East Coast Swing is In!

East Coast Swing has always been in.  With roots deep in the Harlem originated Jitterbug, the two dances have become one and the same.  Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley popularized the music and the lively East Coast Swing steps have been in vogue ever since.  One of the appealing features of the East Coast Swing is that the dance works well on a wide-open ballroom floor as well as in a crowded nightclub.

Click Here to Learn How to Dance East Coast Swing

Unlike the Foxtrot, the East Coast Swing is a non-progressive dance.  Like the Foxtrot, the swing is written in 4/4 time with emphasis on the first and third beats.  Swing dances can be written in Single Swing, Double Swing or Triple Swing.  The Single Step Swing includes slow-slow-quick-quick step.  The Double Swing utilizes a quick-quick-quick-quick-quick-quick move while the Triple Step employs quick-n-quick, quick-n-quick, quick-quick steps.

The East Coast Swing includes the use of a back rock step.  The back rock either follows a step, a step touch or a triple step.  The man always leads with the left foot and back rocks on the left foot as well.

The East Coast swing is a fast, exuberant dance.  The partners must maintain control, which is accomplished by the proper handgrip.  In the two hands position, the man extends his arms forward with palms up.  The woman places her hands palms down on her partner’s hands.  The fingers are cupped to ensure a good, solid grip.

The dancer’s arms act as the rudders. They must remain firm to direct the flow.  Floppy or loose arms will prevent following the partner’s lead.  With the swing, rehearsal time is a good idea.  Once it clicks in though, the dancers are in for an especially invigorating performance.

The East Coast Swing necessitates small steps.  For beginners, the biggest error in learning the dance is steps that are too long.  Shortening the steps allows for quicker, more balanced moves.  Our favorite ballroom dancing DVD course teaches this exactly.

Unlike many other dances, in swing dancing, the frame gives way to the counter balancing postures of the dancing partners.  The best counterbalancing is achieved when the partners lean back slightly.  This forces the dancers to keep their feet under their bodies.

The short, crisp steps in East Coast Swing are initiated from the inside of the ball of the foot.  Using the ball to lead the push off or back rock allows for punchy steps.  East Coast Swing is not a toe dance.  Follow the balls of your feet to a fast night on the town.

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