The anchor is arguably the essential element of west coast swing. In your beginning classes, your instructor almost certainly spent a fair amount of time talking about the standard anchor: a triple in third foot position.
This series aims to expand your anchor beyond the basic version. A true anchor is not a specific foot position; it is a connection that occurs at the end of a pattern. So, any combination of footwork or body movement that produces the correct connection can be an anchor. This flexibility—along with the fact that every pattern ends in an anchor—makes the anchor a logical place to begin introducing variations into your dance.
In the following posts, we will create some new shapes for your anchor. We’ll also talk about when you might want to use some of these variations so you can start thinking about how to use your anchor to transition between patterns.
Before we jump in, a quick reminder: an anchor is a two-beat unit of the dance that occurs at the end of the pattern and has both partners stretching away from each other. All three of these elements should occur in every anchor variation. As you’ll see, we’ll work on two-beat variations that end with the partners stretched away from each other and ready to come in for the next pattern’s 1, 2.