Hi Read,

              Sorry, I’m not convinced by the idea of galloping, especially as in the video you cite, where the feet are too far apart, the trailing foot isn’t tucked in and the demonstrator is bouncing up and down.  I have seen people who learnt that way develop bad habits in their swing.


              I much prefer to get them to turn individually on the spot with the left leg tucked in behind and close, and with relaxed knees.  I want them to learn what it really feels like and to develop their own sense of balance.  This seems to develop a much smoother swing.


              Lots more details about how I teach a swing at http://contrafusion.co.uk/Contra.html#swinging


              Of course if it is a one night stand and I am doing dances where the dancers spring apart at the end into their own line, then I don’t teach a buzz-step at all.  I teach: join right forearms, gently hook you left hand just above your partner’s elbow, join left hands (again, a nice hook) underneath, then skip, walk, buzz or anything you like.


            Happy dancing,                         



John Sweeney, Dancer, England   john@modernjive.com 01233 625 362 & 07802 940 574                         

http://www.modernjive.com for Modern Jive Events & DVDs                               

http://www.contrafusion.co.uk for Dancing in Kent                                         


From: Callers <callers-bounces@lists.sharedweight.net> On Behalf Of Read Weaver via Callers
Sent: 25 July 2018 23:47
To: Caller's discussion list <callers@sharedweight.net>
Subject: Re: [Callers] Folk Festival - Easy Contra dances to teach Beginners


Or don’t have them do a buzzstep—swings work just fine with a walking step. (If you’ve got moderately experienced folks mixed in, though, you may need to teach the buzzstep, since few moderately experienced dancers will do a walking swing even if asked to.)


If you do teach buzzstep, I’ve had the most success teaching it as a gallop https://youtu.be/5GmQ868ArAw?t=12 ; I’ll take a group of 8 or so, holding hands, and have everyone gallop (clockwise, right/inner foot in front), then break it into two circles without stopping, then into pairs; then stop and show ballroom position.


Getting them into ballroom position for the swing and then teaching them to let go of the pointy hands works much better than “gents on the left, ladies on the right” for ending correctly.


Read Weaver

Jamaica Plain, MA

On Jul 24, 2018, at 12:00 PM, John Sweeney via Callers <callers@lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:


Your next big problem is getting them to do a good buzz-step swing and finish with the man on the left, lady on the right.  With large numbers of beginners there will some who get in wrong every time and break down the dance.  I would practice that in a circle mixer like: