Interview and article by Stephanie L. Pham.

Michael Kielbasa is one of today’s top Champions on the West Coast Swing circuit.

West Coast Swing dancers and spectators know Michael for his unique and smooth style of choreography and freestyle dancing (which is a key element in the style of dance).

Kielbasa won several 1st place titles in swing competitions, and continues to travel domestically and internationally competing and teaching. I spoke with Michael on what makes this dance so loved around the world, and how he got his start.

wild wild westie02How did you get introduced to West Coast Swing? 

My family has been in the Ballroom Latin and Swing dance communities for quite some time.  I was introduced at a very young age and pursued it following my sports interests.
What’s your favorite part about doing Jack and Jills/Strictlys**? 
The creativity and spontaneity…the ability to act quickly to whatever changes in the movement.
The genre of West Coast Swing is heavily rooted in social dancing. Is that a huge reason why this is such a global community/dance?
Swing dancing as a genre is heavily based in social roots. People can connect with one another no matter what language is spoken.
Why should more people look into dancing WCS? 
West Coast Swing is all about the connection with someone and the music.  The music is fresh and continues to change…as does the dance.  It is a popular dance amongst many people because of the social aspect and passion for music.
Give us your six word memoir on the life of a dancer. 

Life is a dance…live life!

Interview reprinted with permission. Visit Stephanie at for more great WCS interviews and blog posts!

** Jack and Jills are competitions in WCS where the leader (or sometimes followers) draws the name of their partner and both dancers have no knowledge of the music beforehand. Everything is improvised.
Strictly Swings are competitions in WCS where the partners know each other, but the dance is still improvised.





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