Swing Discussion Boards > Triple Step, your thoughts at fast tempos

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by jdavidb, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    Triple stepping is a chore for us (my club mates) even at 160 to 180 bpm. What are your thoughts on hitting the triple steps at fast tempos?... 160, 200, 230 bpm.

    Champions seem to almost never do the triple steps in their fast tempo competition videos.

    I know triple stepping is important. We definitely like doing it in slower tempo swing.
     
  2. HepcatBob

    HepcatBob New Member

    Keep 'em very small and very short. I've seen many people that make 'em too big and it throws 'em off. If you have less distance to travel, it doesn't take you as long to get there.
     
    East Coast Bluesboy likes this.
  3. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Triple steps are used to ensure smooth movement through the figures... certain figures at certain tempos don't require the triple step to remain smooth.

    A swing out past 210 bpm doesn't need it, but you should certainly be able to triple step up to this tempo.

    Remember the triple step is swung (the second step lies closer to either the first or last step rather than directly inbetween) and that it is down and into the floor, not bouncing off the surface. You should be pushing out of the floor to create your movement and lifting your feet clear of the floor ratehr than shuffling through.

    IF you still have problems it is probably your posture or the distance you are trying to cover in a triple step.
     
  4. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    That's a great explanation of triple steps, D nice. I see why they call those workshops "Fast Lindy Hop". It's a whole new bag of tricks. I'm glad we got the triple steps right in slower tempos though with our non-class resources. We use them the way you describe to use them, but I like your wording of it.
     
  5. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    I am working on my triple step in cha cha at the moment. Finding it OK in the slow to medium tempos, but when it gets fast, oh boy. You definitely need to keep it very small to keep up!!

    I have a very bad habit of losing my triple step in triple swing and just doing a single swing step, especially in the faster tempos during turns. My instructor picks up on it every time, even though I think I have hidden it from him. Just have to stop being lazy, that's all!! :lol:
     
  6. Jmatthew

    Jmatthew New Member

    Remember that the faster you're used to triple stepping the faster you'll be able to dance w/o the triple step. So if you're dropping triples at 160 you'll have a hard time dancing at all to 200. I've been working on hitting my triples on faster tempos and I'm finding its easier and easier to do moves at faster tempos.
     
  7. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    Awesome replies. Thanks.

    I found a good visual example of what we're talking about here: http://www.dougsilton.com/gallery/videos.php They nail triple steps all through the ALHC 2002 video (the black & white one). They do it in the other one too, but the b/w one is faster tempo.

    We're ballerinas, (me & the other males call ourselves ballerinas too because people laugh whenever we say it) so we've got the agility and speed. We just never have had to do anything like this in pas de deux. It's when we're stuck together face-to-face we get sloppy. Practice will get us there.

    Here's a question that kinda goes along with this thread: If we do something such as bring her back in to closed position (stepping it as rock step, triple step, triple step) then we want to do closed position basic for a few counts, that means we're doing four triple steps in a row. It's hard to find the answer to this in other people's videos. Four triple steps in a row feels weird. Should we keep doing it that way or change it?
     
  8. d nice

    d nice New Member

    You should stick to the basic rhythms used for eights and sixes and when you need to cut something short to four or extend it to ten (or smaller/larger), triple-step where natural and step-step where natural.

    In your example more than two triples in a row doesn't really make sense. So if you are doing four triples that covers eight counts, you should be stepping: step-step, triple-step, step-step, triple-step. Standard eight count rhythm.

    (If you have ballet training then you need to understand that your normal posture and movement style are almost the opposite of what you need to do in lindy hop. Think basketball of some other sport where you are required to change directions instantly and at high tempos, everything down and into the floor, pushing yourself forward. Your limbs should never straighten out completely.)
     
  9. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    It sounds like the follower needs to always be ready to do an unexpected rock step from basic closed position then... not always, but always be ready for it after her LRL triple step. The leader's LRL triple step (ts1) would be awkward to preceed a rock step since it starts/ends on the wrong foot for a rockstep to follow it, so she would have to be watching for a rock step after the leader's RLR / her LRL (ts2) triple step.

    The example was two 6-counts of opposite order put together: bring her in with rock step, triple step, triple step, then 6-count closed with triple step, triple step, rock step. What feels better in that scenario is to bring her in with rs, ts1, (closed position begins somewhere in here) ts2, then rock step, ts1, ts2.

    I'm lovin the anti-ballet aspects of this. I wish I had gotten into it long before age 31. We use the basketball player idea too. We say right now, we move like basketball players, but we're gonna be more like cartoon basketball players in the future.
     
  10. d nice

    d nice New Member

    A six count figure in lindy hop should generally be thought of as starting with the step-step.

    I'd advise trying not to think about rock-steps as a backwards moving step and instead either think of it as two steps in opposite directions, or even better as the rock step simply as a variation of the step-step.

    The follower should be ready for whatever the leader leads. At the begining and begining-intermediate levels it is all aboutpatterns... but as you get better it becomes more about movement not moves... the faster you can get out of this mindset the faster you will excell.
     
  11. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    The idea I'm getting is that the best root or starter step there is would be just a triple step 1 triple step 2 equalling 1&2 3&4 in counting terms and consider the step step or rock step as meaning "this is part of everything else". But... This whole thing about having a starter or a root that we practice repetitively programs us into a rut while it should be a tool that we use only when needed such as glissade or failli in ballet. It's good that triple step, triple step keeps us moving when we flub though. That's only speaking in terms of triple stepping as part of a basic/root/starter step. We recognize (and we're learning) the large, extra set of purposes for triple stepping during everything else.
     
  12. d nice

    d nice New Member

    I'm sorry are you guys doing lindy hop, east coast, west coast, or some other swing dance.

    The starter step in lindy hop is generally considered one of two things either a jockey, which is just a repetition of two, two beat steps one forward one back in a closed position with you and your partner facing mostly in the same direction (your bodies should form a "V" with the open end on the leaders left side and the followers right), or the swing out, the eight count, ten step, move that anchors and defines the dance.

    If you get lost in a move you should return to one of these... not a random set of triple-steps, if for no other reason than the triple step is difficult to sink up if you are from each other, the music or both.

    I see you live in Georgia... how far are you from Atlanta? My friends Sean Morris and Tonya Surface (petite tonya on this board) are headed there real soon to teach a workshop I believe. This stuff is really easy to explain, demonstrate, and teach in person but a little hard to get across in writing. They are great dancers and instructors.
     
  13. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    We're brand new to doing the swingout. At this point, I can't predict when we officially are capable of a good swingout. Maybe after we meet again for another 2 hours? I step it out alone often, so I can probably do it with an experienced lady at about 135 bpm... the basic swingout, no turns or apache conclusions yet.

    An idea of what we do is closed position, sending out, bringing back, sending out and bringing her in to pass by, send out to open 2-hand position. We don't do those as a routine though. We came up with ways to randomize what we do so the leader initiates all of it. That's part of why we excessively triple step until we get more material. We use a group of songs and increment through them from a 113 bpm Tuxedo Junction to a 159 bpm version of C Jam Blues.

    As time goes on, this club will get more free studio time. We might even get to actually be written into the schedule at some point. We want to hire a teacher to visit frequently, but most of our meetings will just be us practicing the teacher's material until the next time the teacher comes. This is an unorthodox birth of a Lindy Hop "class". We're temporarily hacking it with the goal of getting it rolling for real.

    For a Jockey that is two two-beat steps, is it just that the leader goes left(2) right(4) left(2) right(4) and the follower mirrors it? I understand the upper body V position. In ECS, I see people bounce and/or swivel on the 2 & 4. In Lindy Hop, we would omit that bounce, right? Just stay on leader-left for 1 and 2 then right 3 and 4? Do we sorta lean into the lefts & rights?

    I'm about 20 miles north west of Atlanta. I'll go to workshops whenever they come around. I imagine Sean and Tonya might announce their trip to Georgia in these forums. I'll keep an eye out and go meet them whenever they come here.
     
  14. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Yes the jockey is a the leader placing his weight on 1 to the left, sinking down into it on 2, placing his weight on 3 to the right, sinking down into it on 4. And yes the follow is being led into the mirror image of it (right 1-2, left 3-4).

    If you have problems executing the swing out yet, but don't want to break out of the continuous full tempo steps, use the East Coast swing basic starting with the step-step.

    Lindy hop "bounces" but it is into the floor. The same way a basketball player bounces his or her body when they are driving down the court or manuevering around a point guard.

    In the Lindy Hop you don't want to sway or bend your body in half at the waist as a general rule, it creates all sorts of balance and connection issues, not to mention destroying your hard won posture. To add to that any "lean " you have should be actually more of a "micro-lunge" if at all...

    The general rule for this is you keep your shoulders parallel with the floor. No "Tea-potting". Remember the old pantomime song you sung as a kid, "I'm A Little Tea Pot" where you put a hand on your hip, held the other one out bent at a right angle and then bent at the waist to the side?

    Yeah, don't ever do anything like that.
     
  15. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    I've been doing the 2x4 (2 steps by 4 counts) Jockey instead of triple stepping today. I like it. It's half notes where I have to be aware of the tempo to double it up for step steps & rock steps on quarter notes leading into non-Jockey movements with all the triple steps. It's a change that feels awesome. I'm also lovin' the way I can use it to enhance the whole leading/following too by putting unpredictable amounts of 2x4 Jockey steps in there while she's out in fan position waiting to be led back in. I know it's a little negative right now because the girl currently knows she's coming back in with the current set of moves we do. She just can't predict when, and she can't predict if it will be to closed position or a pass by. We will be quick to replace excessive Jockey steps with new things though in order to make sure we don't program ourselves into bad habits. The Swingout is next on the agenda. I don't want for us to get too comfortable with this 2x4 step as being the thing we always loop back to.

    I really appreciate all this typing you do in this thread and the other threads. Loads & loads of amazing details. I love details.
     
  16. d nice

    d nice New Member

    I love details too... but you could probably tell.

    Are you a member of Atlanta's discussion email list, Swing Town?

    If not I'd recommend it, it'll keep you in touch with the local community, what teachers are coming, what dances are going on etc.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/swingtown/
     
  17. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Do you know the Sugar push yet?

    It is a six count step (step-step, triple-step, triple-step), it may be a great intermediate move for you between the continuall triple-steps and the jockey.

    Leaders:
    1. Step back on the left foot. (step)
    2. Step back with the right foot so feet are togther. (step)
    3. Step left foot in place. (tri)
    &. Step right foot in place. (ple)
    4. Step forward with the left foot. (step)
    5. Step forward with the right foot so feet are together. (tri)
    &. Step left foot in place. (ple)
    6. Step right foot backwards. (step)

    Followers:
    1-6 Just follow.... LOL. Just kidding. Sort of.

    1. Step forward right foot. (step)
    2. Step forward left foot. (step)
    3. Step forward right foot. (tri)
    &. Attempt to step forward left foot, because of the compression teh follower will probably end up stepping straight down. (ple)
    4. Attempt to step forward right, but allow the leader to make it become a backwards step. (step)
    5. Step backwards left foot. (tri)
    &. Step backwards right foot. (ple)
    6. Step backwards left foot. (step)

    So the interaction between the partners is that the leader creates a forward movement for the follower. Even though he stops moving backwards, the follower moves forward closing the distance between the two, until there is a good compression that should come inbetween & 4 that makes her stop. The leaders step forward on 4 moves her back. She continues traveling back until the leaders step back on 6 creates tension between the partners which should stop her backward movement.

    You can execute three or four sugar pushes together in a row whil you think about what move to lead next, and because it is such a lead intensive move, if the patrtners get off it is a good way of sinking back up.
     
  18. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    I'm subscribed to the swingtown group as of a minute ago. I'll see what's in there after they approve the signup.

    I have a couple of video demos and some explanations of the sugar push. Sounds like a good one to incorporate next. Thanks for the details on when to go forward & back. I've already been practicing the stepping part of it. Every little thing I can add makes a huge difference at this point.

    We will probably also start doing the clockwise and counterclockwise turns like the ones usually taught as a conclusion to the swingout. We could start by doing them bal-swing style from closed position. I've been doing such turns as a follower would, and it seems like triple stepping through them works fine... rock step, use triple step to turn, triple step.
     
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Tangent to another question from yesterday or the day before.
     
  20. juwest333

    juwest333 Active Member

    d nice gives really excellent explanations! Wish he/she were still around. :(

    If I am dancing to a song near or past the 200 bpm range, I take the triple steps out of my moves altogether. Doing triple steps at that speed just isn't good for your knees.
     

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