West Coast Swing Dancing is a form of dancing characterized by a distinctive elastic look. A partner dance, West Coast Swing heavily emphasizes improvisation. West Coast Swing is a competitive partner dance derived from Lindy Hop. It is characterized by a distinctive elastic style; this elastic style is a result of the expansion-compression technique of partner connection. There are two styles of West Coast Swing: class and funky, or contemporary. It can be danced to almost any style of music written in a 4/4 rhythm.
It is widely accepted that West Coast Swing is derived from Lindy Hop, an African American dance that evolved in New York City in 1927. Dean Collins was an influential figure in developing the style in Los Angeles in 1937. The style was originally known as "Western Swing" and was not referred to as West Coast Swing until 1962 in an advertisement by Skippy Blair; Blair credits Jim Bannister for suggesting the name. However, the name was not incorporated into mainstream dance circles until the late 1960s. In 1988, West Coast Swing was named the official dance of California.