DJ Mineh Ishida

How to Guarantee the Best West Coast Swing Music

west coast swing dancers

west coast swing dancers at michigan classic - Photo by Mineh Ishida

Do you want to make sure you get the best west coast swing music at the events you attend? The solution is simple.

Step One. Pay attention to the music

Listen to the music at west coast swing events. Does the DJ play music that fits the crowd? Is there a good mix between blues and contemporary? Is the music too slow or too fast for west coast swing? When you’re in the ballroom and like the music you’re hearing, take the time to find out who is DJing. Remember that you’re not going to like every song, but if the music is danceable and you’re having a good time, it’s a good idea to know who’s playing.

Step two. Offer feedback to the DJ

DJs hear it all the time when people don’t like the music, but rarely do they get any feedback when they do. Short of looking for phones in the air of people trying to tag the song, there is no way for us to tell if people are just dancing because they want to dance, or because they truly like the song. When you hear something you really like, Let the DJ know. If you want to know the name of a song, go to the booth and ask. All the DJs I know don’t mind sharing the names of the songs they are playing, and would rather get the feedback than have you just Soundhound it.  By offering feedback to the DJ, you do two things.  First, you let him know what songs you like, so he can play them again next time.  it also gives him a sense of what kind of music is working in a particular evening, and he can better adjust the rest of the set to the tastes of the audience.

Step three. Tell the event director

If there is a DJ you particularly like, or who did a great job, tell the event director. I recently was speaking to an event director, and they said that “DJs don’t draw(attendees) like Pros do” In my opinion, while I can see his point, that’s backwards. While you may get to dance with a Pro once or twice during a weekend, and might attend a workshop or two, your DJ dictates your music for EVERY DANCE. Getting to know which DJs you like and then letting the event directors know that the DJs make a difference ensures that your favorite DJs get hired, and that will lead to you having better dances.  Also when you’re choosing events, look at the pro list, but also pay attention to who is DJing.  You may find that the DJs have more of an impact on whether you have an overall good time than you thought.

Ultimately, it’s up to you as an event attendee to decide what is important or not important to event directors. In my opinion, the music makes or breaks a weekend. Demand the DJs that you love, and you will find that the music at the events you attend will improve, and that you’ll have a much better time. Get to know the different styles.  Each DJ has their own, and often its the mix of DJs that makes a weekend.  In the end, we’re all dancers, and we dance better and have more fun to great music.

About the Author:

DJ Mineh Ishida is a west coast swing DJ living in Tampa, FL.  He founded WestCoastSwingMusic.com in 2012 and is passionate about contributing to the West Coast Swing community through DJing and his work with this website.  You can Find more information about DJ Mineh on the About Page.  For booking Inquiries, please use this Contact Form.