American Square Dances of The West
& Southwest - online instruction book

With Calls, instructions, diagrams, steps & sheet music

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
of the West and Southwest
danced with the hands joined chest high, with the gentleman's palms up, and the lady's palms down, creating a "tension hold" instead of a grip, with the gentleman lifting up while the lady bears down on the joined palms, with the elbows held close to the body, and the forearms vertical. As the swing is completed, the gentleman rolls the lady to his right side by releasing his left hand, and holding with his right hand, thus placing the lady in position for the next movement. It requires eight beats of music to dance into a Two Hand Swing and swing once around, and roll out of it, the same timing as for a Waltz Swing. All timing given for any type of swing includes the time required to dance to the person with whom the swing is executed. Except when swinging the person across the set, both dancers advance toward the person they are to swing with, and do not wait at their positions for the active dancer to pick them up, unless the call or movement is to swing the opposite person across the set, in which case only the active dancer advances to swing the other person.
In the One Hand Swing the hands should be joined at chest heighth, with the forearms vertical, elbows bent, and the dancers bearing against each others' palms, creating a tension hold instead of a grasp. Hands are never gripped or grasped in the Square Dance. The bent elbow, vertical forearm, and pressure against the other person's palm with the palm of your own hand gives a smooth, compact swing, without the awkward movement so often seen of dancers swinging by one hand at arm's length; the latter movement destroys not only the forma­tion of the set, but the timing of the swing also, making a loose, sloppy movement in which the dancers are out of rhythm.
It requires six beats of music to swing once around with a One Hand Swing, four beats to swing half around. A Left Hand Swing is counterclockwise and a Right Hand Swing is clock­wise.
The Elbow Swing is danced only between gentlemen, but is often called for between ladies, or between ladies and gentle-