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1. Starter Step

The Starter Step has been coined to describe both the pattern that typically begins the dance, and the first pattern that is introduced to students learning the West Coast Swing.

In the simplest of terms, the Starter Step is nearly identical to an East Coast Swing basic or Jive Fallaway Rock. Starting in closed position, man and lady dance two chasses / triple steps, followed by a back rock step in fallaway position. However, the Starter Step in West Coast Swing serves a very different function. Rather than the repeated pattern seen in Jive and East Coast Swing, the West Coast version is danced only once and only at the beginning of the dance, for the purpose of setting the bodies in motion and establishing the basic rhythm. The Starter is then immediately followed by a release pattern such as the Throwout (fig #2) or the Closed Tuck-In Turn (fig #10).

Note that the last two steps of the Starter Step -- the rock step -- become the first two steps of the following pattern, either the Throwout or the Closed Tuck-In Turn.


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