Sunday, October 5, 2014

Zydeco Dance Lesson - Slides

There are many different styles in Zydeco dance and one you will often see in Louisiana and Texas are slides.  This is where the couple will move horizontally back and forth in sync with each other.  While it appears easy, the lifts are different than the standard weight changes so it will feel a little odd at first.

Learning the Basics of Lifts...

1.  Watch the "pro's" through the first link below to see what it looks like with slides with some other fancy techniques thrown in...

2. BEFORE we can start putting the fancy footwork into slides, we need to practice the basic of the lifts which are different than normal "Slow quick quick Slow" weight changes in Zydeco....  

In the video clip shown below..  you DON'T NEED A PARTNER to get the lifts and weight changes of the footwork down.   Watch the video clip below and just practice the weight changes of the slides with lifts...    Once we are comfortable with lifts we can start crossing over on the push step and throwing our lifts behind which is what you see in the first video clip above...

3. The clip below is from a workshop in Lafayette Louisiana.

It reviews basic weight changes of slides with lifts and also shows how to incorporate some moves into the slides once your comfortable with them.

Once you get comfortable with the footwork you can work on the hand toss next as you typically don't keep the partners hand the whole time during the slides.  

4. Starting at 1:53 on the video clip below along with dancer extraordinaire, Chearl McKee, we demo the basics at a faster speed at first and then break down the slides again... once you have this down you can start embellishing the pattern as the video clip at the bottom shows where they start sliding the lifts and crossing over. I can post a follow up video clip on this fancy footwork but it's essential you have the standard lifts down first as shown below.

The video clip is from DVD#4 at

5. The video clip below from a Trail Ride in Houston is a great example of how the dancers embellish the basics of the slides with lifting behind and crossing over.

This additional clip below reviews slides with lifts from the Gator By The Bay festival in San Diego and also shows some quick reviews of some moves as well.

6. The last video clip listed below is review from a dance workshop at Tio Leo's in San Diego.  It shows the slides first with out lifts, and then adds them as a variation.  Either way you do the slides "works" visually and it's actually easier to not do lifts at first, but in Louisiana and Texas they do put in the lifts which also allows you to do a bunch of other moves that incorporate the lifts.  Its good to also see how the hand toss works with the footwork of the slides with the clip below.