This article on swing dancing is by dance teacher and musician Phil Seyer. If you would like to take private dance lessons from him, give Phil a call at 925-888-4392 or visit his private dance lesson web page. Phil Seyer offers lessons in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as in the Sacramento/Roseville/Auburn area.
Sometimes is fun to break from the traditional swing dance patterns.
A cool step that is sure to make a follower happy is the Boogie-woogie swing.
To get into this step, the leader needs to do a “throw out” move to get to 2 hand open position. Once in the open position the leader may do a basic and then starts the Boogie Woogie move after a rock step.
Beats 1 -2 -3 – (Freeze)
After a rock step from an opening position , the leader drops the follower’s hands freezes for 4 beats of music as he extends his right hand upward diagonally in the air to the right while pointing his left hand down. IN the diagram notice how the leader’s body is angling to the left. For good posture the leader should stretch his right side when doing this.
While holding this pose for 4 beats, the leader smiles and
waves his hands dramatically counting out the beats.
Counts: 5, 6
After holding the above pose for four quick counts,
the leader jumps back land with both feet on beat five. He holds this position into beat six. Leader may snap his fingers as he jumps backwards.
Counts 7, 8.
Leader again jumps back (snapping his fingers)
landing again on both feet. Both feet hit the floor on beat 7.
Leader holds position into beat 8.
The follower mirrors the leader. For example, for beats 1-2-3-4,
she stretches her left side side and raises her left hand at an angle.
Her right hand will be angling down. She waives her hands dramatically
on each beat of the music as if counting the beats.
Follower jumps backwards away from the leader on beats 5/6 and
also on beats 7/8.
Since both partners are jumping backward away from each other,
the leaders needs to make sure there is plenty of room. This step is not designed for a
crowded dance floor!
To helps to make the jumping steps really tiny to avoid trouble. Small steps
in swing always look better and there is usually no time due to the fast
tempo for big steps. Note that one of the biggest mistakes beginners make
is taking steps that are just too big!
1 -2 – 3 – 4
After the jumping backwards moves, leader and follower are separated,
but now its time for them to reunite.
Leader takes 4 quick swiveling steps forward toward the follower while
the follower take 4 quick swiveling steps forward toward the leader.
Both partners draw a moon while doing so. Both hands go straight up
and then draw a circle.
At the end of the 4th step leader extends his left hand and does a
“sweet bowling” move to connect with follower’s shoulder blade.
Alternatively, the couple make take a two hand extended position.
After these 4 quick steps, the leader steps side into a basic step, which
may be in single or triple-rhythm.