"Dancing Tid-bits" issue #50, Thursday, May 10, 2001

Dancing Tid-bits
Pivots Footwork

I thought we were done with Pivots (Dancing Tid-bits #44) but there were many questions on Footwork.

Definition: Footwork is defined as to what part of your foot comes in contact with the floor. Footwork is not Feet Positions.

H=Heel, T=Toe, HT=HeelToe, TH=ToeHeel, HTH=HeelToeHeel, THT=ToeHeelToe,

Logistics of Footwork: Normally, as we step forward, we step on Heel first and then foot becomes flat. Actually this footwork is HeelFlat but Flat is omitted from written text and it is assumed that foot is flat at the end of the step. We call this footwork as H. We use this foot work in everyday walking. If we rise or turn at the end of this step, toe pressure will be felt and the footwork will become HT.

Also a very small step (as in reverse and slip pivots), whether forward or back will feel natural on Ball or I should say T.

As we walk back, the foot work is obviously TH.

If you go Down from an Up position, you will land on toe first and then heel. The foot work will then be TH. Once we understand this basic concept, the following examples will be clear.

1. Reverse Pivot: Man has lowered on the previous step and is stepping back on RF, small step, ends in CBMP, therefore initially the footwork is TH but as he steps forward on LF, the heel of RF is released and pressure is felt in the toe. Therefore the footwork for Man in a Reverse Pivot is THT. Lady is slightly offset to his right and because this is a "small" step, it seems most convenient for her to step on toe or ball of LF. So initially this footwork is T but soon becomes TH as she prepares to step back on RF for the next step.

2. Natural Pivot Turn: Let's say that in Quickstep after 123 of Natural turn, the man steps back with LF, therefore initially the footwork is TH, then he prepares to step forward with RF and therefore must release the Left Heel. Thus the cumulative foot work becomes THT just as in Reverse Pivot.. However things are slightly different for the Lady. She is taking a normal length step and also she is slightly offset to man's right, she feels comfortable initially doing HT, but as she completes the turn and steps back with LF, she must release the toe of RF and therefore the cumulative foot work becomes HTH. Obviously this is quite different from what she does in the Reverse Pivot.

  • In Reverse Pivot Man does THT and Lady, TH.
  • In Natural Pivot Man does THT and Lady, HTH
3. Slip Pivot: after a Fallaway Reverse: for reasons stated in paragraph 1, the footwork remains the same as in Reverse Pivot i.e. Man does THT and Lady, TH Incidentally, no CBMP because of Fallaway.

4. Heel Pivot: Lady or Man (Heel turns or Impetus turn), initially turn is made on the ball of foot then Heel, thus the footwork is TH. Of course the closing foot is HT.

Thank you for your patience, I don't know if you enjoyed reading this, I certainly enjoyed writing it. Max

There is an excellent article on importance of footwork by Judy Hatton, "Dance is the poetry of the Foot"...click Dance Vision 2000: News And Events

Questions and comments to Dancemax@aol.com, thank you.

This article is part of and should be seen in the frame context of Dancesport UK, Tid-bits