Fixing Your Footwork

West Coast Swing Online Footwork

Inevitably, you will end up on the wrong foot at the end of a pattern. It’s ok! This drill will help you correct your footwork in time for the next pattern.

To fix your footwork, simply add an extra weight transfer before beginning your next pattern. Every pattern in WCS starts with a leader’s back step on the left and a follower’s forward step on the right, and both occur on beat 1. On the & count immediately before the 1, take a step in third foot position to correct your footwork. If you are doing a six count pattern, you will thus step 6 (on your wrong anchor foot—leader’s left and follower’s right), the & of 6 on your correct anchor foot, and then your normal 1 immediately on the next beat.

The Drill: Put your feet third foot position, with your weight on the leader’s left foot or follower’s right foot. This is where you would be if you ended the pattern on the wrong foot. This is count 6. On the & of 6, step in third foot position with the leader’s right/follower’s left. This frees up the leader’s left/follower’s right for a normal 1. Finally, step your 1 with the correct foot.

The trick is to get comfortable with this sequence, because the weight transfers happen quickly when you’re actually dancing. Normally, the last step of the anchor is a whole beat, so you have some time before you need to step for the next pattern. Now, we’re inserting an extra weight transfer into that beat, so you don’t stay on 6 as long and you have less time before you step your 1.

Once you are comfortable with the sequence, try it to music. Simply wait for any upbeat in the music (where you would clap or snap) to step your 6 with the wrong foot, then fix your footwork on the & and take your normal walk walk for the next two beats. Reset; when you are ready to go again, listen for the next upbeat and repeat.

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