History of West Coast Swing:
One of the most popular forms of social entertainment is dancing. Whether that means going to a night club and dancing in the style that coincides with the music the band or DJ is playing, or whether that means joining a club and dancing in a designated style, many people love to dance and count it as one of their favorite pastimes. In times past, especially among the middle and upper classes, dancing served as a method of courting. Two people could touch each other in a socially acceptable way and become better acquainted while dancing. As time went on, however, styles of dance changed to match the style of music that evolved from the intermingling of cultures. Dance styles also evolved in part by adding cultural variations. Many of the current dances are derived from older dance styles that added new moves borrowed from the dance styles of other cultures. The idea that young people were interacting in a socially acceptable way when they were dancing went by the wayside when parents saw some of the new dance styles that included suggestive body movements and contact not exactly sanctioned by social mores of the time. However, that did not stop those who loved dancing from indulging in their favorite pastime, and inventing new dances like the West Coast Swing.
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly where swing dancing began. One of the new musical styles of the twentieth century was ragtime music, a form of jazz also sometimes called swing jazz. In the 1910s there was a dance called the Texas Tommy often done to the new jazz music that Victor Eijkhou credits with beginning it all. In 1912, Harry Fox invented a dance called the Fox Trot also done to a ragtime beat, which led to the Charleston in the 1920s. Elements of the Texas Tommy, the Fox Trot, and the Charleston then evolved into swing-jazz styles, specifically the Lindy Hop, named for Charles Lindberg, during the 1930s.