Bounding Unicorns


From Closed

Leader's steps:

LF back rock                                                  (1-2)
LF triple step to get in front of follower, spiraling down    (3-a-4)
    (tension back on 4 count)
RF straight back                                              (5)
rock LF & rotate R 90°                                        (6)
RF triple step back                                           (7-a-8)

The back rock is a standard one.

The step on 3 count pivots around the right foot which remains almost in place from the 2 count (RF can move somewhat). The goal for the leader on the 3 count is to rotate entirely in front of the follower facing back to the slot, so that "a-4" steps are straight.

Follower does a triple step in place on 3-a-4 counts.

Then, start sinking which means stick the butt out while maintaining straight back (the back will be less vertical, but should not bend). The goal is to create tension away from the follower at the 4 count.

Follower should match leader's height and tension throughout the "a" count as the leader is sinking. Follower sinking slower than leader ends up unbalanced. Follower sinking faster than leader ends up pushing the leader off balance.

The lead for swingout is the leader sinking on this first triple step.

On the 4 count, both leader and follower should be under opposing tension. Each partner should have their weight centered but stretched away from the other in their hips. This stretch creates momentum for the separation on the following steps.

The direction which the leader's back is facing on 4 count is the direction in which the follower will go on 5/6 counts.

It is important for the leader to get in front of the follower on the 3 count, and settle into the stretch on the 4 count. If the leader is still rotating on the 4 count there isn't any stretch going on which will create a problem on 5/6 counts.

On 5 count, the leader steps straight back with RF while maintaining height established on the 4 count (do not rise to the extent practical). The follower should step straight forward into where leader's RF was on the 4 count. Follower should step to the leader but not overshoot, as otherwise rotating on 6 count becomes difficult/impossible.

On 6 count, leader pivots LF 90° right to be perpendicular to the slot, and moves his weight on LF while rotating the torso right 90°. LF can also be picked up and put back down perpendicular to the slot.

In the whip version of the swingout, leader maintains RH connection with follower throughout the 6 count. This opens up the follower to face the same direction as leader (perpendicular to the slot) for 7-a-8 counts, allowing the follower to swivel and be pretty.

In the non-whip version of the swingout, leader releases the follower at the end of 5 count and 6 count thus has no explicit lead. Follower can still open perpendicular to the slot and parallel to the leader, or can open parallel to the leader in the slot.

"Caliofrnia style" 7-a-8 triple steps for the leader are:

RF back crossed behind LF           (7)
rock LF                             (a)
rock RF                             (8)

If going from swingout to another swingout (from open), the back rock on the second swingout is still going back even though the 7-a-8 steps of the first swingout are also back.

From Open

Leader's steps:

LF back                                                       (1)
RF forward slightly in front of LF                            (2)
LF behind follower                                            (3)
RF mostly in place                                            (a)
LF mostly in place                                            (4)
    (tension back)
(same as for swingout from closed:)
RF straight back                                              (5)
rock LF & rotate R 90°                                        (6)
RF triple step back                                           (7-a-8)

On 1 count, the leader goes back but does not lead a back rock. The leader pulls follower with LH but follower should swivel in place on 1 and 2 counts.

Since on 1 count the leader always goes back, lead for the swingout happens on 2 count rather than on 1 count.

On 2 count, RF is placed between where it would be if the first step was a normal back rock and where LF is. LH maintains pull to signal the swingout. Follower should be still swiveling in place on 2 count.

On 3 count follower should be stepping forward toward the leader. The size of the step is a function of the lead on 2 count, though different followers are different. The leader needs to be able to get his LF behind the follower on 4 count, hence if a follower does not make enough forward progress on 3 count there is a problem. A good follower should make sufficient forward progress.

3-a-4 steps for leader are similar to the respective steps in swingout from closed. The leader spirals downward to settle on 4 count with tension away from follower, leader's back pointing in the direction in which the follower is to go on 5 count.

(3-a-4) for follower can be executed in two ways: with or without counterbalance. Counterbalanced version:

RF swivel                           (1)
LF swivel                           (2)
RF forward & rotate R 180°          (3)
LF together or crossed in front     (a)
RF back & counterbalance            (4)

In this version, the follower pivots on (3) and maintains that direction through (a-4), facing the leader on (4). Since the follower is not rotating on (a-4) she can sit into the leader's RH on those counts just as the leader is sitting into his hip and away from the follower. The "Hollywood style" version of the counterbalanced version is the follower sitting with weight on RF with RF straight (not bent) but diagonal forward rather than vertical. This diagonal straight leg is not obtainable without support from the leader.

The version without counterbalance is as follows:

RF swivel                           (1)
LF swivel                           (2)
RF forward                          (3)
LF forward & rotate R 90°           (a)
rotate R 90° & RF forward           (4)

In this version, rotation happens on (a-4), and on (3) the follower is next to the leader facing the opposite direction from him (because the leader is moving to where the follower was on (1)).

In the non-counterbalance version, the follower's weight is forward on (4) and she is self-balanced. Non-counterbalanced swingout can be executed by each partner without connection to the other partner.

In the counterbalanced version, the follower's weight is slightly back on (4), which is compensated by the leader's weight being back on (4) as well, which is the counterbalance. The counterbalanced version cannot be executed by either partner without connection to the other partner.

The rest is the same as for swingout from closed.


Straight Sendout

In this variation, the follower executes (5-6-7-a-8) steps roughly in a single line without rotation.

The lead for this variation is 1) a straight pull on (5) and 2) more force than in a "chill" swingout with an unled exit. The lead is intended to make the follower travel faster and in a straight line without rotating/curving.

At the end of (8) the follower would be facing away from the leader, and she would rotate R 180° to face the leader on the (1) of the following measure, likely as she is executing a swivel on RF.

The follower can swivel-triple on (7-a-8) which would set her up for the swivels on the following (1-2), same as with regular swingout exit.

The straight sendout is appropriate for faster tempos of music.

Side By Side Sendout

In this variation, the follower finishes facing the rail of the slot.

For the leader, (5) is virtually identical to the regular swingout, except maybe with slightly less force. On (6) the leader rotates RH which is still connected to the follower's back to rotate the follower R 270° to face the rails of the slot. There should be minimal linear energy input into the follower on (6) to not conflict with this rotational lead.

Between (6) and (7) the partners should be side by side open, facing the same direction which is the rail of the slot.

On (7-a-8) the follower can remain facing the rail or swivel.

The side by side sendout is appropriate for slower tempos of music and provide an opportunity for the follower to show off.

A follower may choose to execute the side by side sendout if no specific type of sendout is lead. The leader can lead side by side sendout by rotating the follower on (6) with RH.

With Follower's Outside UAT

This adds an extra right turn for the follower, starting on 5 count.

On or just before the 5 count, the leader raises LH and stirs the pot clockwise. The lead should not start prior to 4 count.

At the end of this swingout, leader's LH will be on top of follower's RH, leading up perfectly to follower's inside UAT.

With Follower's Outside UAT & Both Free Spin

This variation takes the outside UAT version and adds free spins for both partners on (7-a-8).

On (6), the leader sweeps LH down and right in a large arc. On (7) the leader starts free turn right and LH leads left turn for the follower.

The leader needs to be quick with his turn to be facing the follower prior to (1) to lead a back rock or another swingout.

With Follower's Inside UAT

This takes out the follower's right turn that is normally a part of the swingout, resulting in the follower walking straight on 5-6 counts and then having half a turn right.

This variation is convenient(?) to start if leader's LH is on top of follower's RH from the previous step, although this isn't necessary.

On or just before 5 count, leader raises LH leads follower with LH forward. Even though the variation is called "inside UAT", the follower is technicallly moving straight, though from leader's perspective she can be thought of as turning left.

Due to leader having RH contact with follower's back on 4 count, the lead on 5 count ends up being with both hands concurrently and roughly forward in the follower's direction of travel (whereas normal swingout has follower rotating right through the exit).

The follower then still turns right 180° at the end of 6 count.

With Texas Tommy

On (5) or between (4) and (5) counts, leader brings follower's RH to his RH behind follower's back. Leader's RH grabs follower's right wrist, not hand or fingers. The follower unwinds left (counterclockwise) on 6 count. During this leader's RH rotates around follower's right wrist and then slides down to follower's RH to reestablish finger to finger connection.

The actual hand transition can be done through a change or a toss. The change is similar to back hand change in leader's left turn, and has the leader moving the follower's hand from his LH to his RH. The toss is what it sounds like, and works like this:

  • On (4), leader's LH goes down all the way and rotates the follower's RH to be palm away from the leader.
  • Between (4) and (5), leader moves his LH with follower's RH behind the follower's back, rotates his RH to be palm down to catch the follower's hand, and fairly strongly throws the follower's hand in a straight downward motion.
  • If done correctly, the follower's hand will swing behind her back and go up to her waist, where the leader's RH is waiting to receive the follower's hand. At this point the follower needs to allow her hand to swing freely behind her back and not try to assist the leader or guide the hand in any way.
  • On (5) the leader should have the follower's hand in his RH and can begin the exit of the swingout.

Follower should have very relaxed right arm to avoid shoulder injury. Leader must not pull on the follower's right arm or hand for the same reason.

This variation finishes in handshake hold, making Minnie Dip the next possible figure.

With Leader's UAT Left

On 5 count, the leader executes his UAT left. The lead for this is exactly the same as a 6 count pass with leader's turn - LH is raised in front of leader rather than in front of follower as it would be for the follower's inside UAT, then the leader goes under his arm.

With Leader's Hammerlock

On (5), leader should lead a straight swingout exit. On (6), leader executes 270° of rotation right to end up facing the rail of the slot, and hammerlocks his LH. On (7-a-8), follower executes her normal footwork and leader maintains his hammerlock, stepping in place.

On subsequent (1-2), leader rotates right 180°. This leads follower's forward movement on her (1-2). Importantly the lead for follower's movement comes from leader's body rotating and not from his arm movement while in hammerlock position.

Then, on (3-a-4), the follower continues forward travel, at this point leader is on the other rail of the slot. At this point leader can prepare to grab the follower by shoulders, arms or hips, with both hands. On (4) the leader stops the follower's forward movement (check) using either shoulders, arms or hips. On (4) the follower should be leaned forward somewhat (away from the leader) to create the stretch that then results in her backward movement on (5-6).

On (5) leader pulls the follower back. The follower executes:

LF back                     (5)
RF back                     (6)
LF triple step back         (7-a-8)

The leader rotates right 90°, reenters the slot, and establishes LH connection with the follower through (7-a-8).

Into Lindy Circle

Going into lindy circle changes the ending. Instead of 5 count step being straight back for the leader, leader should start curving and step with RF clossed behind LF. 6 count step then continues the rotation.

(7-a-8) is a triple step with two options:

  1. Rotating/in place: if the following move is a tuck turn, 7-a-8 can be done in place by the leader while continuing to rotate the follower which leads nicely into the wind on the back rock at the beginning of a tuck turn.

  2. Linear/back: if the following move is linear, such as a throwout, the 7-a-8 step should be taken in a straight line and with some travel to stop rotation of the swingout. (The throwout should start with a forward rock on a level where swingouts are taught and above.)

With Stomp Off

When going into Lindy Circle, (7-a-8) can be replaced with a stomp off. Both partners are stomping off in this case.

The stomp off is LF-RF for the leader and RF-LF for the follower, so that they are both on the correct foot to execute the basic next.

The first step of the stomp off is taken on the same foot as used in (6), for example for the leader from open:

LF back                             (1)
RF together                         (2)
LF forward & rotate R               (3)
RF in place                         (a)
LF back                             (4)
RF back & rotate R                  (5)
rotate R & LF forward small & down  (6)
hold                                (7)
LF in place                         (a)
RF back                             (8)

In the hold on (7) there should be a partial weight transfer to the back foot (RF for the leader, LF for the follower) so that on the following (a) the forward foot can step the first step of the stomp off.

The lead for the stomp off finish is leader moving downward on (6) to stop the follower from moving into the triple step on (7).