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This series is taught
by Skippy Blair and
is available with live
illustration on DVD.


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West Coast Swing foundation patterns

The First 22 Patterns of West Coast Swing!



This program is recommended by the World Swing Dance Council, the Golden State Dance Teachers Association and Dance Dynamics.




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.
Teaches the “Point of Connection” on count “4”.
Teaches 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”.

Amalgamation: 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 her drive 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 count “2”.
Introduces 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.

Amalgamation: 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 - in order to catch her on count “3”. (Crucial to learning a good Whip)
Teaches him 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, with “Pivots”
 on counts “3&a4”.

Amalgamation: Turning Basic into a Slingshot Rollout , Underarm with Hand-Change, Right Side Pass, Triple-Rhythm Break through “8”. 

Total: 4 sets of 8




Pattern 10: “4-Beat” Rotational Starter Step
Begins 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 Throw-out
Re-enforces both partners moving in the same direction from a closed position. Introduction to “Rubber Band Effect" for Ladies on the “&a” prior to count “1”.

Amalgamations:  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 with Free Spin
Starts 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".

Amalgamation: Push Break, Underarm Turn, Turning Basic, Basic Tuck with 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 collarbone 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").

Amalgamation: 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) and teaches Arm and 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" while looking over right shoulder on "2" and drives straight back on "3" (and again on "5" - NO side steps).
Teaches the importance of “Rolling Count”.
Teaches her to maintain leverage with her Upper Left Quadrant on “3&a” before “4”.

Amalgamation: 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 walks 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 & a side 6”.

Amalgamation: Dance four 6-beat patterns, finish with any 8-beat Whip. 

Total: 4 Sets of 8




Pattern 22: Continuous Whip
Rotating, repeated leverage technique.
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.

Amalgamation: 2 Left Side Passes, 2 Underarm Turns and Triple Rhythm Breaks through “8”.

Total: 4 Sets of 8






























































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