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How To Dance:
Latin Hustle 
Walk Rhythm Fox Trot 

West Coast Swing Dance Lessons 

Here are Dr Matt's lessons for learning West Coast Swing:
Archive    1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    pics

Hi Dance Fans:

Here's Michael & Dawne Kiehm teaching 3 steps of the West Coast Swing:

              1 - Sugar Push @ 1:25
              2 - Sugar Tuck @ 1:40
              3 - Underarm Pass @ 1:47

Their explanations are very detailed, and now that we've had direct experience trying to do these steps, you will "relate" and absorb so much more of what they are saying! Again, they teach the Benji & Lacey Schwimmer Style of West Coast Swing.

The Man's footwork is explained at
              2:12 - Sugar Push
              3:40 - Sugar Tuck, and
              5:12 - Underarm Pass

The Lady's footwork is explained at
              6:47 - Sugar Push
              8:05 - Sugar Tuck, and
              8:42 - Underarm Pass
              9:22 - All 3 Steps in Sequence

The rhythm for a West Coast Swing Basic can be described in a few ways:

              S S qqS qqS   (Slow Slow,  quick quick Slow,  quick quick Slow),  OR
              1  2,   3 & 4,   5 & 6,  OR 
              Double,  Triple,  Triple.  

Pay particular attention to this description of the Rhythm: 1  2,   3 & 4,   5 & 6

The "1" count of the dance rhythm corresponds precisely with the "1" beat of the music. This means, if you're stepping slightly before the "1" beat of the music, or slightly after the "1" beat of the music, THEN . . . YOU'RE OFF the proper rhythm!

This is also true of beats 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Moral to the Story: OBEY the Beat -- not the beat in your head, nor the beat in your body, but the BEAT in the MUSIC!

The foot position on the 1st Triple is danced "together" (feet side by side) instead of "3rd Position." It's good to learn both ways. Here's a video by Leslie Sack that shows the Lady's 1st Triple step in 3rd Position @ 0:36    0:44    0:50

Do the Anchor Step on the 2nd Triple as shown by Dawne Kiehm (the same way I taught in class -- 3rd Position). Again, ignore Leslie Sack's Ronde--which is a styling embellishment that can be added down the road, once the basics are learned.

Finally, watch the first 2 minutes of this video:

Michael Kiehm gives a fantastic explanation of the side-moving triple step "chug." Both the guys and the girls need to learn this subtle hip-settling technique.

Deeper into the video he offers more insightful techniques that you will eventually appreciate--once you get more dancing experience under your belt. But without the experience, it hard to appreciate just how fantastic his suggestions are.

Moral to this story: Learning happens "line upon line."

As far as style, here's the "feel" of how the West Coast Swing is danced--at least this is the style I'm aiming for. Watch Benji Schwimmer & Tatianna Mollman. The style is smooth. The lady moves in and out of the Sugar Push like "buttah."

At 3:25 you'll see a couple that captures what I've been calling "mash-potatoes-like" foot movements. Their feet and hips are active, but there is NO BOUNCE on top—at all.

If you will watch the videos and practice at least 10 minutes a day, there will be absolutely NO LEARNING CURVE regression at next week's class.


Dr Matt will always connect you to the coolest steps!

Hey Dance Fans, have you read my review of the
most popular dancing TV show this fall?

Dancing with The Stars

And have you read my review of the
most-watched TV show of the summer?

So You Think You Can Dance



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