"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #89, Thursday, Feb 14 2002

Dancing Tid-bits
Minimal vs Part Weight, part I

Sometimes I like to write tidbits on topics which have no meaning or maybe there is so much that it is over my head. You decide about today's topic, good or bad and write your comments.

A couple weeks ago I wrote "Replace vs Transfer" of Weight and I can't recall what is the difference (not really) and today's discussion is just as transparent but a good brain teaser for the keen dancer and teacher. One thing for sure that concept of weight in dancing is the single most important factor. Remember Richard Gleaves lecture on weight control in slow foxtrot? in his early days, his teacher kept saying "Get your weight on your feet"

1. Quote from the old Revised Technique of Latin American dancing

Definition of "Part Weight'" as used in Samba: "This term denotes that the step is taken on to the ball of the stepping foot with the weight held over the supporting foot. Full weight is then taken momentarily on to the foot as the next step is taken."

My comments: I tried to read into it several times but just couldn't connect, sorry!

2. Quote from the new edition, Latin American Samba:

Part Weight: "A step where the weight is centralized between the two feet"

Excuse me! Is it really that strict 50-50.

3. Laird Technique book: There was a reference to part weight collected on to the stepping foot like in a checked forward walk but I could not find a definition of part weight and perhaps rightly so that he was leaving it to our common sense to decide.

4. Minimal Weight: The new technique manual describes this as when "Less than half weight is taken on to the foot."

My comments: The wages of a McDonald worker at 5 bucks an hour is minimum as compared to a lawyer or doctor at 100 bucks an hour (perhaps legally the maximum). So I thought when you collect only less than 5% of weight, let's say it is minimal weight. Any thing in excess of that but less than the full weight maybe termed as Part Weight. Actually the concept of minimal weight was not written in the technique until now. I am not saying that dancers have not known or used that concept but remember I said I was going to pick a contentious topic today.

In part II we will cover some examples of this weight distribution in real life. Hopefully people will pass some comments on this today.

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