Swing Basics: Rock Step

One of the basic steps used in swing and almost all other dances is the rock step.
Many beginners have trouble with this step because they don’t “change weight”
properly when trying to do it.

In swing the leader usually rocks back with his left foot and the follower rocks away from the leader with her right foot.

On beat 1 the leader steps back onto his left foot.
On beat 2, the leader replaces his weight back to his right foot.

The follower executes the mirror image of the leader.

Below is a video that does a good job of explaining the rock step:



Progress check.

On beat 1, does the leader’s heel touch the floor? (yes/no)
On beat 1, should the leader be able to pick up his right foot?

- – -
On beat 1, the leader’s heel ideally does not touch the floor because then he would not be able to spring back and put weight on his right foot. The left heel, however, could “kiss” the floor briefly.

On beat 1, the leader should be able to pick up his right foot; this proves that the leader has properly transferred his weight to his left foot. This is just a test, normally the leader does not pick up his right foot during a rock step, except ever so slightly.

Note that the rock step may be done directly away from the follower or left toe to right heel (called 5th position). In the video they call his part of the basic rock.

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