Swing Out – Basic Footwork

Swing Out from Closed

This move starts the same as the “Lead Goes.” The lead should rock step on the left foot and triple step in front of the follow (ending on count 4). It is important to end so that the lead’s shoulders are squared off to the follow’s.

Continuing, the lead will act like a “door.” The lead will pivot on his left foot and open up, taking a step to the right (5). As he takes this step, the lead will let go. This will send the follow out into a swing out. The lead will step back onto his left (6), and continue to triple step back or slightly in place (7&8).

As the follow feels the momentum to continue past the lead on count 5, she should continue her footwork moving away from the lead. (6, 7&8).

Both lead and follow should keep their chests facing each other. Imagine you each have a spotlight on your chest; your goal is to always keep your spotlights facing each other as much as possible.

Swing Out from Open

This move starts from the open position. Swing Outs from open can start from either a “rock step” (easiest when there is no momentum) or from a “step, step” (easiest when you’ve already been dancing a bit and have momentum).

The lead should step backwards in a “rock step,” thus pulling the follow into a “step, step.” As the lead and follow triple step together, they should rotate and end in the same position as count 4 of the “Lead Goes” basic rhythm variation. This means the shoulders are square and the lead is ready to send the follow out on “5, 6.”

To finish the swing out from open, the lead should continue with the same footwork as the second half of the swing out from closed:

  • 5 – Pivot & step out with the right foot
  • 6 – Step back onto the left foot
  • 7&8 – Triple step in place or slightly backwards

The follow will also do the same footwork as the second half of the swing out from closed:

  • 5 – Step past the lead onto the left foot
  • 6 – continue moving past the lead
  • 7&8 – Triple step in place or slightly backwards to fill the space

Swing Out to Closed

Also known as a “Circle to Closed”

The final basic swing out maneuver is going from Open Position to Closed Position.

This move starts like the first half of the Swing Out from Open. The lead should step backwards in a “rock step,” thus pulling the follow into a “step, step.” As the lead and follow triple step together, they should rotate and end in the same position as count 4 of the “Lead Goes” basic rhythm variation. This means the shoulders are square and you should be directly in front of the follow.

Now, instead of sending the follow out on 5 & 6, you’ll want to hang on. Leads should step back with the right foot, forward with the left; both of these steps should continue the circular momentum of the swing out. Finally, you can use your triple step to straighten out; it works best if you triple step straight backwards to begin, which will help you keep a consistent orientation.

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