Splash – Swing Class (October 29, 2011)

Four Count Swing: The Basic

Four steps on four counts, even timing. 1-2-3-4.

Count “One, Two, Three, Four.”

Leads: 1 – Step L with L foot, 2 – Replace R foot, 3 – Step behind R foot with L foot, 4 – Replace R foot

Follows: 1 – Step R with R foot, 2 – Replace L foot, 3 – Step behind L foot with R foot, 4 – Replace L foot

Follow’s Underarm Turn (Back to Place)

On 1, the lead raises his left hand and gently guides the follow into an outside turn under her right arm. Rock step in swing out position. On 1, the lead guides the follow into an inside turn back to place. Rock step in closed position.

Lead’s Underarm Turn (Back to Place)

On 1, the lead ducks under his own left arm (an outside turn for him), mirroring what the follow did in the Follow’s Underarm Turn. Rock step in swing out position. On 1, the lead turns himself (an inside turn) back to place. Rock step in closed position.

These turns technically work, but they feel awkward.

Let’s make them feel better.

Follow’s Underarm Turn (to Swing Out Position)

On 1, the lead leads the first half of a Follow’s Underarm Turn. Rock step in swing out position. On 1, the leads guides the follow back to her home with an inside turn, but trades places with her in the process. Now we’re in swing out position, rotated 180°. Doesn’t that feel better?

From here, there’s a lot we can do, but for now, let’s just go back to the basic and slowly retrieve our partner in closed position.

Lead’s Underarm Turn (to Swing Out Position)

First half is the same as the first Lead’s Underarm Turn, second half can be anything from swing out position. For now let’s make it a Follow’s Inside Turn, as in the Follow’s Underarm Turn to Swing Out, and close up again.

Turning Basic

After all these turns, the regular basic can start to feel pretty boring. Let’s make it more exciting.

Do the basic step, but this time, the whole couple turns a little bit clockwise each time. Start small, and work your way up to whatever degree of turning feels comfortable. Throw in some underarm turns if you want.

Now that we’ve mastered the basics in closed position, and the turns out of closed position, let’s introduce some new swing moves.

Waist Slide

On 1, the lead leads the follow forward to pass by his right side, as he passes his right arm over their swing out arms and turns counterclockwise past her right side. Her right arm slides along his waist, and back into his left hand. End in swing out position, rotated 180°.

Lead’s Underarm Turn

Same footwork as the waist slide, but inside of passing his right arm over the swing out arms, the lead ducks under the swing out arms. End in swing out position, rotated 180°.

Follow’s Inside Turn (Loop Turn)

We did a Follow’s Inside Turn after Follow’s Underarm Turn. Now try the Follow’s Inside Turn after a Waist Slide or Lead’s Underarm Turn. On 1, the leads guides the follow past his right side with an inside turn, trading places with her in the process. End in swing out position, rotated 180°.

Follow’s Outside Turn (Arch Turn)

We did a Follow’s Outside Turn out of closed position (which we called the Follow’s Underarm Turn). We can also do a Follow’s Outside Turn from swing out position. On 1, the leads guides the follow past his left side with an outside turn, trading places with her in the process. End in swing out position, rotated 180°.

Leads: Be very clear with this lead, as the follow will default to walking forward past your right side.

Follows: Default to walking forward past the lead’s right side unless you are led otherwise, as the majority of the one-handed swing moves start that way (i.e., Waist Slide, Lead’s Underarm Turn, Follow’s Inside Turn start that way, the Follow’s Outside Turn is an exception).

Continuous Swing Out

After any of these moves, you can return to the basic and retrieve your partner, but you can also chain these moves in a continuous swing out. Try alternating the Follow’s Inside Turn, Follow’s Outside Turn, Waist Slide, and Lead’s Underarm Turn.

Now we have two basics in closed position (Basic, and Turning Basic), two exits from closed position (Follow’s Underarm Turn, and Lead’s Underarm Turn), and four swing moves (Follow’s Inside Turn, Follow’s Outside Turn, Waist Slide, and Lead’s Underarm Turn), and can effectively dance to Street Swing music. Now let’s look at some variations in timing, so we can dance these moves to more music.

Six Count Swing: The Basic

Four steps on six counts, SSQQ timing. (12)-(34)-5-6.

Count “Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick.”

Foot placement is the same as in four count swing, on 1, 3, 5, and 6.

All the swing moves we learned in four count work in six count.

We didn’t get to triple step swing today, but here’s a basic description, if you want to try it on your own.

Triple Step Swing: The Basic

Eight steps on six counts, QQQ,QQQ,SS timing. 1-and-2, 3-and-4, 5-6.

Count “Tri-ple-Step, Tri-ple-Step, Rock, Step.”

Leads: 1 – Step L with L foot, “and” – Close R foot towards L foot, 2 – Step L with L foot, 3 – Step R with R foot, “and” – Close L foot towards R foot, 4 – Step R with R foot, 5 – Step behind R foot with L foot, 6 – Replace R foot

Follows: 1 – Step R with R foot, “and” – Close L foot towards R foot, 2 – Step R with R foot, 3 – Step L with L foot, “and” – Close R foot towards L foot, 4 – Step L with L foot, 5 – Step behind L foot with R foot, 6 – Replace L foot

All the swing moves we learned in four count work in triple step.

For practice swing music, see Dancing Tunes – Street Swing and Dancing Tunes – East Coast Swing.

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