At this level of west coast swing… you’ve probably played with the first and last weight change in the anchor step. We can also move the middle weight change to vary the look of the anchor. It’s a more advanced concept that requires a higher level of skill so it thats you…. lets dive in!
Normally, we only move the middle weight change when at least one of the other weight changes moves. Just moving the & count of the anchor looks too much like a check and makes it hard to create a smooth settle for the anchor. This exercise will focus on the most common way to move the & step: the sailor shuffle.
Your solo drill:
- Start your anchor with a hook behind
- Take the & step into first position (so your & foot travels past the hook)
- Step to the side about shoulder width (second position) for the final weight change
Adding rotation is a common styling for the sailor shuffle. As you take the & step, begin swiveling towards your free foot so that the side step is almost a forward step. Then, as you prepare for the next pattern, rotate back to facing the slot.
Once you’ve mastered the foot placements, be sure to practice connected to a door frame or sink to make sure that your center stays back—especially when rotating the shuffle!
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Once you feel comfortable with the sailor shuffle, experiment with other combinations of starting and ending anchor variations to see what other options you can find for moving the & of the anchor. For instance, can you cross in front instead of hooking behind during your sailor shuffle?
What happens if you step to the side on your first weight change? Can you make that variation work if you allow the slot to move?
If you don’t move the first weight change, can you find a way to move the last two weight changes?
Play with moving all the parts of the anchor triple and see what variations you can come up with!
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