Arts & Entertainment

Swingin' champions on tap for exhibition

A lot of people can dance. However, what Jim Minty and Katie McCaslin do on a dance floor is magic.

It's more than dancing. It's an effortless, fluid movement that's as mesmerizing as it is stimulating.

Minty, who towers over McCaslin, can toss her in the air like a rag doll and catch her just as easily. And McCaslin never misses a beat while her body is defying gravity.

Seeing is believing.

You can catch this champion dance team in rhythmic action June 28 when they are featured at the Tri-Cities West Coast Swing Classic exhibition at the Red Lion Hotel next to Columbia Center mall in Kennewick.

The duo from Seattle are the current West Coast swing champions, and there's little doubt it's a title others might find difficult to beat.

Minty started out as an American Social Ballroom dancer, but once that was mastered, he moved to country and western styles, and now his specialty is West Coast Swing, Night Club 2 Step and the Hustle.

Minty and McCaslin will not only perform some of their magical dance act June 28, but they also will teach some of the workshops.

Minty, who's been dancing since he was a kid back in the 1960s, teaches and competes all over the U.S. and Canada.

Beth Trost, organizer of the Tri-City dance exhibition, said Minty has a passion for dancing and teaching.

"Jim has been focusing on helping people to feel their dance versus learning to dance a pattern," she said. "(It's a) pleasure to bring this accomplished dance couple, who are premier Seattle dance teachers, to Kennewick."

Minty is the top competitive male West Coast Swing dancer in the Pacific Northwest, Trost said. He's a certified instructor, judge and national competitor.

"(Minty and McCaslin) will perform one of their competitive routines at the dinner dance following the daylong workshops and private lessons," Trost said.

Tickets can be purchased separately for dance lessons or the dinner dance or a private lesson with the champion team. Packages also are available. Prices range from $35 to $85. To register for the event or for more information, call Trost at 586-7609 or go to

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;