First lets talk about a concept called the line. Basically, the lady will have a line of dance straight in front of her. In front of us are the spectators or guest and we are presenting to them. We open the shoulders and bring the guests in to get them involved.
You may have guests in front of you and to the side and you might worry about what line to use. Where ever the majority of the guests are, that is the line you will use. You can’t present to everyone, you have to make that choice. Paula has a line of dance and I’m going to lead Paula to travel on that line and turn.
The first thing I’m going to do is open the line. Now you see my shoulders shaping towards you and Paula’s shaping towards the line. This means the line is open and she is free to travel. Once the line is open, I’m going to turn Paula and turn her counterclockwise. Remember ladies, no lead, no turn. Do not turn without the leader leading you into a turn.
Paula is traveling, we are swapping position and we are using the floor. This is the traveling turn.
This technique is called brushing. Bring the hands straight above the lady’s head and let the hand go. This is called brushing. The characteristics of the brush is the hand goes without any tension and travels directly above the head. There are many types of brushes and we are going to see a few. No tension, very limp loose arms and directly above the head to make sure we have the difference between the brush and the turn.
Remember the turn is first hand at the eyebrows and goes around the head. The turn does not go above the head and the turn has tension in the arms. This is the difference between the turn and brush.
Do not look down when you are doing the brush. Keep the chin up.
Types of brushing. We are going to use left hand and the lady’s right hand. There are two brushes we can do from here.
The first one, my palm goes to the ceiling and my elbow goes to my right. I see the lady in my little frame and all I’m going to brush her head. Mirror image, we are going to do the exact same brush but on the other side. Elbow coming through, palm facing the ceiling, not holding the hand at all, directly above the head and letting go.
The second type of brush is palm down and brush the hair this way, but you see here the window is on the different side. First palm up and I see my lady here, second, my elbow is high palm is down and I see my lady here and I brush. Both sides work exactly the same way. We got four types of brushes here.
The guy can also brush. Palm up for the guy, and above the head. The reason why we brush here is because we’re in an open hold, a brush will bring us in a closed hold. It’s a nice way to get back into a closed hold instead of letting go.
The reason we would brush for the lady is because brushing touches the arm and connect right into right and now you swap holds and right into right. Using the left hand, connect with the arm and find the hand. Notice I said connect with the arm. We don’t want to brush and let go and look for that hand again. We are not looking down. This helps us find the hand again.
This is a brush. It’s a technique that we use throughout the next combinations of patterns and moves.
Turn combo. Go around, disengage so we are holding right into right. I have the lady’s right hand into my hand. Turn the lady in a basic turn. As soon as the lady is finished turning, I’m going to bring my palm up. Move that elbow down and swivel my hand so that the palm comes up. Keep the palm open and relaxed and you won’t have to think about it. Once I have my palm up, it’s my turn to turn. Palm down again and the lady goes again.
This time I’m going to turn counterclockwise. Palm up, only half turn, drop on my shoulder, step forward so that the hands drop from my shoulder and I would catch it behind my back and I’m going to go back clockwise again. That was a little combo and we are going to demonstrate it again but this side.
I go around, swap hands, right into right. The lady turns first. My palm comes up and it’s my turn. My palm goes down and the lady turns again. My palm comes up again, but this time I go to the left. My hand travels above my head, my palm up and hand goes onto the left shoulder. Step forward. Distance myself from the lady one step so that the hand falls. Ladies you will find the call. You’ll see my hand behind calling and I’m going to start turning clockwise again.
You may need to practice this pattern a few times but you already know the moves, you already know the turns. It’s all about swapping quickly from palm down and palm up and then there’s this little half turn for drop at the end, which is new to you. Have fun and keep practicing.
This move is called the man’s basket. Go around, disengage and go into a basket, Now because I’m turning, my palm is coming up and this is my right palm for left turn, keeping hold of both hands right palm for left turn, and now I’m in the basket.
To get out of this basket, we swap hands, turn towards the lady and move on the next move.
Click here to go back to the “Man’s Basket” lesson.
We are now going to use the rope. The rope is a series of turns. Use the left hand first and we are going to go off of the lady’s head as I move around. I’m trying to constantly move around and get a circular motion going.
Let go of this hand, but I’m letting go of it quite late and I’m going to reconnect as soon as I can. As soon as you reconnect to that hand, you’re now using the hand.
For the ladies, it was the left hand and now we’re using the right hand. I’m continuing the circular motion, my palm comes up, I face towards my partner, let go of the left hand, and catch again.
Left hand for the ladies, arm down, catch. Right hand for me, palm up, catch. Left for the lady, palm down, catch. All the while keeping the circular motion going.
This is called the rope. This is a nice little move you will get quickly. Practice it, it’s a little knack but once you get it, it’ll be a lot of fun. So remember, palm down with the left hand for the ladies, palm up with the right hand for the men.
This move is called the HP move. Go around and around. Disengage for a basket. Keep hold of the right hand. Keep the circular motion going.
Go out of the basket and directly into a hammerlock. Left hand comes up, turn the lady once and lower the right hand. Keep turning the lady until you are in a full hammerlock. This arm is a bridge. Pull the bridge up and go directly underneath it.
Slide back to back using four steps every time. It’s going to be both to our right. Notice I am lowering the hand. The left hand is coming down, the right hand is staying low. Connect and smile.
Basket, hammerlock, back to back, and come out of it. This is the HP move.
This move is called the Titanic. Go around and disconnect. Straight open hold. All hands come up and all hands behind all heads. Go around and continue dancing. Slide away from your partner. Remember ladies, never drop the hands below the waist. Go down the arm until you get to the hook again. Now you are connected right into right.
Go behind the lady and present her your left hand. Open the arms so the lady knows not to turn. Stand straight behind her and put the hands low. Step back while the lady steps forward. You are lowering yourself as the lady is raising herself. Titanic.
To come back, put your right hand above the lady’s head. Do a right turn and keep your left hand low. Go all the way until you’re off the lady’s line. You are perpendicular to it and facing the public. Right elbow, nudge and this is the lead for the lady. Ladies, lock your elbows and the arm is going to travel to the ceiling, as high as it can possibly go.
In the mean time you disconnect that hand and put the palm. From here, do a traveling turn. The line is already open. Turn the lady counterclockwise. Palm down for a brush and you are reconnected.
We are going to do that again. This time we aren’t going to do the dancing at all, we are just going to do the mechanics of it. First, disconnect. Second, you pivot left, your partner pivots left and all hands go up and they go behind the head. Third reconnect.
This is the Titanic part. Go behind the lady and catch the left hand. You step back and the lady steps forward. Move to the left side of the lady with your hand coming above her head. Keep the left hand low and the right hand up. With the elbow, nudge. This is the lead, asking the lady to windmill her arm. The line is open and the lady is ready for traveling turns. Palm down wit ha brush and reconnect.
Take your time, break it down just as we did a couple of times, then dance it and try it. This is called the titanic.
This move is called Dribble or Juggle. Go around and cross hands. Remember when you are crossing hands, don’t be too obvious about it. Right into right on top, and left below. Turn the lady clockwise. Keep moving with her. This is where the dribbling starts.
Leaders are going to bring the right hand to the left shoulder and then bring the left hand to the right shoulder. Then undo it, left back out and right back out. You can use the same hand several times. Just have fun dribbling.
Once you are done dribbling, move away and present your right hand so the lady will catch it with her right hand. Face the lady and turn her clockwise. Swap hands again. That is the Dribble.
Click here to go back to the “Juggle” lesson.
Our next move is called the spread eagle. Go around and go into an open hold. Bring both hands up, remember the hold when you are turning the lady. Turn using both hands. Just finger touch. Step back and lead your lady back. This creates tension in the frame. Bring all the hands up and spread them.
On the right side of the leader, lead the lady to come into your right side and roll. Lower the right hand to hip height and let the lady turn all the way. Use the left hand to turn the lady clockwise twice.
Open hold, hands up, turn your lady clockwise. You now have this double hand hold.
If you disconnect don’t try to just cross because it’s not the same hold.
Step back to create tension in the frame. Hands come up and spread. Look to your right, move your lady to your right, roll in all the way until she is facing her line again. Catch her left hand, let go of her right then turn her twice.
This move is called back to back hammerlock. The easiest way to lead the lady into a hammerlock is by using right into right connections.
Push a little bit on one, and then bring the hand in, making sure it goes low. Let the lady’s hand swivel. Do not try and turn the lady’s hand, let the lady turn her own hand. Bring the lady back and lower the hand and keep your hand open and that will get the lady in a hammerlock. This is the first hammerlock.
As you come out of a hammerlock, you are going to swap hands again. We are going to bring ourselves into the second hammerlock as well. The hand needs to come in between you and the lady, rotate it so the lady turns into a hammerlock. At the same time turn yourself so you are now side by side again.
Lets break this down again. We are going around, first hammerlock lead from right into right. Straight away when I come out, I swap hands. Second hammerlock back to back, we are both in a hammerlock.
From the second hammerlock, swapping hands, catch the hand and bring the lady into a turn. Catch that right hand and I’m going to turn the lady clockwise twice. Once the right hand comes up and meets the left hand and the second turn, the two hands are up with a very loose hold.
Let’s do that again from the second hammerlock. I’m letting go of the hand behind and rolling the lady in front of me. At this point, I’m going to catch the other hand and turn the lady twice. First turn left hand only, second turn both hands. And here we’ve added what you call a flick. This is a different move. I am going to straighten that arm and I’m going to bring it down with the back of my hand underneath the arm. Once I’m here, I’m going to flick my wrist up, giving the lady a lead, again. I’m not going to make the lady windmill, I’m simply asking her to windmill. I flick and there she goes all the way around.
There are a few bits and pieces in this. This is a pattern more so than a move. Again pick what you like, don’t feel like you need to do everything we show you.
This next move is called hip hip. As we go around, we are opening, we are going to bring both hands up, turn lady clockwise.
Bring that right hand half way between shoulder and elbow. Bring the left hand down. The arm straight up, lock the elbow, this is going to create tension. The tension you’re going to use.
Bring the arm down so you can flick the wrist. That flicking of the wrist is to lead the lady. The flick isn’t so hard that the arm is going to windmill all the way around. Give a lead to the lady and she’s going to act upon it.
Ladies need to lock the elbow. As that arm is flying, I’m going to turn towards my left. Left hand on top of my left shoulder palm up so the lady’s hand would fall into it.
Down, flick, turn when it’s flying, now you’ve got right hand, palm up on right shoulder, left hand, palm up on left shoulder. From here start with the left hand and bring it to your right hip. Right hand goes to the left hip. Let go of your left hand and turn left.
Hip hip is not a soft move, it’s more of a sharp move.
This next move is called lean on me. Go around and disengage for an open hold. Bring the lady into a basket. Once we get into the basket we want to line up three feet, my right foot and both of the lady’s feet. This means we should have the hips touching each other and the shoulders touching each other in the basket. Once we’re in this position, move the left foot further away and bend the left knee. Now the lady should be leaning on me.
Ladies when you are in this position, keep the neck straight. Avoid fighting the lean. Also ladies, refrain from moving the right foot into the air. Keep the feet together and lean.
When you are coming out of the lean, make sure your lady is balanced, fully upright and fully balanced before moving on. You do not want to go from the lean directly into the rolls because it is very unsettling for the lady. We lean up, and once we are up, the lady will roll out.
This is an extension called the New York. Put your palms away from you, thumb facing down. Once you are in the New York, you are going to call your lady back with a nudge. The lady is going to turn straight back to you. Present your hand so that you reconnect and follow through with the turn, hand on the hip and right knee bent.
That is lean on me. It’s an easier move than it looks. Remember three feet together, hips touching, shoulder’s touching and the rest is a breeze. Practice it and enjoy.
This move is called the 360. It’s not simple moves anymore, but it’s nice formed moves. There is a lot of traveling and a lot of turning. Turn around and connect. Bring the left hand down and I’m going turn clockwise. One as I do this, I swap hands. I’ve also opened the lady’s line of dance. Here there is a right into right connection, no form and a very loose hold. Brush over the lady’s head. No tension. Go directly above the head. I’m hiding the fact that I’m swapping hands again. I’m now in left into left connection.
Again, the first thing I do is turning and swapping hands behind my back opening the lady’s line. With our right hand, brush over the lady’s head and then connect left into left.
Once we have connected left into left, go into a traveling turn. The line is open, I lead the lady forward and I turn her counterclockwise. When she’s half way turned, she’s facing away from me, I’m going to put my hand on the right shoulder blade, travel to the other side of the lady and put the left hand above my head. The line is open again and we can get the lady to travel one more time.
We are going to show that again. Turn and swap hands. I’m in a right into right position. The line is open and lady can step forward. Brush over her head and get her left hand. Bring the lady forward. She’s going to travel and I’m going to turn her counterclockwise. When she is facing away from me, I’m going to put my hand on that right shoulder blade and I’m following that right shoulder blade all the way to the other side of the lady.
This hand goes over my head. The line is open and the lady travels. I travel back.
This move requires practice. Probably one of the more complex moves you’re going to learn. Take your time with it and don’t get frustrated by it. Also, what I want you to realise is there is more than one move here. This is what we call a pattern, it’s a series of moves.
If within that pattern there is something that you do not like or you don’t feel it, drop it. You don’t need all of it. There are many things going on here. There is a turn, there is a brush, there is an inside turn, follow through and across and opening to the public. Pick and choose which parts you like.
This move is called tree turns twister. Go around, disengage, right into right, first hold, left into left, second hold below. Use both hands to turn the lady clockwise. Bring right hand behind the lady’s head and left hand behind your head. Continue to go around, free your right hand, bring it under and connect with the lady. Make eye contact with the lady because she may not see the hand coming under. Bring your left hand over your head and place it on your right shoulder. Turn the lady three times.
First we are putting through the right hand, and then bring the left one up. This is the first turn. Second turn, two hands up, and right at the end of the second turn, I lower my left hand, keep the right hand at the exact same height as it was and go for the third turn. The key here is make sure the left hand is low. If it’s too high you’ll get stuck. Above the lady’s head with the left hand low and the arm straight and then we are going to go under and down.
If you do make a mistake, keep your chin up and keep on smiling. At this point in the choreography you have won. Everybody will be wowed, everybody will be cheering. Have fun and be confident on the floor.
This move is called picture perfect. All the moves and patterns we have taught you are leadable and followable, which means it’s all about communication. The leader is leading and the follower is following. You don’t need to do everything in a move or pattern, the leader can choose and the follower can follow. This type of loose choreography is much easier. However, picture perfect is a different.
When my hand goes over the lady’s head, she should turn but instead of turning, you’re going to dip so the lady knows not to turn. Hand on the shoulder, find the arm, find the hand, swap the hand, pull in and the lady will start turning but then I’ll bring her into a dip.
After you swap the hand, lean onto your left foot and call the lady back with a nudge and she will come turning right into you. At this point, put your right hand on the right shoulder blade and accompany the lady on the last turn.
Paula’s right hand is going to come over my neck and across. My left hand is going to across Paula’s shoulder onto the far shoulder. Paula’s left arm and hand are against mine and then we dip.
When we are dipping, the lady is holding her own weight. If the leader were to leave, the lady will not fall to the ground. Don’t throw yourself back ladies, expecting the guy to catch you. The lady is using you as a crutch, not as someone that is going to hold her.
Lets do the dip again, we were here and I’m leaning in a good strong position, call Paula, turn right hand on right shoulder blade, we turn all the way. Paula’s hand comes behind my back and my arm goes across the shoulders onto the shoulder blade, this connection here is full. Not two arms but just one. I can simply bring my hips down and Paula follows me too.
At this point, you can look at each other and smile or look at your guests and smile. Or the lady could look at the guest and smile while the leader looks at the lady and smile. Once you’re in the dip count. One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, four one thousand, five one thousand, and up.
This video is about styling. Styling is the last bit, the icing on top of the cake. Styling will demonstrate that you’re having fun. It will demonstrate that you rise above the choreography and the dance. It shows that it doesn’t bother you that you made a mistake and you loved it.
There are many tricks to styling and looking confident. The most important part of styling is your posture. Do not hang your head down, do not look at your feet, keep your chin up, chest out, and shoulders back. When you make a mistake, make it with style.
Next thing is your smile. You need to smile and show teeth. Remember your guests are away from you. They’re not up close in your face looking at you. Don’t be afraid to over act. Your smile needs to be able to reach that far. Smile, chin up, chest out, stand straight and stand proud. This is 90 percent of styling.
The next thing is called an extension. Roll your hand and the lady is going to do the same. Roll the hand and punch it back. My palm is facing back and my thumb is facing down to the ground. As a leader, my fingers are together. The follower, fingers are apart and full of energy with the middle finger closer to the thumb as if you were holding an egg. Do not lift your hand to place. From frame height, roll it to place.
Kissing is important when you are doing your first dance. It’s always a good idea to throw one or two kisses in your choreography. Definitely after you’ve done your dip, when you’re coming back up, it deserves a kiss. Often times the leader may get distracted thinking about the next move, it is important for the lady to bring the leader back.
This is styling, we put them in this last video so it may look out of context but you will know when to use it and where to put them in your choreography.
In this lesson, we are going to learn how to enter and exit the dance floor.
There are four different ways to enter onto the dance floor.
The first way is the simplest way, wait off the dance floor and when everything is ready such as your music, enter the dance floor. You are entering the dance floor without music. Make sure before you enter the dance floor that you have been announced to enter the dance floor. We can hold hands or we can cross arms as we enter the dance floor. When you are in the middle of the dance floor, you can either connect and be ready for the music, or you can turn your lady once, strike, connect and wait for the music.
The second way to enter the dance floor, is to be on opposite ends, enter when the music starts and meet in the middle. You can go straight into dancing or you can turn and then start dancing. The key thing here is that the music is playing, the dance floor is empty, and then you meet in the middle.
The third option is to have the lady wait in middle of the dance floor facing away from the leader while the leader is off the dance floor. When the music starts the leader then enters the dance floor. The moment I enter the dance floor, I begin dancing by paying attention to my walk, my posture and keep my chin up. I will then get the ladies hand and I will either connect or turn and start dancing.
The fourth option is the opposite of the third option. The leader is in the middle of the dance floor and the lady is off the dance floor. When the music starts the lady comes to me. The lady is going to grab my hand then I turn and connect.
These are the four ways to enter the dance floor. The first one has no music, and the last three has music. If there is music, the moment you step onto the dance floor, you are dancing. This means nice walk, nice posture and chin up.
For the exit, if the music is finished and the choreography is finished this means no wedding party is joining you for the last part of the song. If the music is over, you are going to pick up your lady’s hand for a turn and you are lining up, facing your guests and you bow.