Swing Discussion Boards > Question about triple swing

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by lynn, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. lynn

    lynn New Member

    Hi, everyone,

    I was trying out triple swing yesterday (i think it's ECS) and I found myself with a really big problem. I'm essentially "hopping" or jumping from one step to the next because the the music is quite fast. Is there any way to keep me more "grounded" between step transitions?? I saw some instructors dance and it looks like they're just taking their time and no one is doing the "hopping" step i'm doing. Any suggestions?

    Thanks :eek: .
  2. setsuna713

    setsuna713 New Member

    Sometimes it helps me to think less about picking up my feet and more about the weight transfers. You pushing your weight off of one foot and the other is catching it (the middle step of the triple, since it's the quickes, you're not sending all your weight, just enough so you could pick up the other foot). It's like I should only be moving from the knee down, keeping my shoulders/head at the same level as my weight transfer. I hope this makes sense.
  3. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    . . . I would only add to take very tiny or small steps until you have, then you can do what you want, and keep your weight out over your feet . . . drive!
  4. lynn

    lynn New Member

    Hi, Setsuna,

    That makes perfect sense, except.....how do i know the weight transfer has occurred? I think the problem i have is eventhough i can pick up one foot, i don't truly feel the weight has transferred, i'm still kind of balanced in between (does that make sense??).

    I've seen what some people do is during the first triple step, you can see them leaning to the right side (i think that kind of signals that the body weight is on the right foot)?? And then then lean towards the left side during the second triple step. Is this correct?
  5. setsuna713

    setsuna713 New Member

    Basically almost all of the time, your weight is over one foot or the other. One thing my dance teacher does is say "put your weight over your right foot" and everyone does it. If you're fully committed to that right foot, even though both feet are on the ground, then you should be able to pick up your left foot without having to shift your body in anyway.

    Leaning excessively can create problems on its own (i think). You've got me doing triple steps in my office :oops: There's definately a sway type of motion as the body shifts back and forth, but my body never goes past the hip of the foot that i'm putting my weight on (i think).

    As far as the leaning as a signal, think about running..... When you go to run/jog somewhere, you don't start by stepping, you start from moving from your "center" and your feet catch up with your center in order to not fall over. That's why babies run before they walk; they can get their centers moving, but can't control their movememnt enough to slow their center down, hence they run. Dancing is the same way, but as we try to learn "steps" sometimes we forget about the motion of it. Every step is inititated with the putting our center (of mass) into motion and our feet are just keeping us from falling over.

    Again, I hope this makes sense. If you just stand on both feet, you should be able to just shift your center from foot to foot. Everyone is different so it takes a while to get used to how far you have to go to get your center into the foot without falling over, but it will come with practice :D
  6. lynn

    lynn New Member

    Glad to see i'm not the only one doing triplets in my office :lol: ...among other things!

    I think I have no problem with the weight transfer (i can easily lift one foot). The moving the centre bit is a little difficult because so far the steps have been sideways rather than back and forth. Hmm, another question, when you push off one foot, does it feel like you're digging into the floor?

    P.S. Do babies really run before they walk?? I definately have to check that out!
  7. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Moving your center is not dependent on your direction.

    Triple stepping is actually pretty natural. Think about walking and what happens if you catch your toe on the sidewalk. You end up taking a step that is to short, your body weight keeps moving past the stalled foot. To keep from falling you need to regain your balance, that is to say rapidly place your free leg down under where your body currently is and lift the stalled foot and place it in a position to halt your movement. So it is a step followed by to two slightly quicker steps. This is also the key to getting the rhythm right, swinging that triple.


    You'll notice the & and 2 are closer together than the 1 and &.

    Another suggestion is to make sure you are bouncing in a more downward manner (thinking sinking into your step, flexing that knee, and then pushing directionally into your next step) rather than bouncing up (a hopping or skipping motion that is frequently seen in newer dancers).
  8. lynn

    lynn New Member

    Yay, thanks for the pointer, i remember my teacher said for the &2 and &4, we take smaller steps because the rhythm is quicker....that's one thing i need to write down.

    Can you explain what you mean by "pushing directionally into your next step". Unfortunately, the hopping/skipping motion you described is exactly what i'm doing right now.
  9. dTas

    dTas New Member

    wait... you're taking the &2 and the &4 smaller than the 1 and 3?

    from my experience that's backwards than the actually "swing" motion. the 1& and the 3& should be closer together and light with more emphasis on the 2 and the 4.

    1&...2, 3&...4, 5 (light), 6 trying to come down heavy on the 2, 4, 6. you can also think of it as coming down heavy whenever you say the work "step". tri-ple-STEP, tri-ple-STEP, rock, STEP!
  10. chandra

    chandra New Member

    Its sort of like a spilling of your weight from one foot to another. Your weight is all on the first foot to begin with, and as you step onto the next foot, you use the momentum from the first foot. The first foot is where your power is, and you pour your wieght from foot to foot. I think the amount of upper body movement you do is lead to some extent
    (does this make any sense? :oops: )

    Try doing it as slowly as you possibly can, and noticing exactly how you do each shift of weight etc. Then gradually speed it up till you get to the desired speed

    (I dont dance ECS very much, so I dont know anything about the technique your supposed to do, sometimes watching dancers doing ECS to very fast movement it seems like there skipping the triple and just doing 1... 2... rockstep...- is this cheating?)
  11. lynn

    lynn New Member

    *closing door for triplet practice*....

    I remember having this debate with my teacher. He said the 1& and 3& should have smaller steps and yes, the emphasis is on 2 & 4. I can understand the emphasis on 2 & 4 beat because that's what syncopation is - on the usually weak beat.

    But if &2 and &4 have shorter rhythm, doesn't it make sense for these two steps to be smaller??
  12. lynn

    lynn New Member

    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Laughing uncontrollably.....oh, my, my teacher did that just last night!!! But that's a great trip.....*another thing to note down*
  13. lynn

    lynn New Member

    I think my biggest problem is the "pushing up" part. I can't really do it without it seems like i'm hopping...if i bend my knee more, it looks like i'm falling over to one side :roll: ...

    Nope, i don't think that's cheating, i think it's called single swing (is there such term??) When I started learning swing, i started without the triplets too, ahh, the simple times.... wait, if there's single & triple, is there double swing???
  14. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Okay stand up for a second. jog forward a couple steps, then backwards and then sideways. You'll notice that you are pushing yourself in the direction you are traveling with your weight bearing leg. Your head never goes above your natural height, it may dip down but it returns to your neutral point. This is a very different action/sensation from skipping or hopping which is a vertical movement that takes your head above your neutral point.

    Triple step example
    If you are 5'7" standing perfectly straight in a relaxed posture used by swing dances you are going to be shorter than that by an inch or more. So let's arbitrarely say 5'6" when you push forward, backwards or sideways the first thing you do is is flex your leg this will take you down lets say to 5'5". Mid stride you are at your tallest 5'6" again. As your foot lands and your weight passes that leg you don't rise up but continue to lower in height. Your last step in the triple step there is no upward travel but you continue downward to resettle your weight with a height of 5'5".

    Now if you are hopping or skipping your first step is the same as describe above, but your second step has you ascending rather than descending rising to your full height of 5'7" mid stride (or higher), if you are lucky you are 5'6" at the end of that step, if not you are 5'7" or even 5'8". When you take your third step you end up coming back to 5'5" at the end, but may have risen again above 5'6" in mid step.

    For practice I always recommend people practicing their triples in their bathroom mirrors. This way they can see if their head is going up above their starting height.
  15. chandra

    chandra New Member

    thats how i was taught it also, but as Ive only done one or two lessons didnt want to say for fear of remmebering wrong. Every time Ive danced ECS soccially, im pretty sure thats how the guy lead it.
  16. d nice

    d nice New Member

    In the tripping example, your first two steps are smaller and the last step, the one that catches your weight and controls your direction is necessarily larger.

    Yes while the two last steps are faster than the first step they are not both shorter. It is counter-intuitive and at the same time, completely natural. If you don't believe me, shove a co-worker. :lol:
  17. lynn

    lynn New Member

    :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

    For the sake of dancing, i'm sure i can find some willing victims!
  18. lynn

    lynn New Member

    OK, I'm back from my bathroom practice, along with a page full of notes & tips.

    Good news: no hopping was noted (i'll go home and practice with my heels)

    Bad news: so....in the triple step, you lower for the first step (1), rise at &, and lower again at last of the triplet (2), right?? I feel like i'm dissecting the steps :oops: .... does this mean the first and the last of the triple step, you lower to the same height? I vaguely remember some people lower more on the first step or the last of the triplets giving them more of a "syncopated" feeling..... or was i dreaming??
  19. lynn

    lynn New Member

    I promise this will be the last question :D

    When you flex your knees, how low do you go? This is probably a very arbitrary question with no simple/direct answer but I've always wondered how low is "low enough"?? Also, am I right in assuming for the triple step, the weight is on the ball of your foot??
  20. d nice

    d nice New Member

    You are thinking about it too much (my fault, I'm sure). Go shove a co-worker. It'll make a lot more sense when you see it down without thought. :twisted:

    Seriousely though. Shove a co-worker. 8)

    Okay joke is over. You should go down on your first step on count 1, push into your next step which mentally speaking is your count 2, as you pass the midway point between those two counts you start to descend, have a slight hesitation in your downward travel on the second step of your triple-step, and then continue down into your last step on count 2.[/b]

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