Swing dancing is a fun way to exercise your muscles, coordination and social skills. Whether you are joining a swing dancing club to learn the dancing or enjoy the company, it can be helpful to have some prior instruction on the classic "triple step" swing dance step, which is prevalent in many swing dance patterns. Because men and women have different swing dance steps it is important to learn your stepping pattern before heading out onto the dance floor.
What It Is
A triple step is a common step in swing dancing and is a three-step sequence that is preformed within two music beats. This means that dancers will have to get their feet moving quickly: if you take the first step on the first beat you must take the second on the half beat and the third step on the second beat. Generally the first two steps are fast (taken on the first and half beats) and the third step is long.
How to Recognize a Triple Step
When swing dancers are first beginning, instructors often count out the beats to help their pupils follow along. The triple step beat can be called out as "one and two" or simply by its three-syllable name "trip-le-step." Because of the triple step's unique and uneven pattern it can also be called out as "quick-quick-slow" depending on the instructor.
Triple Step to the Left
The dancer starts out with their feet positioned closer than hip width. On beat one they move their left foot to the left (roughly shoulder width), move their right foot to the left on the half beat and moves their left foot to the left one more time on the second beat. When the dancer has finished the triple step to the left they are standing with their feet shoulder width apart. The triple step to the right follows the same pattern with an opposite direction and begins with the right foot instead of the left one.
Difference between Men and Women
Similar to many couples dancing routines, swing dancing requires men and women to follow different patterns. The man maintains the roll as the "leader" while the woman follows his footwork. When dancing the triple step, the men start the triple step with their left foot while the women start it with their right foot.
- Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images