the elusive bounce

jon said:
Wow, does anyone actually use Labanotation for swing dance? I had the impression it had largely fallen out of favor even in the performance dance worlds, in favor of video.
Labanotation is a wonderful thing for defining motion. Video is great for recording overall movement and moves. HOwever if you really want to know what is going on in minute detail, labanotation is still the best way IMNSHO.
jdavidb said:
Still, regardless of whether it's bouncing or pumping, I'd never claim that an elderly couple who is walking through Lindy Hop steps or someone with knee or hip problems is doing "not swing / not Lindy Hop". Those are examples of non-bouncing, non-pumping which illustrate why I am not in favor of such exclusive, constraining idealism.
One thing is a fact, another thing is actively using it to exclude someone.

Even though I might be of the opionion that this couple was not doing Lindy, I would never use that fact to exclude them, look down at them or treat them or their dance as inferior in any way!
double action energy applied at both ends of the stroke
That's 2-way bouncing.
No that is a pump action. Take a water pump, a bicycle pump, any kind of pump... you must apply energy down for the push and energy up for the pull... energy applied in both ways... On/On, On/On, On/On. Or in a binary system 11111111.

People look more like they are just releasing it, allowing it to fall out from the upper body for the downward stroke, catching and absorbing with the knees, ankles and ball of the foot, and then goes the up stroke. Overall, the energy is off, on, off, on like a pump. Bounce would be on, on, on, on.
People aren't "releasing" they are only using a specific amount of energy that ceases to be able to fight gravity and move the body when it reaches a certain point. Gravity exerts its influnce doing the "absobtion" you are talking about and then as the body starts to fall gives it energy on the down stroke. The muscles (mainly in the legs, but including the lower back and abs) absorb this energy and redirect it up and out (forward, back, side, and oblique). It is Off/On, Off/On, Off/On, Off/On or 01010101.
To all beginners: Please don't be intimidated by this discussion into thinking that bouncing is difficult. This discussion has developed into being very technical, in a way that no beginner, unless having a special interest, need to worry about.

Just relax, bend your knees a little, bounce towards the floor on the beats and have fun. Like the banana guy here: :banana: YAY!
What Flat Feet said.

The movement in the Lindy Hop should be completely natural. All this stuff is theory and mechanics... the body should not require the brain to micro-manage it to dance Lindy Hop. As a matter of fact the more thinking you do to control stuff like bounce the further away from the proper movement you tend to get.
The method of recharge for pumping could be passive or active. The recharge in Lindy Hop would for the majority of the time be passive. A pull is not required for a pump to be a pump on the push stroke. Any sort of recharge is all that is required, and the only reason it is required is for the sake of repetitive action. We've both already said the recharge is virtually the off part. At least we got the on, off, on, off part.

The fall out of the body I was referring to is when the foot is not on the floor, the leg is doing the down stroke, heading down to connect to the floor before engaging to catch the weight. I don't push down during this time. The only time a push (of varying sorts) happens is after that floor connection.


Active Member
I've been thinking about pulse a lot lately. It's supposed to be a natural movement, both mechanically and musically. But it can be hard to reconcile that with people saying to pulse or bounce "more" in classes/practices, or pulse seeming like a separate technical element of the dance, apart from the rest of the movement.

Jogging is an interesting comparison. There's a natural bounce to jogging. It's just there. If you take it out, jogging doesn't "work," or at least it becomes a different type of movement. But if you try to add extra bounce, it also doesn't really work. I'm trying to imagine a situation in which it would make sense to tell a jogger to bounce more.



Well-Known Member
Thanks for the clip. Yeah. I've begun to wonder if it's not more a matter of letting oneself bounce than making oneself bounce, if that makes any sense. I mean, the bounce occurs naturally, if we don't hold ourselves back.

Just a thought. does that kinda make sense?


Active Member
Well, the bounce in jogging is natural... as long as you're jogging, not doing something else. So do we create the pulse by moving in a certain way or create the movement by pulsing in a certain way? This has gone from physics to philosophy in a few posts. ;)


Active Member
Yeah, to push a metaphor. If you were trying to teach people to jog and had students that were just walking fast. You might try telling them to bounce to try to get them to jog.

Obviously jogging comes more naturally than dancing to a lot of people. However! Lots of not trained dancers will start bouncing when standing otherwise still and listening to swing music so it's not all unnatural either


Well-Known Member
Well, the bounce in jogging is natural... as long as you're jogging, not doing something else. So do we create the pulse by moving in a certain way or create the movement by pulsing in a certain way? This has gone from physics to philosophy in a few posts. ;)

I think it's possible that it could be either. Use whichever approach helps you visualize, feel and create the movement. :cool:


Active Member
Here's a clip that really shows that standing around and bouncing thing, if you go to around 1minute you can see the tv show host and Shesha bouncing along to the music.


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