The Islington Sway



The Islington Sway is an easy Foxtrot sequence dance composed by R. W. Penford in 1950, at the height of the Old Time Dancing revival in England.

The Position

Closed position throughout.

The Dance

Part I - Walk and Turn (4 bars): Back the Follow two slow steps (1, 2), turning 90° to the right on the second step, then a slow half turn of two step (3-and-4), ending with Lead backing along LOD. Repeat opposite to complete the turn (5, 6, 7-and-8).

Part II - Scissors and Zig Zag (4 bars): Lead crosses left over right (1) and points right diagonally forward toward outside wall (2), then crosses right over left (3) and points left diagonally forward to center (4), as the Follow crosses behind and points. Then zig zag two step diagonally forward into the center (5-and-6) and diagonally forward toward outside wall (7-and-8), turning to promenade position at the end.

Part III - Point and Twinkle, Sway (4 bars): Promenade one step along LOD (1) and point inside foot forward along LOD (2), then step back against LOD with inside foot, close outside foot to it, and step forward along LOD with inside foot (3-and-4). Then two step along LOD (5-and-6), sway against LOD (7), and along LOD (8).

Part IV - Sway and Turn (4 bars): Two step against LOD (1-and-2), sway along LOD (3), and against LOD (4), then finish with a full turn of slow two step (5-and-6, 7-and-8).

Repeat from the beginning.

The Music

Foxtrot music, at 128 bpm.


© 2018 Nick Enge

For more dance descriptions, see our three books on dancing:
The Book of Mixers: 100 Easy-Teach Dances for Getting Acquainted (2022) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge,
Cross-Step Waltz: A Dancer's Guide (2019) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge, and
Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living (2013) by Richard Powers and Nick Enge.

For full-length teaching videos, visit: University of Dance.

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