Touch Steps in Place of Triple Steps

In all of the previous pages of both 8-count and 6-count moves, the follower and leader both did 2 triple steps. To review, in the 6-count sequence, the foot rhythm was

step, step, tri-ple step, tri-ple step

and in the 8-count sequences, the foot rhythm was

step, step, tri-ple step, step, step, tri-ple step

Remember, a triple step is just the "step, step," with an added step in-between. Now, nearly everywhere where a triple step appears, that triple step may be replaced with a touch step. The touch step, like the triple step it replaces, extends 2 counts and is done like this:

  • "Touch" - first count, a touching of the ground with the sole of the shoe (without weight)

  • "Step" - second count, a simple step with the same foot (with weight)

Theoretically, every move in west coast swing may be done 4 different ways depending on whether and where the touch step(s) are used. But don't worry about the math. In practice, the touch steps work better where the dancer is not travelling. Where travel is involved, it is easier to get from here to there using three steps rather than one. Where the dancer is stepping in place, the touch steps and triple steps are entirely interchangable

To triple step or not to triple step (touch step) is a choice made independent of one's partner. If it feels right, there's no impediment to doing it.

In the video above, the lady has decided to replace the 1st triple step in the sugarpush with a touch step, and the gent chose to replace his 2nd triple step with a touch step. This works because the triple step ends on the step in which it began, and the touch step does too, so the next step in each is with the other foot. A graphic follows:

6-Count west coast swing (6 counts, 7 steps here)
with descriptions red specifically for the
touch step replacing the triple step

Counts
------>

one
two
three
four
five
six

Men Do
------>
(start left)

Walk (left-Walk Tri-ple-step (left-right-left)Touch Step
(right touching, right step)

Women Do
------>
(start right)

WalkWalkTouch Step
(left touching, left step)
Tri-ple-step (left-right-left)

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