"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #106, Thursday, June 13, 2002
Teaching Quickstep-Part I
As I learned to dance, it was my notion that Quickstep is the most difficult
of all the ballroom dances. If you know what I mean? Internationally, maybe
this is just another ballroom dance but in US, most studios tend to leave it
for a very late stage of a student's learning. However, most dancers soon
start to see the value of the dance and there is hardly any party in which
they won't play at least a few quicksteps.
When is a student ready for Quickstep? I think once the students have learned their forward and back walks in ballroom and if they understand the 4/4 timing at a fast tempo, there is no reason to hesitate to start Quickstep?
Natural and Reverse Turns: Simply a Left Turn is Reverse and a Right Turn is Natural Turn. How these terms came to be, I don't know. Pierre Allaire once eluded; because the Lady is hanging on to your right side, turning right seems "Natural". What do you say?
Alignments: It is imperative that students are introduced to the concept of proper starting and finishing alignments for a particular figure. This way they can connect their preceeds and follows.
Definition of Alignment: I have a little problem with the definition of Alignment as given in most Texts. They say that "Alignment is position of the feet in relationship to the room." Short and sweet but I say too short. I think it should be the Feet and Body relationship to the room for a "particular LOD". Without mention of LOD, Alignment has no meaning.
Dancing in a Tunnel: When you are facing an LOD, imagine you are in a "tunnel". To your right is the wall and to your left is Center. I want to emphasize to my beginner students that DC (Diagonal Center) does not mean diagonal to the Center of the room but represents 45 degree diagonal to Center "Line" which is to your left just as diagonal wall is to your right.
So imagine you are at the end of one LOD ready to go to "New LOD". The Diagonal Center of previous LOD become the Diagonal Wall of New LOD. I find that many students find this confusing unless we explain the concept of Center as long line rather than as Center of the room.
I just thought these things were very trivial but important to be understood by beginners. Hope you didn't mind. Best Wishes...Max.