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FAQ

  1. What is West Coast Swing? West Coast Swing (WCS) is a partner dance in the swing dance family. It is related to Lindy, Jitterbug, the Bop, East Coast Swing, and Shag. It is a derivative of Lindy but is done more slotted (think the size of a door laying flat on a floor) and the female usually goes from one end of the slot to the other while the male stays in the middle of the slot. WCS is done to most all kinds of music. It’s one of the most creative dances for partner dancing.
  2. What is Shag? The Shag (or Carolina Shag) is a partner dance in the swing dance family. It is related to Lindy, Jitterbug, the Bop, East Coast Swing, and West Coast Swing. Shag was traditionally a male lead and focus-oriented dance, but today it has evolved into a dance where it is a more balanced dance with shines for both the male and female. The Shag is danced in a slot (think the surface of a diving board), with the partners moving in an accordion fashion rather than in a circle or side to side. The Shag is distinct from many of the other swing dances because of its fancy footwork and the overall smoothness and flow which gives the dance a graceful, effortless look.
  3. Do you dance only one type of swing at your club sponsored dances? No. While  most of us dance mostly WCS with Shag mixed ini, there are folks who come to dance with us that do Jitterbug, Shag, Cha, Hustle, and even some line dances (e.g., Tush Push, Electric Slide). We enjoy having all dancers join us for our dance parties.
  4. Where do you dance? We dance WCS and some Shag at The Watermelon Dance – the monthly club dance at the Haddonfield School of Dance in Haddonfield, NJ. Many members also join in at Westie Wednesdays at the Atrium Dance Studio in Pennsauken, NJ (club members receive a $2 discount at this dance). You can dance WCS or Shag just about anywhere you go.
  5. Is WCS hard to learn? WCS is one of the more difficult dances to learn, but if you stick with it and learn it you’ll be rewarded with some wonderful dances. We think it’s one of the most creative dances around. Once you get the feel for this one, it’s highly addictive! While WCS definitely offers a challenge to dancers at any level, our instructors and members enjoy helping out and make the learning process easy. We offer introductory lessons everywhere we meet. There are classes offered at several local studios (see the links sidebar) and there are many other places to dance WCS in the area.
  6. Is Shag hard to learn? The Shag is not a hard dance to learn at the social level! It originated along the southern beaches in the bars and was focused more on the fun and social aspects of dancing. While the Shag definitely offers a challenge to dancers at any level, it’s easy enough to learn how to dance it with our instructors and members helping out. We offer introductory lessons everywhere we meet. There are classes offered at our monthly dances and shag crash courses periodically.
  7. Who belongs to the Delaware Valley Swing Club? The club currently has about 80 members and continues to grow. The club currently has a wide range of ages. We have both singles and couples that dance regularly with us. What keeps this diverse group together is the love of music, dancing, and the fun we have at our dances.
  8. Can I come to either The Watermelon Dance at the Haddonfield School of Dance or the Atrium Dance Studio alone and feel comfortable? Yes! Many people come to the dances by themselves. It is often hard to tell who arrived with who once the dance starts because everyone dances with each other. Our club members make everyone feel welcome and before you know it you’ll have new friends you look forward to seeing and dancing with. Both venues have free parking and have well lit parking lots. Anyone with security concerns can get a club member to escort them to their car.
  9. Do I need a partner for the dance lessons? No, we rotate partners plenty so that everyone gets an opportunity to dance regardless of the makeup of the classes. For our beginner classes you won’t need experience either. At our social dances everyone dances with each other so everyone gets lots of opportunities to try out new material as well as polish their basics.
  10. I have two left feet. How can I learn to dance? Take group classes, or take a private lesson with one of our instructors. You’ll find that  everyone you meet at any of our social dances was a beginner at one time or another. It’s a wonderful experience to find that you do indeed have only one left foot and one right foot and that with training they work quite well to move you around on a dance floor! You’ll find at our dances everyone is friendly and willing to lend a helping hand. We all have fun, regardless of our dance ability.
  11. What do I wear to attend one of your dances? Most folks come dressed casual. Slacks and jeans are acceptable. We recommend leather bottomed shoes or dance shoes as it makes dancing much easier. Sneakers or rubber soles tend to grip wooden floors!
  12. Do I have to be a member of the Del Val Swing Club to come to your functions? No! You do not have to belong to the club to come out and dance with us. While we would like everyone to belong to the club, there are many folks who don’t belong to the club that dance with us regularly.
  13. Why should I join the club? Because our club offers lots of dancing opportunities. Members receive discounts to club sponsored dances, a monthly enewsletter, and a fun group of people to be with that share the same interests.  The club sponsors free introductory lessons for anyone wanting to learn the dance at most of our monthly dances. That’s a lot of bang for only $20 a year.
  14. Who can I talk to for more information? Any of our board members or club members will be happy to tell you all about the club and swing dancing. Come to any of our social dances. Try a series of classes and learn a little about dancing. Check out our contact page and get in touch with any of us for more information or just send an email with any questions to delvalswing@yahoo.com. It can’t be any easier! Come dance with us.
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