Saturday, January 14, 2017

Swing Dancing

Yesterday I went to a swing dance which benefited the band program at my school.  I had never been swing dancing before, and I guess I wasn't 100% sure what to expect.

3/4 time, I guess?

Anyway they had a couple of lessons at the beginning to teach a couple moves.  Here are some of the basic moves we learned.

1: The Basic Step

The lead puts their hands out flat, palm up.  Their partner places their hands lightly into theirs, letting their wrists drape off a bit.  Take one step to the lead's right, and one to the lead's left.  Step away from each other.  Yay, the basic step!

Image result for basic swing dance hand holding
Ballroom dance videos & dance DVD's
I couldn't help but notice that some of the songs the bands were playing were in 4/4 time, so we varied this step to fit the rhythm by stepping to the lead's right, the lead's left, away from each other, and then back into place.

2: Spinning the Lead's Partner

The lead will reach their right arm into the air and around to the opposite side of their partner.  The partner then spins in the direction away from the arm and back.  Pretty simple!

Image result for spinning swing dance

3: Spinning the Lead

The lead pulls the partner's right arm straight up and spins beneath it, clockwise I think (I can't quite remember the direction now...)

4: The Titanic

The lead will reach out with their left hand as their partner pulls their elbow behind their own head.  The lead will pull their elbow behind their head also, so there is one part of their joined arms that is in front, and one that is behind their heads.  Then they will release hands and drag their hands along their partner's arm, and hold their hand when they reach it.

Image result for the titanic swing dance

Then the partner will cross their left hand over the lead's joined hands, and will turn clockwise outward, so that their back is facing the lead but their hands are still joined.

The partner will lean outward, like the scene in the Titanic, and then pull back in.  As they pull back, the lead will catch them.  It's important that the partner puts their bent elbows outside of the lead's arms so they can catch them.

Image result for the titanic swing dance

5: The Pretzel

This one was really hard to master.  The lead places their right hand behind their back, and their partner takes their right arm with their own left arm.  Their other hands are joined in front of them.  Both pull their arms over their heads and pull them back so that the formation is reversed, and the partner has their right hand behind their back, but the two are still holding hands.

Swing dancing was really fun and I hope to go back next year for the fundraiser!!

Image result for swing dance


  1. I love swing dancing, it's so fun! The college I'm going to next year actually has a swing dance club which I definitely intend to join :D

  2. I love swing dancing! The pretzel is my favorite move. :)

    1. It's difficult, but super impressive IMO :)

  3. My family got into swing-dancing a couple of years ago, and now my sisters and brothers are all pretty good! They do some pretty complex moves. I've only just started learning, so I'm still trying to master the basic "eternal cuddle" move. But it's such a fun way of dancing! I especially like doing it to 40's Big Band music.

  4. Does electro swing fall under swing or something else?

    1. Hmm, I don't have much experience with electro swing. I would include it as a subcategory of swing dancing I think--there are similar beats in the music and from what I can see relatively similar basics but with an added flair.