The East Coast Swing first appeared on America’s dancefloors way back in the 1930s. Or at least early variants of the dance did. At that point in time, you see, East Coast Swing was a rather nebulous term, which applied to a clutch of loosely related dance forms. As such, regional variations, rather than a single standardized dance, held sway. With time, however, these parochial differences were swept away and replaced by a standardized version of the dance in 1951.
The Reconfigured East Coast Swing
In some ways, codification marked a break with tradition. At the drop of a hat, the 8-step East Coast Swing of old was reimagined as a 6-step Foxtrot derivative. For all that, however, the essence of the dance remained unchanged. The characteristic triple steps and rock steps endured. As did, the dance’s repertoire of energetic twists and turns.
In its modern form, the East Coast Swing is categorized as a rhythm dance. Accordingly, the dance is performed in a closed position with the dancers’ weight predominantly distributed through their toes.
Of all the swing dances, the East Coast Swing is by some distance the easiest to learn. As a result, it makes a great entry point to the broader world of swing dancing.