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Single Swing—

4 beats/measure; 26 - 46 meas/min

In the 1920s, swing dancing emerged as young people moved to the jazzy, bluesy, big band music of the time. In round dancing, the dominant swing rhythm is East Coast or triple swing. However, the figures that we use have mostly come from International style, competition Jive, and most of our cue sheets identify these dances as "jives." There has been some effort to distinguish between triple-swing and triple-jive, with jive being faster, bouncier, and more in place, and swing being slower and with more travel during the triples.

Single Swing is certainly not as common as the triple style, but there are a few perennially popular Single Swings, and Roundalab has begun to standardize and to list some Single Swing figures. Actually, any triple swing figure or jive dance can be danced as a Single Swing. Simply dance each triple or each chasse as a single slow step. Each 6-count figure changes from a rock, recover, and two triples to a rock, recover, step, step (QQSS), four steps over the six beats of music. So visit the Jive page to see many more figures than are listed here, and make the timing conversion yourself. Dance with soft knees, with forward poise, and on the balls of the feet. The music is often fast, but the "slow" counts give the dance an easygoing, swaying, bluesy feel.

Single Swing traditionally consists of six-count figures only, QQSS, as described above, but round-dance choreographers have (of course!) gone beyond this repertoire to include eight-count and even longer figures. But the use of longer figures in single swing has not been standardized and now our conversion formula breaks down. By the "single swing rule," a link to a whip turn (in triple swing: 123&4; 123&4;) would be danced in single swing QQSQQS (still 2 measures). But a single-swing whip turn might alternatevely be danced QQSSSS. If the music is particularly fast, this timing would be more comfortable, or the choreographer might simply want the more easygoing feel. Of course, the whip turn is now 2 1/2 measures long, so you have to know what the choreographer wrote; you can't just dance it "to cues." For another example of a longer figure danced with two different timings, see the pretzel turn below.

In addition to Triple Swing (Jive) and Single Swing, there is (less common still) Double Swing, with six steps or actions over the six beats: rock L, recover R, press L, step L; press R, step R, (QQQQQQ) (of course, the woman begins with her right foot). I don't think I have ever seen a round dance choreographed as a double swing, but I did once see a triple jive danced with some double swing styling. The press actions were done as little, stabbing kicks into the floor: rock, recover, kick, step; kick, step. It looked very good.

Figure Name, Roundalab Phase Level, & Timing

q=quick, 1 beat
s=slow, 2 beats
&=1/2 beat; a=1/4 beat

Steps and Actions That Make Up the Figure

Each description focuses on the man, with the woman's footwork in parenthesis. If a woman's step is not given, it is the natural opposite or follow of the man's. Help: basic dance positions and steps, actions, directions, and abbreviations. Non-standard punctuation: a comma separates two beats of music, a semi-colon marks the end of a measure, and a slash (/) indicates a split beat, two things occurring in a single beat.

Here are some sequences to help you visualize the figure in context.

Basic Rock

phase III

qqs; s

In a facing position, rock apart L (W apart R), recover, step side, -; side, -, In Shout! by the Worlocks, there is a side touch side; american spin with jazz hands - basic rock to low butterfly;;; to a 3-measure neck slide (qqssqqss);;; and a swivel 4 quick to face;
Link Rock

phase III

qqs; s

In left open facing position, rock apart L (woman apart R), recover, and small steps fwd, -; sd, -, to closed position. You are "linking" yourselves more tightly into closed position.

This figure can turn up to 3/8 RF to end in CP facing wall unless otherwise cued. For instance, you might begin in left open facing position LOD and link to CP facing wall.

In Long Tall Sally by Eum, there is a basic rock - fallaway throwaway;;; link rock - fallaway rock;;; progressive rock 4; to a slow side close;
Fallaway Rock

phase III

qqs; s

In closed position, rock back on lead feet to semi-closed position, recover to face partner, step side, -; sd, -, In Jump Jive and Wail by the Schmidts, the dance begins with a swivel walk 4 together;; fallaway rock - fallaway throwaway;;; link rock - change places right to left;;;
Fallaway Throwaway

phase III

qqs; s

In closed position facing wall, rock back L (W bk R) to semi-closed position, recover, step forward L turning slightly LF (W fwd R commencing up to 1/2 LF turn), -, sd R (W bk L) to left open facing position LOD, -;

May be done in other facing directions.

In Rock This Town by Oren, there is a link rock to face wall; ,, right turning fallaway twice,;;; ,, fallaway throwaway,;; link rock to semi; ,,
Throwaway

phase III

ss;

In SCP facing LOD, step forward L turning slightly LF (W fwd R commencing up to 1/2 LF turn), -, sd R (W bk L) to left open facing position LOD, -;

May be done in other facing directions.


Left Turning Fallaway

phase III

qqs; s

In a facing position, rock back L (woman back R) to semi-closed, recover R to face, fwd L turning LF 1/4 sort of like starting a pickup; and side R turning LF 1/4, The full figure makes a turn of 1/2, perhaps from facing wall to facing center.
Right Turning Fallaway

phase III

qqs; s

In a facing position, rock back L (woman back R) to semi-closed, recover R to face, side L turning RF 1/4 sort of like starting a maneuver; and side R turning RF 1/4, The full figure makes a turn of 1/2 perhaps from facing wall to facing center. In Rock This Town by Oren, there is a change hands behind the back to face center; ,, link rock to face wall;; right turning fallaway twice;;; fallaway throwaway; ,, link rock to semi,;;
Change Places Right to Left

phase III

qqs; s

In CP facing wall, turn to SCP and rock back L (W rock back R), recover, fwd & sd L (W fwd & sd R stepping in front of man), -; raise lead hands to lead W's underarm turn and step sd R turning 1/8 LF (W spin 5/8 RF under joined lead hands and step back L) to left open facing position DLC, -,

Note that couple turns about 1/4 LF. If begun in left open facing or butterfly position, first steps will be rock apart and recover. May be done in other facing directions.

In Hooked On Swing by the Windhorsts, there is a side touch side; change right to left - change left to right;;; slow twist vine 4 to banjo checking;; to a fishtail; walk and face;
Change Places Left to Right

phase III

qqs; s

In left open facing position, rock apart L (W apt R), rec raising lead hands, fwd L turning RF (W fwd R spinning 3/4 LF under joined lead hands), -; sd R, -, (you might go from diagonal center back to wall) In Woodchoppers Ball by the Lawsons, there is a change places right to left - change left to right;;; change hands behind the back - change left to right again;;;
Change Hands Behind Back

phase III

qqs; s

In left open facing position, rock apt, rec placing R hand over woman's R hand, fwd L releasing L hnd and turning 1/4 LF (W fwd R turning 1/4 RF) to tandem position M in front of W placing L hand behind back, -; change W's R hand to M's L hand and step side and back R turning another 1/4 LF (W sd & bk L turning 1/4 RF), -, (half turn for each) In Seventeen by the Scotts, there is a change R to L - change L to R face wall;;; change hands behind the back twice;;; rock apart recover to SCP walk 2;
Jive Walks

phase III

qqs; s

Rock back to semi-closed position, recover, step fwd, -; fwd, -,
Shoulder Shove

phase IV

qqs; s

In left open facing position with lead hands joined rock apart L (woman apt R), rec R turning RF (woman LF), step sd gently pushing left shoulder to her right shoulder, -; turn to face and step back drawing shoulders away, -,
Pretzel Turn

phase IV

qqs; sqq; ss;
or
qqs; ss; ss; s
In SCP normally facing LOD, rk bk L (W rk bk R), rec R to fc, keep ld hnds jnd sd L trn ½ RF to bk-to-bk, -; Sd R twd LOD, -, X rk L, rec R; Sd L trn ½ LF to fc, -, sd R to left open facing position WALL, -;

In Jump, Jive, and Wail by Schmidt, we dance right turning fallaway twice;;; pretzel turn;;; shoulder shove ~ change hands behind the back;;;

In Fat Cat Boogie by DeChenne, we dance a basic rock to CP,;; pretzel turn;;; ,, fallaway throwaway,;;




dingbat




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