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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

Best Music Tempo for Learning West Coast Swing
  by Dr Matt  

Hi West Coast Swingers:

When learning the West Coast Swing, it's good to practice to slower music; this way, you force yourself to articulate the rhythm of the footwork more accurately.

              Buddy Guy: Mustang Sally = 108 bpm - beats per minute

              Spice Girls: Say You'll Be There = 110 bpm

              B-Witched: C'est La Vie = 112 bpm

              Fantasia: Chain Of Fools = 115 bpm
                            * Live American Idol performance — music starts at 0:15

              Anastacia: I'm Outta Love = 118 bpm
                            * Watch the U.S. West Coast Swing Champions dance to this music

              Anastacia: Made For Lovin' You = 120 bpm

Practice your BASICS to the beat of the Music:

              Sugar Push
              Underarm Pass
              Left Side Pass
              The Whip

For excellent explanations of how each of the previous basic steps are danced, visit BallroomDancer.com — their detailed descriptions are excellent! In the mean time, here's my description of the Whip Footwork:

After TWO Slow walking steps that turn right 180 degrees, you do a Coaster Step:

      BACK      TOGETHER     FORWARD   =    description of your foot placement
      Right          Left                   Right            =    which foot does what?
      quick            quick              Slow          =    footwork rhythm
        3                      &                    4             =    musical counts as you do this step

The Coaster Step is a kind of "Triple Step" . . . this means you will step 3 times during 2 musical counts of the music.  To Repeat: that's 3 foot movements in 2 musical counts!

Again, try to imitate the way Donna Roselle does the basics.  You can absolutely SEE THE RHYTHM IN HER BODY

Note that Donna does a Lock Whip (she calls it a Basket Whip); and the rhythm of this step is exactly the SAME as all other Whips.  The rhythm for the Whip can be described three ways: 

        Double  Triple  Double  Triple     OR     
          1  2,       3 & 4       5  6       7 & 8         OR   
         S S          qqS         
S S       qqS               OR   
Slow Slow, quick quick Slow, Slow Slow, quick quick Slow    

As opposed to the footwork rhythm of the Sugar Push, Sugar Tuck, Underarm Pass, or Left Side Pass:

        Double  Triple  Triple     OR     
          1  2,       3 & 4      7 & 8         OR   
         S S          qqS         
qqS               OR   
Slow Slow, quick quick Slow, quick quick Slow    

As you can SEE, the Whip adds Two Extra Counts to the basic rhythm

Happy Practicing,

Dr Matt will always connect you to the coolest steps!

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