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Reworking the Swingout articleEdit

Ok, here is what I think after re-reading again both articles:

I think that

1) the term Lindy Basic should point to this article, with a clear disclaimer in this article that Lindy Hop has no basic move, but that however swingout and "swingint out" is a main idea in lindy hop partnered jazz movement.

2) the content in Lindy Basic should be merged in the List of lindy hop moves page, and that it be weeded out of incorrect terms, moves, or moves that don't make any sense or are too obscure to be mentioned as central "lindy hop moves".

While I agree, that both articles are a mess, I disagree a bit: for the purposes of teaching it is useful to define 8-beat Lindy Basic rhythm "rock-step, triple-step, rock-step, triple-step", pointing out that it is for the very basic beginner teaching only. What is more, several East Coast Swing teachers specifically referred to this pattern (in ECS dancing) as "Lindy Basic", as opposed to "triplestep-triplestep-rockstep" of ECS. mikka (t) 02:06, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

PlainJane 10:33, 29 March 2006 (UTC) I support the proposal to merge the two articles. The idea that the swingout/lindy basic _is_ the basic step of lindy hop is one common in contemporary swing dance communities around the world, one supported by the most well respected teachers, from the Hot Shots to Steven Mitchell and so on. it certainly reflects the fundamental rhythm of many afro-american verncualr dances (the syncopated 8-count step spanning two bars in songs in 4/4 timing). I'd say something like:

The swingout is commonly accepted as the basic step in lindy hop, but it is important to note that while this basic rhythm and step are important, the lindy hop's appeal, flexibility and creative potential lie in the potential for variation on this rhythm and step. As a teaching tool, the swingout introduces beginner dancers the basic structures of swinging jazz music and of lindy hop, yet there is the expecation that dancers will develop this basic step and rhythm as their ability and creativity develop. This was certainly the case in the Savoy Ballroom, where the most respected dancers were those who created new steps - new variations on basic structures. Just as the swing out originally developed from the breakaway, which was in turn a reworking of partnered charleston, the lindy basic moved creatively far beyond the basic rhythm in the 1930s as it does in the current era.

New structureEdit

Here's the material I thought we could include in the final, reworked 'swingout' article.

Brief description of the swingout and why it's importantEdit

- it developed the breakaway (open-closed-open) to suit swinging jazz rather than hot or pre-swinging jazz by introducing a downwards bounce and delayed approach to timing (the 'swinging' approach to timing) - 8 counts (1,2,3&4 5,6,7&8) to match the 4/4 timing of swing (music) but with possible variations, and also using syncopation (triple steps in combination with full steps) rather than straight, full beats alone - the step itself is open to variation in structure, timing and styling - from varying the time it takes to complete the step to actually changing the structure of the step itself (the 'swingout' from closed, the introduction of the follower's being turned in a spin from closed into open, etc) - it is commonly regarded as the most important step in lindy hop for its demanding technical nature (combining open and closed), yet also for its combining a range of technical elements (compression, extension, momentum, etc) - one of its appeals lies in the fact that it can be adapted for many different musical or dance styles - from hip hop to pop and back to swinging jazz

Styling variationsEdit

- the follower's 'swivel' on 7&8 1&2 is an important styling point, esp in reference to Harlem/Savoy lindy and west coast/Hollywood lindy - sending the follower out 'sideways', 'backwards' and 'forwards' from closed into open as a varation which is often associated with different styles/eras (though isn't in fact an exclusive or definitive characteristic of any one style - there is/was endless variation in each style) - pronounced bounce/minimal bounce - the 'stretch' and horizontal lines of dancers like the Hot Shots, influenced by Manning esp v the more upright posture of Hollywood - counter balance and its uses in the swingout (in the Manning swingout v the Collins swing out - different uses of counter balance) - most important aspect: the open position allows for individual improvisation, whether or not each partner utilises it. This is the most important part of the swingout because of the way it physically embodies the structure of jazz/blues - formal structure combined with improvisation which is built into the structure of the song/dance


- it was apparently developed by Shorty George Snowden in the breakaway in the 20s (see refs to After Seben film), but was refined by other first wave lindy hoppers in the early 30s, and then further developed by the second wave lindy hoppers at the Savoy, etc (in the later 30s) - it changed again when it moved to the west coast with dancers like Dean Collins, and its shape changed to suit the demands of cinematic camera work, etc (the slot as an example of this)


- the step is known by many different names around the world, in different historical moments and in different dance styles -> eg 'swingout', lindy turn, lindy basic, basic, the Hollywood 'whip' is often regarded as a variation on the lindy basic - the term 'swingout' itself has different meanings (Hot Shot definition - where the 'swinging out' is the movement from closed to open, whether you begin in closed at 1 and move into open, or begin in open, move into closed, and back into open)

- all are valid and reflect the diversity of lindy hop today, as well as the vernacular dance roots of lindy hop

- there have, however, been attempts to formalise the step (and dance) in the past - eg Arthur Murray (I have an image noting the 'footwork' of Murray's lindy basic I can add) PlainJane 07:36, 9 July 2006 (UTC)


I'm in the process of cleaning out the step-by-step descriptions of "How to do ___ (dance move)". The Swingout was my first victim, as almost the entire article was an unsourcable play-by-play. However, if I took too much or more needs to be added back, please see the Wikibook page as I left it for the most part intact and 23:26, 16 October 2006 (UTC)