Swing Dance – Basic Underarm Left Turn

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 35,979
    Professional dance instructor Terry Dean demonstrates the basic Swing dance underarm left turn.

    Terry Dean

    Terry is the owner and principal male dance instructor of Terry Dean’s Dance Studio, in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has been teaching ballroom dancing for 30 years and opened his own successful studio following a 19 year career with Arthur Murray Dance Studios. Terry has received accolades for his choreography and has been honored as Virginia State’s Top Studio and Top Teacher twice. He and his staff teach students of all levels, whether they are interested in social dancing, exhibition dancing, or competitive ballroom dance sport. He has led many of his students to win top level gold medal competitions, and he is pleased to share his expertise with you today.

    Terry Dean: Hi, I am Terry Dean from Terry Deans Dance Studio. We are working on the swing. Now, we are going to start with a basic underarm turn to the ladys left. Basic underarm turn, the pattern really doesnt change from the basic step for the man, only for the lady. So, again, we have got the basic step, coming at each other, one and two, one and two, rock step, and we are basically just changing places.

    I am over here, she is over there, and we do the basic step, we change places, one and two, one and two, rock step. So, I am going to do the same thing, but this time I am going to lift up my arm. One and two, one and two, rock step, so the lady is going to drift, come, do her triple to my right side, one and two, one and two, rock step. Then we go back to the basic, one and two, one and two, rock step, basic step, open break, inside turn, rock step, okay.

    Let me go over the basics in that, but thats basically it. So again, the mans part is the same as always. He just does a rock step, rock step, and he does his triple step going towards the lady to picking up the hand, one and two, and then in place, one and two, rock step. It is important that when he does this, he doesnt lift up the hand until the third step of that first triple. So, it goes; rock step, triple step, triple step, rock step, triple step, triple step, rock step, so you just get used to, I go, triple lift, so when I do that second step, on third step of the first triple thats when the hand goes up, rock step, triple lift, triple step, and it is back down to rock step, triple lift, triple down, rock step.

    Now, the lady, she has got the man with her right hand and she is going to do her rock step, rock step, and she is going to do her little bit of triple in place, triple, then when he picks up the hand, step, she is turning on that right foot, and doing a triple step, rock step. So, it goes, triple turn, triple step, rock step. So, I am going to do this one more time slowly, so you can see how this was happening. She does a triple in place, triple; then she takes the big step with her right foot and turns to the left on it and then does a triple to her left. Its important to think when you are doing swing because there are a lot of turns in swing, when we think of swing is when we think of it as three separate units. The first unit is a triple to the ladys right and mans left; triple in one direction, then the triple in the other direction and then the rock step. So, if you was a lady and youre doing the underarm turn, youre going to do the triple to the right under the arm, triple right; that means you got the triple to your left after you finish the turn, triple left. So, I am going to count just the ladys part again, the rock step, triple left, I mean triple right, rock step, I said that backwards, I am sorry. Lets do that again; were going to go rock step, rock step, triple right, triple left, rock step, triple right, triple left, rock step. The main thing is there for the man is to make sure that he clears enough space so the lady has a chance to get by. One of the common mistakes is for the man to lead the lady into his body when he turns. So, you want to make sure that you give her a lot of space, rock step, so she has plenty of space to get under there and the man gets out of the way just by shuffling away. So you can see her there, you just shuffle out of her way a little bit, while she goes to the other side, rock step triple step, triple step, rock step and the main thing is again is to keep really lively and quick in this and keeping your balls of feet, so were going to do this with a little speed now, triple step, triple step, rock step, triple step, triple step, rock step, triple step, triple step, rock step. So, thats the basic underarm turn left. Next, were going to do the basic underarm back pass.