"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #92, Thursday, March 7, 2002
Outside Change, Do you Brush?
It is interesting how I pick my topics for Tid-bits. The other day I was
visiting my friend Dorian who was teaching his student couple the outside
change in Waltz. Darren, the student asked the question "do you brush on 2. I
was taken aback for a moment and so I thought why not take the Outside Change
and make that a topic for this issue.
What is outside Change in Waltz? I will describe Man's part, Ladies reciprocate. Men! start backing diagonal center, 1. LF. back. 2. RF back turning 1/4 to left. 3. LF to side and slightly forward, pointing diag wall. You are now ready to step outside partner RF forward. To achieve this outside relationship you will have to be careful not to turn the body all the way between 2 and 3, in other words "body turns less than the LF"
It is quite a simple figure but believe it or not, my examiner for ISTD certification started with this and went on and on and then he realized that I was well up on the basics of Ballroom and from then on the "Test" was a piece of cake. A couple of questions that he asked me are as follows.
1. What is the Rise and Fall in this figure? I said to myself O' Yes it is different from the normal rise and fall of Waltz. So, what is the normal rise and fall in basic steps such as a natural turn. 1. commence to rise at the end of 1, continue to rise on 2 and 3, Lower at the end of 3. Let's see why and how the R&F is different in this figure. The difference is when you "Close on 3" vs. when you "Step apart" on the 3rd step. If you are not "Closing" on the 3rd step, it would be difficult to continue your Rise between 2 and 3. In order to stabilize balance, you must have almost completed your Rise on 2 and then step to side on 3 and then lower. So my answer was: Commence to rise at the end of 1, continue to rise on 2 and then up on 3, lower at the end of 3. See the difference! I knew it well but then he got me. He said you are not done yet? tell me more about rise on 1 and suddenly a lightening went through my head and I said O. Yes, there is NFR (No Foot Rise) on 1, because the rise is taken while stepping "back".
I like Guy Howards description of different types of Rise and Fall in Waltz in his introductory pages. You must know the basic reason why? You should not have to remember it by rote memory. It will become very easy that way.
2. What are the Alignments? I knew exactly where he was coming from. As you know that at the end of this figure the Man steps RF forward outside partner for next step. It is therefore imperative that he turn his body less than the feet to create the relationship that is required for the outside partner steps. Therefore the alignments: step 1 and 2 are Backing Diag Center but on 3, the LF will point Diag wall while the body will be facing between Wall and DW.
O' Yes, the question was; do you brush LF to RF on 2. Well, according to technique, you dont and if you look at diagramatics in Alex Moore's Ballroom Dancing there is no brush. When I am dancing, there doesn't seem to be a need to brush. However now Waltz music being 28 or even slower, you can create a "hover effect" before you step LF to side and slightly forward on 3 and brushing will be ok? If it feels good and looks good, why not? If you do, make sure the end alignment is not disturbed.
Questions and comments to Dancemax@aol.com, thank you.