Dancing Tid-bits #62, Thursday, August 2, 2001

Dancing Tid-bits
Lines in Dancing

You heard it right, I said Lines in Dancing not Line Dancing or Line of Dance which I think everybody understands.

What is meant by Lines

Here we will discuss the lines as they are created by the Dancers Body and Movement.

Lines vs Line Figures: To avoid confusion I like to say that dancing lines are created constantly during all body motions, however the line figures are commonly referred to as movements that tend to unfold gradually and evolve slowly. Bodies are really never static, just that they appear to be so. These figures also are referred to as Picture Lines.

As Engineers and Architects we are all familiar with Line Drawings. These sketches outline the construction and the appearance of structures whether a building or machinery. Similarly if an architect (or an Artist) would draw the line diagram of a dancing body, such a drawing will show proper elevations, points and contours on the human body. The end drawing would naturally be the result of how the dancer had presented his or her body shape. This simply then is the definition of Line as it relates to dancers body or we might call these as body lines.

Lines are thus not static. They continually change as the body is moving. At every single moment a new line is being presented whether you are going straight in a Feather step or turning in Natural Spin Turn. So it will suffice to say that if the dancer has proper Posture, Balance, Poise and Tone and is dancing correctly at least he or she will present good lines. The musical interpretation and timing, etc. is a different matter. If the dancers look at their videos, it is quite obvious that sometimes it is impossible for them to comprehend how they look to others while dancing. It is therefore obvious that all dancers no matter what level, will tremendously benefit by analyzing their video movements in their spare time and have these critiqued by a good coach. The results will be amazing.

Picture Lines: Oversway, Throwaway Oversway and Same foot Lunge would be perfect examples of a Picture. They look to be static but please don't take me wrong, I am not saying "static" in terms that body has stopped. As you well know that body never stops dancing. There is always continuation of motion but the dancers can create an illusion as if the body has stopped.

At the end I must say that while you are dancing, imagine there is a line drawing artist sitting on the sidelines so you better give him "Good Lines." Thank You, Sincerely and with best wishes, Max

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