Alaina’s Weekly Playlist: ECS (East Coast Swing)


swingdanceWhat comes to your mind when you hear the word swing?  I think about the 40’s and 50’s.  From the forties, you have the Big Band Era and excellent orchestras like the Glenn Miller Orchestra.  From the fifties, you can’t really beat the black and white checkered floors in the classic diners, jukeboxes, poodle skirts, and chocolate milkshakes.  (That last one might be on the list because I’m a chocoholic…)  There are a variety of dances associated with swing.  You have ECS, WCS, Jive, Lindy Hop, and Jitterbug.  I don’t know too much about ECS unfortunately.

If memory serves me correctly, ECS was the first Rhythm dance I learned.  It can be danced in single-time or triple time.  This means that you can either use a single-step followed by a rock-step, or a triple-step with a rockstep, respectively.  Here’s the musical rhythm for both: (It should be noted that in either single or triple time ECS is danced on both the right and left sides followed by a rock-step.  It doesn’t matter if you start on the side or with a rock-step.)

Single Time

one-two-rockstep…

or

Triple Time

one-ah-two-three-ah-four-rockstep…

ECS is distinctive because of its triple-step rhythm.  Also notice that there is syncopation, which I highlighted.  The beat is split on the two and four, making your full beats on the one and three.  However, single-time slows down the dance considerably.  This is better for beginners, that and it’s just easier to dance.  The men in my college may not dance much, but I’ve seen them dance swing in single-time, which is good enough for me.  I’ll be sure to grab one of them to dance with me should the opportunity ever arise.  Oddly enough, I learned ECS in triple-time first, then I learned single-time.  Even when I came back from my year-long hiatus at age eighteen, Victor re-taught me ECS in triple-time.  Nowadays, my studio teaches ECS in single-time first.  Okay, on to the playlist.  All these songs, in my opinion, are best danced in triple-time, but you can dance them in single-time, too.  Try counting in single-time and observe how the dance slows down.

Normally, I include at least six songs in my playlist.  Unfortunately, I can’t think of anymore.  I hear a lot of good ones at the studio, but I can never find out the names.  I really should get that app…  If you have any songs you know of for ECS, please feel free to post them in the comments.

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