Swing Discussion Boards > Very confused.(ECS question)

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Sardoth, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. Sardoth

    Sardoth New Member

    Okay so we started by doing step-step-rock step. And now we're doing triple step-triple step-rock step.

    Now what would you call the step-step-rockstep(12 34 5 6). Would that be single step because my teacher only refers to it as the basic. :/
  2. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Sure. Why not? :)
  3. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    At my studio the triple step is the more advanced version of swing, which you only start on once you get used to the single step. Triple step is closer to comp style jive.

    You could call the single step a basic because that is generally what everybody starts with. To me the triple step is a more advanced version of the single basic step. All single step figures can be converted to triple step figures.

    If that makes sense.
  4. Sardoth

    Sardoth New Member

    Okay, makes a bit more sense now.

    Edit: I meant started by like for three months or so now I was just working on single step and now we're starting triple step as well.
  5. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    It varies from teacher to teacher, so go with what your current teacher calls it. That also applies when you move on to a different teacher: at all times go with what your then-current teacher calls it. One fundamental reason for this basic rule is that all of your teacher's instructions will be based on his (or her) terminology.

    FWIW, be aware that not everybody counts off the same as your teacher (though it is a very common way and there's nothing wrong with it). For example, we start each move with the rock-step and it is the rock-step that is actually led (ie, on the last beat of the previous move, we push so that she will rock back on the next beat) and that marks the start of the move and hence is the "one" count. This also agrees exactly with West Coast and with everything I've read on-line so far (outside of forums) that discusses swing theory.

    So, you can easily get drawn into arguments over whether it's "rock-step triple-step triple-step" or "triple-step triple-step rock-step" in which neither side can understand why the other has it so wrong. As it turns out, once you get started it doesn't matter that much which you use (though it would matter in terms of musicality); you can dance with a partner who uses the other method and the both of you can be dancing merrily along to different counts, just so long as you both rock-step at the same time. I've seen the same thing in the Great Hustle Controversy: whether it's 1-2-&3 or &1-2-3 -- and the answer is also the same.

    I have had lessons from a different instructor who started us out with two triple-steps, but then after that each individual move started with the rock-step. In West Coast, we have the same thing we are taught to start dancing with a starter-step that is basically at least one triple-step (but in practice, they can get to be fairly elaborate, but each one so far still start a triple-step). My interpretation was that those two triple-steps he was starting us off with were actually starter steps, though my interpretation could be off. We were taught the same idea by my second Hustle teacher, which he taught us explicitly: in order to accommodate a &1-2-3 person, start on the &3 count as a starter-step and then from that point on you will be together even though you are running different counts inside your heads.

    The test would be how the steps line up to the music. The music has a definite structure and for every set of 8 beats there is a very definite "one" count. Is it the first triple-step that starts on the "one" or is it the rock-step? (ie, does the first triple start on the music's "one" count or on its "five" count?) You can especially catch this at the end of the intro: do you start your very first triples immediately after the intro or just before it ends?

    BTW, we are also taught the triple-step from the very beginning. Then it isn't until much later that we are also taught the single-step, but only as one of several variations that you can substitute in for the triple. Part of this difference might be the difference between ECS learned as part of Lindy (my case) and ECS taught all by itself (possibly your case).

    BTW also, no criticism implied, nor any "I'm right and you're wrong" attitude intended. I'm just pointing out that different teachers can teach these things differently and so you will encounter people who have learned swing differently than you had. Yet even with those differences the dance does still work.
  6. dTas

    dTas New Member

    i was taught 3 timings for the swing "basic"; Single, Double and Triple

    Single: step, step, rock-step

    Double: tap-step, tap-step, rock-step
    (where the feet are together for the tap)

    Triple: triple step, triple step, rock-step
    (where the triple is similar in fashion to the double time step)
  7. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Yes dtas. That is it. That's what I remember too... :) Now that you mention it...
  8. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    That's been my experience, too. :D
  9. jon

    jon Member

    If you don't actually lead whatever follows the rock step, then the follower isn't going to do that, either.

    I don't find it helpful to break the dance down in this fashion, it tends to create choppiness. The outside observer should not be able to tell what the "start of the move" is by looking at how it's lead, because there should be a lead all the time.

    Unless you're dancing only 8-count patterns - which is awfully unlikely for someone dancing ECS - the first count of the pattern, wherever it's being counted from, will not line up with the first count of the phrase much of the time.
  10. Swingolder

    Swingolder New Member

    I was taught triple step first. Then on to the single and double. The single step reminds me of what we did at high school dances many years ago. We didn't call it swing or jitterbug or anything. It was just dancing!
  11. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Yes, of course there's a lead all the time. We never want to lose connection (though it's a necessary evil in a free spin, but then we recover it as soon as possible). What I was pointing out is that there is a definite lead for the rock-step, with the implicitation that that's a "resync" point for the couple -- especially with a beginning follow, I'll use that rock-step to help her get back in step.

    The rock-step is a transition from one move to the next, the only question being whether it occurs at the beginning or at the end of the move. There are different kinds of rock-steps; eg (making up some of the names here), straight rock-step (straight back in open position), round rock-step (causing her to turn in open), back rock-step (in closed position, she mirrors our rocking back), open-her-up rock-step (in closed, you rock her back much more than yourself, as in preparation for a tuck-turn).

    Which kind of rock-step you lead depends on what? The move it's following (is at the end of)? Or the move that follows the rock-step? The answer is: the move that follows the rock-step determines what kind of rock-step you're going to lead. If we define the moves as always ending in a rock-step, then you will need to have multiple definitions for the same move differing only the rock-step at the end. But if you define the moves as beginning with a rock-step, then you only need one definition per move. For a tuck-turn you always open her up. For a walk-through you always rock her straight back. The rock-step sets the next move into motion and so it just makes sense to group it with that move.

    Out of instructional necessity we must define and learn separate moves. But that does not also necessitate chopiness. We learn how to transition from one move to the next, part of which involves slightly modifying the end of the second triple-step as needed to set up for the particular kind of rock-step that we'll do to start the next move. It is through our transitioning that we eliminate chopiness (or introduce it if our transitioning skills stink).

    A set of six-count moves that started on the 1 will not hit the 1 again until 4 moves have passed. Which is why I specifically referred to the very first 1 of the song right after the intro, at which point our step-count and the music's count should be sync'd up on 1.
  12. jon

    jon Member

    I don't see where you referred specifically to the first 1? What I saw was

    Maybe if there had been an additional comment regarding the first "one" in the music your intent would have been more clear.
  13. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Here's what I wrote (quoting entire paragraph, bolding added):
    You just didn't see it is all.

    Of course, the only "ones" that we would expect the dancer to line up his count on would be at the start of each major phrase. But that would assume he has the musicality (and desire) to do it. His instructor should at least have the requisite musicality, but it can take a beginner a long time to become aware of song structure and to start hearing the phrases. Normally, the easiest one for a beginner to catch is that first one right after the intro.
  14. dTas

    dTas New Member

    finding the "one" for either RTT (Rock, triple, triple) or TTR (triple, triple, rock) is a mute point past the first beat. since the basic is a 6 count basic and the music is written in 8's.

    unless you plan on doing some tricky 8+ count moves in your ECS its going to be a while until you match up with another "one" at the beginning of a basic (either TTR or RTT)
  15. Sardoth

    Sardoth New Member

    Very helpful and insightful. Thanks. :D
  16. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    It will happen on its own in four 6-count moves, AKA "24 beats", AKA "3 8-beat minor phrases".

    Not all songs use the same size major phrase and I haven't studied the matter enough to know off-hand, but I have written in my notes that most dance songs have 48 beats to the major phrase (so I must have read it somewhere). 48 beats is eight 6-count moves exactly. So every eight moves, a strictly ECS dancer will be back on-phrase, assuming that he had started on-phrase right out of the intro.

    Not an absolute necessity, but it's cool when it happens. Like nailing that break right on the head.

    But everybody is missing the actual question:
    In the triple-triple-rock school, is that initial triple-triple at the start of the very first phrase? Or is it simply a starter-step?

    My follow-up question to answer the actual question was a factual one:
    Does his teacher tell them to start right at the end of the intro (and on the "one" of the first major phrase)? Or does he tell them to start in the last four beats of the intro?

    Some unintentional humor there by substituting "mute" for "moot". Music can be muted. And there's also the "Mute" button on TVs to turn the sound off.
  17. randomMysh

    randomMysh New Member

    the way i was taught it, the single-, double-, and triple-step are all ecs basics, which one you choose to do depends on the music speed. if it's *really* fast and you don't wanna do intl. jive, then you do the single step. if the tempo allows it, do whatever you want. i found single step to be kinda awkward for the slower swing songs.
    swing has about a million basic steps since there's a million versions of it, anyway, so i just dance whatever fits :) errr, whatever my partner leads, that is...yeah, that's it.... :wink:
  18. dTas

    dTas New Member

    we're getting into a discussion on phrasing here but...

    aren't phrases every 32 beats? not 24. or to be more exact (if you're talking about breaks) don't breaks start on beat 28 of a 32 beat phrase and last for the last 4 beats?

    then to match the phrase of the music with your basic you would have to hit beat 72.

    but then again i'm a TTR so i see everything either 2 beats ahead of 4 beats behind an RTT. :D
  19. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    I'm just familiar with the concepts of phrases and have worked some of those concepts out on some songs, but I'm no expert. From my research, I've read that phrases are not one set size, but rather can differ between songs. As I said, my notes say 48 is common (which I got from some source), but I do seem to recall 32 as being common. In Lindy and WCS, you have 6-, 8-, 4-, 10-, and 12-count moves that you can use to hit a major phrase and so learning to dance to the phrases becomes more important. If ECS (which I've mainly learned through Lindy) only allows you to use 6-count moves, then you have no control over whether you hit the phrases or not and it becomes a moot point for purely ECS dancers.

    But my question still stands as to whether the initial TT in TTR is a starter step. Does that initial TT start right on the one of the first phrase? Or does it start during the intro such that it's the R that hits that first one?

    Just curious about how the other side lives, in a "non-blaming, non-judgemental way" (which was drilled into us at a "continuous improvement" seminar our company had us go to).

    Actually a better point that many might think.

    If I as a RTT want to dance with TTR, as soon as we can come to an agreement on a rock-step, then it should be smooth sailing from there. And if I already know that she's a TTR, I can just throw in a couple Ts at first as a starter step and it should feel the same to her as if I were doing TTR. As long as we're just dancing for fun, it makes no difference.

    If you're concerned with musicality, then TTR vs RTT can make a definite difference. Assuming that my question of where exactly that first TT starts is that it starts on the one.

    As an example -- sorry to switch dances here -- in a Hustle workshop the teacher brought up the Controversy of 12&3 vs &123. Now, like in ECS, as soon as you can agree on doing the check-step (the &n) at the same time, you should be able to dance together with no problem. But a major part of Hustle is the woman's styling which involves a lot of positioning of the arm up and to the side and wherever. The thing she was pointing out is that styling works really well when it's done on the up-beat, in part because the arm is usually being raised at those times. 12&3 works very well for timing the styling gestures with the up-beat, but &123 works against that timing. Dancing for fun, no difference; dancing to the music, big difference.

    Unfortunately, example-wise, I'm not sure what the ramifications of RTT vs TTR in strict ECS are in terms of musicality.
  20. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Ballroom sawing you start with triple step. Other swing you start with rock step at exactly the same place/time. That's what I learnt.

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