Swing Discussion Boards > WCS - footwork for side pass

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by sync, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. sync

    sync New Member

    Since my first lesson last Wednesday I've been practicing the basic step. We also learned the side pass and I forgot some of the footwork. I was looking at a few clips online and I see people using different footwork. Does it matter what footwork is used on this move as long as you gracefully bring your partner to the other side in 4 counts?
  2. leftfeetnyc

    leftfeetnyc New Member


    I'm guessing that most of the videos you are watching are of competitions. If so most of the variations you're seeing are syncopations...advanced footwork. I find dancing to be much like writing, you need to know the basics before you get to the fancy stuff and breaking the rules. In the end your idea that anything goes as long as she's at the other end by 4 works (and even that is negotiable), but those early basics are important.

    The above link is a video lesson (free!) for beginners. It walks step by step through the basics.
  3. sync

    sync New Member

    I should have mentioned that I was referring to instructional clips. The site you mention is the one that prompted my question. His footwork is very different than what I learned.

    Actually, swingshoes.net is the only site I could find that shows the right side pass, which is what I learned. Other sites only show the left side pass.
  4. heartgrl2k

    heartgrl2k New Member

    Actually, I was surprised when I watched the clips. They're very good, for both lead and follow.

    Sync, maybe it would help if you told us how you were taught or how these clips are different from what you learned.

    It's my own opinion though, that footwork is much less important than the quality of your lead and connection. As long as you keep your steps small, get out of the slot when you're supposed to, and end up on the correct foot at the end of the move, what you did to get there isn't as important (in social dancing).
  5. dTas

    dTas New Member

    i haven't seen the clips but i'm wondering if you're refering to an underarm pass when you say right side pass.

    all in all... any foot work works (even no footworks) as long as the lady knows what you want her to do. if she were blindfolded would she know any difference? if so... then something's wrong and the lead needs to be fixed.
  6. sync

    sync New Member

    I can't remember exactly what I was taught, but I remember they were small steps and the feet did not cross. In the swingshoes video he starts off with a large step and then crosses the right foot over the left on the next step.
  7. leftfeetnyc

    leftfeetnyc New Member

    I'd be interested in seeing some of these other clips, I've never found other free ones online and am too cheap to buy my own. As I follower, I've found Erik's footwork corrolates to what I've learned elsewhere. As for leader footwork, I don't know about it being different from other instructors as I recently started leading and have learned what he shows, but I've only just started lead and havn't watched too many other videos yet.

    If you're ever in NYC or at an event where Erik is teaching you might take a class. I've taken a few and know some other people who think his teaching style is great.
  8. sync

    sync New Member

    It's not the underarm pass.
  9. sync

    sync New Member

    One of the sites is bustamove.com and the other site I paid for and isn't very good.
  10. heartgrl2k

    heartgrl2k New Member

    Your first step needs to be large enough to start the move and move your partner down the slot. If it's too small she won't be able to get past you.

    I wouldn't say that he's crossing his feet so much as just stepping out of the way of his partner and then getting back in the slot.

    But now I've watched it too many times and honestly I've never given this that much thought. I think these videos are really good though, I'm going to use them myself.
  11. sync

    sync New Member

    It's seems to me that you have 2 steps in which to move to the side.

    For the second step I don't understand why he steps in front of this left foot instead of behind.
  12. leftfeetnyc

    leftfeetnyc New Member

    The first step is to get the follow moving and start getting you out of the slot. Step two gets you all the way out of the slot. Step three she's passing you, and step four you move back into the slot. Five and six you anchor.

    To cross in back would be awkward. When you walk naturally and make a sharp turn, you don't cross your foot in back, there's more possibility to trip or lose balance that way.

    UPDATE: After an actual discussion with Erik, I realized I was mentally out of wack and was thinking of crossing in back on 4 back into the slot. And was told that yes, you can take a second step back...just alternative footwork.
  13. dTas

    dTas New Member

    you can step infront or behind depending on what you want to do.

    if you step behind (hook) then you pull your right hip and shoulder rotate down slot forcing the follow to move further/faster down slot.

    if you step infront (cross) then you move towards the follow closing the distance between the two of you quicker. then the follow does not have to move as far to get to the other side of the slot allowing for more time to syncopate.

    it all depends on what you want to show. long movement or syncopations.

    its easier to syncopate when the lead crosses instead of hooks.
  14. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Your job is to get the follow from one end of the slot, turned around, and to the other end of the slot, regardless of what count you are on, as long as you anchor in place (however you anchor) leaving the weight on your R foot, so you can step off again on ct 1 with your L foot.

    The slot belongs to the follow, and the only way you can do "the above," is to get out of the way - off of the slot - then get back on as the follow has passed by.

    If you stay in the slot, you are blocking the path of the follow (and that follow has every right to knock you off the slot), OR you are intending to do a sugar push (or other move that keeps you in the slot) - and there are many of those moves, which you will learn.

    RECAP for what you asked:
    The is a slot - think of it like a railroad track
    You lead the follow from one end
    You get out of the way
    You lead the follow to the other end
    You get back on the slot
  15. sync

    sync New Member

    Thanks for the feedback. I guess at this point I'll just wait until my lesson tonight to find out how the instructors taught it.
  16. Dancelf

    Dancelf Member

    Yes, but not necessarily in the way you are asking.

    If you've just been introduced to the pattern, the immediate goal is to execute the movement so that partner is comfortable and you don't have to think about what your feet are doing. Doing the footwork as your instructor presents it normally has two immediate advantages: it will match what the local community does (so you will feel comfortable to a larger share of the dancers at local venues more quickly), and it will be what your instructor has the most practice fixing (getting you to that comfortable bit sooner).

    Ultimately, it doesn't matter what the feet are doing, because the dance is done with the body - if the body is moving the way it is supposed to, it doesn't matter what the feet are doing. That's why syncopations are possible.

    BUT (and this is big) not everybody agrees what the body is doing. That is, in one school of teaching, the ideal underarm pass has the leader's body moving THIS way (where the natural placement of the foot is HERE), but in another school of teaching, that same pass has the leader's body moving THAT way (where the natural placement of the foot is THERE). Both ways of dancing the movement work, but if you try to dance THIS way with the foot THERE, you are no longer in the natural movement and will have to compensate somehow.

    So the fact that Erik demonstrates footwork that is different in its specifics from what you were taught likely signifies that the body movement he is illustrating differs from what your instructor has in my immediately for you. Not a big deal, as long as you don't get confused.

    [Side note: you will find, if you are getting input from lots of different parts of the country, that the vocabulary which describes patterns is sadly lacking standardization. "right side pass" is one example - Erik's rightside pass is known in other parts of the country as an underarm pass or as an underarm turn. In those areas, "right side pass" refers to a different pattern. To make things more fun, not all of the patterns have names, and which patterns are important enough to merit a name of their own varies from place to place. The "right side pass"-that-isn't-an-underarm-turn doesn't have a name in this part of the world, because it is considered to simply be a variation of something else.]
  17. sync

    sync New Member

    What does the word 'underarm' refer to? I don't understand how it applies to this move.
  18. sync

    sync New Member

    Now I see what 'underarm' refers to. I was only looking at the footwork. This is not the move I learned. :?
  19. sync

    sync New Member

    I learned the 'right side pass' but without the underarm part. It's more like what Erik calls the 'left side pass' but I learned it from the other side.
  20. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I just believe that they have not taught you the rest of the move yet, because it is not the same as a left side pass . . . your body and lead arm takes on a totally different look.

    We could actually take this farther by saying that:
    You step straight back . . . ct 1
    You step off the track with your R foot and your L arm is about face high between you (or close to that area) . . . ct2
    You have indicated that you are probably going to do a six-count move, and you could actually let go of the follow's hand at this point, and any good follow should be able to complete the rest of the move, or any move they want, by themself, and be back, ready to reconnect to be led again into ct 1 . . . regardless of whether they anchor in place - because they don't necessarily have to anchor . . . but more on that once you have a year or so of WCS under your belt! The good stuff is ahead of you . . . stay with it!

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