West Coast Swing NI has been building a small, but perfectly formed community of enthusiastic dance students since 2012. One half of the original founding members, Sharon Matchett is still at the helm and continually strives to spread the love and some might say "addiction" to swing dancing.
While travelling around Europe to learn from the world's top professional wcs teachers, she invited All-Star Andrew Shellard from Lyon, France to teach workshops in Belfast in 2015.
He was drawn to our small budding scene and in July 2016 moved to Northern Ireland to develop and grow the scene.
Andrew and Sharon are co-directors of Northern Ireland's first and only West Coast Swing event, Swingterfell.
The most important part of West Coast Swing NI?
There wouldn't be a scene without all our students. So whether you come to class every week or once in a while, we always appreciate that you take the time to come.
Andrew Shellard emerged onto the west coast swing scene in 2011. At the tender age of 16 Andrew already had 6 year's dance experience behind him including the French rock n’ roll champion title in 2009.
Andrew's competitive career in west coast swing has seen him bring 7 classic routines to the floor, 3 junior and 4 adult. He placed 5th in the NASDE classic devision at Liberty Swing in 2015. He currently competes in the All-Star division and placed 2nd in this division at the French Open in 2016.
Andrew got his first International teaching contract in Israel and from there he went on to teach in Italy, Germany, Holland, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Latvia, England, Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland. It was the small friendly community of Northern Ireland however that Andrew really felt drawn to. In July 2016 Andrew made the move to Belfast with a goal to help develop and grow the west coast swing community there.
After dancing modern jive for a few years Sharon discovered West Coast Swing online, while searching for dance videos. What she saw was to change the direction of her dance career, and propel her into the world of Swing Dancing.
With no regular classes in Belfast, WCSNI came about when a young dance teacher, Shane Mckeever moved to Belfast in 2012 to study and became the first WCS teacher on the team. With lots of study and theatre commitments, Shane handed over the classes to Sharon in 2013.
With a background in figure skating (Northern Ireland Champion & Ulster Champion, and numerous titles from the UK) Sharon made an easy transition to the new dance styles which inspired her.
She has been teaching alongside Andrew since 2016 and continues to be a community leader, constantly striving to develop and grow the scene in Belfast.