"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #140, Thursday, April 24, 2003
Get your weight on that Foot!
How often have you heard that from your Coach? I bet quite often, if you are at an intermediate or even at the beginner's level and trying to be good in dancing.
I recall a Lecture by Richard Gleaves where he keeps going back, again and again to his famous master coach (I believe Henry Kingston) and is told "Richard, you don't have your weight on your foot." It takes quite a few sessions and substantial amount of Sterling Pounds that Mr. Gleaves finally gets his weight in the right place. I simply cannot forget this enigmatice story and how frankly Mr. Gleaves talks about it. So there must be subastantial meaning in that phrase "Get your weight on that Foot."
It happened to me only yesterday as I was taking a lesson with Mirreille Villeux, the Ten Dance Canadian Champion with Pierre Allaire. We were planning to work on some scattered chasses in Quickstep and thought it will be a good idea to start with some basics such as a series of Quarter Turns to right and Progressive Chasses. Low and behold! Here it comes; "Max, you don't have your weight on your Foot." She was specifically referring to my 4th step of the Progressive Chasses when I step to side and slightly forward with LF. As you know at this moment you are preparing to step outside partner RF forward for the 5th step and I was messing it up. The following problems were corrected.
1. Inclination to right: Naturally I was not getting all my weight on LF at the end of 4th step and was rushing stepping with the 5th step. This resulted in my loosing the "Stay Left Poise" and my body was leaning to Right and she felt very awkward and confused.
2. My right side was collapsing as a result of improper weight distribution.
3. I was attempting to take the side step too far outside my body, further complicating the poise and weight on my LF.
4. Posture and Balance was disturbed.
So, What does it mean; "Get your weight on that Foot? Means that you must absorb or eat all the time in that Music (in Slow-2, or Quick-1 beat or whatever) to complete a forward or backward walk or side or diagonal step. At the end of that beat or beats you must be perfectly balanced with "all your Weight on that Foot" before you endeavour to take the next step. This goes for both Men and Ladies. Got it?
I knew it before but never anyone made such an impact as Mire did in my last lesson.