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H. Leon Raper

 

 

G

Get Down Swing

This is a funky new styling of swing dance created by H. Leon Raper. Its roots come from the Charleston and St. Louis Shag (AKA: Kenny Shag or Speed Shag). See Lesson Plans for a listing of step patterns.

The step patterns are from West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing, etc. However, the unique characteristics of Get Down Swing comes from special styling of step patterns in relation to the Odd Rhythm Units and the Movement Unit. Using this type styling on the Anchor Rhythm Unit of each step pattern will yield the funky get down effect, but the technique can also be applied to the other Odd Rhythm Unit of the 6 and 8 beat step patterns.

The Odd Rhythm Movement Unit is [Up Dn Dn] - with accents on the Dn Dn - just think [Up Get Down]. The body is upright and the movement is down into the knees.

Two different types of Odd Rhythm Measures/Units can be used. The choice depends on the dancer's ability to execute high speed forms of swing. The choice of Odd Rhythm Unit would probably be, [X    /] for extremely high speeds and [/ X /] for slower speeds.

For the [/ X /] type of Odd Rhythm Unit, the basic execution is [Dab Step Slap]. That is, on the "first" count, a Kick is executed. On the "&" count, a step together is executed. On the "last" count, a Slap is executed just slightly in front of the weighted foot. The Kick referred to here is actually executed as a Dab.

The type execution for the [X    /] Unit will depend on the skill and styling of the dancer. On the "first" count, the dancer could execute a Step. A Slap is executed on the "final" count.

Body positioning on the "last"count of the Odd Rhythm Unit is critical. The upper body is tilted very slightly back, with the weight down into the knees. The CPB is over the Weighted Foot, with the body turned very slightly in the opposite direction of the Free Foot as the Free Foot executes the Slap. This is exactly the same principle as is used in St. Louis Shag.

The final unique characteristics are short body rotations on each count for the [/ X /] or [Dab Step Slap] style. The first rotation occurs in the opposite direction of "Kick" foot. The second rotation returns to center for the "Step" foot. The final rotation occurs in the opposite direction of the "Slap" foot.

A fully syncopated style of Get Down Swing is
[Kick Step Step] [Kick Step Slap] [Kick Step Slap].

Leader
6 Beat Step Pattern - Syncopated
Straight Count

   
EVEN
ODD
ODD
Count
&
1
&
2
&
3
&
4
&
5
&
6
Rhythm
/
x
X
/
x
/
/
x
/
Foot
L
L
R
L
L
R
R
R
L
Direction
f
T
f
f
T
f
f
T
f
Foot Pos
4
1
4
4
1
4
4
1
4

Leader
6 Beat Step Pattern - Syncopated
Rolling Count

   
EVEN
ODD
ODD
Count
&
a
1
&
a
2
&
a
3
&
a
4
&
a
5
&
a
6
Rhythm
/
x
X
/
x
/
/
x
/
Foot
L
L
R
L
L
R
R
R
L
Direction
f
T
f
f
T
f
f
T
f
Foot Pos
4
1
4
4
1
4
4
1
4

For diagram definitions see
Short Hand Terms or Annotation

 

Also See: Get Down Swing Lesson Plan, Swing Dance, What is Swing, What is Jitterbug, What are the differences?


 

 

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