Bounding Unicorns

American Social Swing Variations

Triple Steps

  • 6 or 8 count return: can replace second triple with a crossed behind triple

Extra Two Count Turn

From face to face open, leader's steps:

LF back rock                                        (1-2)
LF triple step in place                             (3-a-4)
(RF triple step crossed behind facing R:)
rotate R 90° & RF back                              (5)
LF in place                                         (a)
RF forward                                          (6)
    & LH stretch forward to wind follower L 90°     (*)

rotate L 180° & LF in place &
    LH lead follower's free spin R                  (1)
rotate L 180° & RF in place                         (2)

(into back rock)

The follower's wind marked (*) must finish on the (6) count but will start sometime before (6), either on (4) or on (5).

Follower can do a crossed behind triple step on (3-a-4) at their option in general, in any event the lead for the turns on (1-2) is leader's LH stretched right.

In order to execute and lead the back rock, the leader must be quick with their turn on (1-2) and be in position facing the follower before she finishes her free turn.

The extra two count turn can be added after most 6 or 8 count moves. For example, after a swingout (to open). In a swingout to open the follower already normally crosses behind on (7-a-8) which leads very naturally to a turn on (1-2).

Replacing Triple Steps With Single Steps

6 Count To 4 Count

6 count figures can be sped up into 4 count figures by replacing triple steps with single steps.

For example, for a right side pass, leader's steps in 4 count:

LF back & LH lead follower's back rock      (1)
rock RF & LH lead right side pass           (2)
LF forward & rotate R 180°                  (3)
RF together or back                         (4)

(1-2) are roughly the same as in a 6 count pass, except the lead on (2) for the pass itself is stronger to indicate it is to happen over 2 counts instead of 4 counts. The travel on (3-4) is faster for the leader as well as the follower. Especially when transitioning from 6 count to 4 count the leader generally must travel more to meet the follower, though once 4 count rhythm is established the partners may go back to traveling as much as they would in 6 count rhythm.

8 Count To 6 Count

8 count figures can be compressed into 6 counts also. The timing becomes:

back rock           (1-2)
step                (3)
walk                (4)
walk                (5)
step                (6)

This takes a bit of time to get used to because the walk-walk steps, ordinarily taking up a whole bar (5-6), now span two bars and start in the middle of a bar (4-5).

Swingout from open to open in 6 counts, leader's steps:

LF back & LH lead swingout                  (1)
RF slightly forward                         (2)
rotate R 180° & LF back & sit back          (3)
RF back & direct follower back & release    (4)
    & rotate R 90°
rock LF & rotate R 90°                      (5)
RF back                                     (6)

One can also do a version of lindy circle that does not rotate in 6 counts, with a forward step on (6). Leader's steps:

LF back             (1)
rock RF             (2)
LF forward          (3)
rock RF             (4)
LF together         (5)
RF forward          (6)


A further variant of this figure is to go down on (6) and freeze, waiting for the end of the musical phrase. The leader goes down more and leads the follower going down. In this case RH hold on the right side of follower's back is helpful to communicate the downward lead for the entire body.

Smooth Swing

Side To Side Swaying

Start the dance in balboa-like position, very close hold, possible right side connection over most of the torso vertically.

Sway left on (1), right on (2), repeat. Can add bounces though it was unclear to me whether bounces were required. Bounces are down into the floor.

Triple Steps

Triple steps are often replaced with weight changes only from one foot to another.

Back-Back For Back Rock

When leading figures from closed hold, instead of the normal back rock the leader takes two steps back, similar to what happens on (1-2) of a swingout. By doing so the leader moves out of the way of the follower for figures like underarm sendout.

When starting in the balboa-like position, when leader performs the back-back steps of the back rock this also opens up the hold to what is approximately regular S/LH closed hold, thus also creating space for the follower to exit to open position.

Eye Contact

In smooth style of swing the partners should be making eye contact when in open position, and at a minimum the leader should have his head turned toward the follower (though I imagine this is a good thing to do in all variations of swing and in rhythm dances in general).

Swingout From Open

In the smooth style of swing, this swingout has the leader move barely at all while the follower travels from one side of the leader to the other side. As such the leader's first two steps are

LF back             (1)
RF back             (2)

As the distance traveled is covered entirely by the follower, LH lead must be correspondingly stronger than in a normal, balanced swingout. Because of this stronger lead (if it is sufficiently strong), the follower will start the swingout with

RF forward          (1)
LF forward          (20

... instead of swiveling. Given a strong enough lead, the follower has no choice but to move forward rather than swivel; that said, in smooth style of swing a follower may omit swivels entirely and even when they are explicitly led (by left/right LH rotation of the leader) swivel minimally.


Swivels are frequently omitted, and replaced with two walks forward when the figure requires travel.

Slip Slop

The slip slop is raising one foot off the floor and sliding on the other foot. This can be done in slow or fast rhythm.

An application at the end of a swingout is as follows. Leader's steps from open, slow slip slop:

LF back                                             (1)
rock RF                                             (2)
LF triple step forward rotating R 180°              (3-a-4)
RF back                                             (5)
rotate R 180° & LF step & RF up & body down         (6)
body up & LF slide right                            (7)
RF step & body down                                 (8)
body up & RF slide left                             (1)
LF back                                             (a)
rock RF                                             (2)

The back rock which is ordinarily done as (1-2) becomes (a-2) when it follows the slip slop. This is similar to a stomp off. The hand lead remains as it always does - if performing another swingout, pull on (a-2) to get the follower to start the swingout, and I imagine a push on (a-2) is also valid to put the follower into a back rock.

The fast slip slop, leader's steps from open:

LF back                                             (1)
rock RF                                             (2)
LF triple step forward rotating R 180°              (3-a-4)
RF back                                             (5)
rotate R 180° & LF step & RF up & body down         (6)
body up & LF slide right                            (a)
RF step & body down                                 (7)
body up & RF slide left                             (a)
LF step & body down                                 (8)
body up & LF slide right                            (a)
RF step                                             (1)
LF back                                             (a)
rock RF                                             (2)

The fast slip slop has the same (a-2) step that the slow slip slop has. The fast slip slop has three slip slops where the slow slip slop has two slip slops in the counts that they are being executed.

Going down on (6) and other thus marked steps helps with the sliding action - it is easier to slide while moving up than slide with constant height. The downward movement on (6) is also a lead for the follower indicating the slip slop.

Going by the number of times the lady instructor did not execute the correct slip slop if it was not pre-announced, I would say that slip slop is not socially leadable.