Footwork.....in Modern Jive? But surely there isn't any?
Yes there is say some! It appears there is a divide. This short note
suggests a starter as to what the rules really are for two "themes" of Modern
Jive, "General" and "LeRoc".
General Modern Jive Rules
This is taught by perhaps the majority of Modern Jive venues.
Yourself Dizzy expresses well the simplicity of no strict footwork.
- Ease first. Use whatever footwork is most comfortable
- Keep moving. Step in to turn (either direction), step back after
- Unwind the lady. After a move, where the main part ends with
the lady turning clockwise, the man then leads the lady into an anticlockwise
- One little rule. Ladies step right behind left during the
sway part of a sway or basket
- Easy to learn and not too complicated to be
enjoyable and learn moves quickly
- Attention of beginners is kept and they come back
the following week
- Dancing with others may be hit and miss, in
particular links between moves as the ladies may need to perform a foot change
here and there "on the hoof". The result is a more clumsy link with some
dancers but not others.
- Turns may never feel quite right.
- Such "unrestricted" habits may need to be unlearned
later if the lady wishes to improve.
- Keep it simple and your will satisfy those who want maximum fun for
LeRoc is one "brand" of Modern Jive, many teachers are part of the
The LeRoc French Jive Federation.
Some may also wish to watch the
DVD/video "How to Jive" at
http://www.howtojive.com/video.htm. It does not state the rules below,
but seems to obey most of them.
- Turning clockwise. The lady steps in and turns on her right foot,
the left foot is then brought by its
side and weight transferred on the next half count (half count = whole beat), then
she steps back on her right foot
a further half count later.
- Turning anticlockwise. The lady steps in and turns on her left foot,
the right foot is then brought by
its side and weight transferred on the next half count, then she steps back on
her left foot a further half count
- Footwork for anticlockwise-starting moves. Ladies start such moves
(eg lady spin, sway, basket, half-windmill, etc) by stepping back on
their right foot at
count 1. However, in theory, the lady need never consciously do this,
provided she obeys rule 1 and the man obeys rule 4.
- Leading anticlockwise-starting moves. The man ensures he ends the
previous move with a clockwise turn, thus the lady steps back on right foot
after the turn. He thus skips the all too common anticlockwise return so as not
- Footwork for non-anticlockwise-starting moves. Ladies start all "other moves" by stepping back on her left
foot at count
1. However, in theory, the lady need never consciously do this, provided
she obeys rule 2 and the man rule 6.
- Leading non-anticlockwise-starting moves. Whenever a man wishes to lead
these moves, he ensures the previous
move ends with an anticlockwise turn (eg Wurlitzer) or adds an anticlockwise
return to the end, thus the lady steps back on her left foot after the turn.
- Plodding to the beat does not work. the lady cannot just
step on each half-count or each count, she must vary the timing to be on the
correct foot for each turn. This is particularly noticeable between a
clockwise and anticlockwise turn, but also at the start of a move that starts
with a left foot back and proceeds into a clockwise turn.
- Links between moves will put the lady on the correct
foot, requiring no bodged footwork.
- There is a better chance of compatibility - but only
with other LeRoc dancers.
- Ultimately, the person may reach a higher potential
- The lady must learn her footwork from the start and
some may not be looking for such a hobby and give up.
- The man must think more about when to use returns
based on the following move to ensure she is always correctly footed. LeRoc
ladies will generally be wrong footed by Ceroc dancers.
- It may not be obvious on which foot a lady should be
on for some moves, so men may lead wrongly.
- This dance is less flexible on footwork.
- Much more of a strict dance with steps defined, but the advantage is worth
it, but only if both obey the rules.