Although, the basic patterns of West Coast Swing can be learned very quickly, the nuances of technique, musicality, and style is a never-ending educational quest. The basic patterns of West Coast Swing use two different rhythm structures: 2 Walks (double-beat rhythm) and Triple Steps (triple-beat rhythm) done over a 6 beat time frame, which is asynchronous to an 8 beat musical phrase (2 measures of 4 beats). Understanding and overcoming that initial counterintuitive aspect can be challenging to a newcomer to partner dancing. However that off-phrase aspect of the swing family is what makes West Coast Swing so unique and musical.
It generally takes a newcomer 2-4 one-hour lessons to begin dancing the basic form of the dance -- approximately 7 patterns. It takes up to 90 days dancing to develop social, functional usage of West Coast Swing. It takes a lifetime of fun to master one of the most versatile and rewarding partner dances.