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.
appear at the Bronze II level, and consist of sudden changes
of direction in a variety of holds.