Swing

by BLong206B

Swing is a rhythmic partner dance with a long history. This Article will focus on Triple Time East Coast swing. We'll use a slower swing song so beginning dancers can participate.

Swing, the all-American fun dance. Swing has it's roots in the 1920's American jazz movement. With a huge boost in popularity in the Big Band era, swing saw a resurgence in the Late 1990's some attribute to a hip ad by the Gap in 1998. Swings many forms include Lindy Hop, Jive, Shag, West Coast Swing, Tandem Charleston and Balboa.
We will look at the medium tempo version of the Swing: Triple Time East Coast Swing.

Swing Closed Position

Swing Closed or Promenade Position
Swing Closed Position
Swing Closed Position

East Coast Swing, Open Basic

East Coast Swing, Lesson 1, Open Basic

East Coast Swing, Open Basic

East Coast Swing, Lesson 1, Open Basic

East Coast Swing is a mid tempo modern day swing.  Danced with a lilt (bounce) and accenting the even beats.

 

Note: For Triple swing, the first two steps are close and the third steps moves to the side.  How much you accent the third step (by distance) is a matter of matching the song as well as personal preference.  Please keep your weight forwards a bit towards your partner, no yanking on the rock step.

Swing, Follower's Inside Turn

Swing, Lesson 2, Follower's Inside Turn

Swing, Follower's Inside Turn

Swing, Lesson 2, Follower's Inside Turn

The Inside Turn keeps the partners closer together and is a nice second pattern to learn.

Lady's add your own arm styling and smile, have fun with this step.

 

Note: Lead's open your right side to let the Lady pass close by you, reconnect gently on the rock step. Anyone notice a sliding glass door effect with the two partners?

Swing, Leader's Back Hand Change

Swing, Lesson 2, Leader's Back Hand Change

Swing, Leader's Back Hand Change

Swing, Lesson 3, Leader's Back Hand Change

Now a turn for the Gentlemen. We're not taking a chance of messing up our hair, our turn has the arm low and cool.

 

Note: when the hand is behind his back try to keep it (the hand change) very still, If you move your arms about, the Lady may think she should do something, and it's all about you Sir.

Swing, Closed Basic

Swing, Lesson 4, Closed Basic

Swing music that I use for Teaching and at dance Parties.

Swing Music to Purchase
Old Time Rock And Roll

Nice one to request in public, Many top 40 dj's would have this one.

View on Amazon

Sugar, Sugar

Still love this song

View on Amazon

I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)

I know you're singing along..

View on Amazon

Best Of Volume 1

Jump, Panema, Ain't Talkin' Bout Love... Rock on Diamond Dave.

View on Amazon

Pride And Joy

Feelin' this one.

View on Amazon

Swing, Closed Basic

Swing, Lesson 4, Closed Basic

Closed means that the Leader's Right Hand is on the Follower's Back or Shoulder Blade, closing up the connected sides.

 

Note: This Basic goes forwards and back as opposed to the open Basic's side movements.  The other main difference? we rotate or spin the Closed Basic.

Swing, Closed to Open to Closed Position.

Swing, Lesson 5, Changing dance holds

Swing, Open to Closed to Open Position

Swing, Lesson 5, Changing Dance Holds

Ok, so now that you can dance the Closed Basic and the Open Basic, How do you transition from one to the other?

Funny you should ask...

 

Note: Not a hard idea to figure out, the reason for the lesson is to make it crisper and more controlled. Stay as close to your partner as safely possible, most beginners get too far apart.

Swing, Wrap (Cuddle)

Swing, Lesson 6, Wrap (Cuddle

Swing, Wrap (Cuddle)

Swing, Lesson 6, Wrap (Cuddle)

Fun move, Lady wraps into the Gentleman's right side.

 

Note: Lead this by moving slightly to the left on the preceding rock step and open your Right side to create space for the Lady,  Follower's watch how Betty twists right and left to help this pattern work.

Swing, Tuck Spin

Swing, Lesson 7, Tuck Spin

Swing, Tuck Spin

Swing, Lesson 7, Tuck Spin

Fun spin pattern.  Tuck refers to the compression before the spin.

 

Note: the spin happens in between the two triples. After the Lady triples  Right Left Right, add the spin then finish the Left Right Left Triple.  Gentlemen let the lady get onto her Right foot before launching the spin.

Swing Resources

Links to Swing Resources

East Coast Swing Music
Samples of East Coast Swing Music

Updated: 02/19/2013, BLong206B
 
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Rose on 08/27/2013

I love watching dancing, but I don't think I could do it without making myself look silly.

BLong206B on 02/20/2013

Thanks John, 'preciate the help

John DeFino on 02/20/2013

Thanks for the videos

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