Cuddle (sweetheart) in East Coast Swing

In this article I describe the East Coast Cuddle step sometimes called the “sweetheart.”
It can be done in either the City Swing rhythm (slow, slow, quick quick) or the Triple rhythm:

(slow) (slow) quick – quick
triple step, triple step, rock step.

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This pattern starts in open position, but often, you will first be in what is sometimes call “dance position.” In “dance position,” the follower has her left hand on the leaders right upper arm and the leader has his right hand on the follower’s left shoulder blade. (See photo below.)

swing dance position

After a rock step, the leader can lead the follower to step out on her right foot away from the leader and pivot to the left by applying pressure on the follower’s shoulder blade. This should not be a strong push, but a gentle lead.

If the slow slow quick quick rhythm is used, the leader and follower should be in a two-hand (open position) by the second slow.

After rock the step, the follower is led to step forward on her right foot and starts to pivot to her left. The leader lifts his left hand and draws it across the follower’s face in leading her into the cuddle on he first slow (or first “triple-step” if the triple step rhythm is used). See photo below.

By the second slow (or second triple-step), the follower is in the cuddle position.

Below is a video that goes into some detail about how to do the cuddle.
They start from dance position, move to open position and then execute the cuddle from there. They demonstrate the triple rhythm and refer to the triple step as “one a two” and also refer to it as “side together side.” Notice that the side together steps are not divided evenly in time — the side step is held longer than the “together” step. This fits the triplet swing rhythm used in the music.

Cuddle with Hip Bump

A fun variation not shown in the video is to do a hip bump in place of the rock step. The leader holds the follower close so she dos not try to do the rock step and gently moves his right hip to the side twice in quick quick rhythm as he changes weight to his right foot in place. The follower will soon catch on, smile, and reciprocate by changing weight to her left foot twice while extending her left hip to the left.

Remember, leaders, the follower’s love these little cute variations especially when they involve a romantic connection — even if ever so brief. Be sure to make the hip bumps gentle, and sweet.

Keep in mind that these two hip bumps replace the rock step. After the hip bumps the leader lifts his left hand and leads the follower to step out into open position.

When leading the follower to step out, the leader may apply light pressure with his right arm, using the principle that the lead should come from the lower hand and the hand lifted higher should provide guidance, but not the lead.

Thanks for your interest in:

East Coast Swing Cuddle

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