I love swinging
Ah, did the headline get you? Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about doing the Lindy and Swing. I recently took a beginner class in Swing/Lindy. It was so much fun. I learned some of the basic steps and now have a good idea where this can expand. It was great fun.
Many people want to take classes like this but are deterred because they don’t have a partner. In my case my gentlemen friend asked me to do it with him and I said, sure, when, what time? I always wanted to do this.
These classes were at a professional school of dance and they seem experienced in how to set up these classes. They made sure the class was evenly matched between male and female. Each new step is accompanied by rotating your partner. This I believe is extremely helpful because not all partners dance as well as others. Some have trouble with the foot work while others are terrible leads. And there is something very old school about having a man’s arm on the small of your back, holding your hand, and “sending you out”. That is the term used when the man pushes his arm, flings you out on the dance floor and you do a return.
Of course you have to do that in the rhythm of the music. Essentially the dance is broken down to 1-2-Rock. And in the 1-2, you can do a single step, double step, or a triple step. A triple is by far, my favorite step. The last class, I forgot how the double is done. The triple is the easiest step for me to return back to my partner when he sends me out. Though I do have some partners that swing themselves back to far, making my return very difficult because they are so far away.
There is closed position, where the man’s arm is on your back holding your opposite hand. Open position is where you are further apart holding one hand. In open position, you can do many different moves. In the style of this dance, you can lift your knee and slap it with your hand. It can be again singles, doubles, triples. You can sort of twist your legs and swivel your hips. (I did that move well. My leads were telling me how great I looked doing that one.)
The man can send you out, or they can send you out and rotate their position ending up on the other side of you. Or they can send you out and sort or bring you back in with a J motion returning you to closed position.
These are the wonderful things I learned in a short basic class of 4 sessions. It was a LOT of fun. My partner and I look forward to participating in Midsummer night Swing and Lincoln Center to practice my dance moves. (Although he needs some serious footwork practice!) He is a good lead in spite of that. The footwork can be overcome.
I will definitely take more dance classes. Maybe a different dance, or more advanced of the same. But I won’t do it while the weather is gorgeous outside. I’ll save those dance class for the cold weather.
Everyone should try a partner dance. Do it, you’ll love it.