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East Coast Swing
Basic Step - Closed Hold
1b. Basic Step - Closed Hold

The main difference between the Basic Step taken in open position and closed hold is the direction of the rock step: The hand hold of open position is pliable enough to allow the couple to take their back rock directly away from each other with little consequence beyond a slight extension and retraction of the arms. In closed hold, however, the couple must turn to fallaway/promenade position and rock back together in tandem.

Like the Open Basic, the Closed Basic is a repeatable pattern consisting of two chasses and a rock step, first with man to left/lady to right (1a2), then with man to right/lady to left (3a4), finishing with the rock step in fallaway position (1,2).

The version shown in the chart has no turn over the chasses, though the couple does turn 1/8 each (man to left, lady to right) between the second chasse and the rock step to end in fallaway position. They then turn 1/8 in the opposite direction (man to right, lady to left) between the last step of the rock step and the first step of the following figure to return to closed position.

Another interpretation of the basic has the man and lady in promenade/fallaway position throughout the entire figure, taking no turn at all. The first chasse is then taken side & slightly forward in promenade position, and the second chasse side & slightly back in fallaway.

Left- and Right-Turning Basics

In closed position, it is very common to turn the basic either to the left or to the right. Each chasse of the basic can be turned up to 1/4, with the partner on the outside of the turn taking a chasse of normal size, while the person on the turn takes a compact chasse, in order to allow their partner to move around them, e.g.:

On a right-turning Basic, the first chasse is taken with up to 1/4 turn to right, with the man turning around the lady, and the lady's chasse compact. The second chasse is also taken with up to 1/4 turn to right, this time with lady turning around the man, and the man's chasse compact.

The left turning basic is the opposite, with the lady turning around the man on the first chasse, the man around the lady on the second.

Rather than man and lady each turning 1/8 to end in fallaway for the rock step, due to the momentum during the second chasse, the partner on the outside will turn 1/4, while the partner on the inside will have no turn, e.g.:

On a right-turning Basic, the lady turns 1/4 to right between 6-7 to end in fallaway position for the rock step, whereas the man does not turn. Conversely, for a left-turning basic, the man is the one who has 1/4 turn to left to end in fallaway position.

If the turning Basic is to be repeated, rather than man and lady turning 1/8 each to end in closed position, the partner on the outside of turn on the first chasse will turn 1/4 between the last step of the previous rock and the first step of the chasse, e.g.: On the right-turning Basic, man will turn 1/4 to right to close to the lady, whereas on the left-turning Basic, it is the lady who turns 1/4 to left to close to the man.


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