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Starting to Dance

The first thing to learn is simply how to start, not only in the correct way but also at the same time as your partner. All of the moves start in the same manner, its hardly rocket science, so once you have taken a few minuets to view this page you should never have to return to it again

Above all else the most important thing to remember from here on is...... The men lead and the ladies don't.

The Starting Position

All of the moves taught on these pages start from the same position, the only variation being with which hand the men start. You should start face to face with your partner and standing about 18 inches apart.

Men, offer one hand to your ladies, which hand will be described in each move but for the purposes of this exercise offer your left hand.

When you offer your hand it should be flat, at waist height with your palm facing your stomach and your thumb pointing upward toward the ceiling.

Starting hand holdLadies you always offer your right hand.

This should be draped over the top of the man's offered hand. At this point your hands, although connected, should not beholding each other as the grip should remain as loose as possible. Unlike other forms of dance where the man might lead his partner by means of a firm hand hold if you grip to hard when learning Modern Jive many of the moves will become either very uncomfortable or even impossible.

Both Starting at the Same Time. Once you are both standing correctly you need to start. As we said at the top of this page the men are leading so it is up to them to start you both off.

Men, if you are starting with your left hand, as we are in this case, all you have to do is draw a small semi-circle to your left at waist height. As soon as this semi circle starts your ladies know that you intend to start dancing and you both take a step backward at the same time. With which foot you step back with is up to you, whichever comes most naturally will do for now. If the move starts with the right hand the men should draw the semi-circle to the right rather than to the left.

Small but Important Things to Remember from now on

  • Men lead and the ladies follow
  • When learning the moves individually all moves start with a semi circle and a step back so make sure you are quite close to start with or you will not be able to both step back and still keep hold of your partners hand.
  • Ladies always offer your right hand be it at the start of every move or midway through when your partner has let go to spin you. When you take hold of each other again it will always be with the ladies offering their right hand to the man.