Swing Discussion Boards > What's the difference: Lindy Hop Vs. East Coast Swing?

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by achilles007, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. bookish

    bookish Active Member

    I usually think of posture as being from the hips through the head, and my legs go where they need to so I don't fall over 8)

    I've done the jump-and-land exercise a bunch. It works pretty well. The only problem is that sometimes it creates a static or locked body position because people think they need to stay right where they end up. The body needs to be free to move energetically and in balance, in various directions, and with good contra-body movement.

    Oh, and when in closed position with some stretch/counterbalance (e.g. middle of a swingout) followers are almost always more vertical to support the connection, because if they lean forward the lead's hand slips up oddly and the hold isn't good.
  2. juwest333

    juwest333 Active Member

    An almost a year later...

    I had the pleasure of dancing with a competitive East Coast Swing Ballroom dancer last night for the very first time! Everything was just as you said! She didn't really pulse at all and her triple steps were....different. It went along smoothly for the most part; only stumbling a little when I changed the rhythm and timing of my steps to actually follow variations in the music. It was a very interesting experience and enjoyable dance overall!
  3. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I've concluded the East Coast Swing is pretty much the jig walk that was "a basic floor step" of Lindy Hop introduced in about 1930.
    I came to this conclusion by looking at LIFE, 1943, Frankie Mannings' book, and Arthur Murray books from the early 40s.
    And, it was a six count movement.
    The early descriptions do not mention triple steps, but rather touch-steps or kicks, followed by a rock step.
  4. bookish

    bookish Active Member

    Interesting! Jig walk does "fit" into the ECS basic conceptually if you take out the interesting parts of the jig walk :p
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    So, what are
    of the jig walk?

    Co author of the Frankie Manning book, Cynthia Millman wrote "The jig walk is a six-count movement featuring two touch-steps or kicks, followed by a rock step. It is done in place with partners in ballroom stance, and is essentially the same as the basic step in East Coast Swing."
  6. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Gal taking East Coast Swin glesson last night. Sure looked like a Lindy Hopper, because of the bouncey energy she put into everything. (Later, I asked her. And, yes, she did Lindy Hop. ) So, here's another question.

    I keep reading that swing smoothed out jazz from a bouncey 2/4 to a more horizontally smooth 4/4 beat.

    So, the bounce is still there. How does that work?
  7. bookish

    bookish Active Member

    Swing Era music isn't really "smooth," it just has less of a 2-count ("oom-pah") rhythmic feel and puts more into the 4s and 8s. It's still bouncy though.

    The ECS basic is generally just steps, plus some extraneous body tilting and arm waving. Jig walks have various stylistic variations. Often your legs will extend between your partner's. There may be more hip sway rather than just leaning. (Leaning and arm-wagging tend to interfere with connection.) I was taught a style that was supposedly Frankie's that included hopping, which I didn't quite get unfortunately.
  8. bookish

    bookish Active Member

    I'm actually having trouble finding an example of 2/4 sheet music online. I looked up some "early" stuff, including some songs I was going to use as examples, and found it written in 4/4. Anyway, the time signature isn't the only thing that determines bounciness.
  9. Siggav

    Siggav Moderator Staff Member

    The swing smoothing out jazz thing is true but it's not about bounce per se, it's about the different feel that comes in the music when you move from emphasising every other beat (oom - pah, oom - pah) into hitting each beat evenly in the rythm section (chunk - chunk - chunk - chunk) it feels weird to try to dance lindy to the earlier version, it's a rythm that makes much more sense to dance charleston to.

    Here's a 1927 version of Royal Garden Blues that has that feels like a charleston tune although you can dance lindy to it if you really want

    A version from 1936 where the rythm has changed into the chunk-chunk-chunk-chunk form and it's very much a swing tune

    So the jazz going smoother hasn't got anything to do with the dance getting less bouncy other than I guess that charleston is pretty bouncy I guess
    leee and bookish like this.
  10. Aura

    Aura Active Member

    Hey, Siggav. Just wanted to say thanks for that awesome post on "uswung" and "swung" rhythms. I read it just this morning, and its clarified why Glenn Miller's famous tune felt "different" when I listened to it in comparison with other songs that you could swing dance, too. I could hear the lilt and swing in your current jam, too. The guitar sounds so lively!

    To me, a "swung" rhythm sounds just likes its name, something I could really swing back and forth to. I know this isn't a word, but it sounds "tilt-y", if that even makes a lick of sense. Conversely, Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog", while it certainly has a nice beat, sound more rhythmically consistent and even. Like you said, "flat". Now, I'm all eager to test my ears. Thanks again.

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