A little over five years ago, some time in mid 2011, a small group of dedicated West Coast Swing lovers took a leap of faith and started what has now become a staple in the dance diet of Perth West Coast Swing dancers.
So far as I know, Perth West Coast Swing, or Perth WCS, is Perth’s first dance school independent West Coast Swing organisation.
Tuesday Night Dance
Tuesday night is really where it all began. The founders of Perth WCS were regular attendees of the Freestylers West Coast Swing dance class and social dance run at Osborne Part Bowling Club by Gordon Parish one of Perth’s earliest WCS teachers.
When Gordon decided to take a break from teaching classes, some of the students decided they weren’t prepared to give up their Tuesday night dancing, so they booked the venue themselves in order to keep the social dancing going.
A casual try-and-see arrangement was made with the bowling club. John Hepi loaned up a sound system, and the WCS dance scene was informed that John, Paula, Jack and Liz were going to keep Tuesday nights going.
Perth West Coast Swing AKA Perth WCS
Tuesday nights proved popular and soon John, Paula, Jack and Liz decided they would formalize their little group and make a permanent arrangement with the bowling club.
Lets not underestimate this part. In retrospect its easy to see that Perth WCS and Tuesday Night Dance is a popular successful little venture, but at the time, it was a risk. The outlay for incorporation, insurance, and eventually sound equipment was measured in thousands of dollars. Perth West Coast Swing was born.
Relaxed is the word
I asked a bunch of Tuesday Night Dance regulars what they liked about it. The unanimous vibe of the responses was that it was a chilled out, relaxed, no pressure place to dance, hang out, and catch up with friends. I agree. Paula summed it up nicely; “Its the very spirit of West Coast Swing, smooth and cruisy.”
Regular Like Clockwork!
Perth WCS’s Tuesday Night Dance has become a routine destination for many people in the WCS community. Probably because one of the most amazing thing about Perth WCS is that they have run Tuesday Night Dance every single Tuesday without fail for the past five years. Well, that is except one or two Tuesdays which landed on Christmas or New Year. Perth WCS would have still run, but the bowling club where they dance was closed.
We, the dancing community, may go or not go as the whims of our desire and social life dictate. We show up for as long or as little as we care to. But the crew at Perth WCS are there every Tuesday. Every week they arrive before the beginning to set up, and they leave after the end to close down, they bring a play list, and somebody is always manning the door to collect the very modest entry fee of $10.
As teachers who run regular classes, we absolutely respect the effort that goes into maintaining that kind of consistency, and the importance it plays in helping to develop the dance scene.
The Value of Independent Social Nights
When we first heard that Jack, John, Paula and Liz were going to start an independent WCS social night, Amanda and I were super excited for three reasons;
First, because this meant that there would be a social night we could go to that we didn’t have to organize. Epic win right there!
Second, it was a good sign that the WCS scene was popular and mature enough to support the development of an independent social scene.
Third, and most important to us, because it provides a fantastic opportunity for students and teachers of all the WCS schools to get together, relax, socialize and dance together. At any Tuesday Night Dance you will find students and teachers of various WCS schools hanging out and dancing together.
Fourth, okay so there are four, social nights are critical to the growth of any dance scene. One of the first things people ask when inquiring about a dance style is “where can I do it?” Tuesday Night Dance is a great, safe place for people new to WCS to take their first steps into social dancing.
Osborne Park Bowling Club is a great venue. Not only does it have a good quality proper large dance floor, but there is ample free parking, plenty of tables to sit around and natter between dances, and awesomely low priced drinks from the bowling club bar.
In fact, Tuesday Night Dance is a pretty good place to come and check out West Coast Swing if you are thinking of taking up the dance because you can sit back, relax, watch the dancing, and meet the people who make up this awesome community.
So who are the brains behind Perth WCS?
Jack Toby and Liz Lagrange
Jack is a Chief Financial Officer and Liz is a teacher at PLC. Jack and Liz are dedicated West Coast Swing fanatics who clearly love the dance. They have done many years of other dancing.
John and Paula Squibb
John and Paula own and manage Cleandustrial a commercial cleaning service. John and Paula are passionate about West Coast Swing and enjoy that dance gives them a great reason to travel. John and Paula enjoy competing attending many of the West Coast Swing events around Australia.
Jack, Liz, John and Paula all agree that having two couples run Tuesday Night Dance makes it a lot easier and has helped them keep the night going when one or two of them are away.
Check out Perth WCS’s Tuesday Night Dance
Whether you are considering taking up West Coast Swing, or have already started but don’t go to Perth WCS’s Tuesday Night Dance yet, you absolutely should check it out.
When: Every Tuesday 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Where: Osborne Park Bowls Club
31 Park Street, Tuart Hill, Perth, Western Australia
(car park at venue - loads of parking)