i can…teach?

Today, I taught Emory Swing Club’s “Swinging Six Count Workshop” with Robert. It was…a blast. And a little bit of a clusterfuck, but mostly a blast.

When we started thinking up the moves we would teach, we wanted to emphasize two things: technique, and having fun. So we knew we would cover the basics, but then we also figured we’d teach a couple really fun, different moves which could be changed up and varied.

The crowd was great! About 10 couples in total, and a good mix of Emory students and community members. The group, on the other hand, was a little more beginner-oriented than we’d planned for, but that just meant we taught fewer moves and focused more on the technique of compression and release, of triple steps and pulsing, and of actually leading a rock step (I swear: the light bulb went off above the head of at least three leads). So, with the first hour over, we moved on to cool moves…but we’d spent so much time on technique, that we had to move a little more quickly.

The moves we taught were:

  • Send out with a forward rockstep for the leads
  • Sugar push
  • Side pass without a hand and switching hands at the end
  • Washing machine — emphasizing not the taps, but having fun (rotation, up/down movement, look like monkeys)
  • Accented triple steps (moving your upper body up and down, hallelujah!)
  • Kick-ball-change, Eagle Slide
  • Tuck turn into linked arms, walk off

It was a lot of fun. We probably should have taught these moves as a sequence and then kept up with the sequence, but we were trying to move quickly through all the moves so that we could get to the end. The result of not reviewing the sequence after every one or two moves was that when we tried doing it as a sequence, we pretty much failed…but they were still all doing the moves, and they were definitely enjoying themselves.

Their favorite move was, by far and away, the Eagle Slide — and honestly, it was a little advanced for most of the people there…but they really, honestly enjoyed it, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t give them a move to work hard for. Also, it satisfied a few of the more advanced leads who had attended the workshop since we’d advertised such awesomely fun moves.

In the future, I’d love to do an “advanced” six count workshop and teach something like Running Man (and teach the Eagle Slide again), because I love some of the more interesting, entertaining six count moves. But I think it would be hard, because anything that says “six count” attracts the beginners and deters the advanced. Still, it would be fun!

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