"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #84, Thursday, Jan 10, 2002
Promenade and Counter Promenade
Letter: I like reading your danceletters very much, but, why did you never
write anything about promenade/cp positions in standard? I would like you to
write anything about. Sincerely, Marek from Slovakia. (Do you know, where it
is?) PS Sorry for my English.
Reply: Of course Marek, I know; Slovalkia is a neighborhood of Chicago 90% polish (just kidding). I know they make good dancers. Thank you for suggesting this topic for Dancing Tid-bits.
What is PP: Simply stated; Promenade Position is when man opens the lady to his left side. So let's get to the technical definition: It is a position where Man's right side and woman's left side are in contact and their bodies open in the form of a V to man's left. Now let's consider some nitty gritty about this oddity.
Feet Positions: Just like the bodies make a > the feet make an opposite < . Thus, the feet have the same alignment as the bodies. Say the man is facing diag wall in PP, his feet are also more or less parallel pointing to diag wall, lady normal opposite and they are both traveling along LOD. Some coaches insist on parallel feet but I feel that if you take a natural PP, the right foot tends to be pointing between wall and diag wall. In general the feet of man and woman make a double arrowhead,
<---LOD << >
Footwork: The weight is on right foot (well it all depends, I am talking progressive link of tango here) which is flat and the left foot has heel released with slight pressure on inside edge of toe/ball. Left knee is veering in. The first step out of promenade is always on heel, along LOD.
Head Position: Both the man and woman have their head turned to LOD in PP. The nose is on the toes of the weight bearing foot.
Body relationship: I believe, lady is just slightly to mans right and of course more so in Tango.
Tango: More dramatic, lady more to man's right, almost riding outside of his right thigh. Parallel feet in PP look good and some dancers try to create more tango by raising the heel more of LF with a more bent knee; good? you decide.
Common Problems with PP: I dont know elsewhere but in USA many of us tend to open our bodies too much and many dancers point their feet and knees to LOD. This creates an unsightly PP. This has a country western effect and is frequently a topic of discussion with coaches who are constantly correcting our PPs. Arms should not drop. The Back should be maintained and neck and head lines need attention. Both sides are stretched and right side is bracing the lady.
Latin PP: Same principles but more latitude for individual expression because bodies are farther apart.
CPP: If we open our bodies to mans right, this position will be counter promenade. I think here the bodies of man (left side of man and right side of lady) and woman will be normal V, in other words woman will not be more to man's left side. To my knowledge, there are no standard syllabus figures that require CPP in Standard Ballroom.
What do u say, Marek, did I meet your expectations?..Best Wishes..Max
Questions and comments to Dancemax@aol.com, thank you.