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Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Black Sheep, Jul 30, 2003.

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  1. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    Lindy Lovers,
    My contribution to the World of Swing is finally here! Go Teach all Nations!
    Brief Music Lesson
    Basic Lindy Steps are danced to six Quarter Beats or Notes;
    (The "& 2, & 4 counts take an eighth note each (4 eighths = two Quarter notes);
    (the 1, 3, 5, 6 counts take one Quarter beat each: total = four Quarter notes)
    "Slow, Quick, Quick Slow, Quick, Quick, Slow, Slow
    LADY, ON THE 1 &2 ALWAYS travels or turns only on these 3 steps;
    LADY ON THE 3 &4 ALWAYS takes 3 steps in-place;
    LADY ON THE 5- 6 ALWAYS Rocks Back takes 2 steps.
    MAN ON THE 1&2 - 3&4 takes 6 steps in-place, rotating ith the direction of his leads;
    MAN ON THE 5--6 ALWAYS Rocks in the direction of his leads;
    MAN ON THE 1&2 ALWAYS gives his leads.

    1) Start by having students counting, “1 &2 3 &4 5 - 6"
    2) Begin lesson in Push Position
    On the ‘One & Two’ both take 3 small side steps starting to Man's Left;
    On the ‘Three & Four’ both take 3 small side steps to the Man’s Right;
    REPEAT these side steps as you both count, "1 &2, 3 &4” continuously;
    slowly increase speed until student is in sync with musical Down Beats;
    3) Rock Steps: Have student REPEAT Back Rock Steps without side steps,
    (2 steps) counting , "5-6, 5-6" until weight changes are well coordinated;
    and pick up tempo slowly until student is in sync with Quarter beats of music.
    (students have a tendency to rush Rock Steps and fall back on their heels;
    correct them)
    4) Have student join side steps with Rock Steps, using count: “1 &2, 3 &4, 5-6”
    increasing speed until they are in sync with music; (keep student counting in
    sync with steps)
    Allow students at least a full minute to have them enjoy the euphoria of dancing
    on rhythm.
    5) Still in Push Position, on the 1 &2, the Lady turns and travels as man raises his
    lead hand
    on 1 &2 above and to the right of the Lady’s head to indicate a 360 right tuurn
    for the Lady;
    OR on 1 &2 above and between both bodies to indicate a 360 left turn for the Lady.
    REPEAT turns with one complete Basic Step in between turns. (keep up count)
    6) Place couple in Closed VEE Body Position and have them do same turns.

    EMAIL {email address removed}
    Black Sheep
  2. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    Magic Pill Part II, Questions & Answers

    Lindy Lovers,
    1) Why not begin Lindy at the beginning of a two bar phrase (8 quarter beats)?
    Ans: Since Lindy Basic step is 6 Quarter beats, you are out of phrasing at the end of one Basic Pattern, and starting on the Down Beat is more practical and easier to hear and feel.
    2) What if you want to substitute a 'Kick Ball Change' for a Rock Step?
    Ans: Just add an '&' count between the 5 & 6, a cipher for each move,
    timed Q + 2 eighths or Slow, Quick, Quick, same timing as a '1&2'.
    3) How do you count a Whip or Turn Rhythm?
    Ans: '1&2, 5-6, 1&2 5-6; Just skip the 3&4 counts.
    4) What about dancing in a Slot or other techniques?
    Ans: techniques and styling pointers are incorporated after this
    beginning phase is solidified.
    5) What about the Eight count Lindy?
    Ans: No such animal; Eight count steps can be incorporated in the
    Lindy, but they are either shim sham type steps, Charleston steps or the Big Apple steps like the Suzy Q, Shorty George, or the Boogie Woogie all which are individual moves that are used as breaks in the Lindy but are not part of the integrity of the Rhythmic Savoy Lindy structure. These 8 count moves are easy to stick into the Lindy and in the 1950's in Hollywood we always used these eight count moves part of exhibition dances as Precision routines dancing side by side or facing each other. Eight count moves are fun and easier to incorporate into the Savoy Lindy, but they are not Savoy Lindy.
    Next: Savoy Techniques!
  3. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    What would be the difference is this:
    Ans: '1&2, 5-6, 1&2 5-6; Just skip the 3&4 counts
    and this?
    1&2, 3-4, 5&6, 7-8

    What I'm trying to say is the music doesn't skip any beats, so doesn't that make this essentailly and 8-count turn? Or am I missing the point you are trying to make?
  4. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    8 count Swingout vs Maghic Pill Whip

    DanceMaster asks, "What would be the difference is this:
    Ans: '1&2, 5-6, 1&2 5-6; Just skip the 3&4 counts
    and this?
    1&2, 3-4, 5&6, 7-8

    What I'm trying to say is the music doesn't skip any beats, so doesn't that
    make this essentially and 8-count turn? Or am I missing the point you are
    trying to make?
    First keep in mind we are only dancing to the down beats on the odd counts,
    so there is no such thing as dancing to phrases of 8 Quarter beats,
    therefore, we are not 'skipping any beats'.
    Second: keep in mind the Lindy Basic Rhythm step is only six Quarter beats
    long, although you are taking 8 steps during those 6 Quarter beats; (Triple,
    Triple, Rock-Step) In the 'Lanza Six Count Lindy', teaching method, every ciphers whether it is anumber or an '&' count has a specific move that does not change throughout the Basic Savoy Lindy. The ''3 &4" are always taken in-place with whatever
    foot variations you take within the parameters of those 2 Quarter beats.
    So we do not count 3 &4 for the moves in the Whip when we are moving; the
    5-6 ends the whip and we are then into the 1&2 mode for another pull into
    another whip, or just return the a complete Basic pattern, '1 &2, 3 &4,
    5-6' in place or move into any other basic Lindy move. The MP is always
    consistent as to the numbers and what moves those numbers represent. The
    only exception is the 5-6 or Rock Step which varies in the Whip.
    Using the count '1&2, 3-4, 5&6, 7-8' as you asked about, is not the
    structure I use in my Magic Pill teaching method; I never use the numbers
    7-8; I count 6 Quarter beats for Basic Steps and only 4 Quarter beats for
    the Whip . To put it another way using all numbers, I would count the Whip, 1,2,3
    and 1-2, for a complete Whip, the same as my 1&2, 5-6; both ways of counting are
    still only 4 quarter beats or (5 steps) for the complete Whip, not 8 Steps
    to 6 Quarter beats, which is only a basic Rhythm, not a Whip Rhythm.
    In short, the so-called 'Swingout which is a different from the authentic
    Savoy whip is really only a Basic rhythm step with the man throwing out the
    Lady around his right shoulder instead of his left. Because it takes eight
    steps for the lady to get around the man in a 360 circle instead of the
    Savoy five step pattern, the Swingout is more of a walk around than a snappy
    Whip's run around. One of the reasons WCS dancers like music at 200 bpm is
    so their WCS dance looks more exciting when it is rushed. WCS dancers in
    general deplore dancing below 150 bpm; it looks and feels too much like
    walking. What makes the Savoy Lindy exciting even at the 150 bpm and slower
    are the Techniques, which I will share in a future Post.
    Thank you DanceMentor for a very pertinent and challenging Question. I
    am sure it helps others who might have had the same thought in mind.
    Black Sheep
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: 8 count Swingout vs Maghic Pill Whip

    What does taking 8 steps as opposed to 6 have to do with how "snappy" a move is? Can you make the 8 steps snappy, or can you walk the 6 steps?

    If someone does a "snappy Whip's run around" at 50-bpm, and a "eight step 360degree Savoy" at 300-bpm, would the former still look "snappier"?

    Again, I don't know West Coast Swing very in depth, but don't Modern WCS dancers generally enjoy slower dancing? Who out there does WCS and can help me out?

  6. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    50 bnpm vs 300 bpm

    The distance the Lady travels in a 360 circle around the man is the exact same whether it takes her five steps in the Whip or eight steps in the Swingout; if the music tempo is 100 bpm, than if the Lady taking only five streps traveling the same distance 360 around the man on 4 Quarter beats, then she has to travel faster than the lady taking eight steps traveling the same distance around the man on 6 Quarter beats. Just plain simple mathematics.And that is why WCS dancers like fast music above 150 bpm.
    When you use the 50 bpm using 5 steps comparing it to 8 steps traveling at 300 bpm, aren't you proving my point?
    Black Sheep
  7. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Hey Joe,

    I did want to say that here in Atlanta slow West Coast music is pretty chic. People like to dance to classic R&B as well as country and pop, but the songs are usually slow. This seems to give more room for the lady to do more prancing. You don't usually see real fast whips. On the other hand, people do a dance they call "Hollywood Lindy" and sometimes you'll see some faster music, but they also dance to slow as well. The Hollywood Lindy is usually a younger crowd, hence the faster high energy music. The WCS is usually a little more mature (but there are young people too), and the music is slower. I've never been to LA, so I'm not sure which music is popular for WCS there.
  8. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Here in San Diego slow is the way to go.
  9. d nice

    d nice New Member

    I do West Coast Swing and have danced in L.A. The average tempo of WCS tend to be 110-135 bpm across the country, some places like it a little faster, some a little slower, but that 25bpm range is what you'll hear the most of.

    We are only dancing to the down beats? What happens to the up beats?

    Question: Why do you stress numbers as having a specific meaning, and force the count to match your method rather than use a method dependant on movement which makes the numbers meaningless as long as you start on any down beat?
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: 50 bnpm vs 300 bpm

    Thank you for your answers Joe. I have a few more questions on them, if I may:

    Math was always my weak point, but wouldn't 50bpm broken in a measure of 6 be roughly 8 "whips" done in a minute, and 300bpm broken into counts of 8 be roughly 37 done in a minute? (if you always only kept to a strict count, which was hardly ever done until later years)

    Which of those two would require someone to move faster? And what, again, does speed have to do with how "snappy" a swingout/whip looks or feels?

  11. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    letter to D'nice

    I politely suggest you reread my Magic Pill, the section, 'Brief Music
    Lesson', where it states, "START on any Down Beat," If you don't know what
    to do on the Up Beats, you are in trouble!
    As for 110-135 bpm being the average across the country, Who mentioned
    anything about 'across the country'?
    D'nice asks:
    "Question: Why do you stress numbers as having a specific meaning, and force
    the count to match your method rather than use a method dependant on
    movement which makes the numbers meaningless as long as you start on any
    down beat? "
    D'nice, I thought you'd never ask!
    If you read my Magic Pill, you will see that my numbers are not only a
    guide line to the structure of the Classical Savoy Lindy, but those numbers
    separates the Quarter note moves from the 8th beat moves making the system a
    rhythmic mechanical unity. So that a dancer learns the patterns, the moves
    while the are learning the syncopated rhythm of the Lindy with these
    specific counts.
    And my friend, D'nice, I sincerely believe, from my 50 + years of
    teaching, and I do not means this facetiously, 'Students who ask the most
    provocative questions end up being the best advocates of a subject'.
    I was always the student in every class room who asked the most provocative
    Questions, because I was truly interested in getting at the truth. So I know
    where you are coming from and please accept my sincere apology if I
    inadvertently was uncivil or rude to you in the past. However, I cannot dig up
    all my commentaries for you to answer every question that has been answered
    in my past commentaries. They are all available at the URL below:

    I have included one of the 80+ responsaes I have received from my Magic Pill reciepients; it really works!
    Mr. Lanza,
    I truly benefited from your instruction. Please do place me on your mailing
    list. Thank you for this opportunity, and for taking the time to teach
    beginner swingers such as myself.
    Anson Wong
  12. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member


    Your math is awesome. My math stopped at 1\2 x 12 , 360 degreres mmake a circle and if one train was going east at 50 bpm and another going West at 300 bpm on the same track, and that's where I get lost!
    Black Out Sheep
  13. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    West Coast Swing Music

    Slow vs fast,
    iI'll be at Camp Hollywood tonight. Lets see how many musical numbers Mora's Modern Rhythmists plays at 150 bpm or under?
    Black Sheep
  14. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Re: West Coast Swing Music

    Mora's (a band I love) plays Swing Music for Lindy Hoppers... you are very unlikely to see a West Coast Swing dancer doing West Coast Swing to their music. Since WCS is an outgrowth of Lindy Hop in Southern CA from the late fifties as the music went from swing to more of a blues and rhythm & blues base, they tend to refer to this music of the late 50's to early 60's as their "classic music" rarely dancing to anything before this time period (there are always anomalies) but the lion's share of their music tends to be a lot of Pop, Funk, and R&B from the last decade.

    It sounds like when you use the term West Coast Swing you mean the swing dance people on the West Coast do. When most everyone else says West Coast Swing they are refering to a very specific dance. I'd suggest you go to the US Open which will have both West Coast Swing and Lindy Hop and take a look at the two dances when done side by side (well in rooms that are side by side). The difference in the style, rhythms, music, energy, etc. is really obvious.
  15. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Re: letter to D'nice

    I know what to do on the down beat in the Lindy Hop Frankie Manning taught me, but in one of your responses about your "Six Count Lanza Lindy" you say
    That is what promted my question. So can I have an answer now?

    I'll be more specific then. In L.A. the West Coast Swing scene tends to dance to slow modern R&B and Pop music, at an average tempo range of 110-130 bpm. This is ignoring the NC2 songs that get played. The L.A. Lindy Hop scene tends to dance at an average tempo range of 150 bpm to 190 bpm. You have certain venues like the Swing Pit run by Tip and Mike where the tempo range is more like 175-200 bpm, while Lindy Groove is more like 145 to 165.

    You didn't really answer why you do it this way, you just reiterated the manner in which it is done. I want to know why you chose this method which uses numbers rather than one which is based on relational body movement and voiced rhymthmic patterns, as all other forms of african descended dance is usually done (rhythm tap, hip hop, afro cuban dance, african dance etc.). The dancers learn the patterns with the syncopated rhythm, but does not have to pre-occupy their mind with numbers. I'm just trying to figire out why you'd use a method that has a number scheme that you have to "finesse" to make it work consistently. While I can see it working to get someone on the dance floor quickly, it seems that it may hold them back when they start learning about improvsed footwork and some of the more complex syncopations.

    That is what Steven said about me many years ago. I agree.

    So am I. I tend to be relentless about questions, asking them again and again, rephrasing them until I get an answer that answers my question, because I want to understand the how and the why of a thing. I accept your apology.
  16. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    :shock: ...and world peace ensued :!: :D
  17. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    Questions & Answers

    In teaching and learning both the teacher and the student are always challenged to ask the Questions clearly so that the answer being sought can be clearly delivered.
    It's axiomatic, 'Ask the right questions if you want a clear answer!

    Black Sheep
  18. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I might add a couple of philosophical points:
    1) To teach is to learn twice
    2) In order to be a good teacher, it is essential to be a good student first.
    3) You never get there. You must always be open to learning.
  19. d nice

    d nice New Member

    I'm sorry I thought the question was clear enough, I'll try rephrasing it.

    Why do you teach swing based off a strict philosophy that certain steps/body movement happen on specific numbers, and when other steps are required to complete a pattern you are forced to "finesse" the counting so it does not disrupt your selected methodology?

    I would think that the inclusion or repitition of counts could cause problems when the student is starting to move on to improvisation and syncopating, not just of the base rhythm of their steps, but starts syncopating and swinging the rhythm of the moves.
  20. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Perhaps an even more simplified form of the overall question may help me understand the why behind your method.

    Which is preferable, getting people on the dance floor as quickly as possible, at the possible expense of difficulty later -OR- some initial diifficulty with the benefit of the dance becoming eaiser as one progresses.

    To be honest I don't think it is an either or case... I'm just curious if we are only given these two choices which people would choose, and how revealing it may be about them as people, dancers and teachers.

    Personally I would rather there be a little bit of an uphill battle, knowing that once the crest is reached (assuming it is a visible and relatively easily attainable goal) it is coasting the rest of the way...
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