Because west coast swing encourages footwork variations, inevitably you will end up on the wrong foot. The goal of this drill is to be comfortable dancing on the wrong foot at any point in a pattern. If you know how to finish the pattern off from the wrong foot, it becomes much easier to confidently insert your own footwork variations.
The Drill: Without a partner, practice dancing your basics entirely on the wrong foot. For leaders, that means that you will start the whole pattern on your right; followers will start moving onto their left. Pay special attention to any motions that require unusual foot positions or body rotations (e.g., stepping across on the 4 of a whip for leaders, stepping out on the 4 of a left side tuck for followers). Throughout the entirety of the pattern, focus on keeping the movement of your center exactly the same as in the normal footwork version.
Bonus Variations: If you are comfortable dancing the whole pattern on the wrong feet, the next step is to practice dancing the wrong rhythm units. The easiest way to practice is by dancing your basics in a sequence:
- All double rhythms, starting on the correct foot
- All double rhythms, starting on the wrong foot
- All triple rhythms, starting on the correct foot
- All triple rhythms, starting on the wrong foot
By working through all of those possibilities, you should be prepared to dance any 2-beat increment, starting on either foot and ending on either foot. Again, focus on making sure that the body flight of your center remains constant, no matter what your feet are doing.