Anchor Step

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The term anchor step is used to denote a dance step at the end of a pattern that is used while maintaining a connection.[1]

An anchor is not a specific rhythm or foot position. In West Coast Swing both partners place their center of gravity behind the heel of the forward foot on the last two beats (last of each basic, step pattern. Partners feel an away force between them, and are responsible for establishing their own anchor.[2][3]

Different types of anchors will leave the partners in one of three positions: 1) the dancers are not individually centered (with an away resistance), resulting in a heavy active connection (sometime referred to as leverage; 2) partners will be individually centered, resulting in a passive connection; 3) the follower's center point of balance will be slightly forward of being individually centered - resulting in a passive connection.[4]

The term anchor was coined by the Golden State Dance Teachers Association in the early 1960s to clarify the difference between the "resistance" desired at the end of a West Coast Swing Pattern, and the lack of resistance caused by one version of the second set of triples taught circa 1961.[2][5]

The anchor step is the terminating step pattern of nearly all main West Coast Swing dance moves. Together with the slot, it is the most distinguishing element of West Coast Swing when compared to other swing dances.

In its standard form, the anchor step consists of three steps with the syncopated rhythm pattern "1-and-2" (counted, e.g., as "5-and-6" in 6-beat dance moves) and the general directions of steps "back, replace, back (and slightly sideways)" danced almost in place. The leader dances R-L-R feet, the follower dances L-R-L.

At the end of the anchor step the partners settle their weights on the "back" foot, the handhold is typically L-to-R, with leverage connection maintained throughout the step, and there is no urge to go in any direction in the end: the parthers are "anchored" in this terminal position at their respective ends of the slot (hence the name of the step), ready to commence the next move according to the leader's lead.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Archived 2016-08-20 at the Wayback Machine West Coast Swing Basic Guidelines.
  2. ^ a b Archived 2009-03-17 at the Wayback Machine Skippy Blair's Dance Dictionary
  3. ^ "DANCE DICTIONARY "Terminology"". 17 March 2009. Archived from the original on 17 March 2009.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. ^ Swing Dance Encyclopedia. Thomas L. Nelson. 2008. second edition. Authorhouse. page 6.2. ISBN 978-1-4343-5960-5
  5. ^ See Social Dance. Yerrignton, Outlander. 1961. page 38. for anchor like version of the second triple.