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.

Newcomers are free their first night, and are welcome every week at 7:30 pm.
Next 2-month Beginner Cycle begins October 1, 2019.

  • 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-appropriate 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.

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


  • 7:00 pm: West Coast Swing Vocabulary (Intermediate) with Christian & Maria
  • 7:45 pm: West Coast Swing Foundations 2 (Beginner-Plus) with J-P & Maria
  • 8:30-11:00 pm or later: DJ’ed social dancing

September 17 Theme Night: Back 2 School


  • 7:00 pm: West Coast Swing Vocabulary (Intermediate) with J-P & Maria
  • 7:45 pm: West Coast Swing Foundations 1 (Beginner-Plus) with Todd & Janet
  • 8:30-11:00 pm or later: DJ’ed social dancing

October 1 is NEWBIE NIGHT: bring a Newcomer for the 7:45 pm lesson and you both get in free.
October 29 Theme Night: Hallowe’en Test Run

Prices & Location

Ottawa’s Weekly West Coast Swing Event is held at Amigo’s Sports Bar: 858 Merivale Road @ Carling Avenue (near Westgate Mall)


  • Classes for everyone to learn and progress
  • Ample free parking
  • Large wood floor
  • Cash bar
  • Pool tables
  • Student & package prices


  • Your first night is free – come try it out!
  • Drop-in class + social: $20  ($15 with student ID)
  • 10-night pass: $150 ($90 with student ID)
  • Lesson only: $15 ($10 with student ID)
  • Social only: $7/night ($5 with student ID)

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:

  • Cash, credit, debit (Square)
  • Online interac to maria@smoothstyle.ca
  • Personal cheques to “Maria Ford”

Level Descriptions

West Coast Swing Foundations 1 & 2

2 months.
No pre-requisite.

Learn the basic patterns of West Coast Swing, along with proper technique from your feet through your spine.

* You may (and should) repeat this class as numerous times, including while taking the Vocabulary classes. Once you’ve learned one role well (Lead or Follow), we recommend that you learn the other role, too.

West Coast Swing Vocabulary

1 month each; new topic every month.
Required: graduation from Foundations 1 & 2.

Focusing on a new topic each month, Vocabulary classes will deep-dive so you can master a new skill set. You will learn new patterns and variations, , lead-follow skills/connection skills, styling and quality of movement, and proper technique.

* We recommend that new dancers who have completed Foundations 1 & 2 continue to repeat Foundations 1 & 2 while taking Vocabulary classes – there is no extra fee to repeat.

West Coast Swing Mastery

1 month; 1-2x per year.
By audition or invitation.

For highly skilled social dancers and serious competitors who meet the stated criteria for audition.

How to Move Up

Please refer to this brief explanation of how to move up in levels (PDF).

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

Scents: Please refrain from wearing perfume or cologne. Check out or tips for how to smell good but not too good when partner dancing.

CAUTION: While we encourage attendees to refrain from using scents, we cannot guarantee a scent-free environment.

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.

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.

What to Expect:

We prepared an article with more details about what to expect from these evenings.

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!

Code of Conduct:

Please familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct.