Weekly Lessons & Socials – West Coast Swing

Partner Dance to Popular Music!

Every Tuesday evening at Amigo’s Sports Bar, Ottawa’s West Coast Swing dance community comes together for lessons, social dancing, and fun activities.

New progressive beginner cycle starts Tuesday, January 9. Jan. 9 is also free to Newcomers!

  • No partner is required for group lessons.
  • No previous experience is required; newcomers are welcome at any time.
  • We are an inclusive community.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes early to register, pay, and change into indoor shoes.

Everything you need to know:


NOTE that the beginner class is always the later class (7:45pm). Experienced dancers who take the earlier class are welcome to stay for the following class to continue to work on their basics and welcome new dancers.

December – all profits this month will go to the Ottawa Food Bank

  • 7:00 pm Level Ten (by invitation or audition)
  • 7:45 pm All-Levels Drills & Skills – always our most popular group class!
  • December 26 is closed for Boxing Day

January – NEW BEGINNER CYCLE starts January 9!

  • 7:00 pm Level 3 – Extensions & Combinations
  • 7:45 pm Level 1A
  • January 2 is closed
  • January 9 is Newbie Night – newcomers and anyone who brings a newcomer gets in FREE tonight
  • January 16 is Retro theme night – interpret that as you wish!


  • 7:00 pm Level 2A
  • 7:45 pm Level 1B
  • February 13 is RED theme night – in honour of Chinese New Year & Valentine’s Day


  • 7:00 pm Level 2B
  • 7:45 pm Level 1C
  • March 20 is Hawaiian theme night

Prices & Location

The big floor at Amigo's.

The big floor at Amigo’s.

Amigo’s Sports Bar: 858 Merivale Road @ Carling Avenue (near Westgate Mall)

Please arrive 10-15 minutes prior to class to register, pay, and change your shoes.


  • Leveled classes for everyone to learn and progress
  • Ample free parking
  • Large wood floor
  • Cash bar
  • Pool tables
  • Sound system & light show
  • Student & package prices


  • Drop-in class + social: $15  ($10 with student ID)
  • 10-night pass – 6-month expiry: $100 ($80 with student ID)
  • Social only: $5/night

If you’re a first-time customer of Smoothstyle, you may want to take advantage of one of our new-student deals.

Forms of payment accepted:

  • At door: cash (preferred) or personal cheque
  • Prior to the event: online interac to maria@smoothstyle.ca

Level Descriptions

Level 1 (A, B, C)

3 months. Learn the basic patterns, along with proper technique from your feet through your spine. No pre-requisite.

Level 2 (A, B, C)

3 months. Deepen your mastery of the basics while exploring more 8-count patterns, pattern variations, and rotation. Pre-requisite: at least 3 months of Level 1 with Smoothstyle, or equivalent by approval of Maria Ford.

Level 3 – extensions and combinations

1 month. Begin to bend the rules with pattern extensions and combinations. Not only is this cool, it also develops more sophisticated skills for connection, lead, follow, and timing. Pre-requisite: Level 1 a, b, c and Level 2 a, b, c, with Smoothstyle; or, at least 6 months of Beginner and Beginner-Plus lessons elsewhere by approval of Maria Ford.

Level 4 – variations and styling

1 month. Get creative by exploring style variations. Both leaders and followers will learn to add some cool and sass to their footwork and body movement. Pre-requisite: Levels 1, 2, and 3 with Smoothstyle, or by audition with Maria Ford.

Level 5 – musicality

1 month. You can NEVER get enough musicality in West Coast Swing! Each time this session runs, you’ll be introduced to new concepts, ideas, and things to try related to West Coast Swing musicality. Pre-requisite: Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 with Smoothstyle, or by audition with Maria Ford.

Level Ten

Designed for highly skilled social dancers and serious competitors. Only by invitation or audition with Maria Ford.

Drills & Skills All-Levels

Truly for all levels of dancer, these special classes focus on foundational, individual skills and technique with drills and practice. Sample topics covered may include: balance, timing, footing and legging technique, turning technique, musicality, and more. Pre-requisite: Level 1 a, b, c.

Where are Levels 6-9?

Advancing through levels 6-9 will generally consist of regular practice (both self-directed and social), private lessons, social dancing, travel, and workshops. This may take years, and not every student will make their way to our Level 10 classes.

What to wear, what to bring, & how to behave

Clothing: We wear street clothes for West Coast Swing dancing. Jeans, shorts, and slacks for both men and women, plus t-shirts and tops with a bit of design or detailing.

Shoes: You should wear either dance shoes or indoor-only shoes. Notes about shoes:

  • Flexible is best – suede soles are better than hard leather soles
  • Low heels are best – we typically dance West Coast Swing in 0.5″-1.5″ block heels
  • Wear a shoe that allows you to easily pivot/turn on wood floor. Rubber soles can cause injury to knees and hips when turning.
  • If you don’t want to buy dance shoes yet, you can put adhesive moleskin on the soles of a pair of indoor shoes. Moleskin can usually be found at cobblers and some drug stores.


  • If you sweat a lot, bring a change or two (or five) of shirts, extra deoderant, and a hand towel.
  • We always have mints and gum on hand, but please brush your teeth if you’ve eaten before dancing or if you haven’t brushed for more than 5 hours.
  • It’s always a good idea to have band-aids in case your new shoes or new movement causes blisters.
  • Cash. We do NOT accept any plastic form of payment for the dance lessons/practices. You can pay for food and beverages at Amigo’s using plastic.

Outside beverages of any kind (including water) are prohibited due to licensing and other issues. Please plan to purchase water and other beverages from the bar.

Dance Etiquette:

We’ve prepared The Essential Guide to Partner-Dance Etiquette – please take a moment to read it. It includes helpful tips to ensure you become a popular dance partner!