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Basic (dance move)

The basic dance move is the simplest of all Lindy hop moves. Essentially, the guy (lead) and girl (follow) remain in the same place for 2, 4, 6, or 8 counts. The basic dance move is common to all Swing dance forms.

There are many variations to the basic. This page also include freezes. The basic is closely related to the sugar push.

There are many stylizations and variations.

Table of contents
1 Open Position
2 Closed Position
3 Cuddle and Promenade Positions
4 Armlock Position
5 Tandem Position
6 Back-to-Back Position
7 Style
8 Other Variations
9 Combinations
10 See Also
11 To Do

Open Position

In open position, partners stand facing each other at an arm's length apart. They may hold one or two hands. They may have parallel or crossed arms.



Follow Spin: Girl spins. Overhead: Spin left or right. Push-down spin. (push shoulders down). Straight arm spin, multiple times. Rock-step-spin, with hip reverse and free-spin.

Spins with the girl's left hand, overhead, free, pull to cuddle.

Lead Spins: The lead can spin into the follow's arm, so it ends up on his shoulder.

Both Spin: She goes, he goes. Both do inner turns.

Barrel Roll: She does inner turn, he does outer turn. Or they both go the other way.

Both Free Spin:

Alternating Spins: This has crossed hands grip. They alternate spinning, often the girl goes first. Spins may end when the guy looks at the girl and turns back, or when the girl looks at the guy and turns back.

Double-handed Spins: Double-handed spins, each goes as far as possible (shoulder lock).


Kick: Kick over arm, release arm, grab arm

Duck Under Arm: The follow's right arm (or left arm) rests on the lead's shoulder. The lead ducks under her arm to move it to the other shoulder.

Pushing and Pulling (Retitle)

Leans: The follow leans away from lead who counterbalances (4 counts), follow leans toward lead who counterbalances (4 counts).

Arm Arcs: The arm leads up an over left (4 counts), then up and over right (4 counts).

Arm Loops: Arm loops may move toward lead or follow. Arm loops bring the follow from open position to closed position. When lead puts his left arm over head, his right arm can go to back.

Arm Stuff: Spin with arm stuff. These are complex are, like Todd and Emily or Steve and Rebecca.

Girl Push: Girl push guy's chest.

Girl Pull: Girl pull guy's shirt or tie.


This means simply hold a pose. (Rethink)

Basic Pose: Hold shape in whatever position you are in.

Body Rolls: Body rolls. See hip hop for more details.

Shimmy: Shake shoulders.

Hips: Shake hips.

Run: Run in place.

Closed Position

in closed position, the lead and follow stand together, with the lead's right arm on the follow's back.

Basic: Hold in closed position, and do footwork.

Messing Around: Move hips in a big circle, which usually takes 4 to 8 counts.

Wiggle Down: Rock hips left and right, while sinking lower and lower, legs between each other, then stand up.

Spin: Girl spin in arms. (Left, right, apache (to open), overhead, push down, free, single, double, many). Lead with follow's right or left hand.


Side Lean with Kicks: Step on left and lean left, kick with right foot, step on right foot and lean right, kick with left foot.

Body Rolls:

Break: To open

Cuddle to Arm Lock: Double arm grip, with a tuck turn, but don't let go.

Cuddle and Promenade Positions

The cuddle position is double hand hold with the follower next to the lead in closed. The promenade position is the lead with his right arm on follow's right shoulder, standing side by side. Often the lead holds the follow's hand, but not always. Both are side-by-side positions. The follow's hands are crossed in cuddle position and straight in promenade position. (Right hand to left hand, on shoulder or hip)


Spin: Cuddle to arm lock.

Spin: Overhead, let go lead's right. Free spin.

Tuck Turn:

Side-to-Side: (footwork?)

Skip Ups: Walk forward, backward, kicks, skips.

Alternate Step in Front:

Messing Around:

Armlock Position

In armlock position, the follow's left arm is behind her back and her right arm is in front of her. The partners face each other and the lead has a crossed arm lead.

Duck Out: From hammerlock, guy ducks out.


Arm lock to Cuddle: Pull to cuddle with a single 1/2 turn, but don't let go.

Tandem Position

In tandem position, one partner stands right behind the other, with one or two hand hold. Often the guy is in front and leads with visual cues. The lead may hold her hand or put her hand on his shoulder.

Something: Pull forward from open tandem to closed tandem, when the follow is behind. He may put up his hand to stop her from running into him.

Imitation: They often do Shorty George, but any footwork will do or alternate the imitation. Also see Charleston for more about tandem position.

Back-to-Back Position

In back-to-back, the dance partners face away from each other, usually not holding hands.

Butt Fight: Stand facing in opposite directions, with butts touching. Shake them.

Butt Bump: When the partners are back to back, the guy sticks his butt back, pushing both apart.

Back-to-Back Charleston: This is not lead.


Point to audience.

Arm blocks and reverses (in spins) (arm, shoulder, hip)

Other Variations

Position: Move forward or back.

Direction: Rotate 1/4 turn in either direction.

Mirror Image: Flip the move left-to-right.

Speed: Move at a different speed, for example, half speed or double speed.

Start Count: Start on any count.

Roles: The girl may lead and the guy may follow.


Spin: Armlock to promenade or cuddle and back.

Cuddles: Move follow back and forth from one side to the other. Exit by ducking under the arm (either side).

Pretzel: Duck under arm, around back, duck under arm.

See Also

Dance move - Basic - Sugar push - Side pass - Swing out - Circle - Groucho - Skip up - Aerial - Charleston - Jazz

Dance - Swing - Lindy hop - East coast swing - West coast swing

Lead and follow - Connection - Musicality

To Do