Learn How to Swing Dance and Simply Fly With Your Feet

How to Swing Dance
Game for some couple-activity this summer? What about swing dance? Read ahead to get some quick pointers on how to swing dance the easy way and have loads of fun with your partner, as both of you move your bodies to the rhythm of swing jazz.
DancePoise Staff
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
Swing Dancing
Dancing can reveal all the mystery that music conceals. ~ Charles Baudelaire

Well, I wouldn't hesitate for even a millisecond before saying that I agree with the above quote! Just imagine, knowing the music forms such as swing, jazz, rock-and-roll, disco, funk or hip hop as we do, wouldn't it have been a pity if dance steps weren't specifically developed to go with the beats, melodies and rhythms of each of these music genres? What a tragic case of incompletion the global cultural scene would have been, had the acoustics been left un-partnered by matching kinesthetics! The swing dance, based upon the beats and rhythms of the swing music, came into being somewhere in the 1920s and underwent persistent development, improvements and diversification till the early 1960s. As a result, a lot of swing dance variations exists in different parts of the world and each variation captures the unique nuance of the geographical region where it was developed and the variations were improvised. That being said, swing dance is a great recreational pursuit for couples and groups and is both artsy as well as fun. So, if you're all geared towards doing something different and fun this warm season, why not try your hands - oops, feet! - at swing dancing? Read right ahead to learn how to swing dance the quick and easy way!

Swing Dancing for Beginners

In the following lines, I'll be laying out the very basic moves and steps of the standard six count swing dance for couples without going deep into the complex details about the variants and different influences. Once you get a hunch of the basics, you can always go ahead, explore and specialize in a particular variation based upon your personal preferences.
  • Step # 1: The correct beginning stance is absolutely necessary for an elegant start. Since it is a couple's dance, the right positioning of you and your partner is very important. The leader should place his (traditionally, the guy leads the dance) hands parallel to his torso and hold his forearm forward by bending his elbows likewise. The height of the arms so extended should be at the same level as his partner's (the follower) waist. The follower should assume a similar stance with her arms and face the leader such that her downward facing palms fit in the leader's upward facing palms and their hands should grasp on to each other.
  • Step # 2: On the first beat, the leader should slightly step back on his left foot, extending not more than a foot's length backwards. This back-step will be accompanied by a gentle push to the follower while still holding her hands as instructed above. The follower would mirror the leader's movement by stepping back slightly on her right foot and giving a gentle push t her partner while holding the first stance. All this should look like both partners are trying to get away from each other in an artistic manner, following the right beats.
  • Step # 3: As soon as the second beat sounds, both partners should shift their weights on that foot which has not shifted position. That means, the leader would rest his weight on his right foot and the follower on her left. This will cause both partners to slightly step forward. Now, the lead should gently tug at his partner while stepping forward while the follower should assume a stance of gently pulling away. The effect of this stance should look like a playfully romantic come-hither-not-now pose, if you get what I mean.
  • Step # 4: On the third beat, the lead should take his backward extended leg to the left and step on it. Rest your weight on your left foot and move your arm in tandem to your foot movement. The follower should mirror the lead's stance and take her right foot to the right, rest her weight and step on it. Arms movement should also mirror the lead's arm movement. You may choose to remain at this stance for the fourth beat or you can repeat the same stance on the other foot and then come back to the original stance between third and fourth beat.
  • Step # 5: Both lead and follow should repeat step # 4 on the fifth and sixth beats, only doing it in the reverse order, i.e., the lead should step right and then left and the follow should step left then right and vice versa.
After you complete the above mentioned set once, all you need to do is repeat the stances mentioned in steps 2 till 5 in the given order. Throw in some individual steps and have fun improvising even as you learn! Remember, as long as the lead goes right with his steps, the follow can never go wrong if she merely mirrors her partner's limb movements and posturing. So, what do you think? Pretty simple isn't it? Practice regularly and you never know where you can end up! The next thing I know, you two could be performing a swing number for the 'So You Think You Can Dance' judges!