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wcs/concept/lead projection

It is by no means an authoritative guide, but more of a snapshot of my (novice) current understanding of the idea. Feedback is welcome!

Lead projection in West Coast Swing is the technique of foreshadowing the upcoming movement (pattern) through positioning within the wcs/concept/slot, adjusting the wcs/concept/pitch, rotation, etc at the end of previous movement.

This is also sometimes called "pre leading" or "slot dynamics"

Be comfortable in leading or following basic patterns

Denoising the connection


This leads to one pattern influencing the next, giving a consistent flow to the dance

Reduce the amount of work/force required to lead any given pattern - as the follower is already partially prepared for the movement - only a very light lead is required.

Reduce cognitive load for both leader and followers by constraining the space of possible patterns

Give follower more time to figure out appropriate styling based on upcoming movement

If the follower knows (roughly) what pattern is coming next, it is easier for them to plan musicality and variations that are compatible with the next pattern.

When follower does the projection - it allows them to request (the characteristics of) next pattern


You create a projection by adjusting your position, pitch or rotation at the end of preceding pattern (~through last 2 counts of it)


People often talk about wcs/concept/slot as "train tracks" - you can imagine leader stepping onto one of the rails or staying in the middle as a way to indicate the direction of next pattern to the follower.

If leader is in the middle of train tracks - blocking the way of the follower - that implies a blocking pattern is coming (e.g. wcs/sugar push or wcs/sugar tuck)

If the leader is off to a side - they are inviting the follower to pass on the other side of them

Example: leaders offsetting to their right at the end of the pattern invites follower to pass on their left (e.g. wcs/left side pass) for the next pattern.



Natural projection

it's not necessarily something that you do deliberately

sometimes it happens that you naturally end up, say on a side of the slot as you execute a movement

or over/underrotated

default instinct is to "square up" to the follower on anchor

but you can also interpret that as "naturally occurring" projection

and remain on that side of the slot as you anchor, pick new movement appropriately

arguably can create a better "flow" in the dance


When leader is directly in front of the follower at the end of the pattern (blocking their way through the slot)

this communicates that the next pattern is likely to be something wcs/sugar push or wcs/sugar tuck like

When the leader is offset to the left side of the slot

this communicates that they would be leading the follower to the right side e.g. something like wcs/under-arm turn or wcs/whip

Inspired by Joel Gibson notes on a topic

things people miss

keep hand "in the slot"

when you offset to the side a natural inclination is to stay square and keeping your frame

turns the follower to the side communicating unintended rotation

projecting passes/etc should still communicate liniar intent

it's something that you may deliberately decide to project

ā€Šimportant not do it unintentionally

instead your connection point should stay approximately the same place as if you were anchoring normally

you turn out your body to offset

sufficient? need to turn wrist too

keep connection point neutral

presumably if you gonna lead inside roll from the left or otside on the right - this is where you want to project both side and rotation

whip also requires rotation


up & down (pitch) projection from ESS Camp

subtle - breathe in/out

projection from the follower side

request for pattern on that side

ā€Šimportant to do it at the end bc otherwise leader will match you to get square ish