2. Six count basic in closed position

Now when dancing with a partner in closed position, the leader places his right hand behind the follower on her left shoulder blade. This is an important connection point. Connection occurs effectively in partner dancing when two dancers hold one another such that they can feel the weight changes of each other’s steps. Connection in closed position is established by the follower sitting back into the leader's right hand. This is done by keeping your shoulders straight and sticking your butt out.* The leader must then do the same to maintain his balance. It should feel like you are strapped into a harness and that harness is your partner. If the leader walks toward the follower, the follower should maintain the connection with the leaders right hand and move back.

*Important note: lindy is a form of jazz dancing which is derived from African rhythms and body motions. The rhythms are syncopated (uneven) and the body motions are bent over and relaxed. Standing straight up is not good lindy posture.

How to measure connection:

If the connection is too light, the leader’s right hand will barely be in contact with the follower’s left shoulder and if he steps side to side his right arm will slide on the follower’s back and the follower will not make a weight change or move with the leader. If the connection is too heavy, the leader will barely be able to step with the follower side to side. If the connection is just right, then as the leader steps side to side the follower will step with the leader and there will be a comfortable “harness” feel between the leader and the follower.

While in closed position, the leader should not have to move his right arm to maintain connection or to change the weight of the follower. The leader, if properly connected, need only move his body and the follower will follow. This is called body leading. A good exercise to test connection is for both leader and follower to close their eyes to determine if their connection is good enough to concentrate more on the feel of both the leader and the follower’s weight changes.

The Law of the Hands:

With the leader’s left hand he forms a pistol grip (picture) and the follower presses the knuckles of her right hand into the leader’s left hand. The connection of these two hands creates a hoop-like frame between the leader and follower.

The law of the hands requires that, in closed position, the follower generally keeps her right hand out and still so that the leader can find it. It is this general agreement which keeps the leader and the follower from randomly grabbing for one another’s hand.

When starting the six count basic the leader puts his weight forward and leans the follower forward slightly so that they triple step. Then leader steps back bringing the follower back to triple. Finally the leader opens up the connection with the follower a little and leads the follower into a rock step.

Functional styling:

For leaders and followers, when you do the first triple of your basic you want to lean forward slightly as though pushing something. On the third step of your triple, count two, your back leg is pointing behind you with no weight on it. On the second triple, you should step back as though sitting so that all of the weight on the third step of your triple, count 4, is on your back foot and your front foot is pointing forward without any weight. In the closed position six count basic, you triple push on 1 & 2, triple sit on 3 & 4, and then rock step on 5, 6. The effect of this type of motion is that it creates a body rhythm where you are accenting the even beats which is also where the accents are in swing music.

An accent in music is when a beat has slightly more emphasis than other beats. You can feel this beat in swing music if you clap on the 2 and the 4 beats of four count measures of swing music. It has more of a laid back feel than if you clap on the 1 and the 3 beats of four count measures which has more of marching feel. The point is, your body should go down slightly on the even beats in swing.

On 1st triple step,
both lean forward
on counts 1&2
as if pushing something
("triple push")

On 2nd triple step,
both step back on
counts 3&4 as if
sitting on a stool
("triple sit")

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