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BALLROOM DANCE LESSON
LEADING & FOLLOWING, PART 1: OPEN POSITION

Exercise #3 - EC Swing (or Jive) Basic

In the previous exercise, you learned how to lead and follow basic progressive movements through the use of a weight connection. This exercise will now give you some practice with leading and following both lateral and oppositional movements. The EC Swing (or Jive) basic lends itself well for this exercise, since it contains both of these elements.

If you aren't already familiar with the EC Swing or the Jive basic, your first assignment is to learn it. Use the video clip, or examine the technical breakdown of the components below:

Click to view EC Swing 
Basic Step in open position.

 

EC SWING BASIC STEP - TECHNICAL BREAKDOWN

STEP# TIMING MAN'S PART LADY'S PART
1-3 1&2 Triple step sideways, LRL. Triple step sideways, RLR.
4-6 3&4 Triple step sideways, RLR. Triple step sideways, LRL.
7 5 Left foot back, away from partner. Right foot back, away from partner.
8 6 Replace weight to right foot, towards partner. Replace weight to left foot, towards partner.

 

Note >

Some people like to begin Swing with the triple step as shown above. Others prefer to begin with the rock step. After you learn this exercise, your leading and following skills should be such that there will be no need to predetermine the starting point... it can be decided by the leader on the spur of the moment!

 

INCORPORATING THE WEIGHT CONNECTION

You now know that a weight connection must be established (or maintained) prior to leading a movement. You also know of oppositional movement that a slight "impulse" from the hands and arms is also required. Based on this knowledge, we can now append our breakdown of the EC Swing Basic Step to include lead-and-follow elements, like so:

STEP# TIMING MAN'S PART LADY'S PART
Begin - Open facing position, one- or two-hand hold.
  &

Establish a light PUSH connection.

Establish a light PUSH connection.
1-3 1&2 Triple step sideways, LRL. Triple step sideways, RLR.
  & Maintain PUSH connection. Maintain PUSH connection.
4-6 3&4 Triple step sideways, RLR. Increase PUSH connection on 6. Triple step sideways, LRL.
Increase PUSH connection on 6.
  & PUSH impulse through arms and hands. PUSH impulse through arms and hands.
7 5 Left foot back, away from partner*. Establish a PULL connection. Right foot back, away from partner*. Establish a PULL connection.
  & PULL impulse through arms and hands. PULL impulse through arms and hands.
8 6 Replace weight to right foot, towards partner*. Replace weight to left foot, towards partner*.
  & Establish a light PUSH connection. Establish a light PUSH connection.

* On steps 5-6, remember to move your body towards and away from the connection; not the connection towards or away from your body.

 

THE EXERCISE

Go slowly and meticulously through the sequence of actions as described above, stopping each point along the way to check your connection before moving on to the next. Take your time! This is not a race... If you move through the actions too quickly, you may unwittingly miss certain connections, and you would be training yourself incorrectly. As you improve, you can very gradually increase the speed.

 

JOIN THE DISCUSSION!

Now that you've studied this lesson from cover to cover, it's your turn to share your thoughts with us. Please follow this link to the Ballroomdancers.com Discussion Forum and Bulletin Board, and drop us a comment. Thank you!

 

 

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