Footwork: Applejacks

West Coast Swing Online Footwork

Applejacks are footwork variations that look very busy and groovy at the same time. This drill will help you learn to do applejacks.

The Drill: Stand with your feet about hip width apart and your toes pointing forward. You don’t want to have your feet as wide as your shoulders, nor do you want your feet turned out. Put your weight on the heel of your left foot and the toe base of your right foot. Yes, you are split weight—this movement really does break all the normal rules for footwork. This is your starting position.

Applejacks starting position

Starting position for applejacks. Weight is on the left heel and right toe base.

With your left heel and right toe weighted, pivot your feet to send the left toe and right heel to the left.

Applejacks pivot left

Position after pivoting both the left toe base and right heel to the left. Weight is still on the left heel and right toe base.

Leaving your weight where it is, reverse the pivot to bring your feet back to your starting position. When your feet hit center, switch your weight to your left toe base and your right heel.

Applejacks neutral

After recovering to the starting position. Now the weight is on the left toe base and right heel.

Now with your left heel and right toe base free, pivot both of these parts of your feet to the right.

Applejacks pivot right

Position after pivoting left heel and right toe base to the right. Weight is still on the left toe base and right heel.

Finally, return your feet to the starting position and again switch your weight to the left heel and right toe base. The video below shows the entire sequence:

Once you can perform this sequence smoothly, you can work on increasing your speed. In the wild, you will usually do that sequence in two beats: going from start to flaring to the left on the downbeat, recovering to center on the & count, flaring right on the upbeat, and recovering on the next & count.

Bonus Variations: Practice doing applejacks out of the sequence. You might start by flaring left and recovering, then flaring left again and recovering before flaring right, recovering, left, and returning to center. Going out of order makes the applejack look more funky, but it also makes it easier to get lost on your feet.

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