Basic Whip and Reverse Whip

West Coast Swing Basic Whip

This pattern starts in open position, then closed and then back to open position again. There are multiple ways of doing Basic Whip.

Basic Whip - Benji Schwimmer Version

This version is taught by Benji Schwimmer in his workshops. It is different from Arthur Murray styles. More focus on "tension" and "compression".


  • 1: LF diagonally back slightly to side

    • Slight turn to R to wind up lady

  • 2: RF back, almost in place | Slight turn to L

  • 3: LF back | turn to R

  • &: RF closes to RF | turn to R

  • 4: LF fwd | continue rotating to R

    • foot turned 1/4, body turns more. Lady's RF is point in middle of Man's feet.

    • Right now, in "extreme of tension"

  • 5: After turning 3/4 to R, RF fwd, bent knee, | turning R 1/4

    • turning 3/4 to R, "compression"

  • 6: LF back | another 1/4 to R

    • "tension" back to anchor position.

  • 7&8: triple anchor step


  • 1: RF forward

    • Starting same as Turning Basic. Directly forward in slot.

    • whole body slightly turning left to wind up.

    • "tension" - weight in back of foot.

  • 2: LF forward

    • "tension" - weight in back of foot. heel lead.

  • 3: RF forward | turning 1/2 to R

    • do not face Man, half turn to face slot

    • "Give" arm to Man.

  • &: LF back

  • 4: RF point fwd

    • "tension", weight in back of LF, point RF fwd without weight

  • &5: step on RF, turn 1/2 to R | 1/2 to R

    • "compression" weight on RF, LF in back.

  • &6: step on LF, RF back

    • On "6", go to anchor position, back to "tension"

  • 7&8: triple anchor step

Basic Whip - Common version


  • 1: LF diagonally back slightly to side

  • 2: RF forward

    • there is tension/resistance with lady.

    • Catch lady.

  • 3: LF to side | turn 1/4 to R

    • Close up with lady. expand

  • &: RF cross in front of LF | turn 1/4 to R

    • Lady is doing coaster step.

    • Give it a rubber band effect.

    • contraction.

  • 4: LF side | continue rotating to R

  • 5: RF crosses in front LF, turning R | turning R 1/4

    • Man turn his head to R, sending lady forward through the slot

    • RF stay closes to LF,

    • it's a forward step toward where Lady is going.

  • 6: LF forward (and side) | another 1/4 to R

    • total is one full turn for the whole pattern.

  • 7&8: triple anchor step


  • 1: RF forward

    • Starting same as Turning Basic.

    • Directly forward in slot. Upper body turn L to wind up.

  • 2: LF forward, then 1/2 to R at end of count | 1/2 turn to R

    • The whole Whip - Lady keeps on the slot. Man gets off track to face slot (perpendicular to Lady) and then back in the slot.

  • 3: RF back

    • This is a "Coaster Step": Back - Together - Forward

      • Back step (heel may not come down to be more nimble) Body doesn't go back all the way.

      • Do not pop up. keep flat (reach with leg, and then relax the knee and bend into the knee to keep head height the same)

    • Arm needs to breathe with Man. Extend arm, "give". rubber band look.

  • &: LF close together with RF

  • 4: RF forward | pivot 1/2 to R at the end of the step

    • Do not pop up

  • 5: LF back

  • 6: RF back

    • Extend arm again. Keep connection.

  • 7&8: triple anchor step


  • Can finish with an Lady's outside (R) turn. Or double turn

  • 5: Lady's LF back

    • Lady will feel Man raises his arm, ready to lead Lady's to turn to her R.

  • 6: Lady turn to R, face partner

    • Turns starts from end of previous step (about 1/2 turn), then RF is really stepping fwd and then half turn.

  • 7&8: anchor step, or another full R turn.

    • At end of 8: make sure to not pull Man. "Give" arm to Man. Only take center back to settle.

Reverse Whip:

Start cross hand hold. Lady's LH on top. Or normal double handhold, during fwd walk, Lady get her L arm around behind her own head, elbow fwd and then over and rest on Man's arm.

  • Lady turns 1/2 to L (instead of R) on Man's R side.

    • 1: RF fwd

    • 2: LF fwd, start turning L, on Man's R side. Soft knees, don't need sharp pivot turns.

    • 3: RF fwd (or back depending on how much turn has already been completed),

      • Reach, relax the knees. height doesn't come up.

    • &: LF closes with RF (do close feet),

      • Keep on balls of feet, more 'nimble" and easy to foot (compared to heels coming down to ground)

      • Body doesn't travel all the way to the foot, it doesn't go back and forth too much

      • Also stay lower, flat, do not rise up.

    • 4: RF fwd, arms let go and resume normal hold.

    • 5: LF fwd, turning 1/2 to R

    • 6: RF back

    • 7&8: anchor step


  • Man may completely let his hands go. Lady's steps are the same.