Sweetheart, Pretzel and Window Moves

Spitfire

Well-Known Member
#1
I asked this same question here some years back, but didn't get any answers...

But these patterns; the Sweetheart, Pretzel and Window moves; I had thought that these were particular to C&W swing. I would use these at non - c&w dances and would be asked if I do country swing. I learned these in c&W and assumed that this was the case, but I've seen these on instructional videos and think I've seen them taught in classes that were general and not c&w specific. So do these moves originate in c&w and picked up in the non - c&w environment or perhaps the reverse?
 
#2
I asked this same question here some years back, but didn't get any answers...

But these patterns; the Sweetheart, Pretzel and Window moves; I had thought that these were particular to C&W swing. I would use these at non - c&w dances and would be asked if I do country swing. I learned these in c&W and assumed that this was the case, but I've seen these on instructional videos and think I've seen them taught in classes that were general and not c&w specific. So do these moves originate in c&w and picked up in the non - c&w environment or perhaps the reverse?
Spitfire, I learned the Pretzel in East Coast Swing--not C&W Swing. There are "No Pretzel" T-shirts out there (with picture of pretzel crossed out), as some people as in the Lindy community don't care for Pretzel moves.

As for Sweetheart, I first started using it doing 2-Step and other C&W dances, but I have used it in Buddy Schwimmer's NC2S...
 

Spitfire

Well-Known Member
#3
Spitfire, I learned the Pretzel in East Coast Swing--not C&W Swing. There are "No Pretzel" T-shirts out there (with picture of pretzel crossed out), as some people as in the Lindy community don't care for Pretzel moves.
Some of the Lindy gals I danced with actually thought they were pretty neat and one gave me some interesting feedback when she said she liked them from me since I lead it properly. But actually I don't use the Pretzel in swing anymore, not much anyway, but I do use it in Salsa where it works very well.

As a side note I find it interesting that many lindy dancers hate ECS and yet that's what they teach in beginning classes before going on to the more characteristic moves in lindy. At least the one's I've expereinced this is the case.
 
#4
Some of the Lindy gals I danced with actually thought they were pretty neat and one gave me some interesting feedback when she said she liked them from me since I lead it properly. But actually I don't use the Pretzel in swing anymore, not much anyway, but I do use it in Salsa where it works very well.

As a side note I find it interesting that many lindy dancers hate ECS and yet that's what they teach in beginning classes before going on to the more characteristic moves in lindy. At least the one's I've expereinced this is the case.
Yeah, I just said "some" don't like it. But a lot of people do!

:bouncy:
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
#5
I don't know where they originated, but I know I've encountered sweetheart and pretzel moves in both ECS and hustle. (Granted, I know that hustle may or may not be considered a country dance.) I think they're fun.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#7
Don't know when they started, but I lead windows in 2 step, waltz, nite club 2 step, and even extermely rarely, WCS. (Skippy would not approve.) I don't do this commonly, but I do use it.
Never learned to lead a pretzel, cause I already get enough flak about a "strong lead".
And "sweetheart"? By that you mean sweetheart postion?
I've looked at books from the 80s on both disco and country western, and I might drag those out.
 

chachachacat

Well-Known Member
#8
I don't like being led through a pretzel. Messes up my hair and it's like manhandling. Bend over. Go backwards. Something in me rebels. I'm not your toy!
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#10
Just took a quick look through "The Complete Book of Country Swing & Western Dance and a bit about Cowboys" 1981
Page 175 has "The Window Pane"
It starts from a "crossed hands" postion, and in this book is part of "Country Swing". Then again, Two Step, Three Step, Pony Step, Cowboy Waltz, etc, are all listed, too.
Course, you can get into this postion from and other postion (if you know how!) in just about any partner dance.
The book also has the Pretzel.


Here's a quote by piano player Fred "Poppa" Calhoun, who played in Western Swing bands in the early days of swing.

"They were pretty simple couple dances: two-step, the Lindy Hop with a few western twirls added for good measure. The Cotton-eyed Joe and Schottische were mainstays back then. BY 1937, the Jitterbug hit big in the West and allowed a much greaer freedom of movement. But the jitterbug was different in the West. It wasn't all out boogie woogie; it was 'swingier - more smooth and subdued."

There's another book published in 1938, but that one, I think, was written when swing was something you did in "square dance".

And I'm STILL trying to find the first published use of the term "East Coast Swing".
 

kayak

Active Member
#11
I don't like being led through a pretzel. Messes up my hair and it's like manhandling. Bend over. Go backwards. Something in me rebels. I'm not your toy!
Your pretzl move must be different from the normal 2-step pretzl. There is no bending over or going backwards in the CW pretzl. The gentleman just has to be really careful to take care of the ladies shoulders.

Of course, the fun part of 2-step is the lady is totally a toy. The whole dance is designed around playing twister together while dancing in a giant circle :p
 

kayak

Active Member
#14
Here is a slow walk through of what a 2-step pretzl looks like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SJGO1DrnZw

I don't lead duck-outs very often. They are a nice safety valve for when the 2-step twister game gets all tied up in a knot. Then, I just create a block with my hand in front of her hips and she backs out under my other hand into an open double-over hand position.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#15
"For example, when I was in high school back in the 60’s I was envious of the two guys at every dance party who would duck under their left arm, turn the lady, then do the fabulous Pretzel! They knew less than 6 moves between them, but that was more than enough. I never failed to notice the line of girls waiting to dance with them. I would watch to see what their footwork was, but it was always a mystery to me. Now that I think about it, they probably didn’t know either. More than likely the two boys did the armwork and used whatever foot happened to be free. Now referred to as "Shaggie Jitterbug", other names include "Street Swing", "Hand Dancing" (i.e., no footwork necessary), "High School Bop", and "Rock’n Roll". As I said before, this style of Swing is universal, but limited in the number of patterns and very tough on the arms."
Earliest mention of the Pretzel I've found so far.
Much more about dancing in Texas here http://www.2step2.net/history swing.htm

...including where and when that non California "Western Swing" originated.
 

kayak

Active Member
#16
Yea, we always call that arm jerking swing style "Aussie Swing" after some Australian cowboy. We see it later in the evenings at the CW dance bar. Funny thing, most couple dance it double or triple time to really fast music or maybe they aren't even listening to the music. Since the whole dance seems to focus on yanking the girls arms off, it is best to be young and pliable. I am pretty sure a light up belt buckle is required attire :D

Done right, the ladies shoulders should never feel tweaked doing a pretzel.
 
#19
I know a few people who use the window in their 2step, I personally don't. I do use the pretzel, however I use in the the country swing and a local dance, the inline. and yeah, if its done correctly, its actually very smooth and looks great with no tweaking of the shoulders. I've taught it in classes, and my shoulders were sore the next day, but that's just from repetition.
 

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