[Callers] The Beginners' Lesson Tips?

John Sweeney info at contrafusion.co.uk
Tue Oct 4 09:11:59 PDT 2011

I don't like relying on the "experienced dancers" to teach a buzz-step
swing as I know some of them have bad habits and I would like to
minimize how much of that is passed on :-)
I explain there are three parts: 
- the beginning - negotiating how to get into a comfortable position,
especially with a preceding balance
- the middle - the swing itself - focusing on being gentle and caring
about your partner - how to avoid dizziness
- the end - absolutely critical - this is where it all goes wrong and
the lady ends up on the left - describe the position as an arrow-head,
with the joined hands being the point and aim the arrowhead in the
direction the caller calls - this is also the chance to explain the
terms up, down and across - then open out and keep in contact (another
element that beginners need to be taught - stay in contact with as many
people as possible as often as possible)
If time is short at the very least I cover: being gentle, avoiding
dizziness and finishing with the lady on the right.
A good way to practice the swing is to make a big circle, put on some
music and call:
Into the middle and back
Swing your Neighbour
Into the middle and back
Swing your Neighbour
This give new dancers a chance to have lots of swings with different
people and get used to finishing on the right side and at the right
time, but without any pressure - they can recover from faults on the
"into the middle" - which you can call multiple times if necessary until
they are ready for the next swing.
More details at http://www.contrafusion.co.uk/Contra.html#swinging
            Happy dancing,
John Sweeney, Dancer, England   john at modernjive.com 01233 625 362 &
07802 940 574
http://www.contrafusion.co.uk for Dancing in Kent

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