The first part of the book described the basic structure of Lindy Hop, together with the core moves of the dance. This second part covers a wide variety of variations on these basic moves.
This part of the book describes two distinct types of variation. The first type are structural variations of the core moves, where the dancers move in different directions or end up in different places during the move. This type of variation normally involves a change in the lead; at the point where the variation diverges from the base, the follower needs some indication that things are different. As a result, these structural variations normally involve both of the dancers.
At the top level, these structural variations are organized according to the rhythm structure of the underlying core moves: eight-beat moves, six-beat moves, Charleston moves and other moves. Within a particular rhythm, the variations are then arranged according to the particular core move that the variation builds upon.
The second type of variation described in this part are modifications to the footwork performed by the dancers. The simpler footwork variations involve the substitution of equivalent steps within the rhythm structure of the dance. For example, a variation might replace a triple step with a kick-step, but as both of these involve performing an odd number of steps in a two beat interval, the rhythm structure is the same. More sophisticated variations involve changes to the rhythm structure itself—for example, changing the even-odd-even-odd pattern of the eight-beat rhythm to an even-odd-odd-even pattern. These footwork variations often use particular movements taken from the wider world of jazz dance, so a Jazz Steps chapter precedes the description of footwork variations within Lindy Hop.
The distinction between structural variations and footwork variations is artificial. In practice, dancers are likely to perform variations that involve both types at the same time, changing both the shape and the footwork of the move. However, separating the two helps to ease comprehension by only varying one thing at a time.
This part also includes some longer, jazz dance influenced, variations that do not interact with the normal moves of the dance. These are shorter or longer choreographed sequences that the dancers perform in unison, but they are not explicitly led.
However wide the range of moves covered here, this is not an exhaustive catalogue of variations. The main limit to a Lindy Hop dancer's range of moves is their imagination, which this section will hopefully inspire. For social dance, the other limit is whether a new variation is leadable or not—the further a move strays from the "standard" moves, the harder it may be to lead on a social dance floor.
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