Herald: GOA SWAYS TO WEST COAST SWING
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GOA SWAYS TO WEST COAST SWING

09 Sep 2018 02:00am IST

Report by
Dolcy D’Cruz

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09 Sep 2018 02:00am IST

Report by
Dolcy D’Cruz

Leave a comment

Goa West Coast Swing Rally was held on Siridao beach for the third consecutive year. Goa was the only Indian state to have been part of the WCS flash mob in 2016. This year, cities like Mumbai and Pune have also joined in. Café finds out more about the rally that took onlookers by surprise

From eight couples to 50 couples in three years, the rage of

West Coast Swing has really caught up in the state, especially for the International West Coast Swing (WCS) Rally that is held on the first Saturday of September. In Goa, Dance Illusions was the first dance academy to follow the WCS Rally in 2016 and has continued with two more rallies, in 2017 and 2018, with the number of participants increasing every year.

West Coast Swing is a partner dance with roots in the Lindy Hop. It is characterised by an elastic look technique of partner connection and is danced primarily in a slotted area on the dance floor. The dance allows for both partners to improvise steps while dancing together. “The music can vary from slow to a fast tempo and the follower follows the leaders. The follower travels back and forth in the slot dancing straight through the lead. The leader consistently moves a minimum amount to his sides,” Dr Martin D’Costa explains the dance technique.

The first flash mob of the West Coast Swing was held in 2014 to take this quick-to-learn dance form global. The original idea by Tristan Cachoz from Lyon, France with choreography by Olivier Massart and Virginie Massart on Michael Jackson’s ‘Love Never Felt So Good’ had 23 countries with 78 cities and more than 3,000 dancers. The trend continued in 2015, by the same choreographers and 34 countries and 166 cities, dancing to ‘Want to Want Me’ by Jason Derulo.

In Goa, Dr Martin D’Costa and Flossy Santos of Dance Illusions introduced West Coast Swing at their regular dance classes in Panjim and Margao. “Goa carved its name in history as the only Indian state to have been part of the WCS flash mob in 2016. For the first year, we got the students ready for the West Coast Swing almost a month in advance. We started out with eight couples but overall there were 6,000 dancers worldwide dancing to ‘Classic’ by MKTO. The first year, the rally was held at Radisson Blu, Cavelossim and had children and adults too. The second year, i.e. 2017, we had the rally at the Beach House Goa, Sernabatim. We had Kay Schneutzer conduct a two-day WCS workshop that got more than 40 people participating in the WCS flash mob to Jason Derulo’s ‘Kiss the Sky’,” says Dr Martin. The Goa WCS Rally was also a part of the video of the International WCS Rally that had clippings of various countries with Goa being the only one with a varied age group.

This year, the rally in Goa was held at Siridao beach with 50 couples swaying to ‘Chose off to See the World’ by Lukas Graham, which was selected for the worldwide rally by choreographers Olivier and Virginie Massart (France). The age group varied from 8 to 45 years and had the women dressed in white tops and blue jeans while the male dancers led in black t-shirts and blue jeans. The video was shot by Big Banner Entertainment. “We are hoping for more people to join in for the next year as we are still creating awareness about West Coast Swing in Goa. The dance is a very social dance with a basic dance pattern,” concludes Dr Martin.

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