Pitiful Swivels -- Help!


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Okay, guys. I'm working on ECS and WCS technique, and like to add the occasional swivel, either led or unled, just spice things up. Problem? My swivels are yucky! :x Any suggestions on how to make them neater, and sexier, too, while we're at it? :D
If you have time to practice, try to do it in front of a mirror. Put your left hand on your lower hip. Take both feet and twist to the left, then right. Do this without moving your waist up. keep your body from the waist up facing forward. This makes your swivels look soooooooo smooth. It takes a bit of practice, but the outcome of your swivels is awesome! :D
I assume you mean outside swivels. Remember, the swivel occurs on the supporting foot, and you want each swivel to end with both feet facing the same direction (what swinginboo said).


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Yes, I was referring to outside swivels, but I know a lady who can add in some mean inside swivels, as well. I'll take whatever advice I can get. I'm that bad. :x :lol: :D
A good technique for refining one's swivels is to do all of the above suggested things together, and if you can, it can be useful to practice holding onto a bar or something of that nature and sitting way back (ie piking, especially if you are into Hollywood type Lindy stylings). Being able to take a lot of your weight off for practice helps refine your footwork. And always remember to keep your thighs together!
Very good point LindyKeya... I wouldn't have thought to mention thigh position... it would definitely through off your swivels to have your thighs apart.

Welcome to the Forums! Hope to hear more from you! What part of Utah are you from?

Piking back is key to making swivels look good. Don't bend your knee a whole bunch, (I know you can't do it with a perfectly straight knee).


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Hi CCKitty! Welcome to the forums! :D

Thanks for the swivels help. I'm not sure what you mean by piking back, though. And do you think there's some bend/straighten action involved in swivels, or do they stay at the same angle throughout?
Piking back

Some dancers despise piking back, which means that both the lead and the follow have their centers of gravity slightly behind their feet.

Speaking in generalities it means that if you let go of each other, you will have to take a quick step back or you with fall over.

Again in generalities, if you picture the couple at 7 & 8 you will see their feet closer to each other than any other part of their bodies (except the hands that they are holding to each other).

I enjoy this type of swing out, very exciting. As a follow, try to give your lead some weight to pull but not too much. Your lead will have to be into this style or he won't be happy.

About the knee bending......Let's assume you are pulled in to your lead on 1. (Some don't pull til 2) You must bend your knee to pick up your right foot. You will put your right foot down a little closer to your lead, with your toe pointing out,as far to the right as you can, and with your knee as straight as you can. This is when piking back is put to good use, it will make the straighter leg position easier.

Then do the same thing again with your left foot on 2, only point your left toe to the left as far as you can....... your right foot will return to the forward pointing position as you are stepping past it with your left foot on 2.

Typically you might want to swivel on 8 with your left foot. This swivel is a little different because you will not be stepping forward, (I turn my body to the left as I swivel this one slightly behind me.) The straight leg is not good on this swivel.
Welcome CCKitty... I enjoy your winking signature! hehehe It's very nice to have you with us... the more swing dancers the better I'd say ;) How long have you been dancing?
I honestly don't know where I was going with that.

It makes perfect sense that there wouldn't be salsa kittens, polka kittens, or even tango kittens... Cats and kittens are part of the swing culture slang... not that many people use it very much. eh, it's nice to have another Lindy Hopper on board!


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Salsa has full-grown, prowling tigresses. Think not? Go to any salsa club. :lol:

Um. What does this have to do with swivels? Hmm? :lol: :lol:
pygmalion said:
Salsa has full-grown, prowling tigresses. Think not? Go to any salsa club. :lol:

Um. What does this have to do with swivels? Hmm? :lol: :lol:
Have you ever tried swiveling on all four paws at once - it's not easy I tell you. Gotta keep the claws retracted or you'll damage the dancefloor.

Sarah <more of a lynx, really>

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