How to west coast swing dance for beginners

West Coast Swing Dance Moves

West coast swing dance is one of the most popular social dance styles today.

West coast swing (WCS) originated from the Lindy Hop, and is danced in a “slotted” fashion (think of back and forth Tracks). This dance has many back and forth moves, underarm turns, spins and loops. Best of all, this dance has lots of room for improvisation, where partners can really express themselves to the fullest.

First, Main Idea of West Coast Swing

In this video you’ll learn about the “Track” used in WCS, and how the leader uses it to lead his/her partner. In essence, the leader gets out of the way and the follower dances into the track.

Let’s learn the basic steps of West Coast Swing…

West Coast Swing Basic Steps – Starter Step & Left Side Pass

Breakdown of this West Coast Swing Basic


Starts with Left foot
Triple step to left – Side, close, side (left, right, left)
Triple step to right – Side, close, side (right, left, right)
Side step with left foot (Turn body 1/4 to left)
Close right foot to left foot
Switch weight in place with left foot
Switch weight in place with right foot
Step fwd with left foot (Turn to face your partner)
Anchor Step (3 steps in place)


Starts with right foot
Triple step to right – Side, close, side (right, left, right)
Triple step to left – Side, close, side (left, right, left)
Walk fwd with right foot
Walk fwd with left foot (Start turning body to left)
Side with right foot (Turn body 1/4 to left)
Cross left foot in front of right foot (Continue turning)
Back with right foot (facing your partner)
Anchor Step (3 steps in place)

How To Lead:

After the 2 triple steps, the leaders need to open up their bodies strongly to the left and thus “gently pull” their partner forward (This is getting out of the lady’s track). The followers should just walk forward. At the end of the move, the leaders have to get back into the slot and face their partners.

How To Count WCS

The music is structured in a 4/4 time signature and you need to get good at hearing the full beats in the songs. The most basic way to count is 1,2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6. Please note, some moves in this dance are 6-count moves, and others are 8-count moves, so make sure you learn the exact count for each move.

Other West Coast Swing Moves you should learn:

– Sugar Push
– Right Side Pass
– The Whip
– The Whip & Underarm Turn
– Tuck Turns

Check out all our WCS dance lessons

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Learn the West Coast Swing Basic Steps

by West Coast Swing Online

Looking to learn the west coast swing basic steps? All West Coast Swing beginners need to know these basic patterns.   WCS basic patterns have been called some of the most difficult basics of any dance. Its true that west coast swing is not and easy dance to learn as a beginner. That being said there is not more fun and dynamic dance than west coast swing. Take the time to master your basics in west coast swing and let the fun begin!

West Coast Swing Basics

West Coast Swing has both 6 and 8 count basic patterns. Below we will break down the basics that you’ll need to know!

TAKE ACTION> Download all the Beginner Patterns for FREE

WCS Basic Patterns – 6 counts

Sugar Push

(aka push break) A six-count basic where the follower, facing the leader, is then led from the end of the slot towards the leader before being returned to the same spot. Although this seems like a simple move the pattern requires both a ‘towards’ and ‘away’ connection making it quite difficult for beginners. Count: 1 2, 3&4, 5&6.

Sugar Tuck

A six-count basic similar to a sugar push where the follower is lead from her spot in the slot back to the same spot she started. The difference in the sugar tuck it in the fact that the leader ‘tucks’ the follower causing her to face away from him on count 4. Then the follower heads under the leaders arm to face him again at the end of the 5&6. Count: 1 2, 3&4, 5&6.

Right Side Pass

(aka under arm turn) A six-count basic where the follower is led to the other end of the slot, passing on the leader’s right (right side pass) or additionally under the leader’s arm (underarm pass). Count: 1 2, 3&4, 5&6.

Left-side pass

A six-count basic where the follower is led to the other end of the slot, passing on the leader’s left. Count: 1 2, 3&4, 5&6.

Tuck turn – Passing Tuck – Traveling Tuck

Six-count basic similar to the left side pass. This pattern has a ‘tucking’ action on the 2 where the follower turns toward the leader then back away down the slot on the 4. The follower then turns under the leaders arm on the 5&6. Although this is a very common partner in intermediate west cost swing it is sometimes left out of beginner classes because of its difficulty for new dancers. Count: 1 2, 3&4, 5&6.

Rolling side pass

A six-count basic where the follower passes the leader while executing one and a half turns ending on the other side of the slot. Count: 1 2, 3&4, 5&6.

West Coast Swing Beginner Patterns – 8 counts


The first eight-count basic pattern. In a whip, the follower is led past the leader and then redirected back towards the end of slot over 8 beats of music.  The basic footwork for a whip extends the six-count pattern by inserting a pair of walking steps between the triple steps. The footwork becomes “walk walk, tri-ple-step, walk walk, tri-ple-step.” Count: 1 2, 3&4, 5 6, 7&8.


Watch all the basic patterns of West Coast Swing

In this video we cover all the west coast swing basics you need to know. Want to learn more? Take a peek at this list beginner video resources.

Jump to the WCS basic you’re looking for:

  • SUGAR PUSH 0:53
  • SUGAR TUCK 8:16
  • INSIDE ROLL 12:12
  • WHIP 15:54

West Coast Swing Music

Looking for some great WCS music? Learn where to find west coast swing music!

Resources for Beginner WCS Dancers

  • Top 10 Struggles of WCS Dancers
  • 5 Tips to help you remember your patterns
  • How to find the beat in WCS music.

If you really want to get good at west coast swing and want to avoid the frustration that can come along with the process… then we have something for you.

Its at complete step by step process, with 27 videos to help you become a good west coast swing dancer.

The course includes:

  • 8 Basic Patterns (of course)
  • The 7 most important patterns to learn next!
  • 10 Practice song suggestions
  • 3 Tips to improve your spins
  • 2 Easy things to improve your styling
  • 3 Keys to better timing, so you can stay on beat!
  • 4 Hand holds you need to know
  • Group Class, Private Lesson & Social Dance advice and more…

Don’t wait>>  This is the ideal way to take your dancing to the next level

Beginner West Coast Swing Technique

Learning your basic patterns is only one part of WCS. One of the biggest hurdles for the new dancer is learning to stay on time. You can find some good info on finding the beat in WCS in this article. If you really want to unlock your musicality in West Coast, check out The Ultimate Guide to Musicality. Having trouble with your connection? Our video library has a great free video that can help!

For the followers spinning can often be a challenge. Although the beginners guide listed above is a perfect place to start, this article, 3 turns to master for west coast swing will be a great resource. Maybe you  just want to dive into our Ultimate Guide to Spins and Turns. It has EVERYTHING you’ll need to become a great spinner.

How to Dance West Coast Swing?

This video is not a complete teaching guide to wcs but it will demonstrate the most basic patterns in sort of a ‘crash course’ method. The above course is really the best way to get good at all aspects of your West Coast Swing. The Beginners Guide to WCS  covers patterns, connection, spins, timing, styling, wcs etiquette and much more..

This video is a short ‘Crash Course’ but if you want a video of ALL the Beginner Patterns… We will send one to you for FREE JUST – CLICK HERE


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200+ FREE Resources
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A guide to our best Free Resources:
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lessons, prices and reviews of dance studios

Swing - prices and reviews. Comparative table of dance schools in Omsk, where there are services for teaching swing. Groups for beginners and advanced.




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The portal contains information about where you can sign up for swing classes in Omsk: addresses and telephone numbers of dance schools and dance studios, prices for the most popular destinations, student reviews. For greater convenience in using the portal and searching for a dance school, we suggest using a convenient filter by districts and metro stations. Visual tables will help you compare the cost of classes and trainings in different dance studios in the city, choosing the best option for the price.

Swing dance is a specific group of dance styles actively developed from the 1920s to the 1940s. Some modern dances formed from them at a later time also belong to the group swing. Almost all forms of dance are characterized by a shortened syncopated rhythm found in jazz and African American music. Swing dance today very common in developed Asian and Western countries.

Swing dance lessons - what dance classes can offer studios?

Swing refers to a number of different dance styles: charleston, lindy hop, jitterbug, balboa, shag, blues. Sometimes this name includes rock and roll, jive, West Coast swing and other dances developed already after the 1940s. For the United States, swing can also mean such social dances like Hand Dancing, East Coast Swing and West Coast Swing are more boogie-woogie and rock and roll are common. Many swing dancers try to learn several styles at once, thereby developing a technique and preserving the historical relationship between directions. Traditionally, one can distinguish "street swing" and "ballroom swing". Ballroom styles include the American style, danced on competitions and having a certain figure and a series of related movements. Street swing is more free, it is subject to a variety of interpretations and interpretations.

The end of the 1920s was characterized by playful and energetic music, just not allowing to sit still! In an effort to visualize it, the dancers performed intricate jumps and tricks, kicks and turns, in improvisation creating swing dances. In particular, it is famous for this lindy hop conquering with its joy and energy. He rendered a noticeable influence on the formation of such dances as balboa, boogie-woogie and similar. For balboa characteristic close contact between dancing partners, active footwork and fast jazz music. The modern balboa dance is danced to the blues in a slower pace. More free dance boogie woogie , suggesting immersion in complete improvisation and lack of order dance moves. It is performed at a moderately fast pace.

Swing dancing is recharging with energy and positive, a splash of emotions, allowing you to chat in a pleasant company and relax from the usual everyday life. Simple movements and ease of execution allows you to dance swing regardless of age and complexion.

Swing dance training in Omsk

Not all dance schools in Omsk are ready to offer swing dancing lessons. To make your search easier, we collected on our portal dance studios, which present classes in swing dance styles: lindy hop, boogie-woogie and other styles. AT The tables contain the cost of a one-time swing dancing lesson and the price of subscriptions. Separately, reviews of students of dance schools and their impressions of conducted lessons.

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What is Modern Swing (West Coast Swing) ?

Modern Swing (Modern Swing) is the second name of the dance, which is widely known in the world as West Coast Swing (in Russian it sounds like West Coast Swing). This is a couple dance to modern music ♫, popular all over the world, especially in Europe and the States.

In recent decades, the dance has gone far beyond the US and has become popular in Europe, Asia, Russia, Ukraine, Australia and many other countries. The community thought about changing the name, the usual West Coast Swing became difficult to develop as a new direction. The discussion also took place in the USA, where it was proposed to rename the dance to Modern Swing by Benji Schwimmer, a top dancer, star of the videoconferencing community, participant and director of a TV show on American television.
In Russia, the dance appeared in 2008 as VKS, but now they are starting to use a new short name - Modern Swing.

What is social partner dancing?

Social couple dances are dances that do not require years of training, they are dances for socializing and having fun. Anyone without dance experience can learn the basics of dance in a couple of months of classes and go to their first party! All it takes is a desire to dance and a love for music!

Social dances for couples are about making new friends, traveling together, having fun at parties and communicating in the language of dance!

There are many different dances in the world. We invite you to get acquainted with Modern Swing!

What makes Modern Swing attractive?

  • worldwide fame — Modern Swing is danced all over the world (especially in Europe and America) — a great opportunity to make new friends in different corners of the globe! Major dance events (West Coast Swing Events) are held almost every week in different cities around the world. More than 20 events are held annually in Russia, 10 in Moscow. Modern Swing Events list and Modern Swing Events map.
  • Variety - Modern Swing can be gentle and sensual, playful and sexy, fast and technical, relaxed and fun - whatever you make it!
  • modern popular music - you can dance to your favorite tracks!

In Moscow, several Modern Swing parties are held every week, including open-air parties (during the warm season), competitions are increasingly being held.

If you dance Modern Swing, you will be able to express yourself in dance, enjoy parties, impress others, tighten your figure - it depends on your goals! In addition, an invitation to a dance is a great opportunity to get to know each other ;-)

A bit of history

West Coast Swing - this is how West Coast Swing is translated into Russian - originated on the West Coast of the United States in


. Dean Collins, an American dancer and choreographer who appeared in Los Angeles in 1937, contributed to the development of this style.

The roots of the dance go back to the "Swing era" (late 1920s-1940s). At that time, many jazz and blues musicians used "swing" in sound - in music, the first note of each pair is tightened, creating the effect of pulsation, swing (translated into Russian, "swing" - swing, oscillation).

When applied to dance, the term "swing" covers a range of dance styles that developed at that time, as well as modern dances descended from them. Here are some: Lindy Hop, Charleston, Shag, Balboa, and then Jive, Rock 'n' Roll and, of course, the West Coast Swing (West Coast Swing).

The modern name of the dance "West Coast Swing" first appeared on the pages of a book by dance teacher Arthur Murray, published in 1947 year. But teachers used the term Western Swing for another ten years in their notes and schedules. And in 1962, the inscription "West Coast Swing", as the name of the dance in its current form, was already on the advertising posters of the American dance teacher Skippy Blair. In 1988, West Coast Swing was declared the "Official Dance of the State of California".

Modern Swing (West Coast Swing) appeared in Russia in 2008.

A bit of technology

In pair dances, one of the partners is the leader (leader), usually a man, and the other is the follower (follower), usually a woman. Initiative and activity are the role of a leader, and a follower listens and decorates, complements, creates an atmosphere. The dance reveals a philosophy of relationships that can be extended to a lifetime.

Modern Swing is a pair dance in which both partners can improvise and have almost unlimited freedom of expression.

Modern Swing dance along the line (slot). Someone thinks that this is due to the fact that he was born in the narrow aisles of cinemas and corridors ;-) For the most part, the partner moves, and the partner, while remaining relatively in place, directs her movement (leads).

The interaction of partners is very soft, elastic.

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