I went to the Dance Spectrum in Campbell last night for a West Coast Swing lesson and dance. The lesson was taught by Richard Kear and actually seemed to be at an appropriate level for me. It wasn't really the sort of thing I wanted to learn, being more focused on using a particular fancy replacement step, rather than lead/follow type moves. But still, it was a good lesson for me, because I got some extra drilling on the basics steps that we were adding this fancy step to, and that helped.
There were a few "warm-up" dances played early on that seemed almost painfully slow to me. Swing is one of those things where too-slow is as difficult for me as too-fast, so at first I didn't like that. But it was really interesting to watch the people who could dance that slowly and deliberately and still make it look good. And trying it myself actually helped for when we got up to the normal, easier tempos. Being around a lot of good WCS dancers really helped me slow down and smooth out some of my remaining Lindy Hop bounces. It was actually kind of neat, and I think I was starting to get a better feel for the style. (I don't know if I look much better, but I at least have more of an idea how it should be.)
After the lesson was the dance, though I only stayed for about half of it. I watched most of the time, but I did do several dances. I'm still at a pretty shy level of WCS, so it's a bit hard for me to ask strangers to dance, but it wasn't too bad, and the dances I did were fairly encouraging. There are a lot of great dancers there, but I didn't find it nearly as intimidating as, say, the hustle club dances. I'd like to go back and try it again (this particular dance only happens once a month, though I'm sure the studio has lots of other classes if I want to do that). And I'm on the lookout for other convenient places to learn/practice west coast, so if anyone has any suggestions, let me know.