Jumpswing Technique

THE 6-COUNT JUMP PATTERN: identical to 6-count Lindy Hop kick patterns. Plenty of pulse on each beat. Rock-Step  Kick-Step  Kick-Step.  For added frolic, you can hop or skip, get air, not just pulse, on each beat.  Use the toe muscles: hops can be very small and mellow, or big for high energy feel. In RETRO SWING, there is a simultaneous kick forward with the other foot when the lead foot rocks back. Interestingly, every so often one of our students comes up with it on her/his own, insisting they had never seen it elsewhere. Thanks to Sonny Watson for describing this pattern to me.

Kick from the knee, as in modern Charleston technique. Having timed the full weight to always be on the EVEN beats, the "back-beat," a rockin', trancey groove results. The weight shift settles in on the even beats, and it goes well to the music.

SKIP-STEP: traveling in a line across the floor, the kick-step can be a walk-step, or if we are getting air from hopping, it morphes into a skip-step. Thanks to Skippy Blair, for a conversation that eventually led to this key tidbit: the fun of skipping!  Skips are normally low, close to the floor.

Maintaining a nice pulse, and instead of kicking, swing the foot easily a few inches forward, and touch or tap the heel lightly . This circumvents beginners' natural tendency to kick vigorously and wildly. It is also a good mellow groove. A heel touch is more natural than a toe touch in the forward direction.

CHARLESTON: One difference between Ithaca Jumpswing and Skippy's is that this one has CHARLESTON - and plenty of it. Charleston feels really good at up-tempos 180-220 bpm. Lots of well-known variations are available. The default:1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 Rock-Step  Kick front-Step  Kick front-Kick back-Step. In my beginning years, I shared a common musician's delusion that the 8-count dance pattern had to begin on beat 1 of the 8-count musical phrase. How refreshing to begin the 8 ct dance pattern on ANY of the odd beats in the 8-count musical phrase, an easy and satisfying to segue 6 to 8, 8 to 6 count.

SHAG IDEAS: Lots of the Collegiate Shag moves work nicely in Jump.  For dancing in "mush" (as close as you can get) position, the ROCK STEP becomes a STEP-STEP. Use high back flicks or brushes, and it looks a lot like Collegiate Shag. also morphs nicely into Balboa, with its delayed weight shift basic.

PICK-UP BEAT: emphasizing the pickup beat or upbeat, the step before the Rock-Step, the feel of hitting beat "8" as in the Shim Sham, very groovy!

We like the feel of a continual leveraged connection in open position basic, rather than the push-pull of '50s Rock 'n' Roll dance, or the way that many teach Triple Swing. This approach gives more freedom for footwork variation, and subtler perception of each other's rhythm. We only lead the rock-step when necessary, rather than every single pattern (redundant). Special thanks to Aswin van den Berg for teaching me this groovy connection.

SPINS: use a STEP-SPIN instead of a KICK-STEP.
No change needed for turning (vs. spinning)

of course!

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