Comments: Single Step Swing

Agenda:   Demo:  basic, inside & outside turn                closed position, open 1 hand, open 2 hand

Summary:  You’re using 6 beats of music, to take 4 steps (single step) or 8 steps (triple step), with a weight change on every step 


Start single step swing, separate lines.
* Practice to counting (solo)
* Practice to music (solo)

* Practice basic open position (counting), 2 handed connection to partner
* Practice basic closed position (counting)

* 2 opens, pull to closed, 2 closed, drift to open, repeat (counting)
* 2 opens, pull to closed, 2 closed, drift to open, repeat (w/music)

* Demo turn, and pivot turns
* Practice SOLO pivot turns (basic, basic, turn, basic, basic, turn)

  • *Waltz: easy to do basic step (box), then gets more difficult.
  • *Triple Step Swing: most versatile, but more difficult right at start.  All patterns use the same basic, so important to learn that correctly.
Consult professionals if we are not accomplishing it for you.

No real strict rules, but wants to be a) standard technique so can dance any part of country, b) look decent, c) comfortable (not contorted)

Number of Steps:
  • With Single Step Swing you are taking 4 steps in 6 beats of music.
  • ((The first L & R are 2 steps in 4 beats of music.))
  • With Triple Step East Coast Swing, you are taking 8 steps in the same 6  beats of music.
  • ((The first L-R-L & R-L-R are 6 steps in 4 beats of music.))
  •  ((You can be dancing Triple Step East Coast Swing and your partner can be dancing Single Step Swing and it "works", because you are both doing the "rock step" at the same time.))


*Small Rock Step --
  • Do NOT take a big rock step. A big rock step (a) looks clunky (b) is a lot more work.
  • *Heel never touches floor on rock step
  • Said another way, the rock step is SMALL, SMALL, SMALL.  Almost everyone takes too big a rock step when learning.
  • *Knees bent, can dance "lower" than normal
Minimize Hopping -- Don't hop up and down a lot. A small amount of vertical motion of the head & shoulders is OK, but it shouldn't look like you're on a Pogo stick.


•    Open Position — This review session uses Open Position  frame—both M's palm up, both W's palm down.
•    Closed Position — W's R palm down, M's L palm up. M's R fingers in closed postion, pointing down about 30 degrees from horizontal,  on W's L shoulder blade.
•    You can “Drift” from open to closed on the Triple steps.

The last class that Ernie and Deb did last year was the Single Step Swing, and we'll continue with that same rhythm.   We'll hope to "upgrade" to Triple Step East Coast Swing later.   Instructors usually start with the Single Step Swing first, because it's a little easier.

Ideally you should know BOTH rhythms, because you can dance Triple Step East Coast Swing up to about 120 or 130 beats per minute (BPM), but once the music gets faster than that, you are then pretty much forced to change to Single Step Swing.

Arm Positions:

M's R arm/W's L arm pretty much same as waltz.
M's L/ arm/W's R is different -- is at W's waist level, M's palm up.
Note on the woman's turns, the man usually moves to the other side of the circle, so the woman does not have to turn so much.
  • Note there are VARIATIONS in the way different presenters show this dance.
  • Some show the "closed basic" done in a 45 degree "vee" position  (probably the technically correct way); others show the bodies more parallel.
  • Some use a rock step that is straight back, others cross the foot behind on the rock step.
  • Most people start with the side steps first, but a few start with the rock step first.

Dancers "live or die" by beats-per-minute (BPM).  Tempo may be "do-able", too fast, too slow.

Often can dance to song that sounds like something else, like cha cha, hustle, two-step, rap.

Ballroom dances often tell you the dance, verbal or a sign. 
Bands don't cater to dancers, so you have to guess.