Swing out

#1
I am a newbie and I am a follower. I am learning swing-out and I found a nice tutorial video on youtube (video ID is xC0NrRqKwi4).

I have a question about the beginning of a swing-out. How do I tell the difference between "a regular leader's rock step" and "a rock stop asking the follower to swivel"? That means, when the leader steps his left foot back, I don't know if he wants me to also do a rock step or to do a swivel.

Thank you.
 

bookish

Active Member
#2
Swivels begin (approximately) on the 6-7 of the "previous" swingout or move, so a lead for swivels on the 1 would be pretty abrupt unless you both know what you're doing and have good connection. It's something that fits into the overall movement.

Followers can also just make swiveling part of their movement in swingouts.

With good connection it's possible for leaders to emphasize swiveling or non-swiveling movement, but IMO it takes some sensitivity in both partners and again, it's part of the overall movement not just "on 1".
 

leee

Well-Known Member
#3
@isend, welcome to DF!

As for when follows are "supposed" to swivel, it's whenever they please. I've found that the etiquette is not to lead swivels, that they are a styling choice and are solely the follow's prerogative, though, as bookish says, they do start fairly early (and I'm trying hard to not look like a drunk giraffe when I try to swivel as a follow).
 

bookish

Active Member
#4
As with so many things, "it's complicated."

I too sense a general perception that followers choose swivels and that insisting upon them is rude, although there are teachers who teach that they are led.

However, in my personal experience as a lead, when I focus on not leading swivels, followers generally do not do them (even when said followers are plenty good at swiveling), as if there is a dampening effect. When two bodies move together in a connected way, it's hard for them to not influence each other. So as a lead when I support/enable swivels (which I do think is different from insisting on them) I have an echo of the swivel in my own movement, which could be thought of as leading the swivels...

As I said, this takes some sensitivity on both sides. For a newer follower I would suggest simply doing swivels, until your body "gets" the movement.
 
#5
I am so glad I learned a lot from your replies and experience. (You guys are generous!) I have been dancing (self-taught) for a few years but had not tried couple dance until very recently. It is good to know that swivels can be considered as the follow's prerogative. I will try my best to feel this subtlety and sensitivity in the couple dance.
 

leee

Well-Known Member
#6
As with so many things, "it's complicated."
That's so true -- we're already getting into the weeds here.

For a newer follower I would suggest simply doing swivels, until your body "gets" the movement.
One thing that I've heard the teachers around my scene say is to not make swivels your default move in a swingout... I forget exactly why because I wasn't really paying attention at the time. :I
 

bookish

Active Member
#7
One thing that I've heard the teachers around my scene say is to not make swivels your default move in a swingout... I forget exactly why because I wasn't really paying attention at the time. :I
Well... I don't necessarily disagree, as a "good" dancer should be able to do things in different ways, and deliberately choose which one they are doing. But when you're learning something you need to just do it till you get it. I guess the key is to do something else later, or also, so you don't get stuck ;)
 

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
#8
I have heard from leaders that most followers when they do swivels have an impact on the leader--and not in a good way. Leaders get exasperated when followers do them all the time, as a default. So, I've had to rein myself in and try not to do them every time.
 

leee

Well-Known Member
#9
Well... I don't necessarily disagree, as a "good" dancer should be able to do things in different ways, and deliberately choose which one they are doing. But when you're learning something you need to just do it till you get it. I guess the key is to do something else later, or also, so you don't get stuck ;)
Ah! Yeah, you'd have to do them a lot to be able to do them well. I guess this comes down to how you feel about using social dancing as a time to practice.

I have heard from leaders that most followers when they do swivels have an impact on the leader--and not in a good way. Leaders get exasperated when followers do them all the time, as a default. So, I've had to rein myself in and try not to do them every time.
From personal experience, it impacts me in the sense that I think, "Wow! They're really good/experienced dancers!" Especially if they do them well. Baby swivels don't engender the same sense of awe, though.
 

bookish

Active Member
#10
Off the top of my head I can think of a few ways swivels could "interfere" but it's not about quantity/frequency.

One, some followers have not yet figured out how to move while swiveling, so they end up getting stuck and cannot actually move past their partner in the swingout. Lesson: swivels are just a way of moving your body, and they should be doable with steps or in place.

Two, if the follower ignores a lead for a rotational rock step on 1, the swivel on 2 could be the opposite direction of the turn prep (for an inside turn). With decent connection/body control this can be either avoided or compensated for.

Three, if the follower's connected arm is really rigid/frame-y I guess it could shake the leader about a bit ;)
 
#11
(May I just cut in with a very quick question? There is an 8-count step with the leader behind the follower both kicking their left feet diagonally backward and then forward, and then kicking their right feet diagonally forward and then backward. I wonder what the name of the step is. Thank you.)
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#12
“Up until then the girls always did the back step, a rock step, on the swing-out, just the same as the fellows. Twist Mouth came over with Edith Matthews and said, “Hey Mac, watch this. He swung Edith out about three or four times, and she twisted each time (pivoted left, then right, then left on counts 8, 1, 2, while emphasizing her hip movements) instead of doing the rock step. … It must have happened just before the 1935 Harvest Moon Ball.“

Frankie Manning page 87

Just another way...
Or, as I like to ask, which Lindy?
 

ralf

Active Member
#13
There is an 8-count step with the leader behind the follower both kicking their left feet diagonally backward and then forward, and then kicking their right feet diagonally forward and then backward. I wonder what the name of the step is.
Tandem Charleston, also known as Shadow Charleston (because the leader "shadows" the follower). That's the basic, but there's a huge repertoire of moves in Tandem -- including reversing so that the leader is in front.
 
#14
Tandem Charleston, also known as Shadow Charleston (because the leader "shadows" the follower). That's the basic, but there's a huge repertoire of moves in Tandem -- including reversing so that the leader is in front.
Thank you! I looked up "Tandem Charleston" in youtube and finally realized why I lost balance frequently -- It's because I didn't know I could step my left on the floor (just like a leader's rock step) when I kicked it backward. Learning from youtube is fun.

P.S. I live in Taiwan and couple dancing is not a very common activity here.
 
#16
I have family in Taiwan! What swing venues do they have there? (In case I decide to brave the 13-hour flight.)
simplyswingtaipei weebly com (<-a url)
Here is a calendar for swing lessons and free parties in Taipei Taiwan! The one I attend most often is the TGIF Social Night (8-10PM) held by Swing Taiwan at Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei. :)
 

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