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East Coast Swing

Elastic & Swingy

Swing’ is an all‐American, couples, rhythm dance consisting primarily of 6‐Beat and 8‐Beat patterns that cover either a circular or slotted area on the dance floor. Swing incorporates the use of underarm turns, side passes, push breaks, and whips, plus ‘4‐Beat’ rhythm breaks, syncopations, and extensions of the same.

The dance is extremely easier to learn than the original forms such as Shag, Lindy, West Coast. It teaches the essential swing rhythm (doubles and triplets) in a simplistic form. It can be learned in a few lessons. Can be easily taught at weddings etc. to dancers who have never danced and who will have a lot of fun doing it. In addition, it is a lot of fun to do due to its simplicity. It is an easy intro to Swing dance in general.

The dance was created by dance studios inbased on the Lindy Hop. Lindy Hop was felt by dance studios to be both too difficult and too unstructured to teach to beginning dancers, but there was market demand for training in Swing Dance. The dance studios had initially dismissed Lindy Hop in particular as a fad. East Coast Swing can be referred to by many different names in different regions of the United States and the World. It has alternatively been called Eastern Swing, Jitterbug, American Swing, East Coast Lindy, Lindy (not to be confused with Lindy Hop), and Triple Swing. Other variants of East Coast Swing that use altered footwork forms are known as Single Swing or "Single-step Swing" (where the triple step is replaced by a single step forming a slow, slow, quick, quick rhythm common to Foxtrot), and Double Swing (using a tap-step footwork pattern).

 It is danced under fast swing music, including rock and roll and boogie-woogie

East coast swing describes a triple step swing, which traditionally is done to 4/4 time. Tempo is 136-144 beats per minute.

East Coast Swing is a Rhythm Dance that has both 6 and 8 beat patterns. The name East Coast Swing was coined initially to distinguish the dance from the street form and the new variant used in the competitive ballroom arena (as well as separating the dance from West Coast Swing. While based on Lindy Hop, it does have clear distinctions. East Coast Swing is a standardized form of dance. It can be said that there is no right or wrong way to dance it; Lindy Hop was never standardized and later became the inspiration for several other dance forms such as: (European) Boogie Woogie, Jive, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing and Rock and Roll.

In practice on the social dance floor, the six count steps of the East Coast Swing are often mixed with the eight count steps of Lindy Hop, Charleston,

The rock step starts on 1, 2 the first triple step starts 3a4 and the second on 5a6.

In single time style (used with faster music) the triple steps are replaced by single steps, so two beats of music are used for each single step while each step in the rock (R) step (S) is still completed in one beat, finishing the cycle in six musical beats. Some instructors will teach vocalizing the single time style as" "Quick. Quick. Slow. Slow. " or "Back Step. Slow. Slow."

There is the choice to start with triples or with a rock step, however if you check the above chart where a triple step starts on a 1, 2 you can see that the pattern progresses and wraps back around. The choice of starting with a triple or a rock step does have musical consequences as music has phrasing with hits that often happen on 12, or 24 or 36... This means that dancers who choose to start with a rock step you will probably find themselves on a rock step on every new phrase. Those who start with a triple will start with a triple on each new phrase. An advantage of starting with the triple step is that dancers can more easily change their foot work right at the start of the musical phrase.

Main Steps: Basics
  • Basic Turning to Right
  • Basic Turning to Left
  • Throw Out
  • (Inside) Underarm Turn
Underarm Release from Basic
  • Free Spin Tuck-In (from Handshake)
  • Free Spin Tuck-In (from Double Handhold)
  • Underarm Tuck-In (from Double Handhold)
  • Alternating Underarm Turns
  • Shoulder Check
  • Cradle
Double Turns to Point Steps
  • Swivels to Progressive Triples
  • Rotating Swivels and Opposition Break
  • Grapevine with Kick Ball Changes
  • He Goes, She Goes, They Go
  • Hip Pull Backs and Continuous Chasses
  • Pivots to Running Triples
  • Rolling Off the Arm Variation
  • Quick Turn to Stop & Go