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Re: What it means to swing your leg?
Posted by Waltz123
5/27/2013  2:45:00 PM
The question of whether the upper portion of the leg, from the hip to the knee, is truly swinging. It certainly meets the first two criteria, but how about the acceleration and free release? I'm not exactly certain those apply to a dictionary definition, but again we're talking here about what would give you the impression of a swinging action, by either observing or experiencing it yourself. Are the muscles letting go and allowing it to move freely of its own momentum? The answer probably depends on the speed of the action.

The faster you move the leg, the freer the action will be, and the swingier it will seem. The slower and more bound by muscles, the lesser your impression of a swinging leg. The leg speed, in turn, will be determined by the length of stride in conjunction with the amount of time your have to take the step, as determined by the tempo and timing. A "quick" in Quickstep will therefore be released more freely; a "slow" in Foxtrot more controlled and bound.

All this to say that "swing" is often in the eye of the beholder. Not because it can't be defined, but because there's a considerable gray area, particularly when it comes to criteria 3 and 4. There isn't really a cutoff point, but only a criteria to compare one thing to the next, to be able to say "This is swinging more than that, and here's why..."

Jonathan Atkinson
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