Easiest Swing Dance to Learn?

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by pygmalion, May 25, 2004.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Okay, so for a total and complete swing dance newbie who has had no lessons, what is the easiest dance to pick up from scratch? And could he/she have fun the first time out at a swing dance, without any previous training? Could he/she fake it somehow? And, on the other end of the spectrum, what is the most difficult dance to learn, in your experience?
     
  2. suek

    suek New Member

    I learned with what the teacher called Street Style ECS (basically single time east coast: step step rock step). It was very easy to pick up.

    Beware though: the transition to lindy hop was challenging.

    Going from step step rock step to step step triple step step step triple step at double the tempo had me nuts for a couple of months.
     
  3. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Is there any wonder why I struggled with the stuff that you and Damon worked on with me . . . everything was the opposite of what I hae strived to learn for ten years!

    However, I am still practicing that stuff, and am going to take a few group classes here in Modesto. I'd like to get back w/you and Damon down the road when Lindy feels more natural to me.

    I agree . . . the transition IS challenging :shock:
     
  4. suek

    suek New Member

    Any time, Vince. (Gentle push:) It was when I started taking privates w/D that I started to get a real foundation in this dance. Don't wait too long.
     
  5. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I missed this, and responded to you in another post . . . I won't wait too long . . .
     
  6. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Single time ECS is easiest to learn, but better to learn triple time ECS / WCS/ lindy. The transition between these dances is easier then going from single time IMO.
     
  7. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    By far and away the single time.

    It's a good step for someone who is new to learn, but it's not one I care much for doing anymore.
     
  8. suek

    suek New Member

    Yeah. Me too. Once LH got in my blood, and bal, and charleston. It's a musical thing, for me. Single time ECS doesn't swing. Y'know?
     
  9. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    For me to do it at all the music has to be just right otherwise it has a rather ackward feel to it. Triple time ECS is much smoother, but even this has downgraded for me somewhat since I started doing WCS three months ago.

    Now, if the lindy scene here ever makes a recovery I'll give that a shot as well; I can do some, but not enough to feel complete with it.
     
  10. suek

    suek New Member

    I'm having a serious deja vu here. If I've given you this info before, please forgive it. Here's www.azswingnetwork.com / Phoenix area. Great LH scene. Give yourself the gift and give Dabs and Binky my love.
     
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Single time ECS is awful for me. Too slow. Always has been. I preferred double from day one, and lots of people think that's the most difficult tempo. Maybe I'm just weird. :oops: :lol:
     
  12. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    A good part of which swing dance was hardest or easiest could well depend on the order in which you learned them.

    So in the order that I learned them:

    First, single-step ECS. We caught on fairly quickly, so, even though this was the very first, I tend to think of it as one that especially a follower can pick up quickly.

    Second, Lindy Charleston. We were first taught this in the afore-mentioned ECS class. It took me a week of practicing it at home to start to get the hang of it. This would be a bit difficult for a beginner; I'd say second hardest.

    Third, WCS. This was our first introduction to triple-steps, but I don't recall that being any problem for me. Took a while to get the hang of whips, but then I tried it again after having been away from WCS for a year and a half and was immediately doing whips on the dance floor with no problem (except maybe with a bit of an East Coast accent). Also, I just returned to intermediate-level WCS class last night after a 2-year absence doing entirely new moves for the very first time and my partners were expressing their relief that they finally had a partner who knew how to do the moves. Plus, I've always found the WCS lead easy because I just apply my Aikido training.

    So, WCS was a bit harder than ECS at first, but it has been the easiest to retain. At the same time, I find it to be more difficult to improvise in WCS.

    Fourth, ECS w/ triple-steps. Thanks to my WCS training, this transition was very easy to make. Without WCS, it would have been a bit more challenging, but not by much.

    Fifth, Lindy. The hardest. This is the dance that I continually go through manic-depressed cycles over; sometimes I feel I'm doing great, and then I get deeply frustrated over how terribly I'm doing. Although my WCS whips helped me with the swingouts at first, I have a terrible time on the dance floor timing the lead for them and transitioning into and out of them smoothly (I'm still very dependent on my partner's skill here).

    And if I've been away from it for a while (used to take only a couple-few weeks), then I'd be lost for a while until I would get the feel back again. Years absence from WCS hardly put a dent in my ability to dance it (except for having forgotten some of the fancier moves I had learned), but I have to keep in almost constant practice with Lindy.

    At the same time, I also find it more natural to improvise in ECS and Lindy on the dance floor.

    Sixth, Balboa. A bit of a challenge at first. I haven't worked on it anywhere near as much as on Lindy, but it doesn't seem to be as hard.
    BTW, one night we danced Balboa to the "Triples of Belleville" song and it was surprisingly challenging.
     
  13. Jmatthew

    Jmatthew New Member

    Our general method for teaching follows to lindy is based off single time east coast swing, since it makes a nice smooth curve up into Lindy if taught right.

    Start with single time ECS in the standard open position.
    Then teach triple time ECS in the standard open position.
    Then teach triple time ECS in closed, to a throw out.
    Now all you have to add is the middle step-step and a good follow can do a pretty passable Lindy swing-out.

    Doesn't always work, but for a quick 20 minute rush-a-follow-to-lindy sequence it works often enough. :)
     
  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    That sounds great, jmatthew. So I'm not hopeless after all! :oops: :lol:
     
  15. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    So Pygmalion how is the lindy going? Okay Jmatthew that is for the follows. What about the leaders and lindy. I actually now remember that when I started learning lindy way back I liked starting lindy with the throwout. I could get that pretty well, and it would start me in teh right place rather then starting from open position. Also I found it a good way as both my partner and are could get in synch with ecah other and the music. I have actually seen a lot of leaders start in closed position with a throw-out. These are old memories so am I correct with these thoughts/impressions? Anyone?
     
  16. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    I'm still wondering what a swingout from closed looks like. I'm guessing we do 3 through 8 as a regular swingout. Is the 1 & 2 just back rocks for both, or is there some other sort of directional encouragment?
     
  17. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Actually, it's quite common for us; we do it quite a bit in our intermediate classes.

    Basically:
    1 2 -- Rock step. The lead doesn't move back on the rock step, or at least keeps it small, while at the same time leading his partner to move back on the rock step by extending his right arm back.

    3 & 4 -- the lead "cuts her off" by moving in front of his partner and squaring off to her, while keeping her from moving forward (keeps his right arm extended back and his left hand ready to offer stubborn resistent should she try to start moving forward [I've had to use this with beginning WCS follows when they try to rush the lead on 1]).

    At this point, you're in the same position as in a swingout from open, so the rest of the move is also the same.

    Part of our swingout, which has been criticized here, is that we start to draw our partner towards us during the 4, though that could also partly be the effect of relaxing the extension we got in the 3 & . So I will state here that whatever you normally do at 4 you should be doing at 4 here too.

    Hope that made sense.
     
  18. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    Yeah that makes plenty of sense. Now I have one more way to get out of closed position. Thanks Dwise
     
  19. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    You know 3/4 people at the swing dance tonight said that I should learn WCS and lindy. I love smooth dancing, unlike jitterbug/ECS. So, WCS, lindy and AT are on my dance class list. For lindy I can do the throw-ouit from closed, I can do the let the follow go down the slot and underam turn and a couple variations thereof, getting into charleston via an inside turn...but the elusive swingout still eludes me. :(
     
  20. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    When introduced to the beginning class, the instructor says that it's the hardest move in Lindy. He also alludes to what my old WCS instructor said about the whip (very similar move): after you've done it about 500 times you start to get the swing of it.

    It's not that bad, but it is one of those things you just have to do over and over again until you develop the feel for it. As a lead, I've had the most trouble fitting a smooth leading of it into a dance. But I'm getting there.
     

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