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President’s day weekend west coast swing

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More than 300 dancers let their walking do the talking at Capital Swing’s west coast swing convention on President’s Day weekend. 

On it’s 20th anniversary, the annual west coast swing convention in Sacramento attracts everyone from novices to champions dancers worldwide.  Last year, the convention drew enthusiasts from as far as Brazil and France. 

For those who are local, long distance travel isn’t necessary to catch a piece of the action.  All you have to do is drive through Exposition Boulevard to the Woodlake Hotel (formerly known as the Radisson)

"It’s great exercise.  The people here are all nice.  Everyone dances with everyone else.  It’s just a great community to be a part of," said Christine Anderson, a professional development consultant for teachers from Fair Oaks.

Anderson won what is called the West Coast Swing 101 competition late Thursday night. It was tournament for beginners in which your dance partner is a fellow beginner picked at random. Later this weekend there will be similar dance tournaments for intermediate, advanced, and champion level dancers.    

Before getting into west coast swing, Anderson have not tried other forms of partner dancing but the music of  contemporary, rock, and country appealed to her while line dancing with her friends at Stoney Inn.  West coast swing allowed her the freedom of solo line dancing to syncopate with a partner.   

In contrast, her partner in the West Coast Swing 101 competition, Richie Selby, came from International Latin roots, which he said held very strict ballroom standards.  To counter the regimen, he took up hip hop with a crew called Press P.L.A.Y.   Press P.L.A.Y. stands for passion, love, art, dance, and youth.  

A friend from Press P.L.A.Y invited him to a west coast swing social soon after at The Station in Roseville.  The Station has been in and out of controversy last year, on a city ordinance ordering the owners to stop the dancing.   Still, most people who start, know that they end up liking the west coast swing movement so much, they never could stop.  There’s just no looking back according to Selby.

"West coast swing has people who really love it.  This is what’s good about the community. We have people who really love  it," Selby said.            

 

Beginner Lessons will be taught by Theresa McGarry, wcs teacher – Ballroom of Sacramento. (picture with Martin Casillas)

Come, try it ! Free Beginner Lesson at Capital Swing with Theresa Mcgarry of Ballroom of Sacramento !

Friday, Feb 17 – 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb 18 – 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

at Woodlake Hotel & Convention Center, 500 Leisure Lane, Sacramento, CA 95815 (formerly the Radisson)

Also, Sunday Night Dance is $10 from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.

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