10. Rhythms

As you become more experienced in close-embrace style you will know that there are endless combinations of slow steps, quick steps (double time or syncopation) and pauses making complex rhythms. And when you consider the fact that the leader and follower could be doing different rhythms simultaneously, the possibilities are truly endless. But one of the most basic building-block rhythmic pattern is Slow-Slow-Quick-Quick. Here we will present 4 exercises to help you move in the line of dance, stay in place and turn in place using this rhythm.


For example LS would mean Left leg doing a side step Exercise 10.
Leader does the following 4 steps in Slow-Quick-Quick-Slow order.

Follower does the mirror image of this, that is,


Note for leaders: There is a tendency to rush through the slow steps and slow down the quick steps. Be aware of this. Make the slows really slow and quicks really quick.

Note for leaders: During the 3 side steps ‘lead’ the weight change by really grounding (sinking) the respective feet. Feet stay apart.

Note for followers: During the side steps caress the weight-bearing feet with the free leg swiftly in a pendulum like motion. It looks graceful and this way you are prepared to ‘break’ this step at a moments notice and move in a different direction.

Note for leaders: Notice that 3 of the 4 steps are side steps. Use these to regain the proper embrace and posture by slightly inching back with each side step, since each forward step tends to decrease the distance between partners’ feets.

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