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The 22 Basic Foundation Patterns for West Coast Swing


The 22 Basic Foundation Patterns for West Coast Swing

This "Sequence" list, was developed in 1954 was adopted 1985. It has been refined and expanded through the years, based on discussions & seminars with top teachers. The SSDC uses it as a guideline to our Progressive Series dance class. This is perfect for beginners and advanced dancers who want a good foundation in basics. Highly recommended for anyone thinking of entering competition.

This list is recommended by: Golden State Dance Teachers Assn.- the World Swing Dance Council

22 Foundation Patterns for Classic West Coast Swing 11-2005

GSDTA © 1954 Rev. 76, 85, 90, 94, 98, 00, 02, 03, 03, 6-04, 5-05
Pattern 1: 4-Beat Triple Rhythm Break & Anchor Triples - Teaches "Centering" over the Unit Foot -Teaches HER to swivel on the "&a" - Teaches BOTH partners how to do an anchor.
Pattern 2: Left Side Pass - Teaches "Couple Centering" (Flashlight technique) to both partners. Also teaches the "Point of Connection" on count "4" and how to "Anchor" on counts "&a5&a6."
Pattern 3: Underarm Turn - Teaches HIM to turn right on "2" and to raise his hand, (rather than his elbow) to allow her to go under her own right hand. Teaches HER to look left on count "2" & at him on count "3."


2 Left Side Passes
2 Underarm Turns and Triple Rhythm Breaks through "8."
Total: 4 Sets-of-8

Pattern 4: Continuous Right Side Pass – Cements HIS Drive on "2" and HERS on "4." (He rotates on "4")
Pattern 5: Right Side Pass - Teaches HIM "Connection", as he drives his CPB a short forward on count "1" - and a longer BACK on "2" PLUS the introduction of the Hand Change.
Pattern 6: Hand Change "Starter Step" - From closed position to Hand Shake Slingshot Position .

Introduces a "Back & Together Forward" to the Leaders.


Hand Change Starter Step on Counts "1 2 3 4" starting on Count-1 of a new phrase.
Continuous Right Side Pass (3 Sets-of-6 Beats each)
Underarm Turn - follow with 1 set Triple Rhythm Break (4-Beats of Music)
Total: 4 Sets-of-8

Pattern 7: Underarm with Hand Change - Teaches HIM to place her behind him in "Slingshot" position, by rotating upper body only, without turning himself to another wall. (Prep for Right Side Pass)
Pattern 8. Turning Basic - Teaches HIM to reach behind himself - rather than forward, toward her - to catch HER on count "3" (Crucial to learning a good Whip.) Teaches HER how to hold the "Back & Together Forward" and how to anchor into his Right hand with her Upper Left Quadrant .
Pattern 9: Slingshot Rollout - Start from "Slingshot" position: Teaches HIM to drive back on "2" - Teaches HER the concept of 4th, or tight 3rd foot position "Pivots" on counts "3&a4."


Turning Basic into a Slingshot Rollout
Underarm w/ Hand Change - Right Side Pass
Triple Rhythm Break through "8"
Total: 4 Sets-of-8

Pattern 10: "4-Beat" Rotational Starter Step - On "5&a6 - 7&a8" of the Music. Can be done with Hand Change - or finish in Slingshot Position to reinforce HER anchoring into his right hand in closed position on "3&a4." - Great preparation for her "Walk Forward" on "1-2. "
Pattern 11: Slingshot Throwout - Re-enforces both partners moving in the same direction from a closed position. (Introduction to "Rubberband" effect for Ladies on the "&a" prior to count "1").


4-Beat Starter Step (on "5 6 7 8" of the intro or last phrase of music)
Right Side Pass
Underarm Turn
Turning Basic
Slingshot Rollout
plus 1 set of Triple Rhythm Breaks (8 Beats of music)
Total: Intro plus 4 Sets-of-8

Pattern 12: Push Break (formerly Sugar Push) - Introduction to "2 Hand" lead. Introduction to Compression (on count "3"). BOTH partners CPB moves forward on "3" creating Compression. SHE determines how far she can go back on count "4."
Pattern 13: Basic Tuck w/ Free Spin - (From closed slingshot position) Teaches HER to always turn Left before turning Right into a "Tuck". ALL "Tucks" = Same technique. -Turn Left on "3" & right on "4" Teaches him a firm but flexible right hand "lead" on "&a" before count "1."


Push Break
Underarm Turn
Turning Basic
Basic Tuck w/ Free Spin
Add: 2 sets of Triple Rhythm Breaks (8-Beats). Repeatable Sequence.
Total: 4 Sets-of 8

Pattern 14: Two Hand "Contra Body" Tuck - Teaches HIM to control her upper body by placing his Right hand toward his left collar bone on count "1" - and pulling His Left elbow straight back on count "2". His Right hand stops the action on "3" and sends her into a free spin on count "4."
Pattern 15: Underarm Catch - Teaches HER the value of flexibility by rotating the upper-body to the left on count "2" - while foot positions remain straight ahead in 4th foot position (No "run-run-run").


Push Break
Two-Hand Contra-Body Tuck
Underarm Catch
Basic Tuck
Two sets of Triple Rhythm Breaks. (8-Beats) Repeatable sequence.
Total: 4 Sets-of-8

Pattern 16: Two Hand "Cross Strut" Tuck & Turn - Teaches her to swivel as SHE struts forward (Same shoulder forward as forward foot) & teaches arm & hand connection technique for the turn.
Pattern 17: Lock Whip - Introduction to "8-Beat" Patterns. Teaches forward leverage as she locks her CPB into her own Left arm on "3&a" before moving back on "4." HE learns to lean back (Leverage) on "3" and do a backward "Strike" with his Right foot on count "4."
Pattern 18: Release Whip - "8-Beat" pattern. HE concentrates on turning Right on counts "2" and "4." SHE steps straight forward on "2" - looking over right shoulder on "2" and drives straight back on "3" (& again on "5" - NO side steps). Teaches the importance of "Rolling Count" - teaches her to maintain leverage w/ her Upper Left Quadrant on "3&a" before "4."


Lock Whip
Two Hand Cross Strut Tuck & Turn
Underarm Turn
Release Whip
1 set of Triple Rhythm Breaks (4 Beats)
Total: 4 Sets-of-8

Pattern 19: Closed Whip - Teaches Open to Closed position in an "8-Beat" pattern. Emphasizes HER leverage thru "3&a4" - teaches HIM to lean back on "3-4" and "5-6". (He rotates on "2" & "4").
Pattern 20: Whip with Inside Roll - Teaches HIM to place his Left hand toward his Right Shoulder, in order to facilitate HER entry under the arm. (Elbow DOWN!) He: Walk around her on "5-6."
Pattern 21: Whip with Outside Roll - Teaches him to circle his left hand on "3-4" and spot his right foot or hook his right foot on "5 and side 6."


Dance four 6-Beat patterns
finish with any 8-Beat Whip.
Total: 4 Sets-of-8

Pattern 22: Continuous Whip (Rotating, Repeated LeverageTechnique) - Teaches HER the responsibility of HER "Away" leverage on HER "Back Step" (Introduction to Active Following) Allows the Leader to extend a pattern by repeating counts "5&a6" as many times as needed.