Posts Tagged ‘jockeying step’
I’m fascinated by Mr. Lawrence Hostetler’s 1942 book, Walk Your Way to Better Dancing, and his charming elucidation of lindy hop. Here is what he says about “The Jockeying Step:”
“While this is not the basic lindy step, it is important as a foundation figure, and should be practiced before taking up the single lindy. In fact, the first four counts of this figure form the basis of the single lindy. The jockeying step also develops control of the knees, which is an essential feature of this dance.
“First, practice the following exercise: Step on the L with the knee perfectly straight; hold the other foot off the floor (count 1). Bend the L knee with a quick movement (count 2). Straighten the L knee (count 3). Again bend the knee (count 4). Step on the R while you hold the L off the floor, and repeat the bending and straightening movements. Alternate a number of times until you can do the step smoothly and in perfect rhythm. Then practice with slow fox-trot music played in swing or boogie-woogie style. You can recognize it by the steady, even rhythm of the bass. Give four counts to each measure. Your knee straightens on counts 1 and 3, and bends on counts 2 and 4.
“This knee action was part of the original Charleston movement. Later, two small, quick steps were added, which became a distinguishing feature of the lindy. These are taken on the first two counts as follows:
- Lift L knee and step back on ball of foot.
- Lift R knee and step on ball of foot in place.
- Step L forward with knee straight. Hold R off the floor.
- Bend L knee sharply.
- Straighten L knee.
- Again bend L knee.
- Transfer weight to R with knee straight. Hold L off the floor.
- Bend R knee.
“Repeat a number of times and then reverse the figure by stepping back R. Next practice with a partner. Do the step in the open position – that is, both facing forward. The leader begins by stepping back L while his partner steps back R.
“Many dancers, instead of starting with a backward step, begin this figure on count 3 by stepping forward with a straight knee, and then finish with the two quick steps on counts 7 and 8. While this may be more authentic, it is less practical from the standpoint of learning the lindy in a short time, as it is easier to lead into the dance by first turning your partner into the open position. If the jockeying step is practiced in this manner, it is an easy transition into the basic lindy step, because fundamentally the latter is simply the first four counts of the jockeying step done alternately left and right.”
Alright, dance nerds, I have a question for you all – what the heck is he talking about? I tried for some considerable time this afternoon to follow his instructions, but failed miserably to figure out what this is in reference to. Can anyone help me out here?