Moving backwards like a pro

West Coast Swing Online Footwork

Last week, we worked on controlling our center movement during forward steps. Now it’s time to extend that drill so that we can have just as much control when going backwards.

In this drill, we’re again going to imagine that there’s a laser pointer aiming straight down from our center to the floor, and we’re going to watch how the dot on the floor moves through out feet. If you haven’t done the drill recently, take a look at last week’s post for details.

The Drill: Start with your weight fully on one foot, and visualize the dot that represents where your center is over the foot. Adjust your positioning so that the dot is directly over the ball of the foot (front to back) and either in the center of the foot or slightly inside of center (left to right).

Slowly move your center backwards, visualizing the dot moving from the ball of your foot through the middle of the foot and all the way back to the heel. When the dot reaches the front edge of the heel, continue to slowly move the dot backwards as your free leg brushes past your supporting leg and then reaches back.

As the toe base of your free leg makes contact with the ground, the dot should be around the center of your front heel. Using the toe base to control your motion, continue bringing the dot backwards until it is just behind your front foot. You should feel like your back leg is bracing you, although the weight is closer to the front leg.

Control the motion of the dot as you smoothly transition your center through the space between your feet. You should feel like you are working the toe base of your back foot.

As the dot reaches the toe base of your back foot, you should be able to release your front leg. Leave the leg in place, but without any weight, as you move the dot through the new supporting leg, and finally gather and move the leg backwards as the dot reaches the heel of the new supporting leg.

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