The Sway

(Slow Dancing, Prom Dancing)

Even the President has time to Sway
Photo by Cliff

General Description

The Sway is the simplest and most popular social dance in the world, commonly seen at weddings, proms, and other parties around the globe.

There are two basic kinds: Single Sway and Triple Sway.

The Sway

The Sway is based on slow walking steps, mostly in place.

Pretty much any social dance variation can be adapted into The Sway. Try variations from Merengue, Swing, and Tango.

Done to faster music (~120 bpm) with a Latin beat and Latin styling, The Sway turns into Merengue.

Triple Sway

Triple Sway is based on slow triple steps, mostly in place.

Many different social dance variations can be adapted into The Sway. Variations from Bachata work especially well.

Done to faster music (~120 bpm) with a Latin beat and Latin styling, Triple Sway turns into Bachata.


The Sway can be done to *any* music, though it tends to be danced to slower, more romantic tunes.

Whether it's The Sway or Triple Sway will depend on what feels the most comfortable to you and your partner. Try one option, and if that feels too fast or slow, try the other option.

Depending on the underlying groove of the song, the timing may change slightly. If the music is swung, the slow triple of Triple Sway might be too. If the music is a waltz, you might end up dancing Triple Sway in canter timing (1-3, 4). Don't worry about this — just dance the way that feels most comfortable.

© 2015 Nick Enge

If you or your community is interested in learning The Sway, .

For more, including descriptions of 25 different waltzes and hundreds of variations thereof, see Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living a book by Richard Powers and Nick Enge.

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