"The Pretzel" is a move that is used both in swing dancing and square dancing. This move creates the illusion of fast and fancy arm work, but is simple to pick up. As a beginner swing dancer, this will likely be one of the first "fancy" tricks you'll learn and it looks much more complicated than it is. Stand with your partner, put on some swing music and practice until you have mastered the move. This dance, along with many swing dances, are lead by the male, so he needs to pay close attention during the moves.
Stand with both parties facing each other, holding hands.
Let go of your partner's right hand if you are dancing the male part. Pull the female dancer toward your left side and grab her hand behind your back. Let the girl continue walking until you are back-to-back.
Lead the girl to your right and pull your arm over her head in one fluid motion.
Take your left arm and move it over the female's head, pulling her to your right. This position, known as the "sweetheart position" has her hands crossed over her chest while the male's arms are unfolded and holding both of her hands.
Release your left hand on the girl and spin her until you are only holding her left arm and both of your arms are straight. The two of you should be at arm's length.
Let go of her hand and have her twirl to the right. Repeat or move onto a new dance step.
Writing since 2008, Fiona Miller has taught English in Eastern Europe and also teaches kids in New York schools about the Holocaust. Her work can be found on Overstock.com, ConnectED and various other Web sites. Miller holds a B.A. in French from Chapman University and an M.A. in educational theater from New York University.