I am writing this post for the follows in this month’s Advanced Beginner Styling and Variations series to help them practice swiveling, but I think it could be helpful for anyone (leads or follows) working on their swingout styling. I’ve compiled a list of youtube videos showing a bunch of really amazing follows swinging out, and bookmarked them to start just as each follow is about to swivel. This is by no means a complete list of all the great clips of all the great follows in the world (for that, I would need to write a whole book of links!) but it is definitely enough material to keep you busy for a while.
First, check out how different and great they all look and then try the exercise below. Also, Leads! I sneakily picked videos with a spectrum of great leads in them so you can do this exercise too with lead styling on the swingouts instead of swiveling.
1) Pick one of your favorite swivelers, watch them swing out a whole bunch of times and try to pick out and copy what you like about them. You might do this by focussing on a different part of the movement each time you watch - like hips, then feet and legs, then posture, then arms, then overall quality of movement… etc.
2) As a bonus, pay attention to their styling on other moves too (if you’re like me, you won’t be able to stop watching after just one swing out!)
3) Watch the video again right before showing up to a dance or class for a few dances/classes in a row so their movement is fresh in your mind as you work on your own dancing.
4) Once you’ve done this for a while with one follow, pick someone else who dances really differently and repeat!
(In no particular order, and in no way a complete …)
LIST OF FOLLOWS SWIVELING:
Jo Hoffberg (with Kevin St. Laurent)
(Pro Showcase Routine at ILHC 2011)
I have bookmarked a spot where Jo does two fast swingouts in a row, but if you skip forward to 1:26 (here: http://youtu.be/pT2h5WiJ7Qc?t=1m26s), she does one more slow motion swingout with swivels. Also, check out what the fringe around her hips is doing, imagine you’re wearing a fringe too and try to get it to do the same thing.
Frida Segerdahl (with Michael Seguin)
(Invitational Jack and Jill at Lindyfest 2013)
I started a little before they start swinging out because I just couldn’t bring myself to cut out the beginning of this dance. I would definitely recommend watching this spotlight all the way through - it is really a pretty magical.
Naomi Uyama (with Peter Strom)
(Pro Classic routine at ILHC, 2011)
Naomi only does one swing out here, but I picked this video because the music is not too fast and she is wearing pants so it is easy to see what she is doing. Also, the variation they do right after the swingout is very similar to one we taught in class. Finally, I'm going to sneak in a shameless plug - Skye Humphries (see below) and Naomi Uyama will be teaching workshops in Boston in November! http://www.hoptothebeat.com/workshops/2013/11/skye-humphries-naomi-uyama
Ramona Staffeld (with Skye Humphries)
(Invitational Jack and Jill at ILHC, 2013)
Keep watching through to the third swingout for the swiveling pecks! Really, you should just watch this whole spotlight. And then watch all the other videos from ILHC this year, starting with Skye and Frida’s Pro Classic Routine and Ramona and Todd’s Pro Showcase Routine.
Annie Trudeau (with Max Pitruzzella)
(Pro Showcase Routine at ILHC, 2013)
I have bookmarked this video at a swingout, but you will definitely not regret watching this amazing routine from start to finish. Since this is a choreography, Annie’s swingouts at this spot are intentionally stylized
and she is also playing with the rhythm to match the music
(i.e. this is not her ‘vanilla’ swiveling swingout). If you keep watching, they do the double tuck turn we taught you at 2:15, shortly followed by an inspiring spin down the line at 2:20.
Nina Gilkenson (with Andy Reid)
(Instructor Jam at Lindyfest in 2007)
I picked this particular video because the music is just the right tempo to show off Nina’s magical hips. For speedier, more recent Nina, check out this video of her dancing with Nick Williams at Lone Star Championships, 2013. http://youtu.be/DkkIkp5ESU4.
Virginie Jensen (with Steven Mitchell)
(during a class demo)
Virginie literally setting the floor on fire with her swivels.
Laura Glaess (with Mike Roberts)
(Pro Classic Routine at ILHC 2012)
Again, totally worth watching this video from start to finish, but it is bookmarked at a spot where they swing out three times in a row. And to finish this post completely off topic, if you’re still with me, check out this mind-blowing solo routine with Laura Glaess joined by Mike and Faulty at Stompology in Rochester, NY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ItmVVFFi_w - because working on your solo movement will do wonders for adding styling and variations to your partnered dancing.