"J" Leads . . .

#21
I'm no expert, but I do find that I use J-leads or something similar in Lindy. From "handshake" position (cross-hand position to some) it's the only way to lead a swingout, but I agree that it's awkward if not done well... sometimes it comes off smoothly and sometimes not. I saw a video of Skye and Freda at the ALHC using J-leads into and out of Texas Tommies, very flashy but beyond me just now... the trouble is that you're giving the follow a clockwise rotation for two counts, then reversing that motion (rather than perpetuating it the way you would in a regular swingout).
 

kayak

Active Member
#22
At a fundamental level, though, a J lead is an extension lead, where a compression lead is ... well, I suppose that goes without saying. But think for a moment about a push break. As you bring the follower in, her center is away from you, relative to her support. But when you compress, her center is closer to you. Where does that change happen? As a rule, it happens in response to your center doing the same thing, and that change being felt through the connection.

Now on a whip, we don't want the follower to change her center; we want her to stay extended. So how is she supposed to know that compression here means "change your center" and compression there doesn't?

There are answers to this question; don't get me wrong. In fact, I believe you can start from the premise that the rotation is correctly led with rotation, and build a completely self consistent framework from there. I don't think you'll end up with the same result, though; the best I would expect is a similarity of look where you deem the differences to be favorable or insignificant.
Wow, that is an interesting answer. There is a lot to think about in it. My experience has been much more pragmatic. I probably lead 70-80% compression just because many ladies don't know the J lead. So I often try a J lead and if she responds, I use it more. If she doesn't, then I just adapt with a different lead.
 
#25
I am a hand dancer (six count slotted swing variant from DC). J leads have not been part of Hand Dance, but my instructor has incorporated the J lead because it is a very effective technique for leading passes with both inside and outside turns. I see it as a normal evolution of dance to incorporate elements from other styles. To me, the J lead is a very important step forward for Hand Dance.
 
#26
Am I the only who thinks we're talking about two different things here?
1. the J-hook
2. a more circular lead, probably from cross-hand

To me, a J-hook is something that can be fun, in moderation, but it would not (and should not) be anyone's basic. This leads to a variation of the basic, but should not indicate what is generally accepted as proper technique for a basic.

What many people are describing, instead, seems like something I would classify differently - from a cross-hand position, winding the follow up to turn after the rock step. This is merely the logical extension of turning one's own body - the difference between rocking straight back, and curving.
 
#27
Am I the only who thinks we're talking about two different things here?
1. the J-hook
2. a more circular lead, probably from cross-hand

To me, a J-hook is something that can be fun, in moderation, but it would not (and should not) be anyone's basic. This leads to a variation of the basic, but should not indicate what is generally accepted as proper technique for a basic.

What many people are describing, instead, seems like something I would classify differently - from a cross-hand position, winding the follow up to turn after the rock step. This is merely the logical extension of turning one's own body - the difference between rocking straight back, and curving.
It was pretty clear to me that everybody was talking about the same thing, until you asked.

I can't remember that I have ever heard a wcs instructor use the term "J lead" in any context other than "leader's left hand connected to follower's right hand, communicating that the follower is expected to rotate to her right". The same technique can be applied from a right-to-left hold, when you want the follower to rotate to her left - but using the term "J lead" to describe it exhibits a bit of dyslexia.

If you believe that the lead should be indicating the travel of the follower's center, then a J lead is exactly right for a whip - come straight this way, then turn over the arriving foot. (See previous comment about losing mind-share; not everyone agrees with the premise here.)

I have no position on what J-lead means to a lindy hopper's ear. The two dances share physics, physiology, and history, but this does not imply that they also share vocabulary.
 
#29
Swinginstyles underlined BODY is the important bit to me here. Yes. I use a J lead when I lead. But its a J body lead.

Stand up and do whip footwork, with you elbow at your side arm bent in leading position. keep it there. what letter does the hand draw? Yup, a J.

So I just keep the hand there, and let the body lead. Technically my hand is following a J pattern, however I am not emphasizing that pattern AT ALL.

Uh, when i lead a whip I allow my hand to slightly drop lower on the end part of the J. I suppose the only intentional letter I draw is very skinny downwards J.
 

kayak

Active Member
#30
Swinginstyles underlined BODY is the important bit to me here. Yes. I use a J lead when I lead. But its a J body lead.

Stand up and do whip footwork, with you elbow at your side arm bent in leading position. keep it there. what letter does the hand draw? Yup, a J.

So I just keep the hand there, and let the body lead. Technically my hand is following a J pattern, however I am not emphasizing that pattern AT ALL.

Uh, when i lead a whip I allow my hand to slightly drop lower on the end part of the J. I suppose the only intentional letter I draw is very skinny downwards J.
Yep, that is pretty close to what I do as well. A little J-hook with a body lead as well. I figure I might as well make the lead a clear as possible :)
 

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