What’s Up With The West Coast Swing Dance Moves

It’s time. Yes, it’s time to learn how to dance. You have made excuses for so long and it’s enough. Learn the fun and sassy west coast swing dance moves and be the star everybody sees you can be!

West coast swing is a variation of the Lindy Hop— the original and most popular form of swing. It is debated whether Arthur Murray, a respected dance instructor and businessman, or Dean Collins, an immensely popular dancer in Hollywood developed and made popular the west coast swing dance moves. Whatever its origin, the west coast swing has come and it is here to stay.

The west coast swing is generally known for its slot dance style. Slot dancing is when the couple dances in a particular area or line—usually a 3 x 6 or a 3 x 8 rectangular dance slot. It was said that this was done to make it easier for directors to keep the dancers in focus (wide angle lenses have not been invented yet). However the more accurate reason for this is most probably the use of space it allows other dancers to join in the crowded dance floors.

Sometimes the west coast swing is closely associated with western swing but this is not always the same dance. You will find that the music used for west coast swing varies from jazz, blues and some western melodies once in a while. Definitely it started out being performed with the big band style of music but has evolved over the years to rock and roll and other contemporary songs.

The basic west coast swing dance steps are the sugar push and the anchor step. It’s not that difficult to learn and with a little practice, you will soon be adding the other fancy steps into it before long.

For the sugar push, the man holds the woman’s right hand with his left hand. He takes a step back with his left foot, then another step back with his right foot. He does a triple step and takes a step forward with the left foot, and does the anchor step.

The anchor step is the step used to end most of the steps in the swing. This is done by (for the lead, usually the man) placing the weight on the right foot at an angle behind the left foot. Transfer the weight to the other foot, without moving it, then transfer back to the other foot, again keeping feet anchored to the floor.

The follower does the opposite of the lead. It is important that the couple maintains the chemistry throughout the dance—partnering skills is a vital component in dancing. You will see many superb technical dancers in the dance floor but without developing this particular talent, they may be overtaken by another couple.

Learn more about west coast swing dance moves and other fun ballroom dancing styles in the free resources and tips in this site today. Anybody can be a dancer—it all starts with a dream. Enjoy!


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