I recently saw this video on barefoot running that reminded me of some thinking I’d done about how we step in Lindy Hop. Starting at about the 3 minute mark, there’s an interesting discussion of how the forefoot running stride differs from the heel-strike based stride. But what triggered this memory was the image of the force transfer at the end, when presumably the runner was taking the next step. There’s a propelling force off of the back foot that naturally happens in running that’s a bit hidden in walking or dancing.
Imagine taking a step forward on a specific count. Lindy Hop instruction tends to focus on the foot we’re transferring weight onto. But as thinking dancers, it’s just as important to consider the foot that we’re pushing off of. A step forward on count 1 implies thinking of propelling off of the other foot after 8 but before 1.
In Lindy Hop instruction, I’ve heard a lot of instruction that doesn’t help people understand this idea. Something like, “Use the floor more!”
I think it would help if we spoke of pushing off of one foot onto the other.