Learning physical skills by DVD
Origination Date: June 25, 2013
Last Modified: January 22, 2013
DVD #1: Dance Cajun Jitterbug Like a Pro (Price $40)
Rather than reinvent the wheel, I will start you with
The Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission web page
where you can get a good description of Cajun orgins, culture and music.
The Cajun Jitterbug is sometimes called the Cajun Jig or the Cajun One Step.
It is danced to Cajun Two-Step music which has a 4/4 beat where the 2nd and 4th beats are heavy.
There are many styles of Basic Step for Cajun Jitterbug:
Shuffle Step, On and Off a Curb, Nail in Your Boot, Putting Out a Cigarette,
Marching Step, etc.
So if you see or know a style other than the Criple Step which I favor,
it is neither right or wrong, just different.
As I mentioned above,
Cajun Two-Step music has 4 beats to a measure
where the 2nd and 4th beats are heavy.
Thus if you were counting a measure, you would count:
one - TWO - three - FOUR
Now here comes the tricky part:
The Cripple Step uses only two beats and the first one is HEAVY.
So your first cripple step will use beat TWO as its first part
and beat three as its second part.
The second Cripple Step will use beat FOUR as its first part
and beat one of the next measure as its second part.
This may seem a bit confusing but
it is very easy if you don't think too much.
Just step down on the first HEAVY beat you hear
and drag your other foot on the light beat:
STEP - drag - STEP - drag - STEP - drag, etc.
I will post instructions for the Cripple Step on YouTube some time soon.
Practice moving to the Cripple Step until you are comfortable doing it.
That will take anywhere from two minutes to two hours.
Now comes the interesting part:
Most forms of social dance consist of performing
steps and patterns on time to the music.
A given pattern (which we will call a 'dance move' or just a
must be completed within (usually) 1 or 1.5 or 2 measures.
That is not the case with Cajun Jitterbug!!!
You must keep your two count going
but you can complete a move any time you wish.
This allows the leader to guide his partner on the dance floor
through moves which are completely new to her starting slowly till she learns them.
Most of the moves are borrowed from East Coast
Swing the most common form of Jitterbug.
However Cajun Jitterbug does not have lifts (air steps), dips, jumps or any other acrobatics.
What is does have is lots of cool arm work with spins and turns.
My DVD will teach you:
The many moves of Cajun Jitterbug
How to derive new moves from old (extensions)
How to export and import the moves to and from other dances
Part 1: Introduction & the Cripple Step
Part 2: Basic moves and their extensions
Part 3: List of extensions and how they are used
Part 4: Exporting moves to Trioca, Waltz and Tango
Part 5: Import moves from Country Western, Waltz and Salsa
Here is a sample tune
(One Night Stand) to practice by.
Here are the
lyrics for One Night Stand.
To buy Cajun CDs or MP3s
So where do you get to practice and get to show off your newly
acquired Cajun Jitterbug skills?
Thanks to Arn Burkhoff there is a web page which will tell
you where to find all the public
Cajun events in the whole world (no kidding!)
Just make sure the words in parenthesis following the band's
name say either Cajun or Creole.
For QUESTIONS or COMMENTS Click Here