Jive Change Places -- Right To Left
& Left To Right
by Harold & Meredith Sears
There are two "change places"
figures in jive. The cues sound alike, and sometimes we find that we
have done the wrong one, and we're out of position.
When we Change Places Right to
might be facing partner and wall. We blend to semi-closed position
facing line of dance and rock back left (W bk R). We recover on our
trail feet and then dance side/close, side, beginning to turn
left-face (W dances sd/cl, sd, spinning right-face under his lead
hands on the third step of this first triple). We end with a
forward/close, forward (W bk/cl, bk) to left open facing position,
man facing diagonal line and center. The timing is 123a4; 1a2 over 1
Of course, we can begin and end in other
positions and in other facing directions, and we often under- or
over-turn the figure -- for instance, the man might start facing wall
and end facing line or facing center. The cuer will tell us.
When we Change Places Left to
again we might begin with the man facing wall, but this time we need
to rock straight apart with the lead feet, recover right (W rec L),
and then dance side/close, side beginning to turn right-face (W apt
R, rec L, fwd/cl, fwd trng left-face under his lead hand). During the
second triple, we both dance side/close, side, completing our turns
to end in left open facing position man perhaps facing diagonal
reverse and center.
The change right to left and left to right
are persistent problems for many. We are so used to facing the wall
and doing a right to left that if a left to right is cued, we either
thoughtlessly do the right to left and end up facing line when we
should be facing reverse, or we panic and stand there -- "left,
right, what!" So, be prepared to focus in on the details of
Listen to the first
directional word. The man can focus on the word right (as in "right
to left") and know that he needs to do a fallaway rock to semi, moving
to his right. This will aim the partnership in the proper direction and
get the woman moving toward the man's left side. If he hears left
first, he needs to rock straight back with a basic rock, not moving
right but staying a bit to the left of and facing the lady. As he
raises his lead arm, she will be directed to his right side.
Or the woman can hear the word
right first and know she will turn right-face under
lead hands. If the first directional word is left, she will
turn left-face. These directions guide her to the proper side of the
Or the man can focus on the second directional word (as in
"right to left")
and take her to that side. Left -- direct her past your left
shoulder and toward your left hand. Right -- direct her toward
your right side. Quick! Do you know your left from your right? You will
if you are prepared to think about it.
We can't just hear these two cues and think generically, "okay
this is where we sort of do an underarm turn and change sides."
We have to hear that these are
two different cues, referring to two very different figures.
published in the Washington Area Square Dancers Cooperative Association
(WASCA) Calls 'n' Cues, December, 2010.
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