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7. Cuddle Wrap

The term cuddle is a reference to a dance position (described below); The Cuddle Wrap is the figure in East Coast Swing that incorporates this position. It is also sometimes known as "Sweetheart" position.

The cuddle position is one where man and lady stand side-by-side, lady at man's right side and slightly ahead, either with body contact, or at least in very close proximity. All hands are joined: Man's left hand to lady's right, and man's right hand to lady's left. The most interesting feature is the the position of the arms: The lady's arms are wrapped across her chest, and the man's arms are wrapped around the lady.

The cuddle position is achieved by beginning in open facing position with a two-hand hold, and dancing an Underarm Turn to Left without releasing either hand hold. The LH-RH hold is taken over the lady's head as in a normal Underarm Turn to Left, while the RH-LH hold is kept low at the lady's waist, gradually wrapping around her waist as she turns. Toward the end of the turn, the LH-RH hold is lowered so that both arms are completely wrapped.

Like all other figures in beginning and intermediate bronze East Coast Swing, the Cuddle Wrap follows the simple 6-count "Chasse, chasse, rock step" formula. The figure actually spans two 6-count groups: The first an Underarm Turn to Left to achieve the cuddle position, and the second an Underarm Turn to Right to return to a normal, open facing position. The hands are never released at any point during the course of the figure.

The foot positions are similar to that of a basic Underarm Turn to Left / Underarm Turn to Right combination, the main differences being related to the way the position affects the exact directions and amounts of turn. The Underarm Turn to Left is taken with lady turning 1/2 to left, man not turning. The lady's turn does not continue beyond 1/2, as it is restricted by the wrapped arm. By the end of the first chasse, they are in cuddle position, and will take the second chasse either backwards, or as a compact chasse in place. Following the rock step, they exit with an Underarm Turn to Right, with the man having no turn and the lady having 1/2 turn to right.

Variations of Turn

Both entry ad exit can be danced as described in the man's and lady's charts, or with variations of turn as follows:

  • Underarm Turn to Left / Entry:
    On first chasse (steps 1-3), man turns 1/4 to right, lady 1/4 to left.
    Second chasse (steps 4-6) is a compact chasse in place.
  • Underarm Turn to Right / Exit:
    Man leads lady to turn 1/4 to left between steps 8-9 (into first chasse).
    Lady's first chasse is forward, toward man's left side.
    Man's first chasse is compact, in place. Lady's second chasse is to side, turning 1/2 to right.
    Man's second chasse is to side, turning 1/4 to left.


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