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West Coast Swing Dance Lessons 

Here are Dr Matt's lessons for learning West Coast Swing:
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Doing the Whip in the West Coast Swing
  by Dr Matt  

Here's a Demo of West Coast Swing Steps we've learned.

The couple begins with a Starter Step into a Left Side Pass. They also do an Underarm Turn. The Starter Step they do lasts only 4 counts and you'll notice that they are doing a Sideward Salsa pattern = Behind Replace Side . . . Behind Replace Side

In contrast , I've been teaching an 8 count Starter Step keeping the Body in ONE Single Center position: Behind Side Replace . . . Behind Side Replace

At 0:41 the couple demonstrates a Basic WHIP, and
At 0:46 they do a Basket WHIP (also called a Cuddle WHIP or Lock Whip)

Here's the Woman's footwork explained for the Basic Whip:
Leslie Sack calls this an "open whip," but this terminology is not good, because this Whip is done in "closed" position — there's nothing "open" about this Whip. Hence, we will call it a Basic Whip.

Here's the Woman's footwork explained for the Basket Whip:
Leslie Sack calls this a "lock whip" — this is a good name, because it describes a "locking" action as the woman comes into Cuddle Position.

Guy's watch Michael Kiehm demonstrate a Basic WHIP at 3:30 of this video:

The Man's Whip footwork is very similar to the Underarm Turn, . . . but Two Walking Steps and a Half Turn are added — also, the Man must learn to Lead the woman into a WHIP TURN. This Step is called "The Whip" because the lead is vaguely similar to flicking a whip! The centrifugal force that is created while Turning, is another reason this step is called "The Whip."

Here's a description of the Lead for a Basic Whip:

Count 1 = Man leads the Lady Forward
Count 1 & = Man moves his Left Hand slightly out & away from his body
            This causes the Lady to Turn Right
            The Lady commences her Right Turn on  Count 1 &
            She completes her Right Turn on  Count 2, ready to do the Coaster Step
Count 2 & = Man leads Lady directly Backward, into her Coaster Step
            Coaster Step = Back, Together, Forward  — danced on Counts 3 & 4
            On count 2 & Ladies are also led Backward into the Man's Right Hand
As the Man catches the Lady with his Right Hand—which is placed on the Lady's Shoulder Blade—a "Rubber-Band" action is created that causes the couple to stretch into the Coaster Step, then Snap Back, completing a Full Right Turn, ending in a Release and Anchor Step.

Both the Guys and the Girls need to learn the following: At 4:27 Michael Kiehm explains some subtle points about "tone" and "leading with your body"—pay attention, this is fantastic stuff! He describes a "Rubber-Band" effect between the partners at 4:27

From 6:06, Michael explains an approach to West Coast Swing that is different from the way it is taught and danced at BYU--the leads are subtle, the dancing is relaxed and INTO THE FLOOR; in the style Michael Kiehm explains, the Man does NOT forcefully push and pull the Woman around.

The style we're aiming for is opposite from the way some do "Cowboy Dancing" — meaning, DON'T muscle a lady around the dance floor, forcefully jerking her body about.


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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