CJ Caraway is an avid competitor, accomplished instructor, skilled DJ, professional judge, and seasoned event director. A native Texan currently residing in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, he began his dance career as a Swing-out dancer in 2003. In 2004, he joined and began competing in S-Factor, an award-winning competitive dance team, and began travelling to competitions nationwide. It was through his participation in S-Factor that he was introduced to West Coast Swing in 2006. And as they say, the rest is history.
CJ discovered his passion for dancing and began competing individually in 2010. Since then, he has placed top 3 in more than 100 competitions. He currently competes at the All-Star Level on the national West Coast Swing circuit.
Dedicated to continually improving his dance, CJ has worked with several champion-level instructors throught the nation. Through this exposure, he gained an in-depth understanding of the intracies of the dance and a fervor for helping others learn. CJ has been teaching since 2007 and is currently one of the lead instructors at a Dallas-based dance studio; he also offers private lessons.
CJ began deejaying local events in 2012 and quickly ascended through the ranks from deejaying socially to deejaying at national swing competitions. Known as DJ 1040, he has been hired as a staff DJ at major and local dance competitions including DFW proAmjam, America's Classic Swing Dance Championships, Dallas Dance, Austin Swing Dance Championships, Novice Invitational, Trilogy of Swing, Dallas Rocks, Austin Rocks, the Challenge, and SwingDiego.
Gainging experience as a judge, CJ first obtained experience in 2013 as a judge at Swing It Like You Mean It in Houston, Texas. In addition, he judged at DFW proAmjam in 2014.
CJ is also a co-event director for Wild Wild Westie which began as a leveled workshop intensive weekend in 2012 and is now a WSDC Registry Event taking place annually, July 4th weekend.
Accolades for CJ
Some of CJ's most notable accomplishments:
Jack & Jill
▪ 2nd place 2015 Swingtime In The Rockies
▪ 3rd place 2015 5280 Swing Dance Championship
▪ 3rd place 2015 Atlanta Swing Classic
▪ 1st place 2014 Dallas D.A.N.C.E.
▪ 1st place 2014 Midwest Westie Fest
▪ 1st place 2015 Tulsa Spring Swing Open
▪ 2nd place 2014 DFW Pro Am Jam All-Star Champ
Wild Wild Westie Weekend
We're proud to bring you the Wild Wild Westie Weekend over the July 4th weekend! Celebrate Independence Day the Wild Wild Westie style! For more details about this awesome annual event, please visit www.WildWildWestie.com.
What Is West Coast Swing Dance?
West Coast Swing is a partner dance with roots in Lindy Hop. It is characterized by a distinctive elastic look that results from its basic extension-compression technique of partner connection, and is danced primarily in a slotted area on the dance floor. The dance allows for both partners to improvise steps while dancing together, putting West Coast Swing in a short list of dances that put a premium on improvisation.
Dance is the hidden language of the soul
West Coast Swing is a form of swing dancing that is danced to moderate tempo blues, R&B and, in recent times, contemporary music. It is the smoother, sexier version of the swing dance family. Its basic patterns are 6 and 8 beats, but can be varied by +/- 2 beat increments. It can adopt many nuances from other forms of dance. This makes West Coast Swing a highly versatile dance form.
West Coast Swing seems to have been born during the late 1930s through early 1950s, the same time-frame of many of the other forms of Swing: East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Balboa, Shag, DC Hand Dancing, TX Push etc). West Coast Swing, as the name implies, was the regional form of Swing dancing in California and the west coast of the United States. From the late 1980s through present, West Coast Swing has become recognized as one of the most versatile dance forms. Dance events specifically featuring this dance from 1980 to 2000 helped to expose dancers around the country to a dance that can be enjoyed to traditional swing, blues, R&B, some cha-cha, some samba, and a lot of popular/contemporary music. Today, West Coast Swing can be found throughout the United States and Internationally. There are instructors, dancers and events in the USA, Canada, France, England, Russia, and Australia.
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Half Lesson $30, One Lesson $50, 4 Lesson Package $180
Private Lessons are 55 minutes in length and are ideal for 1-2 dancers looking to improve quickly.
Semi Private Lessons allow dancers with similar abilities to share the cost between 3-8 dancers.
Call for location and times.
DeeJay services are available for local, national and international events.
Also available to edit dance routine music.