Kath McGuire's LindyHop Notes for Spring 2020


Week 1: 18 January 2020

Getting Into Position

Lindyhop is quite relaxed. Keep your knees bent; relax. The follower stands on the leader's right hand side. The follower lifts both arms in the air; the leader places their right hand on the follower's left shoulder blade; the follower drops their arms down (the left arm drops behind the leader's right). Where the leader's right arm touches the follower's left arm is the connection point; both dancers need to keep the connection here. The follower bends their left arm at the elbow and puts their hand lightly on the leader's arm. During the basic, the leader and follower open out slightly on the rock step and are almost facing each other on the remaining steps.

Lindy Hop 6 Count

We started with the 6 count basic: rock step, triple step, triple step. We also did a ball-flat variation instead of the triple steps. Either dancer can do this at any time - it's really helpful for the faster dances.

We also did the 6 count send out where the leader sends their partner into open hold (left to right hand). It's possible to do the basic in this hold. The leader can then bring their partner back in again, just by gently leading them forwards and drifting back together.

6 Count Basic

StepTimingLeaderFollower
1,21,2LR back rockRL back rock
3,4,53a4LRL triple to leftRLR triple to right
6,7,85a6RLR triple to rightLRL triple to left

6 Count Send Out

StepTimingLeaderFollower
1,21,2LR back rockRL back rock
3,4,53a4 LRL triple to left, tilting your body slightly to the left, and let go with your right arm RLR triple to right, pivot slightly to your left
6,7,85a6 RLR triple to right, allowing your partner to move away from you LRL triple to left, moving away from your partner

6 Count Close From Open

StepTimingLeaderFollower
1,21,2 LR back rock, gently lead your partner towards you with your left arm RL back rock
3,4,53a4 LRL triple to left, drift gently towards your partner RLR triple to right, drift towards your partner and take hold
6,7,85a6 RLR triple to right, drift towards your partner and take hold LRL triple to left

Lindy Hop 8 Count

We also did the 8 count basic, which has two steps in between the triples.

We spent some time transitioning between 6 count and 8 count.

Leaders: be definite about the change you are making. Slight sway of your upper body will help signal which version you are doing; and using your right arm to block (gently) your partner will help them to know what you'd like them to do.

Followers: don't worry if you miss the lead, join in on the next rock step. The more relaxed you are, the easier it will be for you to respond to the lead.

8 Count Basic

StepTimingLeaderFollower
1,21,2LR back rockRL back rock
3,4,53a4LRL triple to leftRLR triple to right
6,75,6RL in placeLR in place
8,9,107a8RLR triple to rightLRL triple to left


Week 2: 25 January 2020

Lindy Hop 8 Count

We did the 8 count basic again - with the ball-flat variation for faster music.

StepTimingLeaderFollower
1,21,2LR back rockRL back rock
33,4L ball-flatR ball-flat
4,55,6RL in placeLR in place
67,8R ball-flatL ball-flat

Lindy Charleston

We transitioned between the Lindy Charleston and the 8 Count Basic. Leaders, be definite about the lead (without being aggressive). Followers, be aware that the leader might lead the change; but if you don't get it immediately, just catch up when you can - your leader will just keep on going.

It's worth practising the Charleston basic slowly to get used to it. It's not symmetrical and the double kick takes a bit of getting used to.

The first four beats aren't too tricky: it's a rock step, a kick forward and then a step.

The next four steps are the double kick. Kick forward on 5, pull your leg in on 6, kick back on 7, step back onto that leg on 8. Don't put your foot down on 7. If it's easier then count it or think dou-ble-kick-step or think kick-in-kick-down. This is all easier if you're bouncing a little on the standing leg throughout.

Lindy Charleston Basic

StepTimingLeaderFollower
1,21,2LR back rockRL back rock
3,43,4L kick stepR kick step
5,65,6R kick, pull inL kick, pull in
7,87,8R kick back, R step backL kick back, L step back


Week 3: 1 February 2020

We recapped the 8 count basic and added in the Lindy Circle and the Send Out from Closed. Steps should be small and under your body.

Followers: don't worry too much about whether your steps are left, right, forward, backwards or on the spot; just make them nice and small and under your body - the leader will move you where they need you to be.

Try and be relaxed and chilled and grounded. Bend your knees and bounce. Relax your shoulders.

8 Count Basic

StepTimingLeaderFollower
1,21,2LR back rockRL back rock
3,4,53a4LRL triple to leftRLR triple to right
6,75,6RL in placeLR in place
8,9,107a8RLR triple to rightLRL triple to left

Lindy Circle

StepTimingLeaderFollower
1,21,2LR rockRL rock
3,4,53a4 LRL triple (in front of follower) RLR triple (in front of leader)
6,75,6 RF back and turn 1/4,
open right shoulder with hip and foot,
bringing follower with you (lead with right arm);
LF step in place, still turning and maintaining hold
LR forward
8,9,107a8 RLR triple sideways to right,
altering alignment as required
LRL triple sideways

Send Out from closed

StepTimingLeaderFollower
1,21,2 LR rock - the leader lets the follower
rock back further than usual
RL rock
3,4,53a4 LRL triple (in front of follower) RLR triple (on the spot)
6,75,6 RF back and turn 1/4,
open right shoulder with hip and foot,
bringing follower with you (lead with right arm);
LF step in place, still turning but releasing right hand
LR back
8,9,107a8 RLR triple (on the spot) -
possibly moving forward or slightly back
to adjust for alignment and distance to follower
LRL triple (on the spot)


Week 4: 8 February 2020

We recapped the 8 count basic and the Lindy Circle (which starts closed and ends closed) and the Send Out (which starts closed and ends open). We did the Circle from Open (which starts open and ends closed) and we did the Send Out from Open (which starts and ends open).

Leaders can control the amount of turn in the send outs by releasing the follower earlier or later and by turning more or less.

Followers should mostly think of doing their steps under their body - don't worry too much about if you're stepping forward, sideways or diagonally.

We looked at the twists that the followers can do in place of any rock step. It makes most sense to do it when you are starting in open hold (so the Send Out from Open or the Lindy Circle from Open). Step forward onto the ball of the foot with the toe turned out; as you put your weight on that foot pull the heel back towards you to give the twist action.

Send Out from open

StepTimingLeaderFollower
1,21,2 LR back - the leader steps back and brings the follower forward RL forward
3,4,53a4 LRL triple to swap places with follower and close RLR triple (swapping places with leader)
6,75,6 RF back and turn 1/4,
open right shoulder with hip and foot,
bringing follower with you (lead with right arm);
LF step in place, still turning but releasing right hand
LR back
8,9,107a8 RLR triple (on the spot) -
possibly moving forward or slightly back
to adjust for alignment and distance to follower
LRL triple (on the spot)

Lindy Circle from open

StepTimingLeaderFollower
1,21,2 LR back - the leader steps back and brings the follower forward RL forward (the follower can twist if they wish)
3,4,53a4 LRL triple to swap places with follower and close RLR triple (swapping places with leader)
6,75,6 RF back and turn 1/4,
open right shoulder with hip and foot,
bringing follower with you (lead with right arm);
LF step in place, still turning and maintaining hold
LR forward
8,9,107a8 RLR triple sideways to right,
altering alignment as required
LRL triple sideways


Kath McGuire - Associate UKA Ballroom - dance@kathmcguire.co.uk