West Coast Swing Basic?

Angel HI

Well-Known Member
I know and respect Skippy Blair, and am not disputing her status in WCS. That said, I do disagree that it is too early to learn compression. Our studio has been very WC heavy for the past couple of years (offering it as a break from our specified format). During that time, we have had countless current pros/comp champions/etc in studio every other week. Each has taught several different ways of starting the dance, stating that there is no 'basic' way to do it; that the dance has become very interpretive and improvisational, and, that all of the varied ways are currently not only considered correct and acceptable, btu are sought after in comps to add variety to the dance.

I have almost always taught WCS rather differently from most, and it has always been accepted in comps. My fav start is to use, the curving EC basic (with built-in compression), and moving into WC from there. The biggest difference is that it changes the way we count the dance. Rather than counting the first 2 steps (man's back steps) as 1,2... we see the walking steps in WCS as the rocking steps in ECS (just moving back/fwd rather than rocking). This causes the counts to be 5,6. It allows the dancer to seamlessly move from EC to WC (even in/out of the dances for the more advanced dancers), and creates natural compression on the triplets (because it never stopped from the basic intro step).

Lastly, and to stay on the initial topic (albeit last year), this also negates having to use the 'Sugar Push' as a basic step (which almost all of the visiting pros say not to do any longer).


Well-Known Member
There are some, particularly those doing the dance for 20 yrs or more, who don't like how far the dance has gone towards interpretive dance. Sometimes it looks more like two people dancing freestyle while they hold hands than a partner dance. I'm one of those old farts that still appreciates a good push break and left side pass - esp. when dancing with a good follow.
I cannot imagine how WCS can be danced without knowing the sugar push first. Of course lots of the younger crowd does dances that only resemble WCS, so for them it doesn't matter what basic steps are.

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