Road Tripping: a Formative Part of the West Coast Swing Journey

~ posted by Maria Ford

Road-trips to other West Coast Swing communities were an important part of my WCS upbringing, and that of most of my peers.

You probably know from personal experience how fun it is to have a “foreign” guest at your local dance or event. Well, traveling lets you be the welcomed foreigner.

Here are other good reasons to venture outside of your own community now and then:

See how other communities roll.

Every WCS community has a unique culture, style of dance, and musical preferences. You’ll get new ideas, better understand your own community’s uniqueness, and will probably come away with some new music.

Make new connections.

Road trips are a chance to make new connections and dance with people you aren’t used to. It’s fun and will test your skills in new ways. You may also find your next Strictly Swing competition partner!

Mutual appreciation.

We get comfortable in our own communities and can take each other for granted – it’s expected within a “dance family”. So many of my students have had positive experiences dancing in other nearby communities – they may receive unexpected compliments, feel like special guests, and sometimes come to appreciate their home-town community even more.

To help each other.

It’s helpful to your community and to the communities you visit. New faces and special guests create interest and inspiration to others.

For a weekend of dance without competition.

West Coast Swing’s heart and soul is social. Anyone who’s danced WCS since before around 2012 remembers when the majority of our WCS travel weekends were not big competition events. Rather, they were road trips to other communities, where we expanded our scope and enlarged our “dance family”. Many of us would drive three or four hours to dance in another city, and back again the same night, just for social dancing.