Boinging Your Partner

West Coast Swing Online Connection

If you can consistently create the boing effect by yourself, it’s time to extend that skill to a partnered connection.

The Drill: With a partner, practice boinging each other by going into an anchor position. Settle into the anchor, away from the connection, and work on feeling the “boing” when your centers naturally want to recoil.

In the partnered version of this drill, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Match your partner’s rate of settling. In the solo drill, you experienced how the boing is lost if you stay settled too long. The same thing happens in the partnered version. You both need to reach the point of maximum stretch at the same time so that you both experience the recoil. Practice varying the rate of settling and having your partner match you.
  • Ride the recoil with your body, not your arm. In the partnered version, it is very easy to feel when one person is using their arm to pull back rather than letting the stretch in the body create the boing. Work with your partner to make sure neither of you is adding an arm pull at any point in the boinging process.

Bonus Variations: The basic concept of this drill can be extended in lots of ways.

One variation is to have one partner blindfolded and test if they are matching the rate of settling of the sighted partner. Followers: this replicates what you need to do on your anchor, since you don’t know if the leader is going to lead you forward on 1 or if he is going to lead a delayed rhythm where you finish settling on 1 before boinging out for &2. Leaders: matching your partner’s rate of settle is necessary to reestablish a smooth connection when your follower is leaving play.

A second variation is to change up the hand connections and body angles. You should still be able to create a boing from any position: left-to-left connection, left-to-right with shoulders rotated open, right-to-right with the leader shaping down the slot for a throwout, etc. The more you play with connections and angles, the easier it will be to integrate this skill into your social dancing.

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