How To Practice By Yourself
By Wendy Craighill
Practice Triple Steps to Music
Dance continuous triple steps, practice limiting your bounce to the knees, don't let your shoulders/head bounce up and down.
Practice doing triple steps while moving forward, backwards and sideways.
Practice changing your foot placement during triple steps (triple with right front in front, then try it with left foot in front, then with your right foot slightly crossed over the left foot or crossed behind on the first step).
Variations of your basics
Substitute kick-ball change-step for triple step in your six-count basic.
Substitute kick-ball change for rock step in your six-count basic.
Substitute double kick for triple step in your six-count basic.
Practice "anchoring" during the basic (leaning forward on the first triple, sitting back on the second triple).
Substitute swivels in place of the triples.
Practice the eight-count basic, adding variations (double kick 5-6), add syncopations (& 5 & 6), add kick-ball changes (to the 5-6 and 1-2)
Use a mirror and practice the "piked" position - butt way out, chest forward, back straight (not straight up, though) - this will sort of feel like you are starting to sit down.
Tie a string to a 2-liter coke bottle, practice switches (they are different than swivels, they start with a tiny kick-ball change into the swivel) around a round table without pulling over the bottle but keeping the string taut.
Practice swivels, switches and posture with tension (like you would give a partner) on a doorknob.
Lindy-based Line Dances (help you practice essential movements of Lindy Hop)
Dean Collin's Shim Sham.
Frankie Manning's Shim Sham.
Big Apple (many different source tapes abound).
Listen to the music and learn to hear "phrasing" (eight-count sections of the music).
Try hearing the Swing Chorus (AABA – in sections of 4 eight-count). An excellent tape to learn about dancing to the music is World fo Swing #9: Secrets of Improvisation.
Listen to music to hear the "breaks" and think about (and test in a mirror) what you can add to your basic to accentuate those moments (a pose, a butt roll, quick stop with a Jean Veloz toe roll, Tabby the Cat, etc).