Keep Your Thighs Together

West Coast Swing Online Spins & Turns

When pros move, their legs almost never get away from their body. Especially when they are doing fast footwork, or when they are spinning, their feet remain beneath their hips. Keeping the feet underneath the body makes it easier to transfer weight quickly, it keeps them from wobbling between steps, and it produces much better leg lines.

The easiest way to train steps that stay under the body is to focus on keeping your thighs together. If your thighs remain in contact during a spin, you physically can’t end up in an ugly, wide-legged cowboy pose. If you are stepping forward, your thighs may separate—but if you focus on making your thighs brush each other when the receiving leg passes the sending leg, you’ll avoid an unsightly gap between your legs and make it much more likely that your steps remain an appropriate size.

This exercise will focus on spins because it’s easy to let the legs separate while you’re thinking about your balance. If you practice this exercise for spins, you’ll find that you naturally tend to keep your thighs together more throughout the rest of the dance.

The Drill: Find a space with enough distance to do a couple of chaines turns and a small towel. Your goal is simple: put the towel between your thighs, and do chaines turns without letting the towel drop.

You can keep your thighs together in two ways: you can press your legs into each other, or you can think of pulling your leg muscles up into the hip, which will in turn bring your thighs closer together. You want to do more of the latter—pulling your leg muscles up will keep your legs in a nice line, while just pushing the thighs together can result in an ugly knee position if your feet remain wide. If you’re doing it right, you should feel like your feet have to stay close together.

The speed of the turns is totally irrelevant, so go as slowly as you need in order to feel comfortable. The point of the drill is to learn how to keep your thighs in contact throughout the movement.

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