Bounding Unicorns

Jive

Timing

6 count basic:

1-2 3-a-4 5-a-6

(a) is 3/4 of the way between 3 and 4 (or 5 and 6). This is unlike EC swing where the (a) is more frequently executed to be in the middle of (3) and (4) (though some instructors dance EC swing to the same 3/4 timing of (a)).

Technique

I'm told east coast swing is a slower, more social-friendly jive. A different way of looking at it is jive is a faster east coast swing, since east coast typically is the dance that one learns first, but historically it seems jive preceded east coast and is the "original".

In the swing family, jive is much closer to east coast swing than it is to AS swing in aspects like hip movement, side to side sway and figures.

Jive is in international latin category, as such it has all of the hip movement found in other latin dances like rumba/cha cha.

Unlike AS swing which is grounded with downward bounces, in jive bounces can (should?) be upward, and the correct technique involves straightening knees in most (all?) figures. Again this is similar to other latin dance styles.

Jive is not only faster than EC swing, it is also sharper (which makes the individual movements even quicker when executed with correct technique). For example, in a right side pass the follower is supposed to change direction on (a) rather than spread the direction change over (3-a-4), as would be common in, say, AS swing.

Basic

Footwork is same as for EC swing.

Technique

Because jive is much faster than swing, technique for basic is different. The notes below are from the leader's perspective but they apply equally to the follower with the feet flipped.

  1. There is significant wind in the back rock. The back rock should cross behind RF.
  2. Hips should be rotated going with the wind. However, shoulders should remain close to parallel with the partner. There is twist in the body to have hips rotated and shoulders not.
  3. The twist comes from lat muscles. Not from shoulders.
  4. On (1), right heel should be off the floor to aid in the wind. Similar movement in knees/hips to cuban motion.
  5. On (2), push off LF to snap the hips back in parallel position to the follower. This rotation permits quick movement of the feet back into parallel position to prepare for the triple step.
  6. Leader rotates the follower with RH on the back rock to wind her.

American Spin

Footwork is as in EC swing.

Technique

The spin should be led by straightening of left knee (and not by pushing the follower with LH/RH, depending on handhold).

Lindy Whip

This is equivalent swingout from open to open in AS swing.

Leader's steps from open:

LF back rock                                                (1-2)
LF triple forward small & connect RH to follower's back     (3-a-4)
start rotating follower R &
    RF back crossed behind LF                               (5)
LF back & release RH                                        (6)
RF triple in place                                          (7-a-8)

The cross behind is important to stay facing the follower through the rotating part of the whip.

Follower should cross in front on (5-6) for the same reason, to stay facing the leader.

Compared to AS swing swingout, almost all of the rotation happens on (5-6) instead of being spread out over (3-6), since on (3-a-4) the leader is not rotating at all but only walks toward the follower. AS a result, in Jive there must be much earlier and more forceful lead on (5) to get the follower to rotate 360° in two counts. The lead is primarily from leader's right shoulder going back and must start before (5), somewhere around 4 3/4 counts.

Also unlike AS swing swingout, jive swingout has a much later release - release is very close to (6), or on (6).

The follower should stabilize and have weight over her feet on (6), vs having weight significantly forward.

Mooch

Leader's steps, from closed:

LF back & rotate L 90°                              (1)
rock RF                                             (2)
lift up                                             (a)
LF kick down                                        (3)
lift up                                             (a)
RF kick down                                        (4)
LF back                                             (5)
rock RF                                             (6)
rotate R 90° & LF triple step L & rotate R 90°      (7-a-8)
RF back                                             (1)
rock LF                                             (2)
lift up                                             (a)
kick RF down                                        (3)
lift up                                             (a)
kick LF down                                        (4)
RF back                                             (5)
rock LF                                             (6)
rotate L 90° & RF triple step R & reframe           (7-a-8)

Follower's steps, from closed:

RF back & rotate R 90°                              (1)
rock LF                                             (2)
lift up                                             (a)
RF kick down                                        (3)
lift up                                             (a)
LF kick down                                        (4)
RF back                                             (5)
rock LF                                             (6)
rotate L 90° & RF triple step R & rotate L 90°      (7-a-8)
LF back                                             (1)
rock RF                                             (2)
lift up                                             (a)
kick LF down                                        (3)
lift up                                             (a)
kick RF down                                        (4)
LF back                                             (5)
rock RF                                             (6)
rotate R 90° & LF triple step L & reframe           (7-a-8)

Most of the figure (except the triple steps) is done in side by side position with a hold similar to open twinkle in waltz.

The kicks should be pointed downward, not forward, for speed. All of the rock steps are bouncing downwarn, there is no upward movement on these steps unlike the lift & kick steps.

Lift on (a) before kicks is a lead for the follower to kick. Without this lead the follower may point the foot that would be kicking.