Pitiful Swivels -- Help!

Switches & Swivels

Switches & Swivels, as taught and danced by lindy hoppers I've learned from, are entirely different - But if done correctly look almost exactly alike.

Swivels are done as many postings above have described - while switches are actually kick-ball-changes.
will35 said:
This is just an accident, but the pivot, I believe, is one of the most important things in Tango. We mostly pivot with the feet together, stepping with the outside foot, pivoting on the inside foot. Opposite from the Army way.
Actually thgis is the military way. If I am going to do a right flank, I step with my left foot, pivot on my right to face right...

Unless what you are talking about is that in a marching to marching pivot (flanking, oblique, or reverse order) the feet stay apart, while in Tango they are brought together.


Well-Known Member
Hmm, dnice. I'm not sure, but it sounds like what you're describing may be what one of my dance teachers calls military turns (not sure if that's the right name). Step forward on the left, for example, make a sharp and precise turn to the right, often 180 degree change of direction. I'm not sure what will35 was referring to, but the military turns I've done in ballroom are much, much different than ballroom tango (foxtrot, waltz, quickstep, etc.) pivots. I'm still learning pivot technique. Heck, I started a thread to ask dumb questions about them! :lol: So I may be mistaken in this instance. But there are two totally different things, sometimes called by the same name, which adds to the general confusion. :?

Let me see now.....When a follow is taking a swivel step with her right foot, she points her toes to the right as she steps forward - sets weight on it - and swivels her foot to turn it leftwards as she moves her left foot into place to step on it. Her weight can be forward if she likes Savoy style or it can be piked back for Hollywood or Dean Collins style.

For switches, she needs a counter pull from her partner and she needs to pike back. As her right foot moves forward, she is doing the 'kick' portion of the kick-ball-change. Keep the kick low, and no-one will even see that it's a kick.
Then she does the little hop required to un-weight her left foot and move it forward and to the left. For that fraction of a second her weight is shared between her lead's left hand and the ball of her right foot. (her weight is not OVER her right foot - that's why there will be a strong pull on her lead)This is the 'ball' part of the kick-ball-change. The 'change' part happens every time her left foot is landed in a new spot.

The kick part can look VERY sexy if the right foot actually slides forward along the floor. No one will ever see that it's a kick-ball-change if it's done correctly.
You're right. The military way is what I described. What was I thinking? But it really doesn't make sense does it? If you are turning with a lot of speed when you are jogging, you use the outside foot to keep you from flipping over. Like the veldrome floor is banked like a cup.
The description of switches is an excellent description of the Hollwood manner. Weight sharing (counterbalance), piking, and hopping are not a requirment for other styles of switches.

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