Here I describe the basic step for the East Coast Swing and also present a video from the Tropical Balloom. You will notice there are two versions I present here. One version has been dubbed “City Swing” the other is often called Triple Step Swing. Both styles are useful depending on the music and how much energy you have.
By the way, if you live in the Bay Area or in Sacramento or near Roseville, I offer private dance lessons in swing as well as many other partner dances like: salsa, cha-cha, (cha-cha-cha) merenge, waltz, Foxtrot, bolero, nightclub two step, hustle, wedding first dances, and more. For more info, call me at 925-eight-eight-eight-4392 or see my dance lessons web page.
The easiest way to dance swing is in what is called open position. You hold hands with your partner and take a slow step to the side in one direction and then another slow step back to where you came. The leader steps side, left on the first slow and then side right on the second slow. The follower steps to the right on her right foot and then back to the left on her left foot.
The leader can pretend he is holding two beer cans. The follower can put her hands into the the imaginary beer cans. — like two puppy dog paws reaching into the leader’s hand Both partners should have good muscle tone and push gently against each other. As the leader steps to the left, it is helpful if he gently rotates his hands counterclockwise and to the left as he step left, then clockwise to the right as he steps right. This movement of the hands should be subtle and not exaggerated. Not all leaders do this but it is really helpful to the follower and makes it easier for her to feel the lead.
After the two slow steps, there are two quick steps. The leader rocks back on his left foot on the first quick and then immediately replaces his weight back on his right foot on the second quick. This is an easy step once mastered, but it is often difficult for beginners who often do not change weight on the rock step.
Here’s a video that does a pretty good job of showing the City Swing style of East Coast Swing as well as the triple step style. Note that after demonstrating the SLOW SLOW QUICK QUICK, rhythm, the dancers in the video show the triple step style (where side-together-side replaces the slow step to the side).
If you want to learn more swing steps, I would be glad to help you with private dance lessons. I’ve teaching partner dance since 1995 and have complete a course in teacher training from Diane Jarmalow of the Dance Teachers College. For more info, give me a call. 925-eight-eight-eight-4392 or see dance lessons in Northern California, Sacramento, Roveville, Auburn, Bay Area, Emeryville, San Francisco.