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West Coast Swing Index

West Coast Swing is danced to slower Swing tempos. It differs from the Eastern versions in that it is what is known as a "Slot Dance"; the lady moves back and forth along a "slot" that remains unchanged throughout the dance, while the man moves into and out of the slot to allow the lady to pass.

The dance is composed of "elements". These consist of "links", "triples", "coasters" and "whips".All of these elements have a time value of two beats apiece, but they differ in the following ways:

  • A Link consists of two steps. They may be walking steps, rock steps, or marches in place. Links may be repeated consecutively.
  • A Triple may consist of three steps, or it may be danced as a tap-step. It may be danced as a chasse, or, as in the lady's case in throwouts and passes, it may be danced as a progressive run.
  • A Coaster usually consists of three steps; and is usually danced in open facing position immediately before a link. There are a variety of foot placements that can be used in a Coaster, including chasses, forward and back rocks, and "sailor shuffles"; what they have in common is that they are danced more or less in place,at a short distance from one's partner.
  • Whips appear at the Bronze II level, and consist of sudden changes of direction in a variety of holds.
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