Swing Discussion Boards > What Makes a Good Swing Dancer?

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

  1. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    . . . and there is only ONE that you should go to!!!
  2. goldfish

    goldfish New Member

    Re: craziness

    what are these signals? :shock:
  3. Flat Shoes

    Flat Shoes New Member

    Putting the pressure on me here :lol:

    Well, it was like this. A short while ago I took an instructors course in swing. It was not Lindy, and it's not something I would need if I wanted to teach Lindy here. But it was heavyly sponsored, and I thought it whould be interesting.

    It was held at a local dance studio. The course turned out to revolve around this very formalized version of swing. All six count, going back step, tap left, tap right. And it had all these 'syllabus figures, student teacher and bronze'. Very formalized.

    Most of the classes (like 25 out of 30 hours in total) was about learning basic step patterns and the figures. We learned how to walk through the steps as lead and follower, with and without partner.

    The crazy thing was, during all these hours, not a single sentence was said about connection or frame. Not one thing! :shock:

    Can you imagine that? We're supposed to learn how to teach others to dance, and lead and follow is hardly a subject at all. Everything is just about learning and knowing where to walk, turn 1/4 left, 1/2 right etc. :nope:

    And when it came to the exam, suddenly there's a lot about feet placement. It's a big point when doing the back-step that you replace your right foot (for leads) at the exact same place you moved it from. It's important that at the end of certain figures, you end up with your feet a bit closer together etc. etc :roll:

    I mean, this course on teaching swing is as far from how I would teach Lindy as I can imagine. We're supposed to teach people to dance, and we learn how to walk through figures like mechanical robots with no feelings at all. :doh:

    Anyway, I failed. :( And I'm not going to try again, since it will be expensive as **** taking the exam when it's not sponsored. (And as I said, I don't really need it for anything.)

    So, that's my story about my experience with formalized ballroom-like teaching of swing. It was an interesting experience.... and now....
    :banana: Back to Lindy :banana: Back to dancing :banana:
  4. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Let's see if I can help out . . . there are signals, but it's been a very long time since I've heard or said them . . .

    Usually, for a triple step (or double), the couple gets to a face-to-face position . . .

    Then the man moves his hand from the shoulder blade area to the middle of the back . . .

    Then the man's right elbow "closes up" to close up the couple if he has previously opened his elbow, thus opening up the couple from the above position, which could be coming out of something like a rock step.
  5. Flat Shoes

    Flat Shoes New Member

    Re: craziness

    It should come quite naturally when dancing with a good leader. I've lead good follows who had never done Lindy, only Boogie Woogie (mainly 6 count) in Lindy. And I've had the comment they were hardly aware they were dancing eight count moves and not six count.

    There is a marked difference in leading a six and an eight count step. It's in both the speed and the lead on 5 and 6. if you take a basic six count pattern, lead it a bit slower and lead movement on 5 and 6 you can extend it to an eight count pattern, and a good follower should be able to follow without problems and without thinking.

    I'm saying this from a leaders point of view, so maybe followers would like to elaborate?
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yup. There are some cruddy teachers and some abysmal studios out there. I don't want to digress into ballroom-speak, or I'd tell you the story about the first ballroom studio I went to, where the majority of the teachers didn't know as much about proper ballroom footwork as I did. Needless to say, I quit. There are some bad teachers out there, that's for sure. :?
  7. suek

    suek New Member

    Re: craziness

    a follow speaks:

    When I am connected to my lead, and following (my movement is a hair, a breath, a tiny bit of a beat behind -- or after -- my lead's), and I'm keeping my feet under me, guess what? Triple steps are led. No kidding. Inevitably. As in no choice.

    I'll be honest. I experience this rarely. Mostly I keep step step triple step step step triple step as my default rhythm. However, I have been led to triple by (and Damon describes this so much better than I can--I have no physics vocabulary) my weight being pulled through and past my foot.

    What helps me to be lead-able into triples is keeping my bounce consistent, making sure my bounce down occurs only on the beats (not the "ands"), keeping my weight over the balls of my feet and my sternum over my knees.

    Hope this helps. And I trust DNice to clarify my attempt at explication if needed.
  8. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Hiya suek! :D

    Haven't "seen" you in a while and just wanted to give a virtual wave hello...

    How's things? With the business? With dancing? All well I hope.
  9. suek

    suek New Member

    how nice. hi back at you.
    life is very full and exciting. I've been checking in daily (lurk mode) and it feels great to be moved to take the time to post.

    how are things with you?
  10. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Sounds great. I'm happy for you.

    If I'm honest than things are fairly good... it just feels like life's been beating me up for the past few months. Nothing that a winning lottery ticket and three months of paid vacation wouldn't fix though... LOL (<-- typed out because I know you don't like the smilies)
  11. suek

    suek New Member

    now don't cramp your style because of me...I'm used to seeing 'em; and nearly found myself using one recently. but no...not me. yet.


    good night all
  12. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    OK, that demands one... :shock:

    good night sue
  13. Swing Kitten

    Swing Kitten New Member

    I really don't see a much of a difference between smilies and all the internet anacronyms :shrug: seems to all be part of the same vocabulary

    ah well... nice to see you Sue... I trust everything turned out well in Florida? (yes it's been that long since I've talked with you)
  14. suek

    suek New Member

    thanks for asking. mom's mid-treatment and it's really starting to get to her. radiation burning her throat so she can't swallow. chemo doing what chemo does...nausea, fatigue.


    nice to see you too...I've been reading your stuff frequently. did I hear/see you say something about not swing dancing these days? wassup with that?
  15. suek

    suek New Member

    we've drifted w-a-a-a-a-a-a-y off topic huh? well, it's been a mini reunion DF love fest and everyone else is either gagging or shrugging (yup they make emoticons for this don't they?) and will forgive us some day.

    rueful grin
  16. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Okay so what makes a good swing dancer or a good swing dance follower?

    Sue you have those flashcards made?
  17. suek

    suek New Member

    I'm not even sure what you mean, D, but I've been smiling since I read this earlier on my way out the door. You could mean:
    • a card I should make and carry around to remind myself to wait, to be led (I should also add coming forward on the line I'm on, huh?)...we could call this the anti-anticipation card
    • a card full of pearls of wisdom about lead/follow connection that we can market to the newbie or too stubborn to learn anything swing dancer
    • the cards we were joking about making to put on each other's shoulders to use as crib sheets during our upcoming performance
    or some other reference I'm totally not getting
    In any case, thanx for the grin
  18. d nice

    d nice New Member

    The four/five things that makes a perfect lindy hop follower.
  19. suek

    suek New Member

    oh. you mean:
    1. have fun
    2. athletic posture (knees bent, sternum over knees, weight on ball of foot)
    3. frame engaged (not stiff, engaged)
    4. feet underneath body and constantly moving (do footwork)
    5. let the leader initiate/change/halt my movement

    there. simple. not easy, simple.
  20. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    How would triple steps be physically led through a connection by only 1-hand? Something like the 3 through 6 of a sugar push.

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