The UI Swing Club Lesson
Created by the UI Swing
Dance Club Executive Board and Instructors
14 Week Outline:
This is a tentative outline and is subject to change.
January 24th, 31st - (17th = MLK)
February 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th
7th, 21st, 28th, - (14th = Spring Break)
4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
2nd, - (9th = Finals)
Beginner Lessons (Monday Nights at 7:30,
Field House Room S515)
Content: 6-Count East Coast, Lindy Hop, 8-Count
Moves, and Transitions.
1st Module: East Coast - 4 weeks
- Your Basic Steps and 6 count moves
2nd Module: Lindy Hop - 6 weeks
- The Swing Out and other 8 count moves.
3rd Module: Transitions
- 2 weeks
How to switch between dances.
4th Module: Polish and
Review - 2 weeks
Bringing everything together neatly.
Intermediate Lessons (Monday Nights at 8:45,
Field House Room S515)
Content: Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa
1st Module: Lindy Hop - 3 Weeks
- The 50/50 Swing Out
Concentration on Frame Matching
- “Posture, Tone, Energy and Direction” (PTED by Joe & Nelle)
2nd Module: Technique and
Open Lead / Follow - 2 Weeks
- Following with Momentum, Connection, Union, and Tension
- Leading with Intention, Incentive, Weight, and Placement
- Linear, Angular, and Vertical Control
3rd Module: Charleston - 3 Weeks
- 4 Basic Charlestons and their Transitions
- Proper Rock steps, Kick steps, and Skip steps.
4th Module: Balboa - 4 weeks
- Learn Balboa
5th Module: Solo Movement and Flair - 2 weeks
- How to look cool and smooth
Workshop and Performance Lessons (Sunday
Afternoons at 2:00pm, Field House 5th Floor)
Content: Learn Popular Routines and
Amazing Things you can do in a group.
Note: These are only
tentative. Classes are limited to Outside events, and Instructor’s Time.
Week 1) Shim Sham (Solo)
Week 2) Jitterbug Stroll
Week 3) Madison Time
Week 4) Big Apple Part 1
Week 5) Big Apple Part 2
Week 6) Lindy Chorus
Week 7) Aerials Part 1,
Week 8) Aerials Part 2,
Week 9) Stops Routine
Week 10) Tornado
Week 11) California
Week 12) Tap Shim Sham -
No Tap Experience Needed.
Week 13) The Jam Circle
- Steals & Hi-Jacks, Double Bug, Multiple Partners
Notes on Dancing and Technique
Frame Matching - The
Posture, Tone, Energy and Direction of Dance.
Flowmentum - The
Dynamics of Momentum, Connection, Union and Tension.
Body Language - The
Communication of Intention, Incentive, Weight, and Placement.
Beginner Classes - (Mondays, 7:30 to 8:30)
5 - 10 min Warm up dancing and
review last week’s moves
35 - 40 min Learn new moves with rotations and
dancing to music between each couple moves
5 - 10 min Technique
10 - 15 min Wrap up with
dancing/review day’s moves
6-Count Module (4 weeks)
Week 1 “Actually, yes, you
- Stepping to swing beat with music
- Triple steps in place
- Triple basic: form and connection
- Open frame, single hand frame
- Technique Exercises on Leading and Following.
- Outside turn (Direction of lead in reference to center of
- Inside turn
Week 2-- “Generation and
integration of moves”
Follow-lead (gear) turn
Two-hand inside turn
Week 3-- “Lead-Follow
Off rock-step turn
Week 4--”Sit Back, Relax
and Enjoy the Ride”
8-count Module (6 weeks)
Week 1- “This is the easiest and hardest move you will ever
A whole class just on the swing out.
Teach beats 1-4 and 5-8 as separate but vitally connected moves,
part of a whole.
Technique--counterbalance, frame, energy, connection
Week 2 - “So, now what can
we do with the swing out?”
variations on 5-8
Week 3 - ”Oh my god, you
crammed how much into the swing out?”
Cross-hand open turn
Week 4 - “Just like riding
a bike, except without a bike and you will forget how.”
Cuddle up swing out
Sugar push swing out
Swing out pass-by
Ornamentation of follow (lead) in swing out
Kick, ball, change
Week 5 - “It is not just a
straight line from point A to point B”
it together: moving smoothly from one form to the next.
Week 6 - “Fancy Footwork
and Strutting with Style”
Footwork Variations in dance.
look and feel natural.
Transitions and Footwork (2 weeks)
Week 1 - “But how do I get
transitions from different count moves.
The Rock Step Foundation.
Week 2 - “Wait, What do I
How to not
look like a deer in headlights.
The Hold Step and the Tap Step.
More Footwork, Review and Polishing (2 weeks)
Week 1 - “Uh-Oh Spagettio,
I messed up, Now What?”
Elegantly correct your foot work
The Skip Step and Double Step.
Week 2 - “Okay, I think
I got it.”
Review of the Semester
6-count, 8-count and Transitions.
Intermediate Classes - (Mondays, 8:45 to 9:45)
Re-visit technique and fine-tune the swing out
Learning to relax and dance lighter at more
Module 1: Fine Tuning the Swing out (3 weeks)
Week 1: Reintroducing
yourself to the swing out
Once through the beginner class, it is time to
evaluate and re-learn the swing out. Many professionals agree that the swing
out cannot be taught correctly at first, that it must be re-learned. We also
need to re-evaluate how the swing out was taught in the past.
- Talk about the importance of
re-learning and re-visiting the swing out. Emphasis that class is the best
opportunity to have “lab setting” where you can experiment and ask for
comments to better yourself and not feel judged.
- Review the basic connection in
Lindy, posture, movement from core, pulse
- Quickly review the basic swing
out to let people get back into the groove.
- Give plenty of time for people
to dance to slow much and evaluate their swing out, stop and ask different
people what they’re feeling in their swing out, what they would like to
change, and see if anyone has questions
Week 2: Going in for the
Now that everyone remembers how to do their
swing out, and has had the opportunity to get back into the lab-setting and
make some evaluations, it is time to start the progression to a new and more
efficient swing out.
Week 3: Finding the full
potential of the swing out
- Retouch on Posture, Connection,
- Direction of Energy (Fully
commit to decision on direction)
Module 2: Technique, Technique, Technique (2
Technique and Lots of Dance
- Perfecting the communication
- Frame Matching with Posture,
Tone, Energy and Direction
- Following with Momentum,
Connection, Union, and Tension
- Leading with Intention,
Incentive, Weight, and Placement
Module 3: Charleston and Variations in all their
glory (3 weeks)
This module will teach students the basic
movement involved, how to piece them together, and create the overall look of
the Charleston dance.
Week 1: Your basic Charleston
How to do the basic partner Charleston and make
it look natural
- Walking, Heel first, Extend the
legs, and Contra-Lateral Arms.
- Pulsing and strutting, Bend at
the waist, the feel of Charleston.
- Connection, keep it low, and
- Side by Side and Partner
- Push Through.
Week 2: Your 4 basic
There is only one Charleston basic but various
forms and positions for them. A quick overview of what they are and how to do
them will be covered.
- Getting In and out of
- Body Lead vs. Arm Lead vs Hand
- Push Through and Pancake
- Tandem and Shadow
- Chase and Cape
- Just keep kicking
Week 3: Charleston
How to move through this diagram:
- The Rock Step - The Foundation
of Keeping Together
- The Kick Step - The Basic
Movement and Feel of Charleston
- The Skip Step - What to do when
you need to switch feet Quickly
Module 4: Balboa (4 weeks)
Week 1: “Intro”
Week 2: “Title”
Week 3: “Title”
Week 4: “Title”
Module 5: Solo Movment and Flair (2 weeks)
Week 1: “Basic solo moves
that anyone can do”
- Fall off the log, Drunkin’
Sailor, Suzy Q’s, Shorty Georges, etc.
Week 2: “Taking it up a
notch, with style and poise”
- Making yourself look natural
- Call and response
Dance and Technique Notes:
Concentration on proper Technique:
This breaks down to having a proper Frame,
learning how things Flow, and how to Communicate back and forth.
Frame Matching - PTED (Joe Demers & Nelle
Posture, Tone, Energy,
Posture - “Translates
The lead must setup and display a posture that the follow and then
match or mirror. Includes compression and leveraging in your posture.
Tone - “Locks Posture”
This is how much you engage your muscles. It is communicated
mainly in the hands. This can hold and lock the posture of your follow. Both
partners don’t have to match the tone, but they do have to communicate it.
Follows should keep as much tone as they are given and relax everything when
they are released.
Energy - “Add and
How much energy are the two of you putting into the dance? Is it
low, is it high, is one person more than the other? This is the core of your dance.
Pulse and movement comes from your energy. Energy can be added, taken, or
dissipated to vary speed and motion.
Direction - “Displays
Along the line of Dance, Across the Line of Dance, Rotation by
your self and around a center, and Vertical Directions all play a part in
Frame. Giving Energy in any of these directions provides what the Follow will
Flowmentum - The dynamics of communicating
For the Follows: Momentum,
Connection, Union, Tension.
Momentum - Once you have it,
flaunt it until it’s taken away, stay on the balls of your feet.
Connection - Keep as many
points of contact and connection that is made, Ground, Eyes, Lead Hand, Frame
Hand, Lead Fingers, Frame Arm, Body, Palm, Shoulders, Back, etc.
Union - Match, mirror, feel,
Tension - Sit back,
relax, and enjoy the ride.
Body Language - Communication with Intent and
For the Leads: Weight,
Intention, Incentive, and Placement
Leads must lead with the full intention to do a move, commit to
Do not yank, pull, or push
the follow, merely give the follow incentive to move.
Weight distribution should
cue moves and emphasize where the weight should be.
- Weight will tell
which foot is to move next.
Placement of feet depends on
the energy, direction, and how much the weight has sunk.
- With the weight low
and tone high, the follow should not move their feet.
- Smooth Ballroom pushes
the body movement with a low center
- Latin pushes the body
movement with a high center
- East Coast Swing
releases the body movement with a low center
- West Coast Swing
releases the body movement with a high center
Main Connection points:
- Metacarpals to
Phalanges, Metacarpals to Scapula, Radius to Tricep, Bicep to Ulna, and
Phalanges to Deltoid.
Expression and Observation
Weight is Trust, Trust is
- The closer your partner is, the more you should lean in.
Otherwise the closer the lower body is. When in closed frame, the follow should
provide about %10 of their weight to the leader. If you are not comfortable
with your partner, don’t let them get that close.
Connection and Technique:
Rolling Counts -
syncopate your triple steps to have more emphases later in your steps.
Hand Trickle - When in
doubt, keep contact as long as possible with the lead.
Road Map for Dance - Do
not lead above your follow’s ability, Do not stylize above your lead’s ability.
Starting Flow - Connect
more than anything else and put weight into each other.
Following Flow - Centers
should be away but shoulders and hips should be square when matching movements
“Swing” Dance - Center,
Weight, Relax, and Fall into your steps
Turns - Follows: lead
with your elbow in the turn, to protect and guide.
Absorption in the Hinge
- The follow’s absorption if any needs to only occur in the hinge such that the
lead feels the same momentum he gave the follow.
Dance as a Conversation (Doug Silton and Kristen
Command vs. Expression vs. Conversation
- Do not command your
follow, express what you think the music is wanting you to do and give that
expression to your follow, the follow will converse with a reply
- Don’t be creepy: Just
like a conversation, stay away from uncomfortable subjects. Very slowly start
to lead more difficult and sometimes more intimate moves. Don’t be creepy.
- Don’t worry about the
steps as much as the rhythm and communication with your partner.
Style, Syncopation and Cadence comes more from a personal choice rather than a