West Coast Swing Technique

Technique Notes

  • Footwork for WC Swing is generally Ball Flat. Forward steps could be danced with heel leads or ball leads.

    • Benji Schwimmer says it's more natural to dance heel leads for forward steps for lady as lady should be "leaning back" to create the tension on those steps. When the weight is slightly back, it's more natural to do heel leads. As leader, he would do lead "outside edge".

  • Swing Shift: (the "elasticity" look) - from Benji Schwimmer workshop

    • In West Coast Swing, you would want to minimize "neutral", you are either in "tension" where the weight is on back of your heel, or "compression" where your nose (or other "front part" of your body - depending on your position) is in front of ball of your foot.

    • "Swing Shift" is an important concept. See Sugar Push notes on "compression" and "tension".

    • "Rolling foot": not stepping flat, always roll the foot.

  • Swing frame:

    • Activate lats and fingers, no rigid frame. Do not use arm to lead, use body and frame.

    • No "contra" like cuban motions within one's body, but you are doing "contra" with your partner. The body (shoulder, body, hip) moves together in one direction.

  • Anchor step: (either Man or Lady)

    • This refers to the chassé in place step (RLR for Man, LRL for Lady) which are often the finishing steps for a figure. Foot position is normally in 3rd position.

    • There is some settling to the hip (not immediate, there is a little delay, settle on count & onto one hip and release the other leg to move) - this make the movement look more dynamic.

  • French Cross: Lady uses French Cross steps to complete a half turn to L in gradual 3 steps, e.g in Throwout.

  • Michelle Kincaid suggests that when movement is lead, the lady will take walking steps. When movement is not being lead, then the lady takes triple-steps.