Looking to learn flips in Country Swing? This is the easiest to learn and incorporate into your dancing. It will come in handy with some more advanced moves later too!
The backflip is exactly what it sounds like: the leader flips the follower into a backflip! It is one of the easiest flips to learn, and it lends itself to other cool aerials like The Airplane.
Warning: Use caution when performing any aerials or flips. Practice it before taking it out on the dance floor. Leads, always ask before performing a flip, and do not flip a follow who does not want to be flipped or know how. Ignoring these precautions can lead to injury.
It is also suggested that you call this move out when performing it, and practice with a spotter the first couple of times.
- From Cuddle with the follow on your right side, do a Spin Out to the right. To continue the momentum and put the follow into a hammer lock (arm behind their back), turn your wrist over. In a normal Spin Out your palm faces the front wall, in this overclocked Spin Out, you will turn it palm side down so it faces the back wall.
- With a very good hand lead, timing, familiarity with your partner, and momentum of the wrist you won’t have to communicate this step; but for the rest of us non-super human dancers, verbal direction can help your follow to keep going.
- At the end of this step, your follow’s forearm should be in the small of their lower back just above their butt.
- When the follow is next to your right side again, bend down. With the hand that is holding her in Hammerlock, briefly let go, then wrap your arm clear around her back with fingers wrapped forward. This arm will stay in contact with your follow the whole time. Again, this arm needs to be right above her butt in the small of her back. With your free arm, reach behind the follow’s thighs.
- You can grab behind the follow’s left knee, or both legs. Both is more stable and will keep the follow from cartwheeling out.
- You can wrap your fingertips around the follow’s thigh.
- Swiftly straighten your back and legs while you lift your lower arm (left arm) up. Once that arm is past your ear, you must let go. The rest of the move is supported on your right arm which is wrapped around the follow. Flip your right wrist palm side up through the turn for comfort, as your arm will be twisted.
- Bend your knees to absorb the impact of the follow landing. You may need to tilt your torso over a little to make the landing more comfortable on your right arm since it is twisted up.
- During the Spin Out, allow your left arm to flip around to Hammerlock position. If you bend your elbow you will have a much easier time. As you come around for the second turn, lift your left arm above his arm so it is not trapped below. This will also give you the option to put your left hand on his bicep for extra support.
- Or you can put both hands closer to his shoulder.
- Bend your knees for the jump, don’t do so until instructed by verbal or physical cue. The physical cue is when you feel the lead bend his knees. You may push off his arm/shoulder with your hands to help.
- Jump straight up into the flip. DO NOT dive backward into the dip. It will help to tuck your knees in and tighten your core.
- Bend your knees on the landing to absorb impact. Try to land on both feet at the same time to minimize friction on your waist, but if you need to, you can plant one foot and then let the other come down.
- Leads, the flip doesn’t happen at your right side, it actually happens in front of you, so your follow should land perpendicular to you.
- Some physically strong leads will strong-arm their way through this move without the follow having any clue what is going on. Again, I do recommend communicating with your partner beforehand. There are too many things that could go wrong that it’s not worth the risk.
- Leads, you can step behind the follow in preparation for the flip if that is more comfortable.
- Leads, by placing your own arm behind the follow’s back you give yourself more control over the move and prevent her from flailing. The arm goes in the small of her back above her butt, regardless of her height.
- Try not to keep the follow inverted for long. The second half of the move can cause abdominal injuries from added friction and pressure.
- You can count to three or shout “Now” for the cue to flip. To ensure good timing.
- Follow, adjust your jump to your height.
- Ideally, the lead is taller and stronger than the follow for this move to work. However, since this move is more about leverage and hand placement, virtually anyone can flip or be flipped with practice. A good deal of the move’s success depends on the follow jumping.
- You can also do this move from a regular Hammerlock. Lead, just remember to overclock the turn and step behind your follow. This variation is great for a follow who is new to this move because they don’t have to know to keep their right arm above, since you placed it there for them.