If you choose just one dance to learn, make it West Coast Swing (WCS). WCS is the most versatile. Whether at a wedding, a Christmas party, a live band performance, a restaurant, a bar, or any event. Anywhere danceable music is playing you can dance WCS. WCS gives you the most bang for the buck. To dance salsa, you need salsa music, waltz you need waltz music, tango you need tango music, etc. On the other hand, you can WCS to rock, contemporary, rap, country, jazz, blues, and more. At almost all events with dancing there will be something for WCS. Learn it and you will be using it everywhere.

Do you know any man who hates the idea of learning to dance? WCS is the dance for him! Once a man learns the basics, he can do as little or as much as he wants and his partner can be out there living it up on the dance floor. In ballroom the leader must cover the whole dance floor. In WCS the leader can stay in a small area, play it low key, and look cool. Like a conductor. Like “Hey, look what my partner did!”.

Most ballroom dances have a small number of moves, unless you are training for competition. WCS has countless moves and styling to learn and is always evolving. It never gets stale or boring. You can dance and have fun after just a few lessons. Yet 10+ years in you can still be learning new things about WCS to keep it exciting. Most ballroom dances have a small number of moves, especially if you are learning just for fun and not for competition. WCS on the other hand has infinite moves and styling to learn and is always evolving. It never gets stale or boring. You can dance through a whole song and have fun after a few lessons. Yet 10+ years in you can still be learning new things about the dance and new ways to modify or add to your WCS to keep it exciting.

It's a dance for people of all ages – from teenage to eighties. Some people dance WCS into their nineties!


For each event, we bring in talented dancer/instructors to teach some of the secrets of their dance. Each instructor has a unique style and personal path to becoming a dancer who can beautifully interpret music.

Typically, a DanceGourmet event features a full Saturday starting at 3 PM with three workshops, then dinner, then a fourth workshop, and finally the dance. DanceGourmet provides the dinner -- either from a carefully selected caterer or prepared by DanceGourmet itself.

Each DanceGourmet event creates a new dance experience for the area dancers (and beyond).

DanceGourmet events are a marriage between great dance (which presupposes inspiring music) and great food.

With regard to the dance aspect, instructors are chosen with several things in mind. The instructors are generally (but not always!) drawn from the competitive level one step down from the champion level. Such dancers are often on their way to the champion level and are often more “hungry” and “eager to please,” either because they are fresh faces or because dance instruction has become their personal calling.

The correlation between champion level competitive dancing and champion level teaching is not a perfect one. Some champion competitors do not teach as well as they dance, and some advanced competitors teach at a champion level. It is the latter whom we strive to bring in for DanceGourmet events.

Dancers who teach may be better with groups than in privates and vice-versa. For the DanceGourmet events, we try to choose instructors who are very strong with groups. Many of them are also excellent in private lessons, but the focus in their selection is on their abilities with groups.

There is a “performance” aspect to teaching which can spell the difference between technical soundness and just plain fun. Dance is about fun, and learning it can be fun if the instructor puts on a show while teaching good stuff.

Finally, we try to select instructors who understand the plight of struggling dancers at all levels and treat each one with gentleness and understanding. This means, among other things, that the instructor dances with one and all after the classes are over.


In closing, I quote from an unsolicited email I received a few years ago.

I wanted to offer some feedback regarding the Gourmet events you sponsor.

"Firstly, The food has been fabulous. I applaud you and have been talking up your events to my dance friends.

"I am also impressed with the quality of instructors you are able to bring in. More than that, all of the instructors you've had have not only been exceptionally talented dancers, they have been really good people. I say this knowing that the dance community has a lot of diversity when it comes to individual instructor personalities and temperament. Not all of the top dancers/instructors are approachable nor do they seem to respect the newbies attempts at skill proficiency. I guess what I'm saying is that while there is plenty of arrogance to go around in the dance world, your choice of instructors has been superb.

"Specifically, none have any of your instructors talked badly about other instructors or their teaching methods. This is good. I don't know if this is something you pre-screen for or not but the contrast is pretty dramatic between what you have at your events and what some of your competitors offer.”

Lastly, we work very hard at playing music which makes it hard to sit still. We play a mixture of new and old and of tempos fast and slow. Always with an ear to music that has interesting rhythms, accents, and moods to which one feels urges to respond in one’s dance.

If you have never attended a DanceGourmet event, please give one a try sometime. If you have, I hope you enjoyed it and will continue to come. I also hope you will tell your friends and neighbors!

Tom Johnson
The DanceGourmet