West Coast Swing

The music has 4 beats to the bar (or 12) and about 35 bars per minute. Count QQ per half bar for most step groups or figures. A half bar usually contains a side-close or a rock-step but some figures use slow walks or chassés.

As with other latin dances, the close hold is looser than for ballroom. Most steps are inline or in promenade position.

The style of West Coast Swing is bouncy. The knees are relaxed rather than stiff.


Basic

This is 2 side-closes along the line-of-dance and a rock-step. The man takes a small step sideways on his left foot (swaying slightly down and to the left). Then he closes his right foot to it. Similarly, the lady steps sideways on her right foot (swaying slightly down and to the right) and closes her left to it. The couple repeat this side-close. Next the man takes a small step backwards on his left foot and the lady steps backwards on her right. They open out slightly (a bit like a whisk to promenade but with sway up and back to the man's right and lady's left). Then the weight is replaced onto the other foot. This is the rock-step. The whole thing can turn gradually round a corner.

Basic = 2 side-closes + rock-step (FP-PP, CH)
Beat Q Q Q Q Q Q
Man LS RC LS RC LxB RxF
Lady RS LC RS LC RxB LxF


The Groucho

If I've remembered it correctly, this mini-sequence is named after one of the Marx brothers. It looks completely ridiculous - which is probably the whole point.

The man takes a small step to the side but turning left to face the line-of-dance. He practically lifts the lady into a larger step in front of him. They both make 2 quick walks. His are forwards and with knees bent outwards. Hers are backwards and with toes and knees pointing inwards while the heels kick out to the side before twisting to land with toes pointing out (like Charleston). Then they turn left again (the man's step being larger this time) to chassé along the old LOD. Lastly there is a rock-step which leaves the couple ready to go back the other way.

Step (FP, CH) Quick Walks (FP, CH) Chassé (FP, CH) Rock-Step (PP, CH)
Beat S Q Q Q a Q Q Q
Man LSF -2 RF LF RFS -2 LC RS LxB RxF
Lady RSB -2 LB RB LBS -2 RC LS RxB LxF


Content: © Susan Foord
Version: 2001-01-22
Contact: sf@pedag.org
Link to: Dance (main page)