The vast majority of footwork syncopations are built from a handful of basic movements. By drilling those movements, you can easily combine the pieces into a more elaborate syncopation to match the music. An earlier post discussed the single and double rhythm syncopations; this post adds to that list the triple and quad rhythm syncopations.
The Drill: Without a partner, practice the basic movements for syncopations.
Single Rhythms: For these movements, you will have a different foot free after every two beats.
- Slow walks; take a step on the downbeat and hold the upbeat.
- Step-touch; step on the downbeat and touch your free foot on the upbeat without transferring weight.
- Touch-step; touch your free foot on the downbeat without transferring weight, then step on the upbeat.
Double Rhythms: These movements contain two weight transfers over two beats, so you will have the same foot free after completing each movement.
- Walks; take a step on both the downbeat and upbeat.
- Kick-ball change; kick with your free foot on the downbeat, then perform a ball change on the & and the upbeat.
- Point-ball change; same as above, but point instead of kicking with the free foot.
- Hold-ball change; same as above, but now you simply hold instead of kicking or pointing on the downbeat. You can add a knee pop by straightening the knees on the downbeat.
Triple Rhythms: These movements contain three weight transfers in two beats of music. You will have a different foot free after performing each movement.
- Triples; do a triple step, transferring weight on the downbeat, &, and upbeat.
- Step-kick-ball change; step on the & count before the downbeat, kick on the downbeat without transferring weight, then take two weight transfers on the & count before the upbeat as well as the upbeat.
Quad Rhythm: This movement hits every beat and & count, from the & before the downbeat to the upbeat. Because this movement contains four weight transfers, you will end with the same foot free after completing the movement.
- Ball change-ball change; ball change on the & downbeat, then do another ball change on the & upbeat.