How I teach West Coast Swing

26. July 2011

In math we use axioms and theoremes.

An axiom is a logical statement that is assumed to be true and serves as a starting point for deducing and inferring other (theory dependent) truths (Wikipedia).

A theorem is a statement that has been proven on the basis of previously established statements, such as other theorems, and previously accepted statements, such as axioms (Wikipedia).

Skippy Blair uses the terms rules - where a rule is a method or afirmation that gives positive results for every case or every subject that is applied to.

I will try in this article, which I see as a living document to list my West Coast Swing axioms, theorems and terminology. The list has no particular order.

  1. In WCS the girls are always right (because they start with the right foot) and the guys have what's left (guess why :) )
  2. 4/4 music - 4 1/4 (quarter) notes make a measure. WCS is danced on 4/4 music
  3. Downbeat - Upbeat
  4. Pulsing - Heartbeat of West Coast Swing
  5. Upbeats - Kodak Moments
  6. Rolling Count - &a1 &a2 &a3 &a4 &a5 &a6 &a7 &a8
  7. Rolling Triples (use Rolling Count or call Step Hold Step Step)
  8. Anchors
  9. Leading
  10. Slot
  11. Body Flight
  12. Critical Timing
  13. Centering
  14. Center Point of Balance (CPB)
  15. Centering Knob
  16. Three-toe base
  17. Unit foot
  18. Weighed foot
  19. Power Point
  20. Foot positions
  21. Flashlighting
  22. The beat 4 belongs to the follower in 6 beat patterns (or the beat 6 in the 8 beat patterns)
  23. Counting sets of 8
  24. Mini-Phrase / Major phrase
  25. Heavy / Light measure
  26. Elastic stretch
  27. Rolling the foot
  28. Post
  29. Compression
  30. Leverage
  31. Sending / Receiving foot
  32. Contra-body movement
  33. Matching resistance (in close ballroom position)
  34. Elbows down
  35. Move your center first
  36. Good frame allows good leading
  37. Shoulders back and down
  38. Hand hold
  39. Don’t stop the move, make it continuous
  40. Don’t bounce even if you go fast – dig into the floor. One exercise that facilitates that is to dance without shoes, just in socks to feel the floor
  41. Peel of the foot
  42. Double resistance
  43. Scrolling

What is Pure West Coast Swing

25. July 2011

I recently read a very interesting article written by Katherine Krok Eastvold.

Katherine separates the contemporary styles of WCS dancing in two separate categories: Abstract Improvisation and Pure West Coast Swing.

It's a nice read and I recommend it: The Time Has Come

Workshop in Brasov - Introduction to West Coast Swing

14. July 2011

Picture at the end of the class:


What: Introduction to West Coast Swing - Workshop

When: 30th July 2011 - 15:30 - 17:30

Where:Brasov, Colegiul National Aprily Lajos
          Str. Dupa Ziduri nr. 3, Cartier Centru

Who: Cristian Lefter and Dina Pop

Price: 30 RON

Registration: info[at] / +40 724 581 840 / Facebook Event Page

Event Poster:


Location Map:

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What's in a name

7. July 2011


As the name West Coast Swing Romania is not exactly suited for a dance school, we did a little research to get a proper name.

Most of the schools in the US are named Swing Club CityName. Therefore I proposed Swing Club Bucharest. It wasn’t a well receive proposal. “It sounds like an auto club, no way”.

Ok, I moved on and find other pattern - using actual names “Jordan and Tatiana”, “John Lindo”, “Jessic a Cox”. This time I opposed to this idea.

The next path was to be the winning one – choosing an element that is somehow related to the dancing activity or West Coast Swing in particular like “2 Left Feet” for example. So the result was “Triple Step”. Asking Andrei Dumitriu how he feels about it, he said that ideally we would have an official name that could be for example “Triple Step Swing Club”. Our name as a school consequently became “Triple Step Swing Club”.

Congratulations to us Cool