Swing Discussion Boards > AABA form seems to be impossible for me to understand

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Elysium, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. Elysium

    Elysium New Member

    Hey guys,

    I have been dancing lindy hop since Jan 2016. I have reached a level where we are looking at musicality (it is not vital but my teachers have been talking a lot about it lately).

    Are there any very good examples (detailed ones) of songs that I could practice to in order to get the gist of it?

    I am having a hard time with the intro and knowing when to start the rock step and dancing too. That's one thing I need to start looking into too.

  2. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Hey, welcome!

    Maybe start here http://rustyfrank.com/aaba.html Rusty Frank is a "trusted source."

    Sometimes knowing exactly when the Intro ends can be tricky, but in Tip Light, it seems pretty easy to hear when the intro ends and the first A section begins.

    Oh, and yeah, it's in a West Coast Swing thread, but "it's all swing."

    (I'm sure there will be more.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2017
  3. Sunsetdancer

    Sunsetdancer Member

    This is very timely! I keep trying to improve my WCS, but the rules keep changing......what to do? Is there an expected right or wrong where musicality is concerned?
  4. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    There are lots of different ways to express what we hear in music within the style we know as "West Coast Swing."
    Sometimes something as simple as, the lady walks forward on "THE" first downbeat of a phase can't, or shouldn't be taken as a hard and fast rule. Being judged in a competition is a different animal.

    I just had an interesting edit thing about anchor steps, and it started with Skippy Blair's explicit statement that an anchor isn't a rhythm or a foot position. In other words, you don't have to do triples. And yet, one common question people ask is why don't pros do triples.

    Having been around for a while, and having looked a Lot at written records from the 50s and 60s, I'd have to say that while people may be teaching different things, the basics of WCS have been remarkably stable. Again, I can't comment on competition dance at all.

    What to do? Classic West Coast Swing would be my answer.

    Having written all that, do you have anything specific in mind?
    Sunsetdancer likes this.
  5. Elysium

    Elysium New Member

    Thanks guys for all the insight. Good info.
  6. Elysium

    Elysium New Member

    I am doing lindy hop. If I am not wrong it is also called East Coast Swing. It is from the 20's-30's. The West Coast Swing you mean is also called boogie woogie, right? If I am not wrong it is based on different counts than the one I am dancing. I might be wrong. I am totally at the beginning of learning more about these dances. :)
  7. ralf

    ralf Active Member

    The four names you mentioned are in fact four separate dance styles.
    East Coast Swing is a ballroom-studio derivative of lindy hop designed to be easier to teach.
    West Coast Swing is what happened when lindy hoppers adapted to changing music in the 50s and 60s and has evolved into a slinky dance done mostly to slower music.
    Boogie Woogie is a high-energy European derivative of East Coast Swing (that then added back a swingout-like pattern) typically danced to 50s Rock and Roll.

    Here's a crossover competition from two years ago where each couple does WCS, Boogie Woogie, and Lindy Hop (in that order):
  8. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    When you look at all the variations that have been included in Lindy Hop dancing through the 1940s, you might conclude, as I have, that East Coast Swing is a subset of Lindy Hop.

    Although Lindy Hop, as a named dance, started in the later years of the 1920s, I think it would be more accurate to state that it is from the 30s, achieving national status in the US in very late 30s / early 40s.

    West Coast Swing is not called "Boogie Woogie" in the US (far as I know) (The video for Boogie Woogie in Wikipedia shows what looks like West Coast Swing, but without triples.)
    West Coast Swing was a named dance by the spring of 1953. It was "Sophisticated Swing" / "Western Swing" with the additional restriction of being danced in a slot, and was danced to swing music as seen in an Arthur Murray Medal Ball from 1955. "Smooth" styles of swing, as a named style, date from 1942, and were taught by Murray studios, and Yolanda and Veloz (who managed one of the Murray operations in LA before opening their own chain.) In the second half of the 50s, we can see people doing the dance to rock n roll.
    (The inability to easily make copies, and relative independence of Murray franchises are some of the factors contributing to inconsistent and somewhat contradictory information about WCS's early years.)

    It is accurate to say that swing dances consist primarily of 6 count and 8 count patterns. (That is, patterns using 6 or 8 beats (quarter notes) in music with 4/4 time signature.)

    "...there is absolutely no difference in the BASIC COUNT between EAST COAST & WEST COAST swing. Conseuently, (sic) when someone tells you that he or she can't dance with you because you do East or West Coast swing, which ever be the case, rest assured that that person can't swing dance. Secondly, Swing is Jitterbug is Lindy Hop... the BASIC COUNT has never changed, other then the modern day STYLE which is a highly water down version of the real thing." Dean Collins 1977

    And, hey, we all started at the beginning!
    Sunsetdancer likes this.
  9. Sunsetdancer

    Sunsetdancer Member

    Thanks Steve Pastor, have been working on this. :)
  10. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Might as well add that I have a copy of a
    Sophisticated Swing step sheet that has a item
    18. Whips. ... (Lindy Rhythm.)
    a. Eastern Style:...
    b. Western Style:...

    So, Lindy Rhythm was eight count, and this term was commonly used when these typewritten step sheets were created. (The one dated set of sheets is from 1953.) Eight count was introduced as number 6 on this particular set of step sheets. Bottom line is that 8 count was part of Eastern, Western, Sophisticated, and West Coast in the early 1950s.

    And, I know I've shared this before, single, double, and triple rhythms were all taught during this time period, as item 5.

    I was on the floor (with a parnter!) for a really really fast song Saturday night. I could NOT stop doing triples. Wish I had been able to go to single or double. I'm outta practice on that one!
    Sunsetdancer likes this.

Share This Page