Often the beginning of a west coast swing dance begins with a sequence called a starter step. Though it is called a starter step, the step may be performed anytime the couple is in closed position (together with gent's hand on lady's back).
Notwithstanding that it is often the first figure to start the dance, we did not start out the material with the starter step because the rhythm of the feet is different from the standard "Step, Step, Tri-ple Step, Tri-ple Step" of the 6-count part of west coast swing, and we did not want to introduce confusion so early in the process.
Actually "starter step" in west coast swing is a generic term which refers to a beginning sequence in closed position. There are different starter steps, some more fancy than others, and we encourage experimentation, but here is the most common one. It extends 10 counts:
Tri-ple Step, Tri-ple Step, Back Step (6 counts, 8 steps)
Touch Step, Tri-ple Step (4 counts, 5 steps)
Voila! The lady is at the end of the slot and the couple are ready to west coast swing.
On the back step, step on the sole of the foot and do not touch down on your heel. (You could touch down on your heel, but that would be a different look.
If the first part of this sequence "tri-ple step, tri-ple step, back step" sounds familiar to you, you must do east coast swing. The basic triple step in east coast swing, also variously called jitterbug or 6-count, has the same tri-ple step, tri-ple step, back step rhythm. If you would want to see the jitterbug version of triple step, triple step, back step before moving on to the next chapter on whips, click here.
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