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Round Dance Tips by Tim Eum—

Jitterbug Kicks

Jitterbug Kicks, a "double swing" jive figure, is in the popular classic dance, Sunflower by Derek & Jean Tonks, a phase 5 jive. Jitterbug Kicks is one of those unique “gimmick” figures that is rarely done except in Sunflower and remains unphased by Roundalab. Since it is unphased, many cuers choose to cue the individual movements within it, especially since it takes seven and a half measures to do, and that’s a long time not to cue anything.

Start the Jitterbug Kicks facing partner with lead foot free and quickly swivel and step back into SCP, recover to face, touch lead foot toe to instep of trail foot, and then step onto the lead foot. In short -- rock back, recover, touch, step in place; (timing is QQQQ). Note that this is one of the very few instances of doing “Double Swing” in Round Dancing which more often does “Triple Swing” figures and sometimes “Single Swing”. The Jitterbug Kicks continue into the second measure with quickly kicking the trail foot thru (to LOD) and then quickly touching the trail foot to the instep of the lead foot (or pointing side & back toward RLOD) and then following with a quick side chasse (side/close, side) to the man’s right toward RLOD (timing is QQQ&Q). We then repeat these steps twice more, but the second time we will Kick, Touch (or Kick Point) twice before doing the chasse, and the third time we will Kick, Touch (or Kick Point) three times before doing the chasse. To reiterate, here are the steps for the Jitterbug Kicks the way a cuer might say them if cueing the individual movements:

Rock back, recover, Touch, Step; Kick, Point, and Chasse to RLOD;
Rock back, recover, Touch, Step; Kick, Point Twice; Chasse to RLOD ,,
Rock back, recover; Touch, Step, Kick Point Three Times;; and Chasse to RLOD ,,

When a cuer believes most all the dancers know what Jitterbug Kicks are, you might hear the cue alone and nothing else for the next seven and a half measures – so be prepared. Note that you start and end Jitterbug Kicks nearly in the same place on the floor and thus if something goes awry you can simply hold your partner, get the lead foot free and start up again with whatever figure comes after the Jitterbug Kicks. In Sunflower, the figure following is a Fallaway Throwaway.


Tim Eum has prepared many Round Dance Tips for Calls 'n' Cues, WASCA, for his weekly Rocket Rounds email reports, and for other publications. DRDC is grateful for permission to collect and reprint. A Tim Eum archive.

 

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