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Round Dance Tips by Tim Eum—

Jive 

BASIC ROCK — Rock apart, recover, chasse left & right. 

This is the basic figure for jive and illustrates both timing and technique.  In round dancing, most jive figures begin with a rock and recover and are then followed by two triples (3 quick steps each).  The timing is 1, 2, 3a, 4; 5a, 6.  Note that it takes six beats (a measure and a half) for a normal jive figure. In the Basic Rock, start with the rock and recover (while facing partner) and then quickly go side/close, side, to the man’s left and then side/close, side, to the man’s right. The chasses are very small almost in place. The steps are done mostly on the “toes” and with a slight “bounce.” The bounce comes from a slight flexing of the knees and ankles. Try using a “jabby-jab” technique. When doing triples, stay up on your toes and lightly jab them into the floor each time you take weight, which gives a quick little bounce to your steps (i.e. jab/step, jab, jab/step, jab). Don’t overdo it. Be more like the bobbing of waves than a jackhammer. 

SHOULDER SHOVE — Do a shoulder “rub” not “shove.” 

After the rock, recover, turn your lead shoulder (man’s left, lady’s right) toward partner and triple together making contact and then triple apart to face.  The contact should rub your partner not slam into her (him).  Rubbing is more sensual.  Here’s another tip: Take only one step and rub, instead of trying to do it with the normal three-step triple.  Thus it becomes, rock, recover, step together, rub, triple apart.  Doing it this way gives you twice the time to rub than the usual way where contact often occurs on just the last step of the first triple. 

CHASSE ROLL — Start like a shoulder shove but progress to line of dance.  Turn only on the third step of each triple. 

This is really only a rock, recover, and three chasses where you turn half on the third step of each triple. The only difficult thing is to remember which way to turn. Just remember to turn in toward partner on the first triple (like a shoulder shove) and then turn and do the other triples turning the same way progressively down the line. 

CHASSE — Take very short, almost in place side steps when doing jive chasses, but do move sideways a little with each chasse. 

The Jive Chasse really is defined as side/close, side, and is usually done in pairs (i.e. Chasse left and right). Many people seem to do them with no sideways movement at all, doing them entirely in one place. You will find that if you move to the side a little you will get a better flow in your dancing of Jive. Move a little left with a Left Chasse and a little right with a Right Chasse, add a little sway and you will really “Swing”  

CHANGE PLACES LEFT to RIGHT — The lady should do most of her turn on the third step of the first triple. 

Starting in left open facing position, rock apart, recover, and triple together while raising the joined lead hands allowing the lady to go under towards man’s right side and doing almost a full left face turn on the last step of this first triple. This is the key point – the lady should turn sharply and do most all of her turn on the last step of the first triple. Many do not. It is all too common for the lady to turn under too early, or to turn too slowly. Done correctly, both man and lady are facing each other and are now ready to finish the Change Places Left to Right by doing a right chasse. If begun facing LOD or DLC, you will finish in closed position or butterfly facing the wall. 

SHE GO HE GO — The only difference between this and Change Places Left to Right is what the man does on the last triple. 

Start the She Go He Go just like the Change Places Left to Right — Do the Rock, Recover and the first triple where the lady goes under, but keep the joined lead hands high. Finish the She Go He Go by having the man turn left-face under the joined lead hands on the last triple to end facing the partner in left open facing position.  You will have traded sides.  If you started facing wall you will end in left open facing position facing center of hall. 

There is no such figure as He Go She Go.  There is only She Go He Go — at least officially.  The lady always goes first!!

 

Tim Eum originally prepared these Tips for
Calls 'n' Cues, (WASCA);
reprinted in the Dixie Round Dance Council
(DRDC) Newsletter, November 2008

 

 


If you would like to read other articles on dance position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit the article TOC.





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