Substituting Kick-Ball-Chang-es for Triple Steps

This is a drill for thinking about the feet..

The kick ball change step involves 3 movements:

After the kick-ball-change the next step is with the foot that first kicked. In other words, whatever foot kicked (left or right), that will be the free foot after "change". The opposite is true if a triple step is done, that is, the next step will be the opposite of the 1st step. So, if a kick-ball-change starts with a left, the next step after it will be a right. But if a triple step starts with a left, the next step will be a right:

Kick-Ball-Change
starting left
followed by a left
Triple Step
starting left
followed by a right

Knee forward, foot back,
kick on count 5
(or on count 7 if it
is an 8-count move

"ball" on the ball of the foot
on count 5 3/4 (remember
that the middle step of
a triple step is not
in the middle timewise,
thus 5 3/4). In an 8-count
move this would be on
count 7 3/4

"change" (weight, that is) on
count 6 (or 8). Both
dancers are now on the
wrong foot to step on 1,
so just after count 6 (or 8)
and before count 1, they
take a quick step to get
the correct foot

Now this may be deep at this stage, but try to follow, because the kick-ball-change can be done a lot of places in a lot of dances. If the lady does the triple step on counts 5&6 (in a 6-count move) or 7&8 (in an 8-count move), she will be starting with her left foot which means that after a kick-ball-change her free foot and next step is left. This creates a problem. Since the next count is 1, she needs to start with her right. The answer? Take a quick extra step just before count 1 and the correct foot is free.

Here's a "rule" that is bound to confound dance students at first. You can substitute ANYTHING for any sequence (triple step, 2 triple steps, walk, whatever) so long as after the substitution the proper foot (left or right) starts off the next sequence. Using the example of the lady on counts 5 & 6 of the sugar push, her proper next step to start off the next sequence is with her right foot. If she either triple steps, or touch steps, her next step on count 1 is with her right foot, so the substitutions work. If she does a kick-ball-change, her next step is left so she has to quick add a left and start with her right on 1.

Substituting faster or slower, fancier or less fancy steps for the standard ones is a process which is limited only by the imagination, good taste and physical capabilities of the dancers.

Unless a couple is in closed position (which in west coast swing is seldom), substitutions are partner independent, that is, they can be done by one partner without the other.

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