (Disco) is a member of the Swing family, and is like the West Coast Swing in pattern. It has a distinct flavor, utilizing Disco style music & revived partnerstyle among nightclub dancers in the 70s. Hustle is danced to the contemporary pop dance music of the last 20 years. It is a fast, smooth dance, with the lady spinning almost constantly, while her partner draws her close and sends her away.
This dance is the European version of East Coast swing. Six and eight count patterns make up this dance, as in East Coast swing but it is quite bouncy with very sharp kicks and flicks. Unlike East Coast swing, Jive is danced to a faster tempo swing music and is meant for competitive style dancing.
This dance came about with the big band era and is danced to fast tempo swing. Most Lindy steps are eight count patterns done in a circular fashion with a lot of kicks, flicks, hops, lifts, and drops. Its been said that this dance gained its name from Charles Lindbergh and his flight to the United States.
The Shag, which developed on the crowded floors of dance clubs, is called a slot dance because it is danced with both partners moving up and down on a single line or track. If you imagine yourself dancing on a single railroad tie, it will help you to remember to stay on your track. This slot helps the dancers to dance within a very small space without bumping into each other. The slot can rotate and change, however, it is important to remember that each partner continues to dance on a slot in relation to each other. This slot is an area about 6 feet long and 3 feet wide. If the floor is very crowded this slot area decreases. If the floor is not crowded a larger slot area is acceptable. In any type of partner dancing, there are basic elements that together make the dance flow. These elements are clean footwork, the correct timing, a strong dance position, and good lead and follow. There are many different patterns and movements in Shag dancing. The patterns mainly include different types of turns for both man and woman.
West Coast Swing
This dance consists of six and eight count patterns, which are done in a slot. The woman no longer rocks back as in East Coast swing, but instead she always walks forward on count one. This dance is usually done to medium tempo swing music, frequently slower than East Coast swing. However, those who achieve a high skill level in this dance can and do dance it to faster tempo music. This dance has no bounce and a very smooth feel. Rarely will you see high kicks or moves which require the dancer to leave the floor.