S01E04 Teach a Swing Out Last

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In my previous post you’ve read (you can still read it) what to teach in the first class of the Lindy Hop.

What should you teach next after you do some 8 count basic? A Swing Out? No. Hold on.

I know Swing Out is Lindy Hop and every lindy hopper should know how to swing out. But as a teacher you should be careful when you start teaching the Swing Out.

Remember, the goal of each class is to make it so good, that people would come back for a next one.

People who have just started doing Lindy Hop DO NOT care about the names, signature moves, solo routines (forget teaching them Shim Sham for a while). At least the majority doesn’t.

You should teach them how to dance. If they will keep coming to the classes, there will be plenty of time to do everything you want, everything they need and teach everything you know.

Next class

So, what should you teach next? The answer is simple. The easiest stuff your students don’t know yet and something that builds up on the stuff you have taught in the previous class.

It’s only after you’ve taught everything that’s easier than the Swing Out you should go for it. By this time they would have already heard about this magical move called the Swing Out. They will be ready, excited, they will already know how to move, lead/follow, bounce, etc. And you’ll have a blast teaching the class.

When would I teach Swing Out

Our students have 1 hour classes twice a week and only in the end of the third month they learn the Swing Out. So it’s at least 20 hours of learning everything that’s easier than the Swing Out. By that time they can do more than three moves other than the Swing Out. Guess if they have fun dancing 😉

The biggest mistake you could make is start teaching something too soon. Make a smart choice on your next class.

Need help? Leave a comment.

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Response (1)

  1. Stepan Jordanek
    2015-10-14 at 11:00 · Reply

    I was curious how people would do if we did’t tell them much but rather show them with as fewest information as possible and we actually did try to teach “swing out” (of course not in the precise way as one would dance it, without triple steps, not too specific directioning, etc.). And it worked! Most people (I’d say 85%) got it to a point that you would recognise swing out in it very well. However, the problem was that the difference between those who got it and those who did not became much greater than before which was the thing I did not realise before and the reason why we went back to our previous concept.

    However, with this relatively high success rate of students it turned out pretty good for 15-minute taster classes (complete beginners) for various events for non-(swing)-dancers.

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