Single Tracking

West Coast Swing Online Footwork

Single tracking refers to the relative placement of the feet while progressing down the slot. In general, the heels of the feet should remain in a straight line, as if you were walking on a balance beam. This technique creates clean leg lines and allows for much better control of the center’s movement. If both feet remain on separate tracks, the resulting movement will waddle between the two tracks—which is neither pretty nor efficient.

The Drill: Without a partner, practice walking forwards and backwards while keeping your heels on a straight line. The feet should brush past each other on every step.

For Leaders: Single tracking creates clean lines, but doing it constantly creates a feminine look. On the follower’s side of the dance, femininity looks elegant. On the leader’s side of the dance, it looks submissive and unconfident. As a result, leaders are allowed to cheat slightly when single tracking. It’s ok to have a slightly wider base between the feet on the leader side of the dance; the feet don’t have to literally brush past each other. To be clear: double tracking looks like a sore cowboy rather than a confident leader, so don’t let your feet extend outside of your hips on normal steps. You are still single tracking—you just have a slightly wider track to work with.

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