West Coast Swing developed primarily from the Lindy Hop. In the 1940's, Arthur Murray developed and codified several swing steps that he named Sophisticated Swing. Also previously known as Western Swing and California Swing, West Coast Swing became the official state dance of California in 1989.

West Coast Swing is one of a small number of dances which emphasizes improvisation. Both partners have the freedom to improvise their own moves while dancing together. Musicality and connection are essential, as defined figures are simply starting points. Still evolving, West Coast Swing has over 5000 documented step patterns, and more are added every year.

Danced primarily in a slotted area on the dance floor, this is the smoothest, sexiest of the swing dances. It is generally danced to moderate tempo blues and R&B, but also works with Disco, Jazz, Country, Big Band, or Pop.