7. Sugar push

Like most of the patterns in this tutorial, a sugar push is a two-part process. First, you need to have good connection and then, second, you need to be able to isolate your lower body from your upper body so that your footwork does not interfere with your connection.

As a connection exercise without any footwork, the leader and the follower stand in two hand open position. Both the leader and the follower should then sit back keeping their shoulders straight and their butts out. You should not lean back so much that if you were to let go you would fall. It is important to always support your own weight. Lean back far enough so that you can feel the counter balance connection.

After you are comfortable in the sitting back position, gradually begin to lean forward until you are pushing toward your partner. The type of connection that occurs when you are pushing toward your partner is called compression. The transition between counter balance and compression should be gradual and relaxed. As shown in the accompanying video clip, there should always be some degree of connection as you move between sitting and pushing.

As for the specific motion of the arms, the leader's arms open to the side with the forearms remaining parallel to the ground as if he were doing a push up with his palms upward. The follower's arms should extend slightly as she moves closer to the leader. The leader and the follower's forearms should never bend upward like T Rex dinosaur arms.

Now when adding the footwork, the connection and arm movement as performed in the exercise above should remain the same.

The leader does a rock step on 1,2 and, with the weight of his body, pulls the follower forward. On 3&4, the leader does a triple push and stops the follower from coming closer. On 5&6, the leader does a triple sit as he pushes the follower away.

The follower does a walk walk on 1,2 as the leader pulls her forward. On 3&4, the follower does a triple push as she is stopped by the leader. On 5&6, the follower does a triple sit as she is pushed away from the leader.

Stepping on count 4
at the start of the push.

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