"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #159, Thursday, November 6, 2003
What can I say?.. Two wonderful Lectures by Stephen Hillier and his charming wife and partner Jennifer. The first one on LOD, the second on Character of different Dances, the third one anxiously awaited today, on "You Lead me and I will Follow."
Tidbits on LOD:
1. The Line of Dance, O' My; what a beat up topic but no matter how hackneyed the subject, the modern day dancer seems to be diluting and deviating from basic principles of floorcraft. Hilliers, like most recognized top coaches of the world again emphasize the "Anti Clockwise Rotation and Flow of Dance. By the way, in America we call it Counter Clockwise and to the beginners, I just say like a Horse Race or Kentucky Derby. I liked their analogy of a River flowing down the line of dance, and another one coming from Man's right at the corner and so forth. It is the battle from a side current on the corner that should be dealt with carefully and many Corte Steps and Checks are suitable Figures.
2. Don't cross the Center: In order to be courteous, one should not cross the center line when dancing down the LOD and if every one followed this basic simple rule there will be much less collisions. Of course common sense and the necessity of the moment will prevail.
3. Curvilinear vs. Linear: Because of a down current of the river, most figures tend to curve such as a Feather and Three Step in Slow Fox-trot. A straight line Feather Step to Diagonal Center does tend to cross the centerline. Perhaps because of smaller ballrooms in England and greater respect for the line of dance, the older classical feather steps curved slightly to right. It is a lengthy topic and you can read my Tid-bits #142, Fox-trot, Linear or Curvilinear.
4. Figures like Reverse Corte in Waltz are loosing their popularity because they tend to disturb the flow but are very handy and beautiful when someone blocks you.
Tidbits on Tango:
1. The most startling info seems to be the starting position of Knees when we are in closed position. Stephen and Jennifer indicate that our both partner's knees tend to be out side each other with some torque of the body to left. In other words it will be my left knee, then my right and then her right and lastly her left, in that sequence. The right knee is tucked slightly behind the left. This will facilitate "curving walks".
2. The left elbow is raised because "I go down for Tango".
Tidbits on Quickstep:
1. Quickstep is characterized by "Big movement; Little steps."
2. Running Right Turn with Running Finish is still a popular and useful figure with timing of SQQ(1/2 natural), then SSQQ and end with SQQ of the Running Finish which can be ended in PP. Follow with Step Hop and Pepper Pot or Scatter Chasses.
3. I am still confused about a statement made by Jennifer that Quickstep is akin to Tango on Toes. I will confront her today with this question.
There is so much more but everything must conform to Tid-bits and my sugar level seems to be going down anyway, so I respectfully close. With Best Wishes, Max