Popular Swing Dance Steps

  • What is swing dance?
  • Are swing dance moves hard to do?
  • Why is swing dance so popular?

Mastering some swing dance steps will make you a hit on the dance floor and give you a great workout. The Swing is a non-progressive dance that works well on an open dance floor. Swing dancing originated in 1927 with a dance known as the Lindy. Other dance styles, such as the Boogie-Woogie, Hustle, Jitterbug and West Coast Swing are based on East Coast swing dance steps. While there is no right or wrong way to dance the East Coast Swing, it does have certain styles that are considered correct form. The technical elements are documented and governed by the National Dance Council of America, and used in ballroom dancing competitions.

Single Step Swing
Most swing music has a four-count basic rhythm, but the East Coast Swing has a six-count basic rhythm. The steps are rock, step, step, step, and the rock is always on the downbeat.

Step back with your left foot on the first down beat (rock). Step forward with your right foot, up to where you first started (second beat). For the third beat, step in place with your left foot. The forth beat is where you begin to shift your weight back to the right foot, so that you can step with your right foot on the fifth beat. On the sixth beat, begin to shift your weight to the left and back, then start all over from the left step back. For the person following the lead, the steps are done on the opposite foot.

Triple Step Swing
On the beats where you would be stepping, do a step-tap instead of just a step. Slower songs can make the single-step swing seem awkward. Giving your feet something to do makes the dance look much smoother.

Swing Dance Basics
Support and counterbalance your partner's weight with your forearms and by leaning back just slightly, like you are going to sit in a chair. This forces each dancer to keep his or her feet under his or her center of gravity. This also makes it much easier for the lead partner to lead the dance.

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